SIF Tonga Blue Blue Base

"An Extraordinary Adventure of Discovery and Exploration"



Join Australian Geographic Society 2012“Life Time of Adventure” awardee Don McIntyre, on one of the greatest Underwater Maritime History explorations the Pacific has seen.

You do not need experience, just passion and a sense on adventure. It involves many, untouched 16-18th centaury wrecks, in the waters surrounding the uninhabited Tropical Island “BLUE BASE” camp on “Nomuka Iki”.


Marine Biology, Science or Archeological experience, singing and dancing all welcome. You will be assisting with magnetometatry searches for new wrecks plus preliminary surveys and investigations of known wrecks in the Kingdom of Tonga and playing with whales!. You will be living in a tent field camp, with all basic facilities, working as part of a small enthusiastic team. Previous camping experience an advantage, but hey!! is an adventure. Google the island on Google earth and you will see it is a “classic” uninhabited Pacific gem! Surrounded by tantalizing reefs. It is owned by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala, who is supporting this expedition.
The Nuku Alofa ferry comes to the main island of Nomuka usually twice a week and we will have phone connections established at BLUE BASE. This is not a dive holiday..IT IS BETTER !!! but it is also work with an objective...we cannot guarantee anything, but for many, this would be considered the ultimate dive adventure! There may be some waiting for weather to work the wreck sites, so you just go surfing, diving, fishing or exploring for fun instead. We will travel out from this island to other wreck sites, as well as work sites close at hand. ICE will be stationed here for a major part of this 10 week activity.
You will require Dan insurance and a minimum of 40 dives and a hands on attitude. We all clean dishes cook and fill tanks. If you are not an experienced diver, we still can use a camp leader/manager?? So you should still apply. There may be a permanent team of six on ‘BLUE BASE” with occasional visitors. “ICE”carries another team of four divers.
You will pay $400 per week to cover all your food and other costs etc excluding alcohol. We provide all cylinders, air, weights etc. You must cover your own airfares to Tonga and visas.…If you are interested in staying on for a further period beyond the initial 10 weeks program, opportunities may be offered. Cost is then $200 per week. This is the beginning of the next five year plan for Tonga Blue Ltd. We will be looking for good people in various positions in the future. You can apply or give expressions of interest for 2014 now! We will always offer future positions to previous enthusiastic team members first.

Future employment:

The scope of operations for Tonga Blue may increase over the next few years. Extra Boats and exploration dive teams are planned. Initially a 12mtr, 15 tonne steel Dive Salvage boat with “A” frame and cargo hold (building in China) and a 25ft Fast GRP dive work boat. We are looking for people with Passion and Commitment to join us. You must love the world we live in, believe in living life, having fun and getting the job done with a can do attitude.

Crew signing onto “ICE” will always pay $2000 a month as a crew contribution. At BLUE BASE, or on our other land or boat based operations, each team member pays $400 per week for the first 10 weeks, then $200 per week for the next 20 weeks of involvement. This is “serving time”. From that point, if an opportunity becomes available and you make the grade?, you “may” be offered a “Permanent Crew”spot. This means you only have to pay for your visas, travel to and from Tonga and your insurance cover. “Permanent Crew” are NOT paid and are still volunteers. Having served as Permanent Crew for a term, we may select you as “Paid Crew” ONLY IF AND WHEN we see such positions becoming available.

We are looking for key Team Managers and Captains we know and can trust. I hope we can welcome you aboard!

2014 Volunteer Vacancies

Please read the Blog and check out the photos in the gallery from 2013 to get a feel for what to expect...In June and July 2014 we will be undertaking Magnetometer surveys in EUA before then setting up BLUE BASE on Nomuka IKI. There are some exciting developements for next season and unfortunately we cannot( for now)tell you about everything that happened in 2013 for security reasons, but it was more than fun!

Limited Volunteer crew vacancies are available NOW onboard “ICE” and “Blue Base” for the 2014 season. Some opportunities may become available for “technical divers” qualified in “Deep Diving”, to establish our third “WHITE TEAM”,operating from a proposed new vesse in 2015. We may also be looking for professional “Artifact conservators” very soon and those with a keen interest in, or wanting to further there experience of Marine Archeology. Highly experienced divers are more than welcome. We are looking for passionate people who want to be part of something special. If you have a sense of adventure and can work as part of a team, please feel free to register your interest by contacting us now. In years to come, we believe our activities in Tonga may grow dramatically.

You must hold a current first aid qualification, be an open water diver, have Dan Diver insurance, travel insurance, a credit card and undergo a medical. We all cook, clean, polish the toilet and work hard when needed to get the job done. We always dive safe, to a plan and conservatively, play often and accept that life should be fun and never taken too seriously. We laugh a lot and expect the unexpected at any time. While we have objectives, we must “go with the flow” with no fixed itinerary or expectation. We do things the “Tongan way”. This entire operation is an adventure with plenty of unknown outcomes, which is what makes it so exciting. So if you are up for it, we would love to hear from you. Come with the right attitude and be prepared to have a go and you will likely have one of the most unique experiences of your life with the greatest bunch of people.

