Welcome to Tech Dive NZ's blog. Here we keep you updated with what we've been up to.
For details of our upcoming trips and courses, have a look at our Dive Trips page.
Our latest newsletter is available on the website - check it out!
Congratulations to Mitchell, Josh and Pat for successfully completing your P1 class - looking forward to seeing you soon for P2.
Russ and Jamie are prepping for the first class of the year - this time based at Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium. Watch out for our Facebook updates.
There are a few very sad faces this morning - suffering self-inflicted headaches....
If you don't live in Northland then you've been missing out - the weather so far this year has been superb - and today was no exception. Blue skies, gentle breezes, sunshine and a balmy 26 degrees. And the visibility on the wreck of the Waikato was great too - 15-20m, the best we've seen for ages. As usual Dive! Tutukaka gave us our own boat - Diversity - for the whole day and a dozen of us enjoyed a couple of great wreck dives - which will be followed later this evening by a huge party.
Happy New Year to all our friends. May 2017 bring you as much fun and exciting diving as you can handle.
We hope you all have a blast tonight and bring 2016 to a memorable end. Don't forget to make your resolutions for next year!
We wish you a Merry Xmas, we wish you a Merry Xmas, we wish... - you get the message. Hopefully Santa has been good to you - assuming you've been good all year of course....
Are your stockings up? Are the presents wrapped? Is the turkey defrosted? Are you still doing last minute shopping? Everything is calm here - maybe because we had a very big night last night. Looking forward to Russ cooking up a storm tomorrow.
Four excellent dives this weekend, some fabulous birthday cake (thanks Jan), great company (thanks everyone) and superb service as always (thanks Shane & Julia).
We're heading up to Northland Dive today, for some wreck diving - and to celebrate Belen's "non-prime" brithday. Bring it on.
We've been a bit quiet for the last couple of weeks - something to do with catching up after a manic November and making sure we've bought all the Xmas presents. How are everyone else's Xmas preparations coming along?
Whoop whoop! What an EPIC Dive Day! Trimix, scooters, caves, whales, dolphins, sharks - we had a fabulous day out at the Poor Knights. Can't wait for the next one.
Today Jamie is teaching Kate and Georgia the finer points of gas blending - let the nitrox flow.....
Congratulations to Erica, Chris and Sugi for completing your P1 class. We're looking forward to seeing you all again on P2 very soon.
Russ and Jamie start another Fundies P1 class in Auckland today.
Another batch of Dive Tuts instructors takes to the water tonight - no pressure boys, but the last group were awesome.....
Jamie and Mel completed the Kerikeri half-marathon today, with Mel managing a personal best, 30mins faster than ever before - whoop whoop!
Congratulations to Tim B and Tim G for completing their GUE Fundamentals course - ending with a couple of beautiful dives at Northern Arch.
The two Tim's start part 2 of their GUE Fundamentals class today - work hard and have fun boys!
The first group of Dive! Tutukaka staff start their fundies water work tonight. We're expecting lots of ingrained instructor habits - the video should be interesting.
Fourteen of the Dive! Tutukaka staff are working through the theory section of the GUE Fundamentals class p1, tonight and tomorrow night. We're expecting some great questions.
Our second GUE Dive Day and another roaring success. Fab dive spots, some DPV try dives, a boat to ourselves again - thank you Dive! Tutukaka.
Mel and Jan are running in Auckland today - wish them luck.
Jamie is back from Croatia today - but after 37 hours of travelling don't expect him to be very awake!
Jamie flies off to Croatia today to shadow Rich Walker on a GUE Tech 2 class - look out for updates via our Facebook page.
A 51m graduation dive at Barren Arch (also called Splendid Arch) - with a couple of seals thrown in for good meaure. A spectacular way to end a really good class. Well done everyone!
Wow - two trimix dives at Danger Rock - and a pod of 4 big bottlenose dolphins playing with us for the entire duration of both lots of decompression. Well done keeping your concentration everyone - even when Jamie was totally out of trim enjoying the wildlife!
Two lots of decompression theory, swim test, dive planning and theory exam - no one will have any trouble falling asleep tonight.
Ascent training all day - everyone is looking a little shell shocked.
This morning was spent doing complex failures and 10m ascents; the afternoon was spent perfecting unconscious diver recovery, gas switches, deco gas sharing and more ascents.
Serena, Rob and Tris start their T1 class today - look out for daily updates.
Our very first GUE Dive Day - a day out at the Poor Knights with Dive Tutukaka - and it was great. Lots of divers, a boat all to ourselves, fantastic dive site - you don't want to miss out on the next trip!
After almost 4 hours of water time over the weekend Ben and Adam can now take a well earned rest. Congratulations for completing the fundamentals class guys!
Russ is teaching Adam and Ben today, valve drills, s-drills, smb deployment and more. It's going to be hardwork, but worth it.
Today Russ and Mel are doing more instructor training with Jamie, focussing specifically on the lectures for modules 4 & 5.
Mel and Jan ran the 9km race today and Jamie ran the half-marathon. The legs are probably going to be a bit stiff tomorrow.
Congratulations to Philippe who achieved his fundies tech pass today - all the hard work has paid off!
Please welcome 4 more divers into the GUE family. Congratulations to Tim, Tim, Beeli and Madeline - and well done to Russ who ran the entire class. Instructor exam time soon....
Four more Auckland University Underwater Club members take on the challenge of GUE Fundamentals today - work hard guys and try to enjoy yourselves.
Bah humbug. Two flights cancelled on the way to New Plymouth and now the return flight cancelled as well. Jamie is now on a bus back to Auckland. :(
Please welcome the first two GUE divers based in New Plymouth - Kevin and Matt. Very well done guys!
Jamie starts his first ever GUE Fundamentals class in New Plymouth today - with James interning (welcome back JC) and Kevin and Matt from Oceans Alive as students. Fingers crossed for good weather.
Jamie was supposed to be flying to New Plymouth tonight - and he did - he just couldn't land due to low cloud, so he flew all the way back to Auckland again. He'll try again tomorrow.
Look up all the pictures online - no other commentary required. It was a messy evening in Tutukaka...
Rob and Lee did their first two trimix dives today. Dive one was at Spendid Arch, dive two was at Fraggle Rock. Plenty of lesons learned to take into the final dive tomorrow.
Tonight's drive-in movie is Star Wars.
Rob and Lee start their GUE T1 class today - have you done your homework boys?
Adam and Joe tackle part one of the GUE Fundies class today - with Russ running most of it. They both have a lot of experience, but that probably means they also have a lot of ingrained habits to break. Good luck guys.
An evening of stand-up comedy with Ben Hurley - very very very funny.
Tonight's drive-in movie is Hotel Transylvania.
Mel is helping organise and also competing in the table-tennis tournament at the Fishing Club tonight. Come and cheer her on to victory.
Jamie is in Taupo today observing the NIWA RTEC course.
Well done to Ben, Jordan, Harry and Stephanie for completing the first part of the GUE Fundamentals class. We are looking forward to seeing you on part 2.
The first of two Auckland University Underwater Club GUE P1 classes starts today - have fun guys!
Congratulations to Belen and Philippe for completing their GUE Fundamentals class.
Belen and Philippe are back for part 2 - have you been practising?
Tonight Jamie and Russ are presenting at the Auckland University Underwater Club. Jamie will be talking about the ideas and aims of Global Underwater Explorers and Russ will be given an insiders view of one of GUE's longest running projects - MCEP - The Mexican Cave Exploration project. You're going to kick yourselves if you miss out!
Tech Dive NZ has a new permanent home base in Tutukaka - yippee. Yes we know we've been a bit quiet in the last few weeks, but relocating takes time - and we know you'll love the new location. Look out for more info in our quarterly newsletter.
After a very tiring European trip we are back in NZ at last - it's great to be home.
Ahhh - 30 hours of flying awaits us... Europe has been lovely, despite Brexit and the soccer results, but NZ is calling us home.
We are visiting the Santi factory for the next few days - learning exactly how dry-suits are made, seeing the latest products, enjoying some fabulous Polish hospitality, seeing world-class quality control in action and discussing how to grow the Santi brand in New Zealand. We'll provide a full write up in our quarterly newsletter (Q3).
Another day another airport.
It's time for some winter sun - or rather it's time to sort out our remaining possessions in the UK and get them shipped to NZ - only 10 years after we arrived!
The NZ Recreational Dive Industry Group meets again today - if you have any suggestions/issues/questions etc please let Jamie know.
Jamie is doing a cave and tech diving presentation at The Mount Dive Club tonight - everyone is welcome to attend.
We have just released some course and trip dates for the winter period, with 5 different course options and a bunch of very exciting activities on offer - check it out!
There is a new GUE instructor in NZ, well for the next 6 months anyway. Welcome to NZ Ricardo Constantino! We're looking forward to diving with you.
Mel is off to Geneva today to visit her new niece Naomi, born only a couple of weeks ago. Jamie is accepting food and care packages in her absence.
Congratulations to Andrew who is the winner of our first ever prize quiz - he gets a brand new Halcyon H View mask worth $129. So who's going to enter the next quiz...?
Rick Thomas from Florida is in NZ this week - and we're taking him diving today. It's great to be see the GUE world-wide network in action!
Jamie is off doing more dive auditing today.
A couple of people have commented that we've been a bit quiet in the last two weeks - but we have a very good reason - we've been buying a new house! Now for most people that's always going to be exciting - but when you are divers and the house is in Tutukaka it's very exciting. And if you knew what our plans were for turning this house into THE technical diving base for NZ's number one dive site, you might even get as excited as us. More details will follow we promise.
Our latest newsletter is now available - with articles on trimix diving, weighting, dry-suits and perfecting your back-kick - check it out NOW!
Mel and Jamie's first Anzac Day as real Kiwis - very moving.
Fantastic dives yesterday and more fantastic dives today, ending with Southern Arch and Imagination Point. If you love diving then you are going to love this live-aboard - we highly recommend it.
