Scuba Diving with Dive HQ

Scuba Diving with Dive HQ

“It’s a real sense of freedom. You’re effectively weightless when you’re in the water so once you’ve learnt to dive properly and got your buoyancy under control, it’s sort of like flying.”

Riley has been diving for 22 years and says he still gets a buzz from being underwater.

‘Scuba’ is an acronym for self contained underwater breathing apparatus—and diving with scuba gear is just that: diving underwater without relying on above-water equipment to breathe.

Learning to scuba dive is about more than jumping in the water with a couple of oxygen tanks strapped to your back. Beginners need to learn a number of skills and techniques for diving safely.

Dive HQ runs an Open Water course for beginners, which is held over either two evenings a week for three weeks, or two weekends.

Trainees spend a quarter of the time in a pool; a quarter learning diving principles and techniques; and the rest of the time doing four open sea dives. Once completed, divers are qualified to dive up to 18-metres anywhere in the world.

The course covers safety issues to ensure divers know what to do if something goes wrong underwater: “It’s about not putting yourself or others at risk,” says Riley.

Understanding how to deal with problems and working through different scenarios of things that could happen underwater helps nervous divers overcome their fears.

Dive HQ’s Advanced Open Water course is for people with previous dive experience looking to further their skills. A variety of dive conditions—such as at night, over wrecks, and in deep water—are covered in the course and it allows divers to go on to specialise in particular types of dives.

Riley says the immediate Auckland area is not particularly good for diving: the Manukau Harbour is murky and shallow and although conditions are good in the Hauraki Gulf, heavy fishing hasn’t left much for divers to see.

Riley recommends heading north to the Goat Island Marine Reserve at Leigh or over to Great Barrier Island.

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Content updated: 12/11/2019 12:09

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