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. For 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 traveled 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 20 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 ... BUT 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 7 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.
Kyle Robertson – PADI Divemaster & Surf Launch Skipper
Born into a sailing family, I was privileged to be in and on the sea from an early age. On my 6th birthday I received an optimist(oppi), which is an entry level sailing boat. Since then I’ve followed the life of the sea.
Enrolment into sea rescue at the age of 16 taught me many things about the sea and general ocean work. After high school, already having my Open Waters, I applied to aqua planet to do my zero to hero course, planning on making a life in the scuba world. Upon completion I was offered a position as dive master. Since that day I have upgraded my qualifications as a skipper and had many life changing moments underwater as a divemaster.
In my years I have been a freelance skipper in the area, doing fishing trips. Although seen as a community against the scuba world, I have been able to enlighten what we would call "land lovers" into the world of the ocean, and break stereotypes of sharks.
Michelle Boshoff - PADI Divemaster
In 2013, I moved to the KwaZulu Natal South Coast. Like most young people ... I didn’t really know what to do or what I field I should start a career in. Kym was a star to offer me a job working at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER ... helping out here and there ... then I was hooked!!! The excitement when divers came back telling me insane stories of their dives on PROTEA BANKS and what they had seen. I had to be part of this!!! Within a year I worked my way to being a PADI Divemaster and have been loving the job ever since. I had an opportunity which I couldn’t pass up so I left for about a year. However, I missed the SHARKS and salty water so much that I just had to come back. Kym was so amazing to welcome me back and I am so grateful to be part of this kickass team. Come join us for a dive on PROTEA BANKS, it is not just the dives that are insane, AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER has a team that you will never forget!
Samantha Strecker - PADI Divemaster
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 and I am now a Divemaster on PROTEA BANKS.
Donovan Perrins – PADI Divemaster
My love and respect for the ocean, with all its wonders, started in 2013. I signed up for my PADI Open Water Course with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. Upon completing the course, I knew that I had found my dream job. While still employed at my previous job, I went on to complete my PADI Advanced Open Water Course and PADI Rescue Diver Course. I then started my PADI Divemaster Internship with AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER and couldn’t be happier with my new career choice../ and now I am finally a PADI Divemaster ... and loving it!
Arno van der Berg - PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
My love for diving and the ocean started when I did my Open Water Course back in 2016 on a trip to Thailand. It was at that moment that I knew I had to learn and explore more about scuba diving and the spectacular world under water.
Two years later I moved to Cape Town where I continued my education in diving and worked my way up to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor which I completed in May 2018. After about a year and a half diving and working in Cape Town I decided to take on the next adventure and moved from the colder water in Cape Town down to the warmer waters of the South Coast in August 2019.
Kym Pollard, owner of AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER was kind enough to give me a freelance position. Since then I have been diving and teaching on Protea Banks, showing clients and students the diversity of marine life Protea Banks has to offer from the smallest of organisms to the bigger sea creatures, SHARKS!
I am looking forward to doing many more dives and teaching many more students at AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER.
Dru de Bruyn – Divemaster in training ... long term
My mommy owns and runs AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. I have grown up in the dive centre ... and have a passion for SHARKS. I am busy with my PADI Junior Open Water Course and my first dive in the sea was on a BAITED SHARK DIVE ... it was so amazing and the SHARKS came in so so so close. I can’t wait to finish my course and continue diving.
Ty de Bruyn - Divemaster in training ... long, long term
My mommy is a PADI Staff Instructor and owns AQUA PLANET DIVE CENTRE AND CHARTER. She is my inspiration, so of course I want to do what she does ... breathe underwater. It was so awesome when at age 8, I snorkelled my first BAITED SHARK DIVE. I just wanted to be under the water and much closer to the SHARKS. I am not scared of SHARKS ... for as long as I remember I have heard all the divers talk about the different SHARKS on PROTEA BANKS ... I LOVE SHARKS!!!! I am busy with my PADI Junior Open Water Course.