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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!
Dive Centre's Advanced Course allows you to sample some of those action-packed underwater activities that you have always been interested in! You will have a great weekend away in the Bay of Islands, where you can get additional diving experience under the supervision of one of our professional Diving Instructors. Whether you have just completed your Open Water Course or have been diving for years, you'll enhance dive skills, meet new buddies and gain confidence as you explore various adventure dives.
No! The course has been designed to take place where you want it to - out diving! You will have one orientation session watching videos on the types of dives you'll do on the weekend, and running through logistics, but no big theory sessions or exams. The Adventures in Diving manual covers all the theory you need. Just a brief review with your instructor and the rest of the weekend is spent diving!
If it has been some time since your last dive we recommend a scuba review session before joining this course.
The Dive Centre Advanced Course costs $699 and includes the PADI Advanced Diver Manual with Data Carrier slate, PADI Certification, Instructor Fees, all charter boat fees for all dives, hire cylinders, air fills, as well as your accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights and includes meals as well! The program also includes any Scuba Equipment you need for the course. However, you will need to supply a torch and light stick for your night dive. (We have great discounts on torches instore).
Bring them along! For only $349 they can join you on a fantastic weekend in the Bay of Islands! This includes charter boat fees for dives Saturday & Sunday, as well as accommodation for Friday and Saturday nights and includes meals as well! ** Please note they must be "Advanced Open Water certified" or equivalent to join the trip as a certified diver.
If you have completed a Dive Medical within the last twelve months, all we need is a copy of the completed form. If it has been more than twelve months you need to complete a new Medical questionaire. Dive Centre Ltd_Medical_Form (137K)
Everyone doing a dive course needs to complete a medical questionaire and we recommend doing that before booking onto the course!
If the answer to any question is yes, then you have to get it signed off by a Doctor. (If if the answer to all questions is 'No", you don't need to go to the Doctor at all - You can just sign the completed form and hand it in to us at the start of your course). If you need to, you can go to your normal family Doctor, but if you have any issues like a history of Asthma, Heart Condition, Insulin dependent diabetes, major ear or sinus problems, you should go to a Doctor with "training in fitness for diving medical assessments". A list of these Doctors is on the Introduction page of "Get into Diving".
Just choose a date from the schedule and with a $150 deposit, you will receive your PADI "Advanced Open Water" Manual and you can start your next dive adventure right now! Phone us on (09) 444 7698 or email us now, and Come alive, learn to dive with Dive Centre!
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 19 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 23, Sun 24 February - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 26 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 30, Sun 31 March - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 30 April - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 4, Sun 5 May - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 18 - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 22, Sun 23 June - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 1 October - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 5, Sun 6 October - Bay of Islands
THEORY SESSION - (Evening 6.30pm - 8.30pm) Tues 19 November - WEEKEND DIVING - Sat 23, Sun 24 - Bay of Islands
Please phone us on (09) 444 7698, or email us now, for availablility and confirmation of course dates.