Our first trip out on Dive! Tutukaka's newest vessel - MV Acheron. It is a NZ luxury live-aboard so we're expecting to be pampered. :)
Today after more than 9 years living in NZ Mel and Jamie finally become Kiwis. Sweet Bro.
Today OceanBlue / Mazurka owners Kev and Jan celebrate their 20th Wedding Anniversary. It's going to be one huge party so don't expect much from us tomorrow...
A whole weekend with no diving - very unusual - but sometimes you just need to catch up with the gear maintenance and paperwork. :(
Look out Northland - the giggling, shreaking, fancy-dress wearing girl's brigade are headed your way. It should be a very entertaining weekend!
Two very tired looking instructor interns by the end of today - although they have both got a lot of signatures towards their eventual sign-off. Great work guys - even Jamie is smiling.
Russ and Mel will be hard at it again today, following on from the first weekend of GUE Instructor training in March.
Jamie is presenting a talk on mixed gas diving at NZs main science diving conference this afternoon. We expect this is going to be followed by a whole series of Qs for both Jamie and Mel on various topics - including auditing/WorkSafe issues....
50 - 60m at Ngaio Rock, DPV tours around the Lost World, Magic Wall, Jan's Tunnel and Blue Maomao arch - a fantastic day's diving. Thank you to Kev at OceanBlue for looking after us.
Well the weather has been totally contrary today - with a terrible forecast yesterday but lovely conditions today. Mike and Matt enjoyed a long night dive at Ngaio Rock whilst the rest of us enjoyed Kev's legendary chicken curry.
Today Jamie was completing the final parts of Mike's DPV class - ready for his rapidly approaching (2 month!) trip to Mexico. There were a few funny moments during the towing exercise...
Another great day on the water - enjoying the terrain at 50m. Looking forward to seeing Mike again when he returns in November for a longer trip - and with more of his GUE buddies.
Today we get to see how well the GUE procedures really stack up when Mike from Seattle joins Christian from Auckland on a 50m trimix dive - they met for the first time at 8pm last night!
Happy Easter to you all. We hope you are out enjoying the fantastic diving conditions today!
Phew - a long a tiring weekend is over. The main focus was on the lectures and dry-runs for the GUE Fundamentals Part 1 class. Both Russ and Mel are now ready to start presenting a lareg part of the P1 class - although you can be sure Jamie will still keep a watchful eye over proceedings.
Mel and Russ have an entire weekend of training ahead of them - hopefully they will come away with the first of many signatures which go towards final sign off.
A lovely evening at Schnappa Rock - good beers, great company and superb music from Jonah Lake - check him out of Youtube and buy the album!
Jamie is out in the capital enjoying a few beers at the Garage Project with Rob, Rob, Sel and Nicole tonight. Good way to wind down after a whole day discussing safety audit standards with a bunch of auditors...!
Melly and Jan did the Whangarei Beach to basin run this morning - marking up yet another milestone with their longest continuos run to date - Go Girls!
Jamie took Prof. Simon for a couple of dives today to trial the Santi Emotion dry-suit. Very relaxed dives, good vis and lots of fish - AND most importantly the suit was a big hit! Thanks to Dive Tutukaka for looking after us in style as always.
Lou, Tim, Russ, Jamie and Mel took the scooters out for a play and headed down to the depths at Middle Arch today. The visibility at 60m was fantastic and as usual the soft corals and sponges at this site are amazing. Interestingly the big thermocline we experienced last weekend didn't hit until 57m.
Two rocking dives at one of our favourite deep spots today - as soon as Jamie get's time he'll put the videos up onto Vimeo.
Huge thermocline today at only 20m. 22 degrees at the surface, but only 15 degrees at 60m. Jamie got to take pictures of Ali for once and also buddies Kent on his first trimix experience. Lovely first day to our weekend on Mazurka.
The second meeting of the New Zealand Recreational Dive Industry Group - look out for the official announcement asap.
Jamie and Steve (from Sidemount Pros) took a tour through the Canterbury today - in through the well deck, out through the chain locker - a really lovely dive. Thanks to Northland Dive for hosting us.
We're back from Fiji - time to start editing all our videos.
18 years ago when we lived in Fiji this reef was undivable due to the run off from the town dump. Happily the dump was closed 5+ years ago and the reef is starting to regenerate. It's not spectacular yet, but well on it's way. And techies would love it - the reef wall drops straight down to 70m+. Big thanks to Greg from Suva Scuba for looking after us.
Four days of reef diving and a great little resort - we'll bring you the video asap.
Jamie and Mel head to Fiji today - two weeks of sunshine, seeing friends and maybe even a few dives. See you all when we get back!
Great dive, great soft coral and sponges - unfortunately Jamie is a little grumpy as he flooded one of his video lights.
Jamie and Rob took the rebreathers and dpvs out for a run today - and found 1001 leopard anemones - they were absolutely everywhere. They also saw a wandering anemone and a bunch of other cool stuff. Deep reef diving rocks!
Huge congratulations to Rick Reimer who has completed his first GUE Instructor signiture. There has been a lot of effort and hard work over the last 4 days - but the result is well deserved.
Day 2 and more lectures, dry-runs and in-water work is planned. Let's hope Camp Cove is a little quieter than yesterday!
Jamie starts work with Rick Reimer this morning - with lectures, dry runs and diving all scheduled for the first day. Looking forward to seeing the results in a few days time.
Jamie is heading to Sydney today to run 4 days of instructor workshops - do the Aussies know what to expect?
A beautiful cruise around the northern tip of the Poor Knights today - as usual the vis. down deep was spectacular, plus the arch was full of stingrays today - awesome.
Tonight we bring back a whole heap of childhood memories - yup we're old enough to remember when the very first Star Wars was in the cinemas! Fingers crossed this new film is as good as the hype suggests.
Jamie is tormenting Immi today - shadowing her during the dives to ensure she is following all the safety audit criteria.
Our latest newsletter is now available in the usual place on the website. This month we have our annual review of the year, an interesting article from Christian about dry-suits and an update on the newly formed NZ Recreational Diving Industry Group - along with all our regular features. Enjoy!
The sun is shining at last. After 155mm of rain in two days (monthly average is 137mm) everything is looking very lush and tropical. It's a beautiful day for diving - so who's heading out?
Happy New Year to all of our friends! We hope 2016 brings you as much diving excitment and adventure as you desire. Stay safe.
If anyone is around tonight we will be celebrating in Tutukaka - with the boys chilling at Schnappa and the girls dancing up a storm at the game fishing club. PARTY TIME IS HERE!
Happy Xmas everyone, wherever you are. We hope you have a happy, wonderful and peaceful day.
An awesome couple of dives to complete the class, the first searching for the ammo dump on the western side of the Poor Knights and the second taking in the delights of Oculina Point, Scary Cave, Red Baron Caves and Rikoriko Cave. If you've never tried a scooter then you are really missing out!
Lots of skills and some great scenery today. DPV failures, towing and crash stops were all covered amid the majestic backdrops of Red Baron Caves and Southern Arch.
Annika and Matt start their DPV class today - yippee.
Tim, Mr. Marina Pizza, has his leaving do today after 10 years in charge. It is a fancy dress party, so keep a look out for two wandering snowmen, a christmas elf and a doctor...
Jamie is out auditing all day today.
Congratulations to Erwin and Naomi who completed their Fundamentals class today - both achieving a TEC PASS rating. Also many thanks to Russ for helping out.
Naomi and Erwin start their GUE Fundies part 2 class today. A little fishy has told us they've been practising hard, so let's see if it's paid off...
Congratulations to Andy and Christian who completed their T1 class today. It's taken a lot of hard work and tears, but the results speak for themselves - well done guys!
Jamie is out auditing all day today.
Congratulations to Sonny and Hannah who finished their R3 refresher class this afternoon. A great morning dive at Northern Arch, followed by an exceptionally beautiful dive at Ngaoi Rock. Huge Thanks to Dive Tutukaka!
Sonny and Hannah are doing a refresher class today and tomorrow. I wonder how well they will remember all the drills?
Big day today. Rob, Pete and the Wellington based 99Crew have done a huge cleanup dive (with TV camera crews in attendance) whilst Mel, Jan and Kate have completed the Kerikeri half-marathon - their first one ever. Great to see people getting out there and achieving big things.
Too bloody windy today - we've had to cancel our second day of exploration. Gggrrr!
Another new site explored today (OceanBlue Skipper Kev is the master when it comes to finding new sites!!) - and another new cave discovered at 67m. There was a lot of squeaking into the rebreathers when we found it. It's just so exciting to take 7 experienced divers, each with a scoooter and head off into the depths simply to see what we can find. Living the dream!!
An excellent dive to end the class - 45m at the Sisters - with the usual massive clouds of fish. Love diving deep!
Matt has joined us today and we're heading into the depths with our first trimix fills.
After a 4 day break we are back into T1 today - enjoying the always excellent Northland DIve hospitality.
Up, down, up, down, up down - and so it continued. I think Christian and Andy are looking forward to going to work tomorrow so they can take it easy...
Some tired divers today, after another very long lake session followed by theory. Tomorrow we start the ascent training.
Christian and Andy start their T1 class today - good luck guys!
Congratulations to Naomi on completing the P2 class - and also to Mel who has been interning all weekend.
Another part 2 class starts today - yippee!
Just for a change both Mel and Jamie went out for a couple of fun dives today. We were joined by Rob and enjoyed two excellent dives courtesy of Dive! Tutukaka. The first site was Cave Bay, where we explored the 50-60m reef leading away to the south. Second dive was at Oculine Point, followed by a cheeky tour into Scary Cave. Still loving the scooter-rebreather combo!
Today we had our audit. Jamie took Tim (Mr. Marina Pizza) Green for a line laying training session on the Waikato wreck - and as always it was a mixture of chaotic fun and serious teaching. Mike our auditor signed us off - everything running smoothly as expected. OceanBlue Adventures also got signed off today - congrats to them!
