Success tastes so good – even in 2 metre swells.

Shot from the beach, with 007, our boat, in the foreground

Shot from the beach, with 007, our boat, in the foreground

With all the horrible weather warnings in place, and just about every other dive operation in the north island battening down the hatches, I was relieved to know that our little spot in Deep Water Cove would still be safe for our students – so off to the Bay of Islands we went. Friday afternoon looked to be a bit of a last minute scramble at Global Dive, trying to ensure we all had the appropriate gear sorted for the weekend. We then headed north, arriving quite late and having a quick tour of the Cowshed – which was quite flash, I was expecting… well, a cowshed – I crashed and burned into the pillow while listening to the rain patter down on the roof. Bliss.

The dead don’t sleep as well as I did that night. Had it not been for being in work mode, there’s no way I would have left that duvet/pillow combination without a bloody good fight. Being an advanced course in unfamiliar diving territory, there were several logistics that needed to be ironed out and hurdles overcome before we would head out into the swelly blue – the ride out was going to be bumpy with large swells bringing us lots of seaspray and loss of balance. Deep Water Cove is well protected at least, and the dive spots were very calm.

The dives our divers chose to do were Deep, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Wreck, Boat and Navigation. The first day we did Deep, Peak Performance Buoyancy and Wreck, and all went off without a hitch. Might I add, the Canterbury has become a new love affair for not only me, but a few of the other divers as well! Jennifer especially was really into it – I have a feeling that girl is going to be getting into her tec courses as soon as possible; she was not satisfied with the short glimpses she got of the wreck. A great time was had by all and so we headed back in to rinse our gear, debrief, and get through the rest of the theory and book work, and finally, eat.

Tom F, Gregory, Jennifer, Alex, Brad, Tom C, Lee, Claire and Hoon

Tom F, Gregory, Jennifer, Alex, Brad, Tom C, Lee, Claire and Hoon

Sunday was a less hectic day, with just Boat and Navigation left to do. I was a bit apprehensive about the Navigation dive, only because of the very likely possibility of losing divers. It nearly always happens. However, I had nothing to worry about – thanks to all the navigation specialty course practise with Pete Mesley, I was able to pass on my exemplary Nav skills to the divers – none of them got lost, none of them even needed to surface! With 4 divers doing their skills, that’s nearly unheard of. I was so proud.

I can say with conviction that this weekend, torrential downpours notwithstanding, was a success. And yes, the Cowshed was everything Lee said it would be. I must go back soon. Very soon. I’m not done with the Canterbury just yet.

***Thanks to Jennifer Charlet for the photos***


Hello, Cowshed. At last we meet.

First Advanced Open Water Course is on this weekend – Four of our divers from last weekend’s Open Water course have decided to continue their education (yay!!!) with us, and from what Tom (the other instructor) has told me, everyone wants to do the Canterbury wreck – yes.  Oh yes.  My obsession will rub off on most of my student divers if I have anything to say about it. 

When I was younger, my first desire to sink beneath the waves came from a Discovery Channel feature – some random ship had sunk off the coast of somewhere, and divers were exploring it.  That was it for me – I was going to learn to dive (when I was old enough), and I was going to go diving on wrecks. 

Tonight Lee and I are driving up to the Bay of Islands and staying in the Cowshed. The Cowshed is a place of legends; I’ve not been yet, but I can tell you one thing – if wreck diving is what got me into the water in the first place, it’s definitely the thing that keeps me going back.  The first experience I had on a wreck was a little houseboat purpose-sunk in a quarry for training, which I dived on my Advanced Open Water course.  It was completely stripped, very boring.  But still, I was fascinated.  I wanted more. 

 The HMNZS Canterbury has been in my dreams of late, and even though the weather is looking dismal, diving the wreck should be alright due to its sheltered position  in Deep Water Cove, which lies on the western end of the Cape Brett peninsula.  I’ll let you know how it goes after the weekend.