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97 Wairau Road
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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!
In an equipment intensive sport such as this, it is important to have your gear routinely inspected. Small equipment failures can result in large problems! At Dive Centre we specialise in Certified Repair for all brands. We are a wholesale repair facility - that means we not only service our customers equipment - but provide this service for other stores all over New Zealand as well; using fully qualified and highly trained technicians.
By investing in our facilities and staff, and by making the commitment to do all aspects of equipment maintainence, testing and repairing on-site, we control every stage of the process, so we can ensure only the latest equipment and techniques are used to maintain your scuba equipment.
Don't let a malfunction leave you high and dry on your next dive trip. Let us maintain your equpiment properly, so you can get in the water every time!
We also have the most advanced Dive Computer Battery Change and Service Facilities in New Zealand! We service all brands of dive computer including Suunto Watch repairs and battery changes as well as Big Display Suunto battery changes.
We also do battery changes and repairs on mechanical dive watches.
With the release of AS/NZS2299.1:2015 there are now requirements for Occupational Divers in regards to air pressure and depth gauge accuracy testing and regulator hose testing.
We are now able to offer full testing of SPG's, Mechanical Depth Gauges, Computers and hoses to this new standard.
All Occupational/Commercial divers are required by this standard to have the accuracy of these items tested at least every 12 months or in the case of heavy or rough use every six months.
Please contact Malcolm Kidd on 094447698 for more details.
Not all Air fill stations are built the same! With Dive Centre Air, you are guaranteed to have air that far exceeds New Zealand and International Standards. For those of you in the know, we deliver "Grade E" air quality. Not many other Air Fill facilities in New Zealand can make this statement.
How do we achieve this exceptionally clean air? Again by investing in the best! On 1st June 2007 we installed a brand new Bauer Verticus 5 V180-15-5 Super Silent compressor. This compressor is computer controlled and even samples the air and will automatically shut down if air quality exceeds NZ standards! Now that's piece of mind for you and us. We also have an exceptionally large filter system, more than 5x the size of "normal dive stores" compressors. We have our Air tested every three months for Air Quality ensuring that our system is giving you the cleanest air possible. As of December 2015 a new standard AS/NZS 2299.1:2015 came in which reduced the amount of moisture allowable in scuba breathing air. You'll be happy to know that we are well below this new standard without having to do anything to our system! Being serious about air quality, we also only use the experts at High Pressure Equipment, to service our air quality systems.
We also have massive storage banks that can be used to fill up to 15-20 cylinders without starting up our compressor. This means we can fill while-you-wait 7 days per week, no matter what! We do this by utilising a "Haskel Pump". This expensive piece of equipment is an air driven pump that uses air from storage to pump the air into your cylinder. This allows us to fill cylinders even during a power cut!
Ultimate convienience and reliability for you when you are in a hurry to get out on the water.
Imagine all the benefits of diving Enriched Air, without any of the hassles of dedicated cylinders or O2 cleaning!
A lot of people diving Enriched Air use it to dive safer, not as a technical dive as most people think!
How does Enricher Air (Nitrox) benefit a typical kiwi diver like yourself? If you do a dive to 18 metres, and spend 50 minutes of the 56 minute maximum, you are fairly close to the limits. But if you use 40% Enriched Air and do the same dive, you will have used only 50 minutes of a 125 minute maximum! Other benefits of Enriched Air, are that you can spend longer at depth than on air, or minimise surface intervals and you feel much less tired after a day's diving.
Usually cylinders have to be specially cleaned for Enriched Air, but thanks to Dive Centres new advanced "De-Nitrogenated Air Nitrox" filling system this is no longer required! Just a simple inspection, some new stickers and your cylinders are ready. Your Regulator, BCD, and the rest of your equipment does not have to be specially cleaned or altered!
We have a Bauer K14 10 cfm (cubic foot per minute) compressor that is not only a back up to our main compressor but runs our Dnax Membrane Enriched Air fill Station as well.
We take the already Super-Clean air from our storage, and feed this through three more filters before it goes into your cylinder via the Membrane! (This is very clean air!)
A Membrane is basically a type of filter, its real name is a Permeable Membrane which means it separates the Nitrogen and Oxygen, at a molecular level, from our storage air. All we have to do is turn a dial, and it separates more Nitrogen off, so we end up with a higher level of Oxygen going to our Enriched Air Compressor. Because the Enriched Air is going into the compressor and cylinder at 40% or below, the cylinders don't have to be O2 clean. This is far more convienient for you, because it means you can choose to dive on Enriched Air one day, and normal Air the next, no dedicated cylinders! Unlike older systems that put 100% Oxygen into the cylinder and "Top-up" with normal air, to hopefully end up at the % you wish.
We test cylinders in-house!
We do not have to send cylinders out to have them tested like other smaller stores on the North Shore. This means faster turn around times and you can talk to the certified experts if you have any questions!
But again, not all cylinder test stations are the same either!
We are an IANZ Cylinder Testing Laboratory adhering to ISO 9002 standards, which is the most advanced cylinder testing system in New Zealand. We are authorised to test Scuba and BA cylinders, Domestic LPG Cylinders, Primus LPG Cylinders, Industrial Gas Cylinders, Automotive LPG Cylinders & Automotive CNG Cylinders and even large Air Storage Cylinders for other dive stores as well!
Scuba Cylinders require testing every single year! A visual inspection in the first year, and a Hydrostatic Test the following year. And the test alternates each year after that. If it's been more than 2 years since any test was performed; it just has to be Hydrostatically tested.
LPG Cylinders are required to be tested every 10 years, don't swap your perfectly good cylinder as you will probably have to change all the regulators on your LPG Appliances as well!
Don't throw away your perfectly good cylinder and buy a new one. Save money and the environment - Go Green & Recycle - Test your LPG cylinder instead!
Automotive LPG Cylinders are tested every 10 years like their smaller domestic counterparts.
Automotive CNG Cylinders are tested every 5 years.
It doesn't matter if your Scuba cylinders just need their yearly test, your LPG Cylinder needs its 10 year test, or even just a valve repair, we are the cylinder experts!