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It was also an amazing year for diving and our return trip to the Galapagos Islands was even better than our previous trip in 2014!
Let me paint a picture – we’re sitting on the liveaboard boat at Darwin Island – over 165 nautical miles north of Galapagos’ main islands, we've crossed the equator overnight and just arrived that morning…
e look out towards Darwin Arch less than 1km away, just down the coast we can see a mother Humpback Whale teaching its baby to slap its tail on the surface, around the boat we count 6 turtles relaxing on the surface, 7 Silky sharks are swimming under the boat, then suddenly a school of Mobula Rays are jumping into the air as they swim past, and the biggest school of dolphin any of us has even seen is in the distance leaping and playing as only they can… this isn’t over the morning – this is all at the same time! To say we were excited to get in the water was the biggest understatement you can imagine… we were all buzzing to get under Darwin Arch!
Heading out towards the arch on one of the two inflatables – our boat driver suddenly yells out “Whale Shark right below us... get ready to go” heart racing gear in place camera in hand, “3, 2, 1, go as the inflatable slows down ahead of the whale shark – we backward roll in – I'm lucky – I'm at the front of the RIB and manage to swim ahead and slowly let her catch up to me and we’re only 3m below the surface! I angle to be above her and swim to get into the pressure wave above her head… always mindful of never touching – and manoeuvring so I'm in the sweet spot. I don’t have to fin as hard – I'm being pulled along with her – it feels amazing, I quickly look back and a couple of divers are still swimming trying to keep up – the others have peeled off towards the arch.
She angles down and takes me on a 9-minute swim to 30m – several Giant Trevally come and join me above her head… they don’t stay long as almost unbelievably she swims through a school of hammerhead sharks!Truly one of the most epic moments I've had underwater in my 36 years of diving! She turns – I'm trying to remember to take pictures but I don’t want to waste this experience looking through the lens… she starts to ascend – too quickly for me to safely stay with her… so I peel off to the side – making sure the Go Pro on top of my camera captures her disappearing up into the blue shallows around the arch… she’s gone – I turn to high five the others (if they're still there) and a second whale shark is 4m away swimming straight towards me! I move up above and out of the way and let her pass underneath me and I swim on her back for the next couple of minutes and realise just how lucky I've been on my first dive at Darwin Arch – and that was just the first 15 minutes!
Over the seven days we’re on board Galapagos Aggressor we swim with hundreds of Hammerheads, Turtles, and many more Whale Sharks – not to mention the Seals, Sealions, Marine Iguana, Sunfish, huge schools of Barracuda – this really is scuba diving heaven… We climb an extinct volcano and get incredible pictures of the wild landscape, we visit the giant tortoises and tour around finding penguins. We eat great food, drinks, and have some late nights playing our new favourite dice game “Zilch” (thanks Willie). This made for another epic trip at what we believe is the greatest big fish dive in the world – Darwin Arch - Galapagos… And yes, we've booked the Galapagos Aggressor for August 2021! Contact Malcolm on 09 444 7698 to book your spot(s)!
We were very proud to recently receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
How do you take a subject like accident prevention and management and turn it into fun? Call it the P.A.D.I. Rescue Diver Programme! This course develops your knowledge and skills so you can effectively perform diver assists and rescues, manage diving accident situations and render first aid. The programme is an important step in expanding your knowledge and experience as a diver. Rescue diver is also a prerequisite for all P.A.D.I. leadership programs. This is probably the most interesting and important programme you will ever complete during your diver training. You will learn skills that not only qualify you to assist your buddy or any other diver in need of help, but you will also increase your own skill and awareness level in the water.
You'll complete theory and pool sessions over the Saturday, covering situations such as Self Rescue, Diver Stress, Diving First Aid, Emergency Management and Equipment Considerations. We use these theory and pool sessions to become familiar with procedures for the open water exercises, and completing your exam. You will then spend Sunday on one of our local beaches demonstrating these skills in an actual dive environment, NOT in Lake Pupuke!
To get into the Rescue Diver program, you'll need to be certified as a P.A.D.I. Advanced Open Water Diver (or equivalent) and be 15 years or older. You also need to have successfully completed a First Aid course (such as the P.A.D.I. Emergency First Response program) within the last two years.
If you have completed a Dive Medical within the last twelve months, all we need is a copy of the completed form. If it has been more than twelve months, you need to complete a new Medical. Dive Centre Ltd_Medical_Form (137K) Everyone doing a dive course needs to complete a medical questionaire, and if the answer to any question is yes, then you have to get it signed off by a Doctor. (If if the answer to all questions is 'No", you don't need to go to the Doctor at all - You can just sign teh completed form and hand it in to us at the start of your course). If you need to, you can go to your normal family Doctor, but if you have any issues like a history of Asthma, Heart Condition, Insulin dependent diabetes, major ear or sinus problems, you should go to a Doctor with "training in fitness for diving medical assessments". Click here to see the list of Doctors.
Your Dive Centre Rescue Diver Course is $399 and includes your Manual, Air fills, certification fees and any Scuba Equipment you may need! When you participate in any of our programs you receive ongoing benefits including a 25% reduction on hire gear charges, a minimum 10% reduction on all purchases not already on special, as well as many other benefits - and this lasts for 12 months after your course!
After successfully completing the program, you'll receive the most internationally recognised Rescue Diver Certification Card in the world! Don't wait until after a dive emergency to become a Rescue Diver. Take this course and you will always be prepared - Anytime, anywhere!
Want to be ready in an emergency? Then this programme is for you! The E. F. R. programme covers basic training for CPR and emergency care. In addition, it's medically based, covering primary care, secondary care and treatments.
This programme is designed for divers and non-divers alike! As long as you are at least 10 years old you can complete this first aid course. It is not diving specific and covers many different accident situations.
The course runs over two four hour evenings, usually scheduled prior to the Rescue Diver Course.
The cost is $150 and includes all manuals and certification fees.
So if you're seeking CPR and first aid training to meet the Rescue Course requirement or just for personal enhancement, the P.A.D.I. Emergency First Response Course is for you!
EFR-2-19 Tue 12 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-2-19 Sat 16 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 17 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
EFR-5-19 Tue 7 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-5-19 Sat 11 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 12 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
EFR-10-19 Tue 15 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-10-19 Sat 19 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 20 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of course dates.