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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…
We 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 are proud to announce that we received the PADI "Outstanding Contribution to Diver Training" award for New Zealand for 2018! Presented this week by PADI Asia Pacific's Territory Director Thomas Knedlik, it is gratifying that our teams hard work is being recognised once again by PADI and appreciated by you our customers!
We know how lucky we are to introduce people to the underwater world, we love what we do, and to be recognised as the industry leaders once again is a testament to how the team do their job and share their passion for diving; so thanks to them, and of course thanks to you for choosing us to get you into this amazing world!
We were very proud in 2016 to 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 into the adventure of a lifetime and begin one of Dive Centre's Open Water programs today! Our specially designed program will allow you to learn at your own pace in the comfort of our state of the art facilities. You could even get your course paid for by someone else! Click Open Water for more details!
If you have never tried Scuba, and aren't sure it's for you, try it out with our Discover Scuba Program for only $50, or if you are ready to jump right in and become a certified diver, allow us to introduce you to the underwater world with our huge range of class schedules in New Zealands favourite Open Water Dive Course. If you're going to the tropics, you can complete all the Pool & Theory Sessions here with us, and finish your course overseas with our Referral Open Water Program. Or, if you are looking at getting back into diving after a long time, you can recapture confidence by jumping on one of our Refresher Pool Sessions. You and your family will also enjoy our Snorkelling Program, designed to enhance your underwater experience by teaching you snorkelling techniques and skills.
If you're already a diver, you can continue the adventure with the Dive Centre "Advanced Course" up to the most recommended course you can do, the Rescue & EFR Course and beyond to Divemaster & Instructor Courses (PADI IDC Auckland).
Since 1972 we have been introducing people to the underwater world, we introduce more people to diving than any other company in New Zealand, we supply all the Scuba Gear when you learn to dive, and we are a PADI Instructor Development Centre; which means we run Dive Courses from beginners, right up to training Instructors for jobs all around the world!
There can be only one best, longest running, and most professional dive store in New Zealand - we just happen to be all three.
Everyone doing a dive course needs to complete a medical questionaire, and if the answer is no to all questions on page 1, you can just sign it and it’s done. (Unless the diver is less than 18 years old in which case a parent/guardian must sign as well).
If the answer is yes to any of the page 1 questions it guides you which sections to fill out on page 2 and you must get their normal Doctor (GP) to sign it off on page 3.
If you have to, you can go to your normal family Doctor, but if you have any major 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". (See the list below).
The medical is scuba diving specific and must be completed not more than 12 months before starting your course.
The form that is used is available from our main store, or you can download it here in pdf format. Dive Centre Ltd New Diver Medical Questionnaire
It is recommended that you complete the medical questionaire before booking onto the course. (Just in case!)
If you have to go to the Doctor, the cost should be the standard consultation fee only (around $60) so check when you make the booking as some Doctors charge up to $120.
If for any reason you fail the Medical, you will be refunded any course fees paid to us, as long as your PADI crew pack is undamaged, complete and you haven't written in the manual.
Naval Hospital Devonport - 445 5922
Courtenay T C Kenny North Shore Hospital P O Box 32038 Devonport 09 445 4411
Richard Selkon Westgate Medical Centre Fernhill Drive Massey 09 833 3134
Andrew Tyson 8 Calliope Rd Devonport 09 4450049
Mark Watts 63 Shaw Road Oratia 09 8139221
Andrew Woollons Westgate Medical Centre Fernhill Drive Massey 09 833 3134
Prakash Appanna Royal Oak Medical Centre 691 Manukau Road Royal Oak 09 625 9221
Kate Baddock Kawau Bay Health Alnwick Street Warkworth 09 425 1199
Henere R Broughton New Lynn Family Health Cente 3075 Great North Road New Lynn 09 8272200
John C Caldwell Ratanui Medical Centre 77 Lincoln Road Henderson 09 837 0740
Pierre Chemaly c/o Quaymed Accident and Medical 68 Beach Road Parnell 09 919 2555
Lyn Graham 2/63 Ngapuhi Rd Remuera 09 522 2397
Bruce S Greenfield Crawford House Medical Centre 4 Picton Street Howick 09 5380083
Jim Kriechbaum Mt Wellington Family Health Centre P O Box 62 047 Mount Wellington 09 570 2999
Alistair Leggat West Vew Medical Centre 5 Glendale Rd Glen Eden 09 818 7111
Jon Nelson P O Box 28-842 Remuera 09 524 6504
Sheryl Howarth Browns Bay Family Doctor 65 Clyde Rd, Browns Bay 09 479 4834
Charles P Sanders The Doctors 19 Delta Avenue New Lynn 09 827 7810 / 09 489 7142
Dive Centre Ltd runs courses from Open Water through to Instructor and beyond! You take your first step into the underwater world by completing the PADI Open Water Course. This enables you to go diving, hire gear and get out on charter boats anywhere in the world!
Once qualified to this level, the world of specialty courses is available to you - offering you the chance to learn a lot more about diving with enriched air (or safe air), wreck diving, deep diving, night diving, digital underwater photography - to name only a few!
As you will see, your next step is the Advanced Open Water Weekend; this gives you a great weekend away, and is designed to continue straight on from your openwater course where you learn five new types of diving! (Wreck dive, Navigation Dive, Night Dive, Deep Dive, and U/W Naturalist Dive).
Our Rescue & E.F.R. programs are designed to give you confidence to look after other divers, both in and out of the water, and in a wide variety of situations.
If you're interested in starting a career in diving, either full or part time, completing the Divemaster course is your first step in the list of professional courses. Working closely with an Instructor, you will expand your diving theory and knowledge, and bring your diving skills to the same level as those that instruct.
Your next step toward a dive career is the highly rewarding PADI Open Water Instructor Course. The Dive Centre IDC makes learning easy through instructional system design and cutting edge teaching media. The IDC, with its modern educational principals and manageable, positive learning structure, is more effective and efficient. The IDC is split up into two sections, the Assistant Instructor (AI) course and the Open Water Scuba Instructor program. This lets you split the program into two sections if you wish, however most will complete both sections at the same time. Becoming a PADI Instructor is the most rewarding and fun way to become part of the dive industry. Whether it is in New Zealand or around the world, this qualification enables you to introduce people from all over the world to the sport that you love so much.
The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), is the largest scuba training organisation in the world, certifying the vast majority of all divers worldwide (about 1 million per year)! PADI develops scuba programs and diver training products that are second to none, and monitors scuba training conducted by more than 130,000 PADI members worldwide and 5500 Retailer and Resort members. PADI also maintains various support services for dive professionals in more than 183 countries and territories.