Crew with experience in marine science, marine biology, archeology, computers, photography and filming, underwater survey, artifact conservation, marine conservation and the environment are especially welcome.


SAILING CREW” for “ICE”, will sign on for 6 months(1st May through to 1st November 2014). Crew contribution is AUD$12,000 This covers all found onboard except alcohol and assists with all operational costs on ”ICE”. Positions available are: CREWS OF 2014 ONBOARD ICE HAVE BEEN FOUND.

1. CHIEF MATE..“ICE” is the main “roving” dive support boat for all Tonga operations and is at the centre of the action. We are looking for a “chief mate” with comprehensive boat/sailing skills and some engineering/electrical background to become relief captain. An exciting new Dive salvage Vessel may be commissioned very soon for Tonga Blue and an opportunity to take command of that boat, may be available following a suitable time serving onboard ICE.

2. SAILOR DIVERS.Two positions are available onboard for experienced divers with a "basic" boating background. While onboard, Don McIntyre will train the “crew” in all aspects of life at sea and nautical knowledge.

“BLUE BASE TEAM”. Blue Base will open in late July 2014 through to end of Sept 2014. The actual activates undertaken will be determined by the outcomes of the 2013 season, but it promises to be special. You need to sign on for a minimum of 10 weeks at $400 a week. You can stay on for another 20 weeks at $200 a week and after that you are part of the permanent crew with no further contribution ever needed. You become part of this Grand adventure, with the very real prospect of then being offered a paid position at sometime in the future. We have only four BLUE BASE vacancies left for the 2014 season.
“WHITE TEAM”. In November 2014 a decision will be made on forming a team of “Specialist Deep Divers” to explore some known 50 mtr wreck sites in 2015. This promises to be ground breaking stuff, with untouched historic wrecks, something most divers could only ever dream of. If you are qualified, with your own equipment and interested, please register with us. You will still need to cover all your travel/visa costs to and from Tonga, have Dan Diver insurance, travel Insurance and be up for an adventure. You would sign on for a minimum of 10 weeks. We are interested in four “White Team” members. Your crew contribution of $400 a week ($4000) will be refunded to you “IN FULL” at the completion of your 10 weeks, only if you stay the full 10 week term. If you then decide to stay on longer, you pay no crew contribution. If a “Deep” site of “significance” is established, then employment opportunities may be offered after a qualifying period.
All crew involved will sign an Indemnity form, a code of conduct, a confidentiality agreement, a copyright release and agree to be filmed and photographed.
Who is Don McIntyre? Google his name and images...

Don McIntyre

59 year old Don McIntyre is one of Australias most experienced sailors, having competed in the 1990 BOC Challenge Single Handed Around the World Yacht Race ,coming second in Class, the highest placing for an Australian at the time. He then embarked on numeros Antarctic sailing Expeditions, including in 1995, living in a 2.4m X 3.6m box for a year, together alone in Antarctica, with his wife Margie, chained to rocks at Cape Dennison, the site of Sir Douglass Mawson¡¯s Hut and an area called the Home of the Blizzard. Having been awarded an Australian Geographic Society silver medal for the Spirit of Adventure in 1993, Don and Margie were Awarded the Australian Geographic Society¡¯s highest honour in 1996¡­a Gold Medal as Adventurers of the Year, the youngest to ever recieve it at that time. Their award winning documentary and best selling book ¡°Two Below Zero¡± are still in demand ten years on. In 2012 Don received the ultimate recognition from the Australian Geographic Society, with another Gold Medal for “A LIFETIME OF ADVENTURE”

In 2000 McIntyre purchased a 36m 600 tonne ¡± ICE¡± ship in Finland ( renamed¡± Sir Hubert Wilkins¡±), then brought it back across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to New Zealand for a major refit, including the installation of a helipad and a Hughes 300 helicopter, before embarking on four major voyages of discovery and exploration in Antarctica over three summer seasons all thanks to major sponsorship from DICK SMITH FOODS. Three years later, a 5 man recompression chamber and sophisticated dive support gear and Nitrox compressors were installed before setting of on a 6 month treasure hunting adventure in the Phillipines¡­.no Gold! Then followed a successful four year tarmac rally racing campaign in a Peugeot 206 Gti 180 with some impressive results¡­.and a few ¡°DINGS!¡±

An ongoing interest in aviation has provided some great fun when time allows, flying fixed-wing ¡°three axis¡±, a little helicopter time, trike¡± weight-shift¡± experience, and in 2007 McIntyre became the first person to fly an ultralight gyro-copter around Australia, a world first flight¡­.see OzGyro WebsiteMcIntyre has been involved with skydiving, surfing, racing moto-cross and been scuba diving all his life. He formed the Short-handed Sailing Association of Australia in 1983 and went on to manage and promote the 1988 GFW Bicentenial Around Australia Yacht Race which was underwritten by McIntyre Marine Services Pty Ltd¡­McIntyre¡¯s successful marine equipment importing and boat building company which was sold in 2005.In April 2008 McIntyre launched his new 15.2m steel, 40 tonne ice strengthend expedition motor-sailer ¡°ICE¡±, following a three year, 50,000 man hour build in China. This new adventure ship is capable of going anywhere, has a 5000 mile range under power, carries comprehensive dive gear and it¡¯s own Polaris Amphib flying boat for filming and exploration¡­..The FUN CONTINUES!!!


