What a day we had diving on Protea Banks !! This time of the year we mostly choose the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks where we see lots and lots of hammerhead sharks. In order to maximise the dive we level off between 25 and 30m so we have more time at the level where most sharks move.
Today we could see from the road to Shelly Beach that there is a strong colour line from green to blue in the ocean. As we get to Sonny Evans Small craft Harbour we hear from friends that we have Mozambique Conditions today. Warm and deep blue water. We kit up and launch our lovely boat Avatar in hardly any surf under a clear blue sky. We knew very well that we would be in for one of those top ten dive days of the year.
Barely one kilometer off shore the sea turned blue, as in paradise blue !!
We kit up and drop on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. As we hit the water we can see the bottom of the ocean. 40m visibility at least.
As we reach our diving depth we see the first schools of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks . Hundreds of the animals in one single school. Then there are more schools and more. They don't stop coming. Suddenly i see the largest Hammerhead i have ever seen. 5m ? A monster Great Hammerhead. Absolutely amazing !!
In the end we all agreed to an estimated number of 3000 sharks ...!!!
You gotto experience Protea Banks !!
Merry Christmas everybody
Wewish everyone a Merry Christmas. Enjoy this wonderful annual event , feel good and help others feel good.
Diving on Protea Banks is amazing this time of the year. Our visibility is seldom below 20m, watertemp around 24 C now. At this stage the following shark species are encountered :
Bull Sharks, Tiger, Great Hammerhead, Scallopped Hammerhead, Black Tips, Dusky, Guitarshark.
The weather has calmed down a lot and not one day was lost since the season started. Shelly Beach is abuzz with holiday visitors, some going fishing, others boating, diving, cage diving etc.
Our diving on Protea Banks is unbelievable. All these days we had amazing dives with hundreds and even thousands of hammerheads. Excellent vis and whipping currents of 3kn and more. Great fun. Today was the highlight. One tiger, three zambezis, three black tips, twelve guitarsharks and wall to wall hammerheads from beginning to end. We estimate about 2000-3000 just to give an idea what it is like.
We are busy this time of the year with all kinds of things. Our swimming pool business is very demanding, all our accommodation is full, our roads are blocked with holiday traffic, the shops are full and so are the beaches. Thankfully after the last weather disaster things have come right and our visitors are enjoying great summer conditions.
We love this time although it is not the same as i know it from home. Although i will never get used to having hot christmas holidays, i readily take to the relaxed atmosphere, the smoking barbecue fires in every single garden and the voices of people talking outside on their verandas. We do a couple of dives and then chill....
We had to go to Pretoria to get Beulah's visa for Germany in January. The sooner we got this done, the sooner we did no longer have to worry about it. We saw that the weather was going to be really bad for a couple of days and quickly made the trip. Our business in the embassy was quick and painless and by 10am we were ready to drive back home. We heard that Nelson Mandela's body was lying in state at the Union Buildings and the public would be allowed to pay one's last respects. We really did not want to miss this huge opportunity and decided to be part of this big event.
We went to one of the meeting points and joined a queue of several hundred people.
Within an hour there were thousands more behind us. A true representation of this South African Rainbow Nation, Africans, Whites, Indians, Coloureds, Moslems, Christians, Locals, Foreigners....everybody was there. Before long everybody communicated with everybody. The people in front, the people behind, everybody talked to everybody. Groups of people were chanting, others toi-toiing, yet another group started to sing. The mood was absolutely electric, powerful.
After five hours of waiting we finally made it to the bus which took us to the Union Buildings. There we left the bus and were separated in two rows of people. We walked up the stairs and to the big marquise where Mandela's coffin was lying in state. We slowly walked past his glass coffin on either side. There was a bit of time to stop and look at the great man who made the impossible happen.
It was a huge honour to have been there .... Nelson Mandela, we salute you and never forget you.
We couldn't dive the last two days due to extreme weather conditions. Heavy winds and torrential rains wreaked havoc on our coast. Beulah and i are in Pretoria for two days and we have been told that half of our garden including walls are now under our neighbour's management..... Our lovely new shade port on the beach has also collapsed. So once we are back home we have to assess the situation and sort everything out again. Other than that we had stunning dives lately. Excellent purple blue water with visibilities of 25-35m. Hammerheads everywhere. The absolute highlight was a huge Blue Marlin which came to take a close look at our bait station . Divers were ecstatic and everyone got a good, long look at the magnificent animal.
Yep, the diving is good. Maybe good is not the right word...outrageous is better.
Weather was lovely today, sunshine and pleasantly warm. Our on Protea Banks the swells were huge. 3-4m is quite impressive. The divers went straight to Hammerhead Paradise. On the first dive we saw about 500-700 Hammerheads, 3 Black Tips, 3 Sandsharks and 2 Eaglerays. This was good !!! Vis around 15m, not bad. But the second dive was the ultimate. Once again Protea Banks made history in many a diver's life. "Best dive ever..." etc , we hear this many times. The guys estimate 1500 to 2000 or even more hammerheads. Wall to Wall non stop for 40 minutes. Visibility improved from a happy 15m to a glorious 25m within less than 2 hours. Amazing.
Each photo shows over 50 Hammerheads. This is a frozen moment in a dive which lasted 40 minutes and carried on like this....
Still excites me like hell after 17 years !!!
Bad weather means good diving on Protea Banks. Yesterday we were rained down like hell but in the water paradise opened its doors. We encountered 9large schools of hammerheads totalling way over 1000 animals.
Second dive was a Baited Shark Dive. We came face to face with 1 x Zambezi, 5 x Black Tips, 3 x Duskys and another large school of Hammerheads passed by.