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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!
All of our Dive cylinders come with a valve (included in the price) that can be filled to max. 225 Bar as an "open face" valve.
All valves are stamped with your initials and cylinders come filled with neat sweet dry filtered Dive Centre Air! (Unless couriered to you directly, as they have to be empty).
Steel vs Aluminium is a question we're asked all the time, and it's a good one! There is no short answer and it is really dependant on several factors.
1. Price - Usually there is quite a difference between Steel and Alluminium cylinders; this has been fixed by our current pricing as there is now very little difference, although at some other shops it is still significant.
2. The amount of air you actually need - The most popular steel cylinders are the big ones! The 15 litre holds around 30% more air, and is slightly shorter than the big aluminium. The 12 litre model holds 10% more air but it is also 10% lighter!
3. Air Consumption - If you are breathing through your cylinder faster than the buddies you are diving with, then the bigger steel cylinders are a great way to even up the game! If you go through your air at the same speed or slower than your buddies, it is a waste of time having more air, as you'll have to come up when your buddy does anyway! Stick with the same size cylinder that they use.
4. Warranty - You get a 10 year warranty from date of manufacture with Catalina Aluminium cylinders, and a 5 year warranty with Faber Steel.
5. Buoyancy - All cylinders get more buoyant as they empty, however there is a difference between steel and aluminium. Luxfer Aluminium cylidners will become positively buoyant when low on air, Faber steel and Catalina Alluminium cylinders are still slightly negatively buoyant when low on air. This means you don't have to wear extra lead to counteract that buoyancy at the end of the dive, and a lighter weightbelt is a good thing!
6. Corrosion - Faber steel cylinders are Zinc coated on the inside and under the paintwork on the outside, to try and stop rust, but scratches and Hydrostatic test marks will rust eventually. And if you get a fill with to much moisture or accidently "fully" empty your cylinder, it could start rusting inside! Not good!! (Ensure you only get fills from a reputable air source). Click here to see the "peace of mind" you get with Dive Centre Air! Aluminium cylinders don't rust, so from a maintainence issue, you don't have to repaint or rub down alluminium cylinders, and although it is recommended for aluminium, washing down steel cylinders after use is HIGHLY recommended! You can get a build up of aluminium oxide (white powder) inside aluminium cylinders from to much moisture in bad air, but this is easily fixed, and causes no real damage to your cylinder. A steel cylinder with rust inside has to be "rumbled", and this is expensive, takes time and has to be repeated usually every year!
As you can see, there is a bit to this decision. :-)
But once you own your own cylinders, going for a dive is so much more convenient, because there they are, sitting in your garage, full of air, and ready to go!
All prices include GST, Valve & first fill, but prices, availability and details are subject to change without notice. Please call us on 09 444 7698 oremail us now, to confirm availability and details.
All details, prices and availability are subject to change - All rights reserved Dive Centre Ltd 1972-2017