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97 Wairau Road
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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!
Margaret is the longest serving member of the New Zealand Dive Industry, having been involved in the dive industry since 1969. Later that same year she learnt to dive, when a 42 year old woman surprised all the "Ex-Navy" Instructors by booking onto a Dive course (the first women to do so with the company). Margaret was told she was learning to dive as her buddy that night! She has loved it ever since. Considered a "Second Mum" to staff and many customers!
Since his first snorkel at the Poor Knights at the age of five, Malcolm has loved the Ocean. He completed his NZUA Dive Course in 1982 (at age 11), was "volunteered" to fill dive cylinders during school holidays from age twelve, and worked part-time every school holiday from then on. He started working full time in November 1989, and when Guy retired, he took over the business. With Margaret's help, Malcolm has expanded the company into the brand new Megastore at 97 Wairau Road. His favourite dives are Darwin and Wolf Islands in the Galapagos, Vava'u with Humpback Whales, "Blue Corner" in Palau (Micronesia), and Sail Rock in the Hauraki Gulf.
Guy started snorkelling on the Mahia Peninsula at age five. He joined the RNZ Navy at age 16 and become a fulltime member of the dive team shortly after. Having distinguished himself in the Navy Dive Team, he left to complete a major commercial diving project and helped start "Diver Services" in the late 1960's on Aucklands North Shore. He then started Dive Centre Ltd in 1972 and quickly became something of a legend in the industry for his professional diver training, dedication to his customers, and passion for the sport. (As well as the infamous "Dive Centre Bus" trips to the Poor Knights that people still talk about 20 years later)! He retired in 2000 but is still diving and fishing almost every week!
Matt used to teach so many courses for us, it could have been said he had two part-time jobs! Well, now he's joined us fulltime! Matt first learnt to dive in October 1998 and spent a few years just enjoying diving. He progressed up to Rescue Diver in January 2004 and quickly went on to Divemaster in June 2004. After becoming an Instructor he has been "bitten by the bug" and is doing all kinds of courses, from Openwater to helping train new Instructors, Enriched Air, and now also specialises in Sidemount and Twin Tank Technical Courses as now even Solo Diver courses! He became a PADI Master Instructor in 2008. YOu won't find a more keen diver - on 99% of his days off he's diving for fun - owns his own boat and if it's wet he wants to dive it!
Jake has been diving since 2012 and fell in love with it straight away. He quickly went from beginner up to Dive Master and then on to Instructor. Just like Matt he had a "Normal Job" but found that his passion for diving meant he wanted to make it his career, teach people to dive and show them what a great sport diving is in New Zealand! Well, now he's joined us fulltime and will probably be here for life! After becoming an Instructor he is doing all kinds of courses, from Openwater to Rescue, as well as specialties. His favourite dive sites are the Bay of Islands and the Hen & Chickens and loves catching crays as much as taking photos!
Our beloved financial controller has worked with us over two different time periods now! She first started with us in 1987 and ran our office until 1997, then left to go to the IT industry, but luckily for us returned in 2002 and still makes sure the financial operations run smoothly for us!
Duane is our fulltime Service Technician and has been working for us since 2002. With a background in Marine engineering he is now considered an expert in equipment servicing and is contacted by other stores as well as importers to do work from all around the country. Whether it is a dive regulator, BCD, computer or even an LPG Cabinet heater that needs servicing, he is the man for the job!
Rex has worked for us for almost ten years testing cylinders over two different time periods! Through the late 80's and early 90's he worked fulltime for 8 years and now he's come back into the team to test cylinders... when he's not out fishing!
Rick was a bit of a legend around the Auckland dive scene, as he has helped on many courses, organised many, many trips and was always there with advice and a crayfish for those in need over the 14 years that he was with us.
Ricked died on Friday 9th April 2010.
He is sorely missed by us and all his dive buddies.