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It was also an amazing year for diving and our return trip to the Galapagos Islands was even better than our previous trip in 2014!
Let me paint a picture – we’re sitting on the liveaboard boat at Darwin Island – over 165 nautical miles north of Galapagos’ main islands, we've crossed the equator overnight and just arrived that morning…
e look out towards Darwin Arch less than 1km away, just down the coast we can see a mother Humpback Whale teaching its baby to slap its tail on the surface, around the boat we count 6 turtles relaxing on the surface, 7 Silky sharks are swimming under the boat, then suddenly a school of Mobula Rays are jumping into the air as they swim past, and the biggest school of dolphin any of us has even seen is in the distance leaping and playing as only they can… this isn’t over the morning – this is all at the same time! To say we were excited to get in the water was the biggest understatement you can imagine… we were all buzzing to get under Darwin Arch!
Heading out towards the arch on one of the two inflatables – our boat driver suddenly yells out “Whale Shark right below us... get ready to go” heart racing gear in place camera in hand, “3, 2, 1, go as the inflatable slows down ahead of the whale shark – we backward roll in – I'm lucky – I'm at the front of the RIB and manage to swim ahead and slowly let her catch up to me and we’re only 3m below the surface! I angle to be above her and swim to get into the pressure wave above her head… always mindful of never touching – and manoeuvring so I'm in the sweet spot. I don’t have to fin as hard – I'm being pulled along with her – it feels amazing, I quickly look back and a couple of divers are still swimming trying to keep up – the others have peeled off towards the arch.
She angles down and takes me on a 9-minute swim to 30m – several Giant Trevally come and join me above her head… they don’t stay long as almost unbelievably she swims through a school of hammerhead sharks!Truly one of the most epic moments I've had underwater in my 36 years of diving! She turns – I'm trying to remember to take pictures but I don’t want to waste this experience looking through the lens… she starts to ascend – too quickly for me to safely stay with her… so I peel off to the side – making sure the Go Pro on top of my camera captures her disappearing up into the blue shallows around the arch… she’s gone – I turn to high five the others (if they're still there) and a second whale shark is 4m away swimming straight towards me! I move up above and out of the way and let her pass underneath me and I swim on her back for the next couple of minutes and realise just how lucky I've been on my first dive at Darwin Arch – and that was just the first 15 minutes!
Over the seven days we’re on board Galapagos Aggressor we swim with hundreds of Hammerheads, Turtles, and many more Whale Sharks – not to mention the Seals, Sealions, Marine Iguana, Sunfish, huge schools of Barracuda – this really is scuba diving heaven… We climb an extinct volcano and get incredible pictures of the wild landscape, we visit the giant tortoises and tour around finding penguins. We eat great food, drinks, and have some late nights playing our new favourite dice game “Zilch” (thanks Willie). This made for another epic trip at what we believe is the greatest big fish dive in the world – Darwin Arch - Galapagos… And yes, we've booked the Galapagos Aggressor for August 2021! Contact Malcolm on 09 444 7698 to book your spot(s)!
We were very proud to recently receive the shop award from PADI Asia Pacific in recognition of "Outstanding Contribution to the Diving Industry".
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Malcolm Kidd - MD Dive Centre Ltd.
At the same time Jen also presented Matt Shortall, Dive Centre's long serving Instructor with the "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training Award" due to his consistent excellent work and issuing almost 200 certifications last year!
Jen Clent PADI Regional Manager for New Zealand presents the award to Matthew Shortall - Dive Centre Ltd Master Instructor.
We also became New Zealand's first PADI Tec Rec Training Centre! Offering a wide range of Technical, Deep, Mixed Gas and Solo Dive courses - Phone Matt Shortall for more info on 09 444 7698 now!
Go deeper and longer than you ever have before!
In the late 1960's, work on the Kapuni gas line began. Swamp and river crossings were being tackled and underwater explosives and construction work was started - all generating an interest in diving by the public, many of whom were asking where they could buy the equipment.
Guy Kidd and several others asked for permission to leave the Navy if they won this contract. It was being said that the expertise to complete the Kapuni gas line was not available in NZ. Guy and his team proved them wrong! Guy, an ex-operational dive team member of the Royal NZ Navy, and his wife Margaret, founded Dive Centre Ltd in 1972, to offer dive equipment to the public.
From basic beginnings, Dive Centre Ltd evolved to provide for the needs of its customers... Starting with dive courses for those who wanted to learn, hire gear for those who couldn't afford to buy, servicing equipment and cylinder testing to help ensure safety, and organised trips for those who didn't know where to dive!
A large part of the company was the Commercial Dive Department. underwater telephone cables, mooring work, boat salvage, underwater explosives, even building the underwater sections of the Upper Harbour Bridge!
Guy Kidd was the professional that you went to if you had a job others couldn't or wouldn't complete. He performed the deepest boat salvage in NZ history by raising the Powercat "Supertramp" off the Whangarei coast from a depth of 70m! Years later, it was Guy and members of the RNZN operational dive team that found a "Scuttled" boat in 62m in the middle of the Firth of Thames for an Insurance Company, and proved that it was sunk by the owner for the insurance money! He thought it was deep enough that no-one would be able to get to it. He was wrong, and went to jail!
Guy was even lowered by crane, tied upside down by the feet, into a pipe barely wider than him and his equipment so he was unable to move his arms, and was lowered to a depth of 55m in pitch black water and mud to retrieve a very expensive piece of equipment that was accidently dropped off the pile driver down the pipe, on the half completed Ferguson Container Wharf!
With this kind of tenacity as well as the vast number of divers Guy was training (not to mention the legendary dive trips to the Poor Knights every weekend on the famous Dive Centre Bus complete with toilet, fully operational bar and airline reclining seats!) he became something of a legend in the NZ dive industry, and with Margaret's help became NZ's most successful dive store and most trusted dive professionals.
Today, Dive Centre Ltd is New Zealand's longest running dive shop, with a proud history and a reputation that is second to none.
Margaret and their son Malcolm continue to run the business to this day.
The team they have assembled remains dedicated to the sport of Scuba Diving, offering the biggest range of services, the best advice on anything related to diving, and the largest selection of dive equipment.
Our Team receive industry awards, as we strive to give the best service and advice possible.
Now in a move that confirms our position as NZ's leading dive company, we have opened our dive Mega Store - designed to showcase the ultimate range of Scuba Equipment in NZ.
It doesn't matter if you have been diving for decades, or you want to find out what it's like to breath underwater for the first time, we will give you the best advice because we want you to fall in love with this amazing sport like we have!
Give us the chance to introduce you to the underwater world, as we've done for thousands of divers since 1972.
Choose Dive Centre Ltd, New Zealand's most trusted Dive Professionals!
"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
"I dive because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things".