Tonight we went to the EMR Charity Dinner at the Bank Street Bar and Grill in Whangarei. Great food, great organisation, great cause - loved it. Congrats to Ali and Cam who won the fancy dress competition, dressed as mating nudibranches - how sweet.
Our first Mt. Gambier cave diving video is now uploaded to Vimeo - Kilsby's Sinkhole - check it out. https://vimeo.com/142697817
A long day painting the hull with antifoul, followed by some topside touch up work - but she's starting to look really good at last.
A full day painting OceanBlue's boat today. 5 of us sloshed, splashed, sprayed and touched up everything from the davits, to the doors, to the gunwales - whatever they are...
We arrived back in NZ today after our week in Mt. Gambier - it's great to be home!
Today M&J had a lazy drive from Port Fairy all the way back to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road - it's a beautiful trip and well worth the effort if you ever find yourself in Aussie with a day or two to spare.
Another big day. We had to clean up our cookies from yesterday's circuit, plus we wanted to explore the restricted sections through R and D. And we captured a lot more video - should make for a great vimeo update once we get time to edit all the footage. Tank Cave really is a spectacular dive.
Big dive today - photos at Lake Ayre (A10), then a side trip to explore the A extension, then a circuit via the J, K and C tunnels - ending with video from A7 back to the entrance. Lots of fun.
We spent today trying to get some photos using Gareth as the model, Mel and Jamie as lighting/background models and steve taking the photos. We learned a lot - but photos with 3 models is pretty darned difficult. :(
Fabulous way to start our Aussie trip - crystal clear water, dive-site to ourselves and perfect weather - the famous shafts of light you see in all the best shots of this dive site were really awesome today. Look out for our video...
M&J fly off to Aussie today, for a week of caving. Hopefully we bring back some great video footage.
Today Jamie joined Kev for a scenic 5 hour cruise from Tutukaka marina round to Dock 5 in Whangarei - where Mazurka was lifted out of the water ready for her annual maintenance and facelift. And if that wasn't enough Jamie raced off afterward to do another dive audit - busy busy busy.
Today we're getting ready for a couple of days in historic and charming Russell - once known as the hell hole of the Pacific. Looking forward to a meal and a few beers in the Duke of Marlborough to celebrate Jamie's birthday.
Christian joined Ross today for a couple of dives at the Poor Knights - Matt's Crack and Cream Gardens - we got to practise skills and enjoy our dives - loving it!
Fundies part two kicks off, with just Ross and Mel now.
Really productive day - with all 3 students getting an extended amount of in water time to help perfect their skills. Buoyancy, trim and positioning kicks all looking better.
Erwin, Naomi and Ross start NZ's first ever Fundies part 1 class - with Mel and Russ acting as instructor interns - good luck everyone.
For Annika's 21st birthday her friends clubbed together to get her a full day of GUE training with Jamie - the end result a Fundies Tech pass - congrats Annika, well deserved!
Cream Gardens and Cave Bay were todays dive sites - with Shane getting his first taste of scooter diving - got another convert I think.
Day one of another Mazurka trip - and we started with Northern Arch and Barren Arch - not a bad first day.
Congratulations to Andy who achieved hit 'tech' rating at GUE Fundamentals this afternoon. He is a great example of how lots of hard work really pays off.
Today was a total nerd fest - with Axel trialling his latest creation, the 360 GoPro dive recorder. It looks pretty mental, but once attached to a scooter the results are astonishing - check out Facebook for the video! It is the closest you'll get the 3D sensations of diving without actually diving.
Tonight is party night in Tutukaka - expect to see Mel dancing away till dawn... Jamie won't be joining her as he's out overnight at the Poor Knights.
Mel returns to NZ today after her extended trip to Europe - hopefully with lot's new shiny dive toys to demo and play with!
Winter just keeps giving and giving - the spectacular visibility remains. Today's graduation dive was a testament to the flexibility of stage diving - 90 mins in the water and barely 1/4 of our backgas touched - open circuit trimix diving doesn't have to be expensive if done properly!
Another weekend, another trimix class - yippee. Good luck Russ, Lou and Tim.
Today Mel was let loose in the Santi factory and even got to install a new zip for some unsuspecting customer. Looking forward to when she brings all these new skills back to NZ.
Mel is in Poland today visiting the Santi factory, where the world's best drysuits are manufactured.
Boom again! The weather made life hard, but Jamie, James and Liam managed another massive 93m dive at the southern end of the Poor Knights today. The fish came out to play again, the winter visibility continues to be immense and the DPVs made life easy. Expect to read about many more deep reef excursions over the coming months.
The weather wasn't playing nicely today, so Jamie, James and Liam headed out early to sneek in a cheeky dive on the Waikato wreck before the big swells arrived. By the time they surfaced there was very little wreck left unvisited.
Boom - what a first dive. Dive Tutukaka dropped us in South Harbour and Jamie and Liam scootered off towards Ngaio Rock where they found a cool 91m, lots of fish and spectacular visibility. They even had time to cruise back via the Lost World, Magic Wall and Blue Maomao Arch. Liam reckons this is the best deep reef diving in the world - not a bad accolade from the OzTEK'13 Technical Diver of the Year.
Liam Allen, GUE T2 Instructor and Instructor Examiner arrives in NZ today for a few days of tech diving at the Poor Knights - bring it on!
Congratulations Cam, Ali and Mike on successfully completing your T1+ upgrade class. Today's graduation dive was a spectacular finish to a great class.
The first GUE Tech 1+ class ever run in NZ starts today - good luck Cam, Ali and Mike!
The last couple of days have been frantic - blending gas for NZs first ever GUE Tech 1+ class. Bring on the beautiful weather tomorrow!
We have finally completed our first newsletter for the year - only a few months later than normal - but it's a goodie. Read about the new split fundies class, our move to Tutukaka and our Blue Creek Expedition.
Congratulations to Kathryn and Andrew on passing their GUE Tech 1 class. We finished with a 75min dive at Danger Rock - great job guys!
Today Kathryn and Andrew finally get to use trimix for the first time - it's taken a long time to get here, but if the visibility stays the same as it has been recently it will be well worth the wait.
Today Mel, Rob and Jamie toured the Waikato, courtesy of Dive Tutukaka. Look out for the video which will be out soon we hope.
Bazinga! A monster dive today at a superb site. We toured through the Tunnel of Love (60m+) and then followed the reef spur down and down and down - finding a whole new area we'd never seen before. We will be back for sure - probably early August.
Melly and Rob were out diving today, enjoying a 50m+ dive at Cream Gardens and a gentle explore through Long Cave - whilst Jamie stayed at home nursing his surfing injury!
What a day - a surf lesson to start, followed by mid-winter Xmas with 16 of our friends.
Jamie has completed our latest video edit from this weekends dive trip. We hope you enjoy it. https://vimeo.com/133434417
Jamie was out on a dive audit today and got an unexpected bonus - the rescue helicopter came out to play. As he headed out to the Poor Knights the helicopter crew came over and spent 45minutes practising lowering medics on and off the boat. Very cool, very interesting, very useful - always good to know what needs to happen in case there is a real emergency.
Day two of our trip with OceanBlue and everyone has enjoyed 50m+ trimix dives at the Canyon today. Sharks, a seal, lots of fish and some beautiful coral - winter diving doesn't get any better than this.
Wild Beast Point, 83m - spectacular dive, excellent dive buddies.
Today has been all about preparation - trimix fills, deco and stage bottles, scooters, lights and video cameras. Looking forward to an epic weekend of diving.
Our very first video is now on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/132662959
The weather forecast looked perfect so we snuck out this morning for a cheeky midweek skive dive – and ended up going down to 76m at The Pinnacles. Incredible dive - and we got it all on video - look out for our next update.
Oh dear - not so good this morning - nuff said.
The Brits (plus one Kiwi) are getting together today to celebrate Midwinter Xmas
Another day in Auckland and another audit for Jamie - this time a Kite Surfing operation - definitely an interesting change.
Jamie is auditing in Auckland today - all very interesting...
We are in Windy Welly for the weekend - visiting a few shops, catchin up with the GUE Wellington crowd and enjoying the bright lights of the capital.
Today we moved the last of our furniture out of our Onehunga house and up to Tutukaka - it is the end of an era, but the start of a very new and exciting chapter in our lives. Bring it on!
Jamie is in Wellington for the day for some audit training.
Today a few of us headed our with Dive Tutukaka to enjoy the freedom of trimix and DPVs at Middle Arch. Mel and Jamie had a great 62m dive, whilst Russ and Lou discovered a much larger dive site than they ever imagined.
Boys Poker Night tonight - probably going to be a messy one as it is the last ever poker night at 11B.
Today is our 22nd Wedding anniversary. Three cheers to us.
Tonight will be our first night in our new Tutukaka apartment - very excited.
Finally we got out to the Poor Knights with Mazurka today to "enjoy" some T1 ascent training. Our two dive sites were Northern Arch & Cream Gardens, both crackers. Congratulations to Kathryn, Matt and Andrew on a great performance - your trimix fills await you!
Today we've been blown out by the weather - fingers crossed for tomorrow.
Nearly 50 dvers took to the water today to enjoy their first experiences of various tech toys - rebreathers, DPVs, sidemount, doubles and dry-suits. Lots of smiles all around.
Tonight Jamie kicks off the Tecfest NZ'15 presentations with his talk on the Poor Knights "NZs Tech Diving Paradise".
The weather didn't play nicely today so instead of in-water work we concentrated on getting the topsode transition shots for the final edit of the video.
A couple of beautiful dives at the Poor Knights with Dive Tutukaka. Blue water and fish, plus great topography (Northern Arch & Middle Arch), should make for an excellent video.
Today the guys worked on underwater surveying and practised their positioning for the DPV video shoot lined up for tomorrow.
Rob, Nicole and Brendon start their Doc Diver class today - fingers crossed the weather plays nicely.
