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97 Wairau Road
Ph: +64 9 444 7698
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!
Read the trip report below!
Galapagos Trip Report: Once in a Lifetime Dive Trip!
Text & Images by Malcolm & Barbara Kidd
The two days flying and sitting around airports with barely any sleep are forgotten...
The earthquake we experienced in the Santiago Airport is but a distant memory…
The 17 hour crossing on our liveaboard dive boat from the main island to get here is not even in my mind...
I’m sitting just 14m underwater on a shelf on the southern side of Wolf Island in the Galapagos looking at something I’ve waited my whole life to see... schooling Hammerheads... not just a few... hundreds!
Apart from the hundreds of Hammerhead’s parading in front of us, there are curious Galapagos sharks (looking more intimidating than the hammerheads), schools of the biggest eagle rays we’ve ever seen circling so close we could touch them, cruising turtles, and so many fish that they photo bomb the photos we’re trying to take of the sharks. This really is a diver’s dream and enough to make even decades-experienced divers beam with joy and wax lyrical about all they saw once back on board the boat.I eventually stop taking pictures on my new camera system, stop shooting video through the GoPro attached on top, and I just let myself take it all in... I’m underwater in the Galapagos Islands and they’re here! It was the start of an amazing 8 days of diving and land tours that we’d planned for almost two years and saved for just as long.
Galapagos isn’t easy – it’s one of the hardest dive sights to get to, and the conditions are not perfect flat calm diving like your normal tropical destinations. But all that is forgotten when you hit the water – and for a kiwi diver it feels familiar and even looks similar to many Hauraki Gulf Islands both above and below the water (apart from the inhabitants!)
The reason it’s such good diving is that there are seven different oceanic currents that hit the Galapagos, but the main one is the largest upwelling system in the world, called the “Humboldt” cold water current. This is the most productive on earth with almost 20% of all fish caught on the planet bathed by its flow! This, combined with warm tropical currents, is why there’s so much life here and why we have to be prepared for temperature ranges of 14 – 25 degrees underwater!
We visit an island to see Land Iguana’s and are amazed at how close we can get without startling them – great pictures are almost embarrassingly easy! Sea Lions lie ignoring you on the sand while you take pictures of “Blue Footed Boobies” (yes, that is their real name!) performing mating rituals and making nests and tending to eggs while Frigate birds with huge red waddles try and attract mates in front of beaming people glued to their cameras! We look out to sea and watch acres of dolphin leap and play in the water surrounding the island – this place is just so full of life you don’t know where to look or point the camera!
Then we’re back to the main boat to travel another 6-7 hours north to Darwin Island and more importantly Darwin’s Arch. For me, this is the focus of the trip – it can make or break the whole two weeks if they’re not there!
I shouldn’t have worried... 4 minutes into the first dive – the guide suddenly frantically signals and points before disappearing as fast as he can into the blue. We follow, kicking as fast as we can – all scared we won’t see her... But there she is – a 15m pregnant Whale Shark – she’s huge (even for a Whale Shark!). And we get closer than I thought we would – I get so close I’m being pulled along in her slipstream, and I can slow my kicking right down and glide with her like I’m a remora. One of the coolest moments I’ve ever had underwater!
I look to my buddies and they’re all having a blast, I look to the huge schools of big eye Trevalley, the Hammerhead and Galapagos Sharks in the distance, the Turtle posing for pictures, and the millions of other fish that surround us all at once and think... This is what diving is all about!
We end up seeing a total of 14 Whale Sharks during our dives at Darwin’s Arch and on the last dive – like most trip organisers before me – I have a quiet sigh of relief that it’s all been so amazing... then I turn back to my camera before I miss the next shot. You can never have too many Whale Shark pictures!
We're back from the Galapagos Islands now and it was the best dive trip we've ever done! There is something we got wrong though... “Once in a Lifetime” isn’t correct - we are so going back!
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-2-17 February Mon 13 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-2-17 February Sat 18 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 19 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
EFR-5-17 May Tues 16 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-5-17 May Sat 20 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 21 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
EFR-11-17 November Fri 17 (6.30pm - 9.30pm)
R-11-17 November Sat 18 (9am - Approx. 4pm) - Sun 19 (9am - Approx. 3pm)
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of course dates.