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Dive Zone - Whitianga



10 Campbell St, Whitianga,3510

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FEB

01

Aluminium Tanks - Safety

Posted by Linda Bird

 

Owners of Aluminium tanks need to be aware of the following that has been issued by Worksafe and NZUA.  If your cylinders fall into the below list then we are no longer able to fill them.  We have been working through replacing tanks with our customers.  As you can imagine the situation has created an immediate shortage of aluminium tanks in New Zealand.  Get in touch if you need help to check if yours falls into the below categories:

Worksafe published a Scuba Cylinder warning dated 22 December 2016, following a serious harm incident overseas.  Also, included  in this  are cylinders which  are manufactured from Alloy  6351-T6

Luxfer SP6498 Luxfer E6498 Luxfer SP8364

Wallter Kidde SP7042 Cylinders E 6576 Cylinders E6688 Cylinders E8107 Cylinders E8422

Luxfer DOT 3AL with a hydrostatic test date before 1989

CIG  (Australia) AS  1777  with  a  hydrostatic test  date  before 1991

Luxfer originating in the UK marked with a hydrostatic test date before 1996 Walter  Kidde  DOT 3AL with  a  hydrostatic test  date  before 1990

Aluminium composite cylinders (hoop wrapped) marked: E7235 or E8023 or E8115

Cylinders can be identified by their cylinder markings by either locating the manufacture date typically marked mm yy or the DOT special permit (SP) or exemption (E) markings.

As the NZUA Scuba Cylinder Audit Program Test Certifier you are instructed with immediate effect in the interests of safety not to test or fill any cylinder that falls into the categories listed above.

Steve Bishop

Technical  Manager/Advisor

Air Purity Ltd/NZ Underwater Association

 

DEC

31

Summer has arrived in the Coromandel!!

Posted by Linda Bird

What a fantastic run of weather we are having.  There are visitors aplenty here at the moment and many are taking the opportunity to get out on the water.  With breezes running between W or SW for the next week and 8 to 15 knots, swell conditions only ½ metre max making for some pretty attractive conditions out on the water.  Our crew said they had 25 metre vis out behind Ohinau yesterday and the temps are coming up to around 19 now and getting warmer.

Our PADI Open Water training courses are booking quickly and we are running extra classes mid-week.  If you want to get your PADI Advanced or become a PADI Rescue diver then drop us a line and let us know the dates that work for you and we will see what we can do.

​Here is our latest Open Water graduates - including All Black Aaron Smith!  See our link here for PADI dive training - http://www.divezone.co.nz/whitianga/courses/padi

SEP

22

Caring for and Maintaining your Dive gear

Posted by Alyce Reneti

Caring for and Maintaining your Dive Gear

If you are serious about Diving, chances are you have spent a significant amount of money putting together your kit. Proper Maintenance and care will not only extend the life of your gear, but will also ensure you stay safe while diving.

So, with those Scallops and Tasty crays calling – here is a few simple guidelines to follow when pulling that gear out of storage for the season:

Get your gear Serviced: BCD’s and Regulators need to be serviced by a qualified service technician annually. This is essentially your life support system – it is delivering oxygen rich air to your lungs to control your body’s functions, and we all know what happens without it.

 Because your regulator is built of many moving parts - like O-rings which are made of Rubber and after a year, the integrity of the O-rings start to diminish,  the lubricants start to wear down and become stale. Always check the Dust cap is on to keep water out of the first stage. Wash in fresh water after each Dive. Your service tech will check all the major parts of your BCD are in full, working order:  The inflator valves will be checked and cleaned, the body inspected for any cracks and any of the inner workings that show wear will be replaced using a special manufacturer’s kit. The condition of your BCDs bladder will be checked along with the Dump valves to ensure these are all free of debris and the washers are not loose. Computers are checked and batteries changed. After each use, rinse in fresh water, ensure the bladder is empty of water and leave with a small amount of air inside. Store is a dry place away from direct sunlight.