Today Andy and Andrew were joined by Christain. Along with reviewing all the previous skills Mel also went through unconscious diver, ascent training and a couple of other final bits. It was a long dive, but the improvement has been immense. Congratulations to everyone.
Today Andy was joined by Andrew. Mel focussed on S-drills, Valve drills and SMB deployment whilst Jamie took a backseat and acted as cameraman for most of the session.
Today at the lake it was just Mel, Jamie and Andy - which is a nice gentle start for Andy and a bit less stressful for Mel's first session as the instructor.
Andy Stewart, PADI Course Director at Performance Diver, starts his GUE Fundamentals class tonight. His world will never be the same again.
Today we tackled the Tunnel, the Canyon and we ended with Southern Arch - spectacular vis, lots of life - it has been a great weekend as usual. Many thanks to Kev at OceanBlue for looking after us.
What a start to our trip - a 55m trimix DPV dive on the spectacular Cave Bay Wall. Then we had a delightfully fishy dive at Blue Mao-mao, which was so good almost everyone did it again for a night dive.
Today we took a day for ourselves. Mel & Jamie were joined by Russ and we headed out with Dive Tutukaka for some serious scootering, videoing and trimix rebreather diving. We hit almost 60m at Eastern Arch and then explored and took some video at Fraggle Rock - ending the dive in Blue Maomao after some perfect navigation! Now enjoying a well earned beer and feeling refreshed and rejuvenated! Bring on the weekend.
Today Tim, Nicole and Geoff were introduced to the dark and mysterious art of gas blending. Of course now they are in the club they are sworn to secrecy!
Congratulations to Mel and Nicole for completing their DPV qualification - with the customary graduation challenge - touring all the way around Goat Island. Not a bad way to spend Easter Sunday.
Timing comparisons - normal ops, towing, swimming; left-handed ops; OOG, towing buddies, emergency scenarios - its been a busy day in the water at Mathesons Bay.
Today we start another DPV class - full speed into the Fastlane!
Today we toook Jan out to familiarise her with the Halcyon T16s - next stop 75m???
In the water at last - with 4 very useful ascents completed - two at Middle Arch and two at Northern Arch. Lovely conditions today.
Poo and bum. We got all the way out to the Waikato but the conditions were just not cool. A whole day of classroom/theory instead. Feeling a bit jaded now.
At last we are back in beautiful New Zealand. Aussie has been fun, but it's good to be home!
Today we have enjoyed talks by Simon Mitchell, Paul Hosie, Steve Cox, Liam Allen, Martin Parker and more - and later it's the Gala Dinner - so don't expect any updates tomorrow!
An Awesome first day at OzTEK'15. Talks by Beto Nava, Simon Mitchell, Richard Harris, Richard Lundgren, Mike Torr and others have all been fantastic. Plus there are a lot of very cool toys to investigate. Excited about tomorrow.
We're at the airport, heading over to Aussie. Next stop Sydney, with all weekend at OzTEK. Yippee!
As we've been so busy and hectic we decided to enjoy the sunshine and great conditions and take a day off - and go diving. Hooked up with Tris J and took him for his first DPV experience. Two great dives courtesy of Dive Tutukaka. Saw a bunch of stuff we hadn't seen before, including an ammo dump!
Last day of fundies and we spend it at the Poor Knights. First dive completed the class and for a treat for all their hard work we did a scooter dive to finish the day. Found another cave we'd never seen before, full of stingrays. See Facebook for the pics.
Today we went to Wellington's Bay for some deeper activity and ascent training. We also finished off the bulk of the theory. Great work guys.
Another great day at Dive Tutukaka's Shed 7, with some water time at Church Bay. Got lots done and it wasn't a late night either.
Kyle and Jonathan started their GUE Fundamentals class today and with a bit more time and a great venue we managed to squeeze in an early pool session - and the boys are looking pretty damn good for day one. Check out facebook for the pics.
Three and a half hours in the water today, followed by more lectures - but we're ready to start phase two of the class - ASCENT TRAINING. Smiles all round.
5 hours at the lake today doing dry-runs and in-water drills, followed by a long lecture on gas logistics, situational awareness and dive planning. Everyone is looking quite tired already.
Tonight we started another GUE T1 class - with an intro lecture and a long session sorting all the equipment ready for tomorrow. Everyone now has a deco bottle and reg correct set up, argon bottle, reg and mountings attached to their backplate and we're ready to hit the lake. Thunderbirds are GO!
Congratulations to Andy, Denise, Laura and Paul who all completed their gas blending class tonight. We're looking forward to seeing what new toys start to appear in people's garages over the next few weeks!
Two beautiful dives on 12-Fathom Reef today. The combination of a boat to ourselves, JJ's full of trimix and a couple of awesome DPVs is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face - especially when there are fish everywhere too!
Today was supposed to be another audit day out on the water - but the weather didn't want to play. 1.5m waves crashing onto the beach is never a good sign!
Unusually Jamie spend all of today in an office environment, brushing up his IT skills, Health and Safety awareness and other auditing stuff. Very interesting I'm sure...?
At last we are settled back in Auckland and unpacked - some sore muscles, lots of gear to clean and in need of a good night's sleep!
We had a bit of a shock this morning! Firstly there was 10-15cm of water running over Dart Ford on our drive into Courthouse Flat - then when we arrived at the cave we realised the water level in the cave was up by over 2-3m. We were all very happy we took all the gear out last night - otherwise a lot of it would have probably have been scattered or washed away!
Third dive - our final dive today and a chance for Melly to look into all the holes Jamie silted out yesterday! The JJs have performed flawlessly and are definitely a big step forward for us.
Another dive - having placed all the safety bottles yesterday we were able to take our time and really have a good look around today. It is surprising how many extra holes you spot when you have lots of gas and are not suffering from the cold!
First dive :80mins, max. 45m, temp 6 degrees, visibility 1m to 30m. The initial slope was very cloudy, then it cleared from 10-15m depth, then it went totally horrible until we cleared the restriction at 34m - at which point we found the beautiful cave we know and love. Happily the Aussie team who were in a couple of weeks ago have cleaned out all the old crappy line and left a really nice clean line for us to use - very much appreciated, thank you!
Totally smashed. Four trips in and out today for everyone - set up the zip line - lowered gear into the cave and set up. And learned something new about calibrating the breather whilst at altitude!
Yawn. Yawn and yawn again. We got up early just to sit on the dock side in Wellington for 5 hours whilst they fixed our ferry - not a great start to the day. Thankfully they did fix the problem and we are now settled in at Matariki Cottage in Tapawera. It's good to be back.
Early this morning we loaded up the two trucks and started heading south - 9 hours later and we are happily in Wellington, enjoying steak on the BBQ and some cold beer, courtesy of Pete and Cathy.
Something a little different from diving tonight - Sting and Paul Simon in concert at Vector Arena - it's going to be awesome.
A final afternoon of blending for our Blue Creek Expedition, followed by POKER. Tomorrow could be a little slower than normal.
Auckland Anniversary and so what exciting dive spot are we frequenting - Lake Pupuke. But it's a necessary evil as we are running our final checks on the JJs prior to our Blue Creek Exped. New cells, massive thermals and dry-gloves, extra thick hood - everything is getting checked over.
Today Jamie is in Wellington for an audit - will the fine weather continue to hold?
We managed to get a lot done on Monday, but we're not finished yet. More blending today.
Today Jamie is in Napier on another audit.
Today Jamie is in the Coromandel on another audit.
Today we start the very long blending process for our rapidly approaching Blue Creek Expedition. Double, stages, deco bottles, safety bottles, breather bottles - the compressor is really going to get a workout today.
Today Jamie is in Christchurch for a meeting of the ROSA Guild - Register of Outdoor Safety Auditors. If anyone out there needs help with preparing their business for an upcoming audit he can definitely help.
Our last newsletter for 2014 is now on the website - with articles on cave diving in Australia and Florida, how a tail weight can cure knees down trim, a review of 2014 and an in depth look at DPVs for everyday diving - and of course all the usual great stuff. Enjoy.
Our courses and trips calendar has now been completed for the first half of 2015. We have every class you could wish for, plus plenty of exciting trips. Check it out!
Today Jamie is in the Coromandel, heading out to the Alderman's for another day of auditing - and the weather looks spectacular.
Today jamie is in Tutukaka auditing again. Not a bad place to be at work.
Our 2014 gallery was updated today with an extra 50 images from various trips this year - including our recent trip to Florida. Enjoy.
Happy new year to all our family, friends, colleagues and customers. May 2015 bring you all the diving adventures you desire!
Family, friends, food, beers, music and games - tonight is going to be one hell of a party.
Best wishes for Christmas everyone! Hope you all have a wonderful day and Santa brings you a huge pile of pressies.
Hooray! WorkSafe NZ have signed us off - we are an officially registered Adventure Tourism Operator! Bring on 2015.
Today we took the family out for their first dive experience in New Zealand. Check out our gallery page.
It's 8am and we're waiting for our auditor to arrive - everything is ready.....
Jamie spent all day today making sure we're all good for tomorrow's audit. The office is tidy, all the files are easily accessible and the last few outstanding points have been fixed. This has been a long process, involving a huge amount of work, but definitely a useful exercise. Bring it on!
Jamie has spent today up at Goat Island, auditing again. So much for easing back into work slowly.
After 30 hours of travelling we're back in NZ. Very tired. Jet-lagged. But happpy. What a great trip we've had.
Today everyone moved to High Springs where various different workshops were available. Melly did a cave surveying session with Fred Devos and a Santi dry-suit session with Doug Mudry; Jamie did a side-mount configuration class with Brian Kakuk, followed by a rebreather Q&A session with Richard Lundgren, Mario Arena, David Rhea, Rick Stanton and Becky Kagan Schott.
What a spectacular series of presentations - check out the GUE website for the listing. You cannot fight inevitablility - anyone who sat through this series of talks is going to be inspired. There is so much incredible diving taking place around the world - we just need to give up work and become dive bums. (Of course that's what Jamie's mum thinks he's doing anyway.)
