The wind blew properly half the night. I didn't think we would be launching today but when i woke up at 6 this morning there were clear skies and calm seas. Not a breath of wind. Amazing. The wind blew from the SW while the sea rolled in from the NE and this equalised itself. A whole boat full of divers arrived at our base and off we go diving the old Protea again. First dive was a Baited Dive. Young Kyle did the dive while i drove the boat. They had 5 black tips, 3 duskys and 2 schools of hammerheads. And then came the humpback whales....How lucky can one be !!!
Needless to say that everybody was ecstatic.
Second dive again to the caves on the Northern Pinnacle. This is my all time favourite dive and i wouldn't miss it for anything. So it was my turn in the water.
Lovely 25m visibility greeted us and in the first cave i counted 24 raggies. On the way to the second cave probably a further 10. On our way back to the surface we encountered a group of duskys and black tips, probably 10 each and a small school of 12 scalloped hammerheads. What an absolute fantastic day we had
Now it is way past midnight. I can't sleep because the wind is pumping like hell, just as it was forecast for the entire weekend. Thunder and lightning, rain and gusts of over 45kn are raging outside. This is the end of this weeks diving, but it was more than worth it.
Finally we go diving again. It is a bit windy and the waves are pounding into the launch bay at Shelly Beach. It took me 20 minutes to get a break in the waves to drive the boat out to sea safely. This is real adrenalin stuff !!!
Out on Protea Banks we found 15m visibility, 22C watertemp,and our usual 1.5kn current. At the caves on the northern pinnacle we found 30+ raggies and on the way up encountered 4 hammerheads and. Black tip. Beautiful.
Our second dive was cancelled due to bad launching conditions and rough seas by then.
Quiet times on Protea Banks. This is the time of the year when we recharge the batteries. This weekend is supposed to be windy and cold. At night we light the open fire place and watch TV. Lovely !!!
In September we are in the South Pacific for most of the month. Beulah and i are going to dive and swim with humpback whales in crystal clear water. Promising !!
We also want to scout out if such a trip to Tonga could become an option we could offer to our guests in future.
When we come back at the end of September we are going to move to our new premises slowly. Got all of October to complete the job.
In the meantime we are doing some renovations at the lovely Diver Villa. A better roof for the outside area and more parking space at the back of the house. Work only ends when the money runs out......
After having had the convenience of our premises for close to ten years right at the harbour in Shelly Beach, the fishing club has asked us to vacate the storeroom for reasons way beyond our comprehension. This has naturally sparked a huge dispute which resulted in the commodore to lose his job.
Although we could continue this fight maintaining the upper hand, we have decided to move our complete equipment and start a new adventure. In October we will open a proper dive centre for the first time in the existence of our dive business. We have rented a very small but very nice shop right on the beach. In this shop we will obviously pump our cylinders, kit out our divers, serve coffee and sandwiches and offer diving equipment, spares and accessories. We will sell regulators, wetsuits, masks & fins, straps, hoses and mouthpieces, sunglasses, GoPro cameras and whatever else is interesting.
The plan is to make this an unusually smart and classy shop where everybody feels comfortable and welcome.
It is very quiet here which gives me much time to clean up, store, lubricate, tighten and straighten all sorts of things. When i need a break i try my luck as a movie director. I am surely still miles away from Hollywood, but you've got to start somewhere.
Here is a small clip of the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks, dived recently. As we had reverse current we started at the second cave, went past the swim through and ended the dive in the first cave. Truly amazing encounters with tons of Raggies...
Tomorrow we are diving again provided the wind is not too bad.
Yesterday we went out with the senior scientists from the Sharks Board, Jeremy Cliff and Matt Dicken. We went to the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks to retrieve a temperature logger which we set up about six months ago. This device was replaced by a new one and the idea behind it is to study global warming effects. At the same time they have set up a listening station in the same place plus another one on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. These listening stations will record every tagged shark which swims past them within a few hundred meters. The plans are to set up a further four such stations along our area. This project is ground breaking and hugely exciting as nobody knows where the sharks come from and where they are going to. Nobody knows if some are resident or temporary visitors to Protea Banks. It is obviously a long term study, definitely overdue.
More sharks will have to be tagged with expensive radio tags. For this job the help of the fishermen will be required. They will have to catch a shark and the scientists will then implant these tags into the shark's belly so it won't get lost for years.
Hopefully with this hands on involvement in research and out of respect for the tags a lot less sharks will be killed and wasted in our area.
Future generations of Protea Banks divers will definitely have so much more important information on the movement of our sharks.
7 Breaches in one Minute
Last week we went diving on Protea Banks. On the Northern Pinnacle we found countless Raggies, often way ver 100 animals. It was true paradise. As i just got a new GoPro i was naturally very keen to test it and take some video clips. i did manage to get some really nice footage which i will publish here shortly.
For now i want to show you a most amazing occurrence when we were on our way back to Shelly Beach. We were truly privileged to see this and have cameras rolling !!!