Spring has Sprung

September is always my favourite month as it signals the start of the summer season. Although we have had a wet start to spring this year, today is a typical spring day, calm and sunny with the smell of cherry blossoms and daffodils in the air.

Brent Jnr has been busy this week with PADI Rescue training and is out today with a full boat on a scallop and training dive. Congratulations to Steve Palmer and Robin Seymour who completed their rescue course. Maria Hayes also completed her Advanced Open-water course #Go Dive last weekend on the #Lermontov in #Port Gore.

Brent and Steve trial OTS FF Masks during rescue training

Brent and Steve trial OTS FF Masks during rescue training

We have recently been trailing #OTS Full Face mask systems, these have in-water comms, so divers can talk to each other and communicate with the surface. The hope is that we will have a couple of masks and comms units for try dives this summer. Keep an eye on Facebook for updates.

Go Dive is also currently in-between shops, with our new shop due to be open early October, we will have an onsite compressor at the new premises and have heaps of off street parking and easy access for those towing boats.

safe diving

Brent 😛

 

 

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Santo Dive Trip

Crikey its cold, that was how I felt when stepping off the plan in Christchurch this Monday to be meet by snow and sleet. We had just returned from 7 days diving in Santo which makes up the Vanuatu group of islands.

Aore Bungalow. Notice the resident Dugong on the porch

Aore Bungalow. Notice the resident Dugong on the porch

During the war 50,000 American and allied troops were stationed in Santo, which was staging post to the war efforts in the Solomon Islands, the island had 3 bomber strips, a fighter strip and the Kiwis had a a Catalina base on the Island, bombing runs were launched from Santo to Guadalcanal and troops were stationed here before being shipped to the Solomons.

As a result of all this war activity there were obvious casualties to both shipping and aircraft. The most famous of course being the President Coolidge that struck a friendly mine and sunk in 20 to 70 metres of water. The Coolidge would have to be the most dived wreck in the South Pacific and is off similar size to our own Mikhail Lermontov, being close to the beach it traditionally only dived as a shore dive, with the majority of companies offering guided shore dives.

Clown Fish entertain me during decompression after a deep dive on the Coolidge

Clown Fish entertain me during decompression after a deep dive on the Coolidge

I dived the Coolidge in 1983 and have always wanted to revisit Santo to explore other sites that I knew existed, but couldn’t access due the lack of suitable boats and operators. That is when I heard off an operator based in Aore which is an island within a stones throw of Santo, that had just recently set up shop and was offering all inclusive boat dives from there brand new 8m stabi-craft. I quickly put together a group to travel to Santo to explore and enjoy some warm water winter diving.

Six of us arrived at Aore Adventure Sports and we quickly settled into our self contained bungalow with private beach. Over the following 5 days we dived 4 different ship wrecks, 1 dive bomber and Million Dollar Point, with dives ranging from 14 meters to 60 meters. Quite clearly some of these dives were deep and safety was our priority, with Paul and Lyndel being ex Aussie dive operators, safety equipment including O2, and an AED were carried on every dive, the only operator in Santo to do so. Alfred our guide, with 13000 plus dives on the Coolidge alone was fantastic in showing us around the wrecks.

Kitting up for the first days diving. From then on the boys take care of all kit cleaning and loading etc.

Kitting up for the first days diving. From then on the boys take care of all kit cleaning and loading etc.

Overall we had an excellent 5 days of incident free diving, topped off with an off-gassing day to Champagne beach, Oyster Island and the Blue Holes, while enjoying a few deco tubes before we headed home.

At an all inclusive price of around $2700.00 ex Christchurch, diving with Aore Sports in Santo would have to be an all round top diving destination, at great value for money, Go Dive will definitely be returning again next year. We will only take small groups of 6 so enjoyment is optimized. Make contact with me if you are keen.

safe diving

Brent 😛

Posted in Dive Report, General, Trips | Leave a comment

Cray & Scallop Weekend

With the opening of the Scallop season next month we will be holding our annual scallop and cray weekend on the 18/19th of July.

Brent Jnr with catch of the day

Brent Jnr with catch of the day

Plan is to all meet at the shop in Picton at mid day Saturday and head out for two scallop dives and then Sunday morning to Port Underwood if the weather allows.

Contact Brent Snr if you are keen.

Posted in Club, General, Trips | Leave a comment

TDI training on the Lermontov

Congratulations to Andrew Belcher and Andrew Cooper from Brisbane and Geoff Infield from Wellington who just completed their Adv Wreck, Adv Nitrox and Deco Pro courses with Go Dive.

Happy TDI Divers

Happy TDI Divers

The courses were held over the last week while staying at Go Dives Lodge in Port Gore, with all the land based facilities only 5 minutes boat ride out to the Mikhail Lermontov, all training was completed with ease over a 7 day period, which included 10 dives on the Lermontov with a final non-training dive through the Leningrad Restaurant.

Sadly our SAC swim was rudely interrupted by a very playful Orca that spent 20 plus minutes entertaining us as she imitated out barrel roles and vertical head stands, all while given us a lesson in trim and buoyancy. A once in a life time experience.

 

For those keen on diving the wreck soon we have space on our Easter weekend trip, give Brent a call for details on 0800 GODIVE.

Safe diving 😮

Posted in General, Training | Leave a comment

Selfie

Never take a selfie on someone else s Go Pro.

Guess Who

Guess Who

Posted in General | Leave a comment