MANTIS DIVING GROUP
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DIVING GROUP - NEWS & CURRENT EVENTS
AS most of you will know its been a while since we paid much attention to the web page. Since the demise of a number of local dive shops and the couple remaining struggling we have been getting a significant rise in the number of training requests. To this end we are ramping up the web presence as well as the training schedule. Over the next week or two we should have finished updating the whole website and linking it to our facebook page and group.
SOCIAL MEDIA has become a must have for any business and we are no exception. We now have a Facebook page and Facebook Group, both of which will be updated almost daily. You will find the link to Facebook on our home page and our contact page. Please like our Facebook page and you will be able to use Facebook messenger to contact us quickly with any urgent queries. The facebook group is for any questions, advice, discussions and dive spot information you may require. Want to know how to turn that broken bottle you found in the Tweed River into a cool drinking glass? The Mantis Divers Group is the place to ask.
IN October 2017 we sent a group of divers on a Cave Diving trip to Mexico and Florida. The guys had an amazing time with 20 dives in Mexico in a number of different Cenotes. Cenotes dived were: Carwash, Calima, Calavera (Temple of Doom), Grande Cenote, Chan Hol, Caracol, Vaca Ha, Kim Ha, Xcolo, Catapillar and Isla Alamo. We have added some photos and videos to our facebook page and over the next few months we will be adding more. Along with the diving the guys managed to partake in the local culture with numerous local beers helping to wash down the sensational food. Note, when ordering food in Mexico go for the small serve as the large will fill you up with half the dish still full. The food and beers were very cheap, as an example you could buy 1L of Kahlua in the supermarket for AUD$11! A couple of the divers also attended a Mexican cooking course and returned raving about how good the food was and how easy it was to do Mexican food correctly. We are running another Mexican Cave Diving trip in October 2018, only 9 months away, numbers will be limited to 6 divers so let us know if you are interested and we will keep you updated. So far we already have 2 spaces booked.
THE second part of the Cave Diving trip was to Northern Florida to dive the caves around Live Oak. Flying in to orlando we had a few hours drive up North to Cave country. We stayed at Dive Outpost which made us fairly central to the caves we wanted to dive. There is actually a cave on the property so we could have walked from our room to the first dive. Cathy who owns and runs Dive Outpost was an incredible host. We based a number of our dive choices on Cathy's suggestions and we couldn't have been happier with her choices. We managed to dive several caves: Peacock1, Peacock111, Orange Grove, Cow Spring, Little River, Jug Spring, Madison Blue Spring, Devils Ear (Ginnie Springs). No cooking courses on this part of the trip but we did sample American BBQ and sprinkle some Swamp Dust on our fries. A visit to Dive Rite was arranged by our guide and we were shown throughout the whole factory, very informative and many thanks to Lamar and Co. for their hospitality and willingness to allow a bunch of Aussies to wander around their workplace. We intend to run another Florida Cave trip in 2019 to coincide with DEMA's return to Orlando.
COMMUNITY SERVICE is something we have come to embrace here at Mantis Diving. With veterans involved both in the dive center and club we see it as a good fit to offer our services free of charge to wounded veterans groups or individual wounded veterans. Scuba Diving has shown to be a very beneficial activity for veterans with physical or psychological wounds. Our training team is very experienced and can find a way to have nearly everyone diving either in a pool or the ocean. Interested people of groups please contact us for further information. We have the staff and the equipment, let us help you!
DEMA 2017 was held in Orlando (Florida) and through good planning that's where we ended up after our Cave Diving was completed. After 36 Cave dives we were pretty much dived out and looking for some surface time. A couple of us spend the four days of DEMA rushing from meetings to lectures to service seminars to visiting as many booths as we could. Our senior regulator technician managed to complete the Beuchat, TUSA and all three CRESSI seminars not to mention picking up some more tools/parts from GMC and Scuba Tools. We became dealers for a number of products with AquaSketch being the first we have announced on our Facebook page, there will be a few more announced over the next month or two. Several US manufacturers have removed their product range from local wholesalers which has allowed us to buy directly from the manufacturer, at a considerable saving.
OUR service area has been relocated and updated. Along with several new tools and airconditioning it will now be easier to run our service technician training. We managed to obtain a cylinder valve test unit which allows us to check a cylinder valve after rebuild and before it is placed back on a cylinder. This unit also allows us to test complete manifolds in the same way.
REGULATOR TECHNICIAN TRAINING - Is something we still get asked about on a regular basis. Many senior divers as well as diving leaders want to know how to strip and service scuba regulators. Some want to be able to service their own equipment whilst others want to be prepared to attend and pass a factory certified technicians course. We have now pleased to announce that we will be once again be running regulator technician training courses from now on. See first hand how to strip, clean, rebuild and tune/adjust scuba regulators. Learn how to source service schematics as well as specialist tools and repair parts, all at reasonable prices. Please see the courses page for further details.
DIVE boats have been an issue recently with those shops that had a boat closing, we lost a few boats. We seem to have turned a corner with a number of independent boat operators stepping up and filling the space left by the departed dive shops. It looks like we will be able to support and promote several boats from the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Tweed Heads. Once we have obtained details from them in regards trip dates, costs etc. we will add them to the calendar page.
Weather is even more of an issue with regards getting to the depths required for many technical dive courses here in SEQ. Many times the dives have been called due to bad weather/wind resulting in delays completing the course. Costs for dive boats to get to water 50m or deeper, usually for just a single dive (the weekends of Technical diving on MV Esperance Star are long gone) are considerable and when 6-8 dives may be required it adds up. To this end we have been running a number of trips to Cebu (Philippines) over the last decade with great success. Weather, costs and easy access to 100m+ depths mean that we can easily complete Decompression and Trimix courses within a week of arriving in Cebu. We shall be planning 1 to 2, week long Technical diving/training trips to Cebu in 2018. Theory and any shallow skill dives will be done here in SEQ with the deep dives being run in Cebu. Cave training will also be available as Cebu has caves suitable for Cave 11 (full cave) training. It is much cheaper to complete your Decompression, Trimix or Cave training in Cebu than here in Australia. Once we have dates we will update the courses and calendar pages, if you have any questions please contact us via email, facebook messenger or our facebook group.
As Southpark have said 'And they're gone' - The SEQ dive industry has lost even more dive shops (since we last updated this page in 2009) with possibly another one soon to follow. Compared to a couple of decades ago the industry has had considerable downsizing. While much of it was self inflicted the economic outlook has sent many divers looking hard for better deals on equipment, with many overseas based online dealers even beating some local wholesale prices. Many of you will know the surcharge we pay for software, DVD's etc. Suppliers think we can afford to pay more so they charge Australians significantly higher than they do in poorer countries. As most dive shops only profit from equipment sales this has caused considerable losses. Independent Instructors continue to do well with many certifying more divers than some shops.
COURSE changes & additions - In some cases the fees have needed to increase due to boat fees, agency certification materials and equipment prices rising. New courses have been added and some course requirements have changed. Dates for many courses have been planned from now up to June 2018 and will be added to the Calendar page shortly. Remember that many courses with no fixed start date can be run when you want to do them. We have the ability to run many things concurrently and should be able to slot any theory and diving you require into our existing schedule.
PADI training will no longer be offered in house. There are so few requests for PADI certifications in this area that we will be sub-contracting any future requests to one of the Independent Instructors that use our facility. Any PADI Independent Instructors interested please contact us for details. After reviewing certification agency costs, quality of training materials, training requirements and minimum standards we have chosen to stick with NAUI as our dive training agency. We feel that NAUI allows us to run the type of training we would want for our own family members.