The Durban Undersea Club has a rich diving heritage, with many of the clubs founders, and current members, contributing to under sea activities in South Africa in some way. Whether you are interested in exploring new reefs or wrecks, technical diving, fish identification, or just talking diving with likeminded underwater enthusiasts, the Durban Undersea Club has a wealth of members that are experts in their respective field of diving.
DUC offers dives daily off Durban and Aliwal using the local boat operators. Besides dive discounts and extras mentioned above, DUC offers members A FREE AIR FILL with every main meal purchased from the DUC kitchen on the Thursday club nights. The compressor room is open on Thursday nights from 6pm to 8pm to accommodate these fills which have to be taken on the night and cannot be "accumulated" for another time. So bring you cylinder down on Thursdays and enjoy a prawn or calamari meal and air fill. Another benefit on offer for members are NITROX FILLS from DUC's own Nitrox system. DUC members are also entitled to free airfills for Aliwal dives if the dives are booked through DUC .
DUC has full sets of dive gear that you area able to rent as well as an cylinder filling station that offers Nitrox and air.
General diving Conditions:
Diving off Durban is affected by prevailing winds and the run off from the Umgeni river, the Harbour mouth and the Umlass Cutting on the Bluff which can affect visibility in the rainy season (spring: Sept - Dec). With the damming of the Umgeni River at Inanda, reducing the run off considerably, the visibility directly off central Durban on the Number One Reef system has steadily improved over the years. However, the run off from the harbour entrance and Umlaas canal do still affect visibility in the immediate vicinity of their mouths and careful monitoring of prevailing weather conditions is required to make the best choice of dive site on the day.
The South Westerly wind is generally associated with cold fronts off Durban. However this wind is directly responsible for bringing in the clear waters of Warm Mozambique current. The low rainfall and prevailing South Westerly's make winter the best time to dive Durban (March though to July).
We are currently offering the PADI certification which is internationally recognized and allows you to dive to depth of 18 meters. Below are some frequently asked questions about the PADI Openwater
How long is the beginner course?
We run the courses on a part time basis which is sessions after working hours and on weekends, taking 3 to 4 weeks to complete the course. Part Time courses are run every month starting on the first Thursday of each month. We also run dive courses on a full time basis with daily sessions taking 4 days to complete the course . Full time courses are usually run during the school holiday periods and on request.
The next part time PADI Openwater Dive course will start on the first Thursday of next month at 6pm at the Durban Undersea Club. See "How to find us" for directions. All courses can be done in sections to suit your schedule. They can be done over successive weekends, or whatever schedule suits you or your group. A lot of the theory work can be done at home which will save you lots of classroom time. You can also do all the theory on-line in the comfort of your home or office with PADI e-Learning. Check out www.padi.com for more info on this time saving option.
Does the course run on weekdays, weekends etc as I work?
Yes, Theory sessions for the part time course are in the evenings (currently Thursday evenings) from about 6.00pm to 8pm. We will need about three evenings in total for the theory. Pool sessions will be on the weekends, either on a Saturday or Sunday (preferably mornings but maybe afternoons depending on commitments). We will need about two pool sessions to complete the skills but this will depend on the group size and the watermanship ability of the group. The best course for the working person or the person with an unpredictable schedule is the part time course with theory sessions and pool sessions in the evenings or weekends and sea dives on the weekends. This course usually takes two to four weeks to complete depending on the frequency of the lectures and pool sessions. Qualifying dives are usually done on the reefs around Durban and Aliwal Shoal, 60km south of Durban but we can also offer you the option of completing your qualifying dives in Sodwana Bay. We do have regular Sodwana trips planned.
As mentioned above, we can also run the course on a full time basis. Our "full-time" courses usually take four days to complete and run on request. All our courses are run at our premises - Durban Undersea Club at Vetches' Pier. Our full time courses start in the mornings at 9am. The first two days of the course you will be doing theory in the morning and the pool sessions in the afternoon. The third and fourth days will be the qualifying dives off Durban and Aliwal plus any outstanding theory requirements like the exam.
Are dive sessions in the sea included?
Yes, four qualifying or "Openwater " dives are required to complete the course and are included in the course fee. All four are done in the sea - conditions permitting.
What happens if I do not finish the course before I go on holiday or overseas?
With the PADI system you are able to be referred to another PADI centre worldwide to complete any outstanding requirements for certification should it be required. You have 12 months after commencement of your pool training to complete your course. It works through the "referral system" where the PADI instructor that does your pool sessions and theory refers you to another PADI instructor anywhere in the world (like Sodwana Bay or Mozambique) to complete your dives and course.
Participating in an Advanced Dive program is your next step after becoming comfortable with your basic skills, now is your time to conquer new tasks, see different creatures, journey into diverse environments and experience new adventures and most importantly, have FUN. The Adventures in Diving program (Advanced Openwater Course) gives you a chance to gain practical diving experience under supervision in relaxed and friendly environment. The ADVANCED COURSE starts when you attend the only lecture required on the course. This lecture is free and there is no obligation to continue with the course if you attend. What it will do is set you up so that you are ready to complete the course whenever it suits you without having to attend the lecture again. There is no exam on the course. The course could be done over a minimum of three days, diving twice a day on two days and doing the navigation dive and lecture on another. Otherwise the course can take as long as it takes for you to complete the dives at your convenience. If you have not dived for awhile, we can use the shore navigation dive session as a refresher before you go on a boat dive. WHERE: Vetch's Pier, Durban, Kwazulu Natal
CONTACT US NOW TO BOOK YOUR EXCEPTIONAL DIVING EXPERIENCE