After more than a week on dry land we are set to continue diving Protea Banks again. Looks pretty busy this month. I am hoping the Raggies have finally arrived. Can't wait to get to the caves. They are over a month late so far. Looks like big mother nature is doing her own thing this year...all over the world...
We went down to Coffee Bay last week in order to prepare for our sardine run time there. Apparently there was quite a bit of activity on the day we arrived, we were told.
The Ocean Viwe Hotel looks lovely. They are busy renovating and changing a few things around. Like the restaurant is now right in front where the huge open deck used to be. It has a sea view to die for !!! The staff and management there as always so friendly. They truely have a way to make one feel welcome.
Bar Snacks : Fresh Oysters and a huge tray full of Crayfish...
Petition to save our sharks
The petition is still going strong. We collected around 900 signatures which is amazing for just one week. But we do need more. 5000 minimum. Please carry on spreding the word and signing the petition on Beulah's facebook.
Hopefully i will get a meeting organised this week with relevant stake holders in Tourism, Municipality, Fishing, Nature Conservation etc.
Yesterday we celebrated World Ocean Day with our friends from Aliwal Shoal. 14 boats and over 150 people congregated at the shark nets and made a stance against killing of our sharks. Very impressive moments..
Diving on Protea Banks has been amazing. We had visibility of 30m + very gentle current and warm 24C water temperature . Unfortunately we still don't have a proper Raggy season. Early in the week we found 4 sharks in the caves which were gone again the next day. Too strange, I cannot remember having few or no Raggies so late in the season. But then again, what is normal these days ...??
We have some longstanding friends of Protea Banks with us. Andi and Jochen have been here seven times , Philipp and Sandra three times. Protea Banks rewarded their loyalty with four species of sharks on the first diving day.
On the northern pinnacle we saw 3 Raggies and a Black Tip. Later on Playground 3 Black Tips, 2 Zambezis and 5 Hammerheads. Visibility 25m, watertemp 23C
No news in terms of sardine activity. Apparently there is a large school just north of East London . This would be perfect as we don't want too much happening just yet. It is not the time yet. Whales are coming through to our coastline in slightly increasing numbers. Everyday we see them now. Weather is stunning. Sea flat as a lake.
11.6. 2013 The Raggies have arrived !!!!!!!
Finally the good news is that the elusive Sandtiger Sharks which usually arrive last week April/first week May have now arrived. We counted 38 male sharks.
What a stunning sight when we got to the caves of the Northern Pinnacle on Protea Banks. The first cave was all but full of sharks. Magic.
Baited Dive before had a Tiger Shark, 2 Zams and 6 Black Tips.
Weather was perfect, sea calm, water temp 22, vis 25m
Three good news for today :
1. We dived with 122 sandtigers on the northern pinnacle today ( counted !! )
2. Our new boat ' Twilight ' has arrived at Shelly Beach
3. Sardines are reported active between East London and Coffee Bay
Protea Banks is on top of the world again. The Raggies are here in full force. We estimate well over 200 Sandtigers on one dive. All this in 25m - 30m visibility and perfect weather conditions. Amazing.
Beulah, JP, Gregg and Brian just left for Coffee Bay. They will get everything ready for our first group of Sardine Run divers to arrive by friday. The trip will take them about 12 hours towing the big boat.
Gregg went down last weekend and saw quite a bit of activity. Gannets diving, hundreds of dolphins and whales everywhere. We hold thumbs for a really good run.
Beulah and the boys returned yesterday from Coffee Bay. Our first Sardine Run Trip was a full on success. Every day the guys had spectacular ocean action. Nature threw everything she had at them and the guests are ecstatic.
Pictures will follow this afternoon. Louis and his microlight has proofed an essential asset in the search for the best action out there. Our new launch site at Mapusi proofed so much better than the dangerous launchsite we had last year. Here we can still get into the sea safely where everywhere else the boats need to cancel. Excellent. Ocean View Hotel is an absolute gem. It is the most comfortable hotel near and wide and the staff is simply unbelievable !!!
Saturday we are driving back down for the next group of Sardine Run Adventureres.
We are in Coffee Bay awaiting our group Schoener Tauchen mit Uwe Nehls to arrive anytime now. The guys come straight from Margate where they have dives with us for the last four days. As always, Protea Banks has behaved magnificently. Even a tiger shark made its way in front of the cameras. Raggies, Black Tips and Zams as well. Beulah and I got everything set us and ready for their arrival. The boat is already in place for launching tomorrow. The locals cut a path into the undulating landscape by using a grader all the way from the top of the high hills all the way down to the waters edge. The last bit being an all but vertical drop...scary, scary stuff, but this is the lovely Wild Coast. Never short of an adventure.
Today we saw lots of Gannets, some flying, some diving others sitting on the surface. Lots of dolphins and whales were everywhere visible.
The atmosphere here is truely electric. We can't wait to throw ourselves into the action.