What do you get when you lock almost 50 GUE Instructors in the same room for 4 hours? Well we can't tell you - but assuming all the plans come to fruition the next few years are going to be very exciting.
A final epic dive before the conference starts: we visited the Double Domes, scootered the Hillier Line (pretty tight with a DPV), traversed the Roller Coaster, searched the Double Lines for the whale bone and dive bombed the newly qualified cave 2 students. Fun fun fun.
Four hours in the water today. All the instructors had to demonstrate perfect fin kicks and then run various skills sessions: valve drills, S-drills, gas switches, bottle rotations - depending on the level they were requalifying for. And once that was all done it was swim test time - always very competitive when you get a dozen GUE instructors together. As expected Jamie has been confirmed as good to teach for another 4 years.
Jamie had a day in the classroom today, presenting lectures on Boyle's Law and Minimum gas calculations, followed by dry-run demos of S-drills. Melly also sat in for the lectures - looking for a few tips for when she starts presenting herself.
Today it was hammer down all the way with the DPVs, with a 3000+ feet main line run right out to the Henkel Restriction. Scootering back with the flow was AWESOME!
A three hour marathon dive today, visiting the Godzilla Room and traversing Rocky Horror. The visibility wasn't great for the first 10 minutes, but after that it was spectacular.
Oops - Jamie didn't read the sign today - the park ranger wasn't very happy. All divers are supposed to exit the water by 5pm, but we were having such a good time we didn't get out until 5.45pm - 160minutes after we entered. Thankfully the park gate was still open.
After a swimming dive yesterday we decided to take the DPVs for a spin today, cruising out past the 2,000 feet mark on the Ginnie main line - yippee!
A gentle warm up dive, with Kirill Egorov (GUE Assistant Director of Training) as our guide. This was Mel's first dive in a Floirda flow cave, so we 'only' did 140 minutes - exploring the Ballroom, Boneroom and some of the main line past the Maple Leaf.
Today we're flying out to the USA, for two weeks of conferences, cave diving and camaraderie. There should be some great blog updates!
Congratulations to Juliane who successfully completed her GUE Fundamentals upgrade today. All the hard work has paid off - well done!
Today we are being audited. Jamie is heading out to run a scooter demo dive with the technical expert from Skills Active. Fingers crossed everythiung goes well.
Jamie is out on another audit today, assessing a boat dive from Leigh Harbour.
We are home at last. After 10 days away, a very tiring course, some epic cave dives and lots of time with friends we are back in NZ. Looking forward to enjoying the green NZ scenery after the dry plains of Aussie.
Mel and Jamie have a day off today and are enjoying a luxury break in Gisborne. No not east coast NZ Gissie, but the one in the hills northwest of Melborne. Not surprisingly the town is twinned with NZ's Gissie and even has a New Zealand themed botanical garden.
Our last dive in Tank cave today, so we made sure it was a good one. An epic 2 hours of exploring the 'S' and 'N' sections.
Two dives in Tank cave today, the first with a big team: Rick, Monika, Rhys and Tara joined us and we headed to the end of 'F' tunnel. The short parallel tunnel towards the end of 'F' section turned into more of an epic than expected - with 3 jump reels required to tie back into the main line.
We decided to take a day off today and headed to Port MacDonnell, to see S.A.s most southerly point. The coastline here is wild and spectacular and the weather was gorgeous. Took a side trip to view Piccaninnie Ponds - they are definitely on our hit list for the next trip.
An epic dive to the end of the line in GS section. Two plus hours, a couple of pretty tight squeezes and some beautiful cave passage - this is cave diving at its very best. Spectacular!
Our first dives after the course and we took it easy. Visited all of 'A' tunnel, all the 'B' section and scoped out our jumps and stage bottle drops for the next few days.
Part one - lay the line into Pines Cave, down through the boulders and collapsed area and tie into the main line at 21m. The negotiate your way out whilst blind - easy peasy, ish. Then deal with collecting stages, dealing with crazy changes of depth and various vale failues - all whilst still blind. But we did it and we through day 2 - which means we are now CDAA Advanced cave rated. Yippee. Tank cave tomorrow.
Wow - what a set of skills to complete for the cross-over class: collecting and deploying stage bottles whilst blind, lost line drills, blind line following whilst buddy breathing and recovering jump spools and kit remove and replace to negotiate a restriction just to name a few. We spent 3 hours in the water in total, but everything is complete and we're through to day 2. FYI If we ever have to dive in Gouldens Hole again it will be too soon!
It has been an epic 6 hour drive across Aussie this morning - with Emu, Kangaroos and Wallabies for company - but happily we are now safely at Just a Bed Lodge and settled in for our course tomorrow. Bring it on!
M&J fly out to Australia this afternoon, planning on completing the CDAA Advanced cave crossover class and sneeking in a few cheeky dives in Tank cave. Ali and Cam are also going to be there, plus a few Aussie friends have arranged to join us for the weekend. It's going to be fun.
Yay! Today is Mel's last day at work in her current job - which means from tomorrow she is working for TDNZ fulltime.
Mel and Jamie spent a few hours in the lake today, prepping for the rapidly approaching CDAA course. Blind line following, sharing gas and whilst buddy breathing - followed by kit remove and replace whilst underwater. Oh the joys.....
Auditing Dive Zone Bay of Islands today.
Auditing Dive HQ Whangarei today.
Auditing Northland Dive today.
Auditing Mountains to Sea today.
Back in Auckland again - Jamie is running a buoyancy clinic with some rebreather divers today. Up, up a bit more, down, up, down again - hold it steady - remember to breather. Phew.
An early start - auditing Dive North today - the plan is to review a dive on the Canterbury.
Jamie starts his marathon week of auditing today - starting this morning in Napier and ending this afternoon in Auckland.
Today the Diving Activity Safety Guidelines group meets for hopefully the last time - or at least the last time in order to publish the first draft of the guidelines. It has been a long and involved process, but with such a committed group of people it was always going to be a success! Well done to all.
A great dive in Taravana Cave with Claire from Dive HQ Petone, follwed by a very relaxed dive in Northern Arch with Kent - fab day!
Well it was supposed to be day one today - but the weather gods are feeling mean. Fingers crossed for calmer conditions tomorrow.
Today was an all girls day, which is always dangerous. But it was all good in the end and congratulations goes to Sheree, Annika and Kirsten who are all shiny new GUE divers. Well done ladies!
Tonight we are having a big get-together at De Poste in Mt Eden to celebrate Jamie's birthday. Come and join us for Mussel-Madness and quirky fruit beers. Might be a slow day tomorrow for some people.
Jamie is in Wellington today doing another audit - and for once the weather is spectacular!
Brendon and Geoff got the full-on line laying madness today inside the Canterbury. As Brendon says "It's not as easy as it looks!"
Another JJ trimix dive for J&M, with Mike, Cam, Lou and Russ cruising around on scooters and a visit from some dolphins underwater - fabulous day.
Today Melly and Jamie took the JJs out for some deeper exploration - our first trimix dives witrh the units. Now at last we're finally starting to fall in love with the JJ.
Yippee - NZ has two more T1 divers. A great 45m trimix dive at Cape brett today - congratulations to Tim and Nicole. We celebrated with beers and fish 'n' chips at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell.
Two 40m trimix dives followed by the exam and an early night.
Deeper ascent training, this time on the Canterbury - followed by decompression theory.
Ascent training at Danger Rock, followed by lectures.
An early start at the lake with another very long dive session - then a drive to Whangarei for the swim test and onto Northland Dive for 3 hours of lectures. Lots to do!
A quick lecture at Global Dive, followed by dry-runs of simple valve failures, line laying and team positioning and then it was off to the lake for the first very long dive session.
Thanks to Mike and Alex for an easy day in Tairua - the Adventure Activity auditing goes on and on!
Our latest newsletter is available. Christian drops the F bomb, Jamie debates which is best: cave diving or wreck diving - plus we have all the usual great stuff. Enjoy!
Today Jamie was out auditing again, which involved jumping into the shark tank at Kelly Tarlton's and getting up close and personal with the Sand Tigers, Seven Gill and School sharks. Whoever said auditors lead a boring life hasn't visited NZ obviously!
Day two of our latest scooter safari. 1st up was Northern Arch, where Cam managed 4 laps around the point plus a side trip to the cave. Second dive started and ended at RikoRiko Cave, but included trips out as far as Oculina Point, Red Baron Caves and Crystal Cave. It was a very good day for diving today!
The weather wasn't playing nicely, but we still managed a couple of great scooter dives today - visiting Fraggle Rock, Blue Maomao Arch, Magic Wall, Ngaio Rock and the Lost World.
After too long away from the rebreathers a group of us hit the lake for some practice today - up and down, up and down, and one more time - up and down!
Today Jamie has been out watching and reporting on the in-water activities provided by the operator which was audited yesterday.
Today Jamie has been out acting as a Technical Expert during an audit for another operator.
Well it's been nearly two weeks since our last blog update and Jamie has been stuck at his desk for pretty much the entire time. The Health and Safety Adventure Activities Regulations 2011 require all providers of adventure activities - which includes scuba diving - to be externally audited by 1st November and so everyone is frantically doing paperwork and ensuring their Safety Management Systems are up to scratch. We're not changing the way we don anything here at TDNZ, we're just making sure everything is documented as per the WorkSafe Guidelines - all very exciting!
We have uploaded 3 new photo galleries today - Blue Creek 2014, Tecfest 2014 and a selection of photos from our latest Poor Knights trip. Check it out!
What a top day. We dashed out early to get ahead of the approaching weather front and had perfect conditions out at the Pinnacles. Jamie and Nicole did a complete circumnavigation with the scooters, checking out Cathedral Cave on the way and ending up in Tie-Dye Arch - and then to finish the day we did the Waikato. This was Nicole's first dive on the Waikato and she got a complete tour of decks 1 and 2.