Tanks: Require two tests to ensure they are fit for use: Hydrostatic testing which is required every 2 years and a visual test required annually. NZ regulations state that all tanks must be in test to have these filled at your local Dive shop - Along with ensuring they are safe to dive with, as this too is a part of that essential life support system when underwater!

Masks: When purchasing a new mask, you will need to remove any leftover manufacturer’s film. This is easily done by using a small amount of white toothpaste – not gels. Simply put a bit on your finger and run around the inside of the lens, Rinse and repeat this a couple of times and rinse thoroughly when finished. We carry a range of Anti-fogging solutions which are also a handy essential in your Dive kit. After each Dive ensure your mask is washed in fresh water with a bit of gear wash added. Store in a cool, dry place

Wetsuit: After each use, wash in a solution of fresh water and gear wash, Rinse. Ensure zips are free of debris and lubricate if needed. Dry inside out and store aware from sunlight, on a coat hanger instead of folded in your Dive Bag.

Fins, Boots, Gloves: After each Dive, wash thoroughly with fresh water and gear wash, rinse in fresh water, ensure zips/Velcro are free of any debris and dry before storing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Knives and Torches: Ensure batteries are fresh/charged and O-rings lubricated and in good order to prevent any leaks. Always wash in clean water and dry after every Dive to help prevent rusting and salt build up.

 

From all of us here at Dive Zone, have a great season, GET INTO IT!

 

 

SEP

15

Spring is Here

Posted by Elise Norman

 

If ever there was a time to be excited about diving its now, Spring time.

With the change in season comes the warmer water, abundance of fish life and increased visibility now reported 18-25m and only getting better.


Spring a very busy season for us here at Dive Zone Whitianga with the opening of the recreational scallop season, Whitianga's Scallop Festival and of course the start of our August intake for our Diploma in Professional Scuba Instruction where our students are traing to be PADI Dive Instructors. 


Over the next two weeks our earlier commenced February class of students will be completing their Instructor Development Course (IDC), which is made up two parts – the Assistant Instructor course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor Program, all in preparation before attending an Instructor Examination, which is the final step before earning their Instructor Certification.


The determination and hard work from our students is extremely exciting and the passion they display for everything in, around and under the water is contagious.

 

Now is definitely the time to come to the Coromandel Peninsula and  'Get into it!'.

 

AUG

31

Diving Vavau Tonga with Dive Zone Whitianga

Posted by Linda Bird

Diving in Vava’u ticked lots of boxes for those of us who love to escape a soggy NZ winter.  Warm sea temps – 25 degrees, clear blue water, beautiful underwater structures and plentiful coral and fish life.  Add to that, with it being whale season, abundant Humpback whales.  From individuals, mother/calf/escort groups, to heat runs all making for some very special moments for us to take home the memories of and savour for months to come.

Diving with Tongan Dive Expeditions proved to be a really enjoyable experience with our lead dive guide being two of our former students – the lovely Shona Whittaker and her partner Ash Lambert.  Shona took our group with its range of abilities, to explore some of the nooks and crannies of Vava’u.  We experienced some nice coral reefs, explored caves, dived Shark Tooth cave and Pelagic Pinnacle with its pelagic fish life were some of our highlights.  Sea temps in late July were a lovely 25 degrees and visibility ranged between 20 and 30 metres.  This is Tongan Expeditions web site:  http://www.tonganexpeditions.com

But we have to say for us the highlight of the trip was the Humpback Whales.  Every year from July to November the whales complete their migration from the cold feeding waters south of New Zealand and Australia, to the warmer tropical waters of Tonga where they give birth to calves and perform courtship readying themselves for the next season.

With wonderful displays of activity - breaching, spy hopping and fin slapping were encountered on the surface of the water.  Throughout July to November the waters surrounding Vava’u are filled with music as the Humpback Whales sing their hearts out.   If you want to enjoy an experience of a lifetime, book yourself a dive trip to Vava’u during whale season.  We used Dolphin Pacific Diving for our whale trips and this is their web site http://www.dolphinpacificdiving.com