2014 ICE Crew - Yauming Chiam  
  scuba diver and resident historian

My name is Yauming Chiam. I'm 45 years of age. I've been scuba diving since 2007 and absolutely love the sport. I've clocked over 300 dives from the Maldives to Niue in the Pacific. I recently completed my Padi rescue diver course in Bali.

I am academically trained as a historian. I followed up my BA Honors in History with a Masters in History from La Trobe University, Australia.

I spent the last 15 years trading in the share market and I feel I need a break.


I have had a fascination for treasure hunting ever since I was a child reading the Tin Tin comics. The image of the hard hat divers clambering inside ship wrecks fills with great excitement. Watching the old Jacques Cousteau movies helped me gain a deeper appreciation for the ocean. So when this offer to join the Blue Treasure expedition came - my immediate response was to say yes.
2014 ICE Crew - Paul Brown (Brownie)  
G'day I'm Brownie a young 50 year old who has been diving since the late 80's.
I picked up the travel and diving bug as soon as I left school I travelled all throughout Australia before taking on the world, were I have travel and set foot on all 7 continents .I have been lucky enough to have swam in Antarctica, dived in Alaska, been chased by a Tiger shark in New Guinea, worked with lions in Africa and caged dive with the great whites in cape town to name a few .I have all my dive certificate's and a qualified carpenter and joiner who love working and looking after timber. The last 3 years my passion for the ocean has become my driving force I have been an active member of Marine Rescue in Sydney as well as doing my Coxswain licence and any other boating course I could fit in. 2013 saw me working in Antibes France on the Super Yacht's before heading back to Sydney. Then off to Kota Kinbalau in Malaysia where I worked as a shipwright and crew. Now 2014 the next chapter of my life book I am lucky enough to become a crew member on ICE. The journey continues
Tonga Blue Partner and 2013 ICE Crew  

Mark Belvedere, owns and operates from, Eueiki Island in Vavau. In one form or other, he has been exploring and living with the Oceans all his life. He is highly respected in the Tongan community and the Govt. and has a strong affinity to, and an understanding of Tongan culture. He has for many years shown a commitment to Tongan Maritime Heritage through the Kalia Foundation. Eueiki Island is now the base of opperations for TONGA BLUE.

Right: Mark and His wife Veronica in front of their island.
ICE Crew - John Torsch

If I had to label myself I would be an International man of adventure, living a life that most will only dream of. If I were a song, I'd be Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. A Chef, fearless traveler, entrepreneur, beachbum and culinary explorer. A little rough around the edges but very confident and outgoing, charming and articulate, I call myself The Globetrotting Chef. Always in search of the perfect meal, my soulmate, the most beautiful beach, and my slice of paradise. After years of living a "normal life" I sold it all to pursue my dream of exploring this incredible world. I live to learn new skills and perfect the ones I was blessed with. Good at many things but great at only 3; making food, making money and making lxxe: )

ICE Crew - Gregory Liechti  

Gregory: PADI OW SCUBA instructor and Electrician.

This is Grégory "Pepe le Pew", because I'm half French... I'm already onboard ICE with John "Captain America", the fearless traveler and culinary explorer, as well with lovely JaneJane and Don the pirate of the seven seas.
We, John and I, are busy studying and learning all sorts of differents things about sailing, and how to take care of the amazing boat ICE.
Can't wait to head to the open Ocean!

Blue Bace - Richard & Harriet

Blue Base - Jian Xu
Richard: PADI OW SCUBA Instructor and Electrical engineer. Harriet: SSI OW SCUBA instructor, Journalist and Photographer.

Jian: PADI AOW Scuba diver and web developer.

"The ocean is my church and I try to do everything I can to honor it. I was looking to go away for a while and do something different. Well, Tonga is the "away" and this project is definitely different! Looking forward to help uncover and preserve Tonga's cultural heritage as a part of this crack diving team. Cheers!"

Blue Base - Uwe Blue Base - Alex
Uwe: PADI & SSI OW SCUBA Instructor, Paramedic and Degree in Eco Tourism management and marketing.

Alex: PADI Dive Master and Adventurer:
I'm a 27 year old carpenter from Sydney Australia, I've only been diving for about 5 years but always loved the ocean and live for adventure. As well as meeting my beautiful wife Leanne through diving it has also taken me to many amazing places but not yet Tonga so can't wait! After enjoying reading stories about divers searching for lost shipwrecks and the history behind them (fingures crossed) its time to be apart of one! Bring on Bluetreasure!!!


ICE Crew - Jane Zhou

The same Jane as always, hope everyone enjoy our journey... : )
2011 & 2012 CREW  


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Website created by AJ © 2010-12
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