Another cave-tastic day. First dive was at Scary Cave, where we had the best visibility in ages up in the fresh water layer - and then it was Venus' Cave where Guy and Christian had a few drills to perform in the silt. Fun fun fun!
Everyone had a good time today. Guy and Damian were practising ready for their GUE Cave 1 class in March, Tim and Nicole went scootering and Jamie and Christian reviewed line laying skills in preparation for the TDI Intro to cave class tomorrow. We checked out Taravana (both entrances), plus Shark Fin Cave and Big Eye Cave. Beautiful sunset to finish the day, with a night sleeping in Rikoriko Cave.
Our mid-quarter update is now available on the website - with details of last minute spaces on a couple of classes and a couple of overnight Poor Knights live-aborad trips. We also have an extra special offer on oxygen analysers!
Yes, it does seem quiet doesn't it! Well behind the scenes paperwork is frantically being completed in order to get ready for the Adventure Activity audits happening over the next 3 months. Fun fun fun.
GUE's latest course offering - Gas Blender - is now available in NZ. Learn how to blend nitrox and trimix, how to use both partial pressure and continuous flow blending systems, and how to safely and efficiently use boosters and cascade set-ups.
Happy Xmas to everyone! Today the expats are enjoying all the trimmings of a proper Xmas - whilst it's cold and dark outside - just as Xmas should be!
It proved to be quite a get-together at Auckland university this morning with many of the NZ rebreather community coming together to take part in a pre-breathe study organised by Simon Mitchell and Pete Mesley. Everyone is very keen to see the results of this very interesting and important study - as and when the results come out we will keep you informed.
Jamie took Gerald up to Goat Island today to try out his latest purchase - a shiny new Halcyon T16 scooter. Whoop whoop!
Mel and Jamie are back from the UK today - so it's time to start planning some more great dive trips!
It's time for a short holiday in the UK - see you in two weeks time.
Congratulations to the team for completing the GUE Fundamentals class.
A day at Northland Dive exploring the Canterbury. A lot of chgallenging drills and skills for the team, but ultimately success. Well done to everyone.
Today Jodie, Murray, Tony and Estelle start their GUE Fundamentals class - have fun everyone.
Today Jodie, Murray and Tony start their advanced wreck diver training. Fingers crossed for good weather.
Our latest newsletter is now available on the website. In this issue we have articles on the GUE CCR class, what it means to be a tech diver and instructor and five years of TDNZ. We also have the usual stuff, plus advance warning of several exciting winter events. Check it out now!
Jamie has been at another all day meeting in Wellington, helping to draft the safety guidelines for the diving industry. Happily they are close to completion at last.
Epic dive today. 125 minute scooter exploration on the 20m reef off Matheson's Bay. Travelled almost 7km. Congratulations to Guy and James for successfully completing their DPV1 class.
Crash stops, towing, out-of-gas emergencies, runaways - all the drills today and on top of a major navigation challenge over 3km. Great scooter dive.
Day 1 of the GUE DPV1 (scooter) class. Expect some high speed manoevering from James and Guy!
Congratulations to Andrew W, Chris B and Juliane for completing their fundies class - and to Andrew D, Stefan and Christian who all successfully upgraded from 'rec' to 'tec' passes.
Two hours in the water today, followed by Gas Dynamics and Decompression lectures. Everyone looking a bit tired. Final day tomorrow.
Today the guys did their first water session. Swim tests all done; buoyancy, trim and weighting all worked on; back-kicks and helicopter turns introduced.
Tonight is the equipment session. Lots of questions are expected.
Tonight Andrew W, Chris B and Juliane all start their GUE Fundamentals class. Have fun guys.
Today we have released details and pricing for all the GUE classes which are now available in NZ for the first time: Documentation Diver, Tech 1+ and Rec 2. Check them out!
Boys Poker night. Will Kev be victorious again, will Jamie maintain his recent winning form or will a new winner be crowned?
Geoff and Jamie jumped into lake Taupo this morning to do some more Fundies work - and the conditions were fab. Thanks to Simon for coming and helping out.
A big day for technical diving in NZ. Try dives: scooters, CCRs and side-mount; Dive Classes; Workshops and presentations - it's all going on. It's great to see our favourite sport gaining in popularity.
Today TecFest NZ 2014 begins. Jamie will be doing scooter try dives all afternoon, followed by a cave diving presentation this evening.
Congratulations to Jamie, Mel and James for completing their CCR class. Where to dive next guys?
Today Jamie, Mel and James explored the Canterbury on their JJs, ending the dive with bailout ascents and other problems. The visibility was awesome, the sun was shining - NZ diving was putting on a perfect show for Rich.
The first day at Northland Dive - there is a long dive session planned on the Canterbury. Fingers crossed for good vis.
The final day of lake diving for Jamie, Mel and James. They have already done over 200 minutes in the water so expect another long session today.
Tonight Richard Lundgren is presenting two talks at Global Dive - one on the Mars, followed by a rebreather discussion group. You DO NOT want to MISS THIS!
Today Jamie, Mel and James start their GUE CCR class - it should be fun.
Richard Lundgren, GUE Director and training Council member and discoveror of the Magnificent Mars shipwreck arrives in NZ this afternoon.
it has been a longer wait than we wanted, but after such a hectic summer we were always going to be a little later than normal. This quarter's newsletter has articles on Blue Creek and Jamie's GUE Tech 1 instructor exam, plus reviews of our February fundies class and all the usual great stuff. We hope you enjoy it.
Today Mel and Jamie took the JJs out for a final spin before the GUE CCR class starting next week. We went out with Dive Tutukaka, taking the scooters with us and enjoyed two excellent dives at Tie-Dye Arch and Blue Moamao Arch. A big thank you to Kate for sorting us out!
Jamie heads off for another meeting of the Diving ASG group in Wellington today. Look out for a progress report from us asap.
Today Mel and Jamie had the unique experience of having the lake all to themselves. Having expected to see hoards of other divers it was quiet and peaceful and we got to slide into the water and practise with our JJ rebreathers without any hassles. Looking forward to Rich Lundgren's visit in 12 days time!
Happy Easter everyone. I hope the Easter Bunny brings you as much chocolate as you desire.
Congratulations to Tom, Astrid and Javier who are NZs first ever Documentation Diver students. Now you just need to finish the map and photo mosaic and do better than the Aussies!
Today the team did two dives - first sketching the wreck and then measuring the selected area. This will lead to the basis of a map which we can then compare tomorrow's photo mosaic exercise.
Today was a filming day. All three students got to rotate roles - videographer, lighting support and model. Looking forward to seeing the results tonight.
This morning Tom, Astrid and Javier begin the first ever GUE Documentation Diver class to be run in New Zealand. JP Bresser and Jamie are co-teacher - it will be awesome.
Something completely different today, a side-mount workshop using the Halcyon Contour SM system. I hope the guys are ready for everything Jamie has planned for them.
Today Jamie is at lake Rotoma teaching a DPV class for the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Given how clear the lake is, it is going to be a high speed class for sure.
Congratulations to Alka, Rachael, Kirsten and Annika for making it all the way through Fundies without giving Jamie or Tom a heart attack. It's been a long time since so much laughing was heard at the lake.
Tonight Jamie and Tom start the second Girl's-only fundies class to be run in NZ. Last time he did this Jamie faced several very awkward questions; will it be the same again?
Bah humbug! The notoriously unpredictable Wellington weather is playing havoc with our shore diving again!!!
Today we had a long session in the pool, focussing on buoyancy, trim and finning techniques. Looking at everyone in the classroom this afternoon I think they are all going to sleep well.
Tonight Colin, Nic and Geoff start their fundies class - good luck guys.
Good luck to James C as he begins his Fundies exam today. Hopefully by the end of Sunday NZ will have a second GUE Instructor!
GUE Instructor Training - today Jamie signed off the last two lecture presentations for the GUEF class, which means James C now has his first GUE Instructor signature.
5pm tonight - Global Dive - come and join us to see Richard Walker, GUE's head of Technical Training give a presentation on his UK wreck diving project - all welcome.
It seems the weather gods are against us, so we are cancelling our GUE weekend at the Cowshed - we'll reschedule later in the year. Stay safe everyone.
Today Rich Walker signed Jamie off as NZs first GUE T1 Instructor - massive achievement! Look out for our article on the entire process to becoming a T1 Instructor in our newsletter.
Tomorrow Russ and Louise start heir Tech 1 class and Jamie starts his T1 Instructor exam - good luck to all.
Another big diving day for Tom and Guy - get ready for valve failure mayhem, OOG disasters and everything else bar the kitchen sink!
Congratulations to Tom and Guy for successfully completing their TDI Cavern Diver certifications - tomorrow they start the Introductory Cave Diver where things will definitely start to get harder.
Congratulations to Damian, Guy, Tom and Karl, all of whom passed their Fundies class. Congrats also go to Nic and Stefan who have successfully upgraded their GUE certs!
Today Tom Crisp starts his first official intern class on the path to becoming a GUE Instructor. Good luck to him and all the students - Guy, Tom W, Damian and Karl.
A few sore heads this morning and a very slow start to diving activities - although we did eventually make it to the Canterbury where we enjoyed taking the JJs for their first tour inside the wreck.
JJ diving at Danger Rock - without a scooter - definitely a weird experence to see others scootering past as we lumbered along slowly - bah humbug. That said the dive was pretty spectacular, even saw a sea-horse - our first in the Bay of Islands.
Congratulations to Kev, Jan and Kent for completing their fundies class - even if they did huff n puff n sigh there way through it all!
Today Jamie starts teaching his most experienced group ever for a Fundies class - 3 divers with over 5,000 dives between them, probably more if they'd bothered to log them all. Should be a very interesting class!
