Photo thanks to Phillip Willis.
Kym Pollard - PADI Staff Instructor, Surf Launch Skipper & Owner
‘Two thirds of the earth is covered with water and anyone who does not dive has been short changed by life and has seen only part of what our planet has to offer.’ – taken from Len Jones’s Guide to Spearfishing.
Being a coastal girl I have been fortunate enough to have had the ocean as my playground. My dad was an avid diver, fisherman and surfer. As long as I can remember, I was spending my weekends and school holidays on the beach or on my dad’s fishing boat ‘Polly’. After school I started studying but could not see myself in an office job ...
The travel bug bit, I travelled extensively and worked in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. In Egypt I did my Open Water Course in the Red Sea - it was love at first dive and I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life. Funny enough, I also saw a small reef shark, which started my interest and passion for SHARKS. On my return to South Africa I continued with my diving. In 2000 I did my Instructors and got involved with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER.
PROTEA BANKS is my ‘home’. I have been diving on PROTEA BANKS for more than 17 years and still get excited each and every time I get to dive it. It is a ‘wild’ dive site in the fact that each and every day is totally different and I have had MIND BLOWING experiences, diving with a wide variety of shark species, including: TIGER SHARKS, BULL (ZAMBEZI) SHARKS, RAGGED-TOOTH SHARKS, OCEANIC BLACKTIP SHARKS and the odd Great White ... to name just a few. With the incredible shark diving on PROTEA BANKS it is very hard to pick a favourite dive ... if I had to, it is diving with hundreds to thousands of shoaling HAMMERHEAD SHARKS on PROTEA BANKS … I cannot even try and explain the feeling …
AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER is a ‘small family business’ where our motto is: ‘Arrive as a diver, leave as a friend’. AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER is not a business to me, it is my passion!
Jaco Esterhuyse - PADI Divemaster & Surf Launch Skipper
In January 2010, I completed my PADI Open Water Course and immediately fell in love with diving and the ocean. I decided to make a career out of it and in June that same year I applied for a job at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER, which I got. Over the past 4 years I have worked my way up in the dive centre, getting to know all the aspects and running’s of AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. During this period I also obtained my PADI Divemaster and Skippers license. I am currently the main Skipper at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. I still love diving and being Skipper for AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER and I look forward to each and every day out at sea on PROTEA BANKS.
Michelle Boshoff - PADI Divemaster
I started scuba diving when I was 14 and immediately fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I did not have many opportunities to dive. After finishing school I decided I wanted a career in the dive industry and needed some experience. I got the opportunity to work at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER, while completing my PADI Divemaster Internship with Kym. The ‘crew’ made me feel welcome right away with their sense of humour, kindness and hospitality. I have been given the opportunity to build a career out of something I love to do and I will always be thankful. I am currently a Divemaster for PROTEA BANKS.
'Miggie' van Staden – PADI Divemaster
I started scuba diving with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER when I was only 12 years old. I have always been in love with the ocean and am passionate about diving. I completed my PADI Divemaster Internship with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER, in 2015, and have the opportunity to be part of this awesome team. Sea you soon on PROTEA BANKS.
Carrie-Lee Phillips - PADI Instructor
I came late into the world of scuba diving at the tender age of 16 ... fell in love with the idea of breathing underwater ... and have never looked back. I give thanks to my AMAZING family (without whom I would not have been able to come as far as I have). I have been fortunate to see all that I’ve seen and have managed to go from my PADI Open Water Course to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in just three short years. I have loved every single minute of what I do and I can’t wait to see where the rest of my lifestyle choice takes me. I am currently a full Time PADI Instructor at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER and am looking forward to many new adventures on PROTEA BANKS.
Kayla Holton - PADI Divemaster
The first dive I did I was hooked!!!!! I quit my plans to study and just wanted to blow bubbles. I had never experienced such a tranquil and majestic environment. I completed my PADI Divemaster qualification mid 2016, where it became a daily hobby, until The Aqua Planet crew took me under their wing. I am extremely grateful for the experiences and knowledge I have been privileged with, whilst working with the crew and am ecstatic about sharing the beauty of the reefs on PROTEA BANKS.
Samantha Strecker - PADI DMT (Divemaster In Training)- Internship
As soon as I did my PADI Discover Scuba Diver (DSD), in Mozambique, I WAS HOOKED!!!! I just loved the feeling of being able to breath underwater and enjoy seeing all the beautiful living things under the water. I gave up my whole life in Johannesburg and moved to the coast so that I could start doing my PADI Divemaster Internship, with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. I am so very happy that I have made this choice because the people are so friendly and also very welcoming. I am very grateful for this opportunity.