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Published October 2nd 2014
Dancing with the Sharks
Courtesy of Jetty Dive
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Here's something to get your adrenal glands pumping, heart racing with accompanying palpitations, blood pressure soaring and excessive sweating – although you won't notice the sweating because you'll be underwater.
Jetty Dive Centre at 398 Harbour Drive, The Jetty Strip, Coffs Harbour can see to your every need and take you out diving where the sea life, including the sharks, will welcome you into their home. Coffs Harbour is the southern gateway to the Solitary Islands Marine Park, a unique mix of tropical and temperate fish life. The waters around the Solitary Islands are clean and warm all year.
Jetty Dive, Show Room and Hire Department
The Jetty Dive Centre has been in Coffs Harbour for more than 30 years and the current owners, Mike and Deb Davey, have been there for the last 18. They have grown the business into a major regional dive centre with a well-stocked retail and online store.
The retail showroom is brim full of leading brand equipment and accessories and the rental department is stocked with modern, well serviced dive and snorkel gear.
To provide the whole package, Jetty Dive is supported by an education centre for all types of diving qualifications. Your training could commence with the '1 Day Scuba Experience' for $249 per person which includes all necessary equipment, a half day of training in the pool to learn some skills with the other half day enjoying 2 scuba dives in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Or, if you want the full treatment, so you can dive anywhere in the world then take the PADI Open Water Diver course over 4 days (3 days if you have already completed the PADI e-Learning) for only $495 (or $395 if you have already completed the e-Learning). The education centre is a complete 5 Star IDC Dive Centre – the highest rating from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). This means you'll get the highest standards of dive education available. See here for more information on the courses available.
Certified technicians service all major brands of scuba equipment (and a few lesser known ones as well!) in the Centre's Factory Authorised Service Centre.
The Centre runs daily dive charters for snorkelers and SCUBA divers sailing out to the Marine Park in Jetty Dive's large and comfortable dive boats. The big boat comfort is provided by the 'Wild Fin', a 12 metre rigid hull inflatable boat. This boat is built for speed and comfort and is the most spacious and comfortable dive charter boat in Coffs Harbour.
The comfort of the trip and the dive is ensured through small group sizes and highly qualified staff who have the knowledge and experience to show everybody the best of the Solitary Islands.
On offer is a daily double dive trip featuring two fantastic dives at different locations at the Solitary Islands. Divers are put into small groups under the guidance of a qualified Divemaster at no extra expense. Certified divers can elect to dive without guides. The trip departs at 7.30am and returns at around 12.30pm. The dive trips rely on minimum numbers and have maximum limits as well so prior bookings are essential and can be made here.
This is where a death wish is required! Take the trip out to Manta Arch – South Solitary Island's Grey Nurse Shark home and hang on for a great adventure. This dive site features a deep archway over a narrow gutter where the local grey nurse sharks hang out. Apparently the overhang and depth of the gutters around the area attract these magnificent animals. Manta Arch is rated as an advanced dive site because of its 21 metre depth. However it is possible do a 12 metre dive so the less experienced can join in the fun.
The Residents of Manta Arch - Courtesy of Jetty Dive
Winter at Manta Arch is referred to as 'Grey Nurse Shark season' and up to 60 sharks can be found cruising around in an area as big as the Jetty Dive shop. Recently, however, it seems the grey nurse sharks are staying in the area all year round. During last summer over 40 different sharks were counted in one dive.
Manta Arch has become an iconic dive and where you are most likely to be joined by a few (or heaps!) of grey nurse sharks. This protected species is great to dive with because of its slow movements and curious nature. When diving among the sharks you need to approach them carefully so you don't scare them – right, don't scare them, what about them scaring me?
The only dance in this situation is the Quick Step! - Courtesy of Jetty Dive
For more information on this opportunity for a terrific adventure check out the web site.
If you want to test your nerve or just enjoy a fantastic dive in a beautiful marine park then contact Mike and Debbie on 02 6651 1611 or email them at email@example.com to make the arrangements.