Wow, it's February already and the first month of the year has flashed past. But it has been a superb start, with a 10 day trip to Blue Creek followed by 3 days diving on the majestic Mikhail Lermontov. And we're still flat out, with barely a day off for the next two weeks as well - so blog entries might continue to be a scarce for a little while longer. But - the trip reports will be worth the wait we promise!
Happy 2014 everyone. Our resolutions this year are all diving related - as usual - with some very deep and long dives using the rebreathers at the top of the list!
Merry Christmas to all our friends. Best wishes for a wonderful day and hopefully you have perfect diving conditions wherever you are!
More JJ diving and more frustrations. Buoyancy is getting better; dil consumption is going down; minimum loop volume is becoming more obvious. Maybe we will eventually get as under control as we want.
A quiet day out on Mazurka. Brendon and Peter went scootering and Mel and Jamie fought with the breathers some more - well at least 2 people enjoyed the dives.
We had a silt-fest in Venus Cave, a halocline in Scary Cave and a long penetration in Taravana Cave. Awesome job guys - well done on all the progress over the last 4 days.
Today Axel and Nicole leave the daylight and head into the darkness proper - yippee.
Day two of the cavern class - more line laying practise and simple failures. Tackling Sharkfin, Scary and Taravana caves.
Today Axel and Nicole start their cavern diving training - first up the line course and then some line laying practise on the beach - the other tourists are going to be confused for sure!
Our final newsletter for 2013 is now available on the website. In this issue we have articles on JJ rebreather training and lessons learned over 25 years of diving, plus interviews with James Croker and Tom Crisp who are both training to become GUE Fundamentals instructors. We also have all your favourite sections, plus a bumper Xmas quiz to keep you entertained over the holiday period. Enjoy.
Jamie spent the entire of today in Wellington at the first meeting of the Diving Activity Safety Guidelines (ASG) working group. This group is tasked with developing the guidelines which will aid operators in complying with the Adventure Tourism legislation which is now in force and covers anyone who either teaches or guides diving activities - either full or part-time. Please check out www.supportadventure.co.nz or contact Jamie for more details - but be aware, the deadline for being registered is 12th September - which means being audited by this time!
Tonight Mel and Jamie slipped quietly into the lake for another session with the JJ rebreathers. Up down up down up down - buoyancy is still not as rock solid as it is on open circuit, but we're working hard on it.
4 divers + 5 scooters + 5km to travel + 110mins travel time = 1 epic dive. Mel, Jamie, Tom and Guy took the toys out for a spin today, exploring the far side of Goat island, specifically the two small caves. Superb dive!
Mel and Jamie slipped quietly into the lake again today for another orientation session with the JJs. And it is definitely quieter than open circuit - amazing how quickly you get used to no bubbles.
Congratulations to Matt Coutts for obtaining his GUE Fundies 'Tec' rating today. next stop Cave 1 in Mexico in January - have fun Matt.
Three more scooter dives today - Barren Arch, Cave Bay Wall and a long unnamed section of wall - which really is the whole point of having a scooter - a chance to explore further afield. This has been a very successful first scooter safari. There will be many more!
At last, after the weather scuppered our previous two attempts we have finally managed to get out and have a full-on scooter safari. 4 dives today, 3 on scooters. Rocklily inlet for the orientation, followed by Air Bubble cave and Hope Point, then Blue Maomao and a night dive at Fraser's landing. Sweet day.
Today Jamie took Sandy in for his dry-suit class. As usual there was the inevitable questions, "Should it be squeezing there?" But after a couple of sessions in the water and plenty of ascent practise Sandy was looking like a pro.
A day out with Dive Tutukaka at the Poor Knights and a chance for Paul to enjoy some good diving. We did 150mins underwater today, ending with bailout ascents and 'running out of dil'. And that's it - we're now allowed out by ourselves. Thank you to Paul trainor for all his hard work and great advice.
Another day in the lack doing bailout drills, diluent flushes, ascents, smb work, problem management as everything else. We are starting to look more like divers in control - I think.
After more than 3 hours in the pool yesterday we moved to the lake today to get a bit more depth. The buoyancy isn't as slick as we'd like, but it's improving.
Today Mel and Jamie move to the dark side - the world of rebreathers. Watch this space for more updates.
Much better weather today so we dived at the Bait House, where the visibility was far better. Had a few stern words after the first dive about lack of team work, but it all came together on the next couple of dives. Congratulations to Paul, Franz, Simon and Dan. Thanks to Rob for videoing. Thanks to JC for teaching. And thanks to Brendon for 'assisting'.
Not such a great day. the visibility in Kau Bay was dreadful, making teamwork very hard. We're praying for better weather tomorrow. And don't forget - tonight Jamie is presenting a cave talk at the Wellington Caving Group meeting. Be there or miss out!
Today was the first day in the water for Paul, Franz, Simon and Dan - JC is still doing all the teaching and Rob is doing the video work. So far so good.
We're back in Wellington again for another Fundies class - this time with a difference. James C is teaching most of it, as part of his GUE Instructor Training - Go James!
Fireworks Night. Bonfire Night. Guy Fawkes night. How many people in NZ actually know what this evening is really about?
Today Kev and Jamie took the scooters out to the Pinnacles and took a tour around at 70m. They went back into the cave we found last year, enjoyed some great visibility and saw a lot of Black Coral trees. The only problem now is how does Kev explain all this to Jan, when he promised not to go too deep?
Happy Trick or Treating everyone!
Tonight Jamie, Kev, JC, Tim, Peter and Russ convene for another long poker session. Will anyone be able to stop Kev winning yet another pot?
A beautiful start to the day and a rainy blustery end - what will the rest of the weekend have in store? Hope everyone gets some great diving in this weekend!
Congratulations to Axel, Deralie and Peter for successfully completing their Fundies class. Thank you to Global Dive for hosting us and thanks to Tom for sorting out all the cylinder issues!
Today was our first day in the water - focussing on propulsion techniques, positioning kicks and the Basic 5 (mask and reg skills). Bit of a later start than expected when Axel got stopped by the police for a driving license check and then couldn't get his motorbike started again - wife to the rescue!
Tonight we prepared all the equipment for our first dives on Saturday and also got the swim test out of the way.
Tonight we start another GUE Fundamentals class, based at Global Dive. And yet again both students are rebreather divers - oooh this is going to be fun.
We've released a bunch more photos into the gallery today - doing stuff other than diving - skiing at Whakapapa and caving in Waitomo.
Quarter 3's newsletter is now available in the usual spot. We have articles on The Black Rocks, Rotorua Tough Guy, Cave Diving Stimulants & DPV1 classes. Plus all the usual stuff. Check it out - we know you'll love it!
Today we enjoyed two very relaxed dives on the Canterbury - one exploring the full length of deck two and one scootering around and exploring everything deck one had to offer. Very peaceful diving.
Today we dived a site which has been on Jamie's to 'to dive' list for 7 years - The Black Rocks, which many people have told us were full of caves. And YES THEY WERE. AWESOME! Check out our trip report for all the details.
Tonight we are heading up to Northland Dive for a weekend of pleasure diving. No classes, no teaching - just good old fashioned fun diving. Bring it on.
This weekend is Jamie's birthday. 21 again?
Grrrrr - the weather bomb from the tropics has ruined our plans and our TDI Cavern Diver and TDI Introductory Cave Diver classes are cancelled. Grrrrrrr
Another weekend doing something different, this time exploring the Lost World in Waitomo. It starts with a 300 ft / 100m abseil - there's nothing like starting slowly...
Congratulations to Javier and Felipe who have both achieved 'tech' pass status for their GUE Fundamentals. It has been a long journey, but they have both worked extremely hard - and it shows. Well done guys!
This weekend we're going off to play with some very cold water - snow to be precise - with a weekend away at Mt Ruapehu. Let's hope it snows!
Tonight we went to a charity screening of Red 2 - very very funny. We'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys some tongue in cheek comic book action adventures. We laughed all the way through.
Another day and another student returning for a revaluation dive. Congratulations to Javier who is now a fully qualified GUE diver and also to Nic who has come on leaps and bounds from day 1. Well done guys.
Today we tackled the lake for the first time and Felipe joined the class to do his revaluation dive - and the improvement was clear. Congratulations Felipe on geting your first GUE certification!
Tonight was all about skills videos and equipment. James explained the GUE core equipment configuration and we prepared for our first water session tomorrow.
Tonight we start another GUE Fundamentals class - this time with a difference. James Croker will be doing the majority of the teaching as part of his ongoing GUE Instructor training. Go James!
The weather didn't play nicely today, so we headed to Mathesons Bay where we did some more drills - crash stops, handling a runaway etc - before heading out through the gap in the reef and northwards for an exploratory dive. It's amazing how far you can travel and how much better the visibility gets once you get away from the shoreline.
Today we were at Goat Island, practising towing, gas sharing, coordinated turns and some other cool stuff. Perfect conditions and a lot of fun.
Today Tim, Brendon and John start their GUE DPV1 class. It's going to be fun - what out for our updates.
We have finished editing and tagging all the photos from the Tough Guy race and there are now a selection of images from this mud-tastic event available on the gallery page. Big thanks to Nicole for being brave enough to drag her camera around the course!
Congratulations to Marty for completing his Fundamentals rec-to-tec upgrade. And thanks to Tom and James for helping out. For once Marty seemed a little quiet - a few nerves before we started maybe?
Big dive today - a complete circumnavigation of Goat Island, taking nearly 100 minutes. Great navigation guys and good skills. You are now DPV1 divers - well done!
A very long water session at Goat Island today. Crash stops, towing, gas sharing and other failure procedures. Followed by a long lecture session. Everyone is going to sleep well tonight.
Russ and Lou - just of the boat from the UK - tackle the GUE scooter class today. I feel the need for speed!
Everything aches - there is mud in places where mud shouldn't be - and our trainers will never run again - but we're happy. Congrats to everyone for completing the course - the 6km team (Rob, Brendon, Nicole, Claire and Mel) finishing in just over the hour and Jamie finishing the 12km course in 1 hour 40. Time for a well earned break.
Tomorrow a group of us are tackling the mudtastic assault course that is the Tough Guy event in Rotorua. This is the original course and only Jamie has done it before so knows what to expect. Good luck to the first timers - Mel, Claire, Nicole, Rob and Brendan.
A selection of pictures from Croatia and the Nullarbor are now available in the 2013 gallery. When we give some talks on them we'll show lots more pics.
Tonight lots and lots and lots of divers went to see Paul Nicklen present a selection of his photos from the Arctic and Antarctic - and it was superb. Amazing. Awesome. I think everyone who attended would happily go all over again if they could.
Our second quarter newsletter is now available. The main feature articles are all about the Nullarbor Desert, diving in Croatia and GUE Instructor Training. Plus we have an in depth look at canister lights, a spotlight on Her Deepness Sylvia Earle and a discussion on flappy hands and what to do about them. Enjoy.
Phew. What an amazing, challenging, tiring, scary, exciting, exhilerating and spectacular two weeks. You're never going to believe the video when we show it - the caves are unbelievable!
Tomorrow we head off to the Nullarbor desert to join the NKPP2013 project - it's going to be wild!
After nearly two months away Jamie is finally back. He's been to the UK, France, Switzerland and Croatia, met a whole bunch of cool divers and had far too good a time. Look out for the various trip reports he'll be wriing over the next few weeks.
Tonight Tom will be showing his video of Blue Creek Resurgence at the Global Dive Club Night. If you've been wondering why we go to so much effort to explore this cave this video might just provide the answer. And if you're thinking about cave diving training then this video will definitely be inspiring.
Finally we have a new newsletter for 2013. The format is different, it's longer and has more great articles and we know you're going to love it.
Tonight the boys are getting together for another poker session - will Kev win for the 4th time?
Final day and big thanks go to Peter and Marty for jumping into the lake to join us for some practise. Congratulations to Slade on mgeting to grips with double tanks so fast - very impressive result!
Fundies day 2 and we were in the water for the whole morning - working on propulsion techniques, positioning kicks, buoyancy, trim and other basic skills. It was a good session and for once the video didn't seem to be as scary as usual - maybe it's the new smaller camera.
It's the first day of another Fundies class and the first test of the new Global Dive premises. Not quite sure where we are going to be doing the lectures, but it should be interesting - anyone who has been into the new store knows what I mean!
Phew - two major decompression dives successfully completed - the most challenging dives these guys have ever done - smiles all around.
Wham - ascent training on the Canterbury today - with lots of failures - I'm expecting everyone to head off early to bed tonight.
Kapow - dealing with stage bottles and learning valve failures - big day in the water.
Boom - what a wake up call for Stuart, Simon and Brendon. Today was just double tank stuff and the basic skills - tomorrow we introduce the stage bottles and more complex failures.
The four day weekend is nearly here - yippee. And the weather looks perfect for some awesome diving. Have fun and be safe everyone.
We have updated our photo galleries at last - with Jamie's trip to Mexico with Marc Sluszny and also our Blue Creek expedition in February. Rob Wilson's photos from Blue Creek are awesome - definitely check them out.
There were some awesome talks yesterday and plenty more today - and we're doing the blog entry now before the Gala Dinner starts as it always gets messy. If you missed this years event don't miss the next one in 2015!
The best technical diving conference in this part of the world starts today in Sydney - and we'll be there, along with at least 20 other kiwis we know who are going. Jamie is working on the GUE stand, Mel is simply going to enjoy the talks, look at lots of new toys and catch up with friends. We'll do a full write up after the event.
Today Jamie completed the DPV 1 Instructor class with Rich Lundgren, but the highpoint of the day happened before the class even started. Ed the newest GUE recruit in Sydney took us for a one hour helicopter flight over the city and northern beaches - a fabulous start to the day.
Jamie and Peter became two of the very first GUE students to do the Rec 2 Instructor class with Rich Lundgren. The class will be officially launched in August and is perfect for anyone out there looking to progress beyond Rec 1 or Fundies and learn techniques for deeper diving (using triox 30/30) and also high quality rescue skills and procedures. We will send out more detailed information shortly.
Congratulations to Rob and Pete for surviving and successfully completing the Advanced Wreck class. They faced a huge learning curve and it has been a roller-coaster ride, but a lot of fun too. Great job guys.
Today was lost line drills, and more extended penetrations through decks 1 and 2 - obviously with a few problems thrown in for good measure. If anyone else is thinking of doing this class the best advice I can give is to get your communication and teamwork sorted out.
Well we managed one dive on the Waikato yesterday before admitting defeat - the wind and waves were just a little to big for us to continue playing safely. So today we are diving the Canterbury, focussing on sharing gas in confined spaces and exiting the wreck in simulated silt out conditions - quite an eye opener for Rob and Pete if you'll pardon the pun....
Today we start the Advanced Wreck class for Pete and Rob - bring on the chaos - yippee!
Yesterday was great but today was greater! We started with an early morning dive at Cream Gardens and the Bronzies came out to play. Jamie saw 9 at the same time - very close up - and it was only because there were so many other fish around blocking our vis that we probably didn't see even more Bronzies. And yet again the vis was superb - possibly the best we've ever seen it at Cream Gardens. Oh yes then to end the day we also did Cave Bay wall and the Waikato wreck - how good has this trip been!
What an awesome days diving! We started with 12-fathom reef and it was a fishtastic dive. The vis was 25m+, there were 100's of Pink Maomao and dozens of big Kingies schooling around and a squadron of at least 10 large stingrays stayed with us for the entire dive. And then we got to enjoy even more fish at Northern arch for our second dive. A real wow day!
Today was the final day of class for Javier, Felipe and Stefan and it was a good day. The improvement has been dramatic since the start of the class and for a relatively inexperienced team they have done incredibly well. Congratulations!
Today was the first water session for Javier, Felipe and Stefan and I think it was an eye-opener. As usual the skills never sound that hard, but suddenly trying to do them with precision, finesse and control and it is a whole different ball game. There were some very tired bodies by the end of the day.
Today was the final day for the Auckland Council Dive Squad and it was really successful. Congratulations to Mike, Jarrod, Marcus and Peter for 4 days of hard work and good humour. Hopefully we will see you in the water again soon!
Jamie is going to be very tired by the time he gets home tonight. He has the Auckland council dive team from 8am-6pm and then a new class starts at 6pm running through to 9.30pm. But it's good to see how many people are realising the benefits of the GUE classes.
Today is the first day of fundies for the Auckland council dive squad. It should be interesting for everyone, including Jamie!
Another great day of diving, with the first dive at Danger Rock and then a cave fest for dive two - exploring every nook and cranny we could using our scooters to get around. We found several interesting possibilities and now need to go back once the wind is coming from a better direction.
A very enjoyable days diving. Dive 1 was at Cape Brett and dive 2 was at Big Eye's Lair/Sonic Boom cave.
This weekend Mel and Trevor are both celebrating their birthdays and so a group of us are heading up to the Northland Dive for a party. Don't expect any big dives on Sunday!
We're back after two amazing weeks away. Hopefully you have been keeping up to date with all our adventures via Facebook and enjoying Rob's awesome photos. Jamie will be preparing a big trip report for the newsletter and also hopefully an article for the dive magazine.
Today the team are doing their final preparations for the big Blue Creek Expedition. The last few trimix cylinders are being filled, equipment checklists are being completed, the habitat and zip line are ready to go, most of the food has been collected and the compressor has been checked. All we need now is a couple of weeks without any rain so we can get into the cave easily.
Tonight Sandy does his first open water dives at the lake.
Congratulations to Andrew, Marty, Peter and Brendon for completing the Fundies class - and even managing a smile at the end. Maybe open circuit diving isn't as bad as you remembered! And a big thank you to Tom and James for helping out with the video work.
Another day of diving and theory, with valve drills, s-drills, ascents and descents being the primary focus. As usual everyone has improved from day 1, but also as usual everyone's skill level is not meeting their expectations - something about having an instructor watching you always causes stress....
Today we did our first dives - and for a couple of the students their first open circuit dives for some time. Let's just say there was a fair bit of laughter in the classroom when the video was played back.
Another first for NZ and possibly for GUE generally. Tonight Jamie starts a fundies class down at Global with all 4 students being rebreather divers. Let the questions roll!
Tim tried out his new 'Waterproof' drysuit today, running through a series of drills and exercises with Jamie at the lake. He is now wondering why he didn't get a drysuit sooner!
Taravana Cave and Venus Cave - entanglements, valve failures, light failures and out-of-gas emergencies. The pace picked up today and so did the stress levels - safe and successful cave diving takes a lot of practise.
This morning we finished the cavern class and now Annette, Franz and Raymond are tackling the Introductory Cave Diver Class. We have two dives in Scary Cave planned and then some lost line drills in Shark Fin cave to finish with. It's going to be fun.
Sophie, Annette and Franz - two dives in Long Cave and one in Big Eye Cave - lots of line laying practice and a few failures thrown in for good measure. The cavern class is nearly complete - which means tomorrow the chaos begins!
The Wellingtonians have arrived in Tutukaka and started their cavern class today. This morning was a theory and line laying session and this afternoon we did the line course in Pacific Bay. Still hoping the wind drops overnight so we can head out to the PKs.
No guiding today as the wind has really picked up - bugger!
Another day of guiding dives for Jamie, with two dives at Northern Arch and one dive at Great Wall. Fabulous visibility at Northern Arch!
Today Jamie has been out guiding dives at the Poor Knights for OceanBlue. The first dive was at the Canyons and the second at Gentle Forest, with a quick side trip into Big Eye Cave as usual. And the blue water is really starting to swirl about, with a huge thermocline and very clear water below 22m at the Canyons.
Happy New Year Everyone! May 2013 bring you excellent diving - amazing wildlife encounters, exciting wreck dives, cool cave dives, great weather conditions and a generally wonderful time underwater. Best wishes to you all.