The damn wind is tearing on our substance but we managed to get out pretty much every day. Yesterday on our Baited Shark Dive we had a tiger shark. This is just the best one can experience. Besides the big one we had 2 bull sharks, 20 duskys and 7 black tips. Despite low visibility and cold water the divers didn't want to get out too early.
The second dive rounded it off with 8 raggies and a school of hammerheads. What a day !!
Today looks rainy and cold but the wind blew from the right direction and we hope for excellent visibility.
After two weeks of working in the new shop ( and going no where in a hurry ) we finally got to dive again this weekend. The weather was pretty unattractiv, full cloud cover and spouts of strong rains here and there, but at least we had no wind for a change. The good old rule applied, bad weather good diving.
The launch on both days was again a " no room for mistakes " matter with waiting periods of up to 20 minutes before we could finally identify a safe launch passage through the XXL waves of Shelly Beach.
Once we ploughed our way slowly through an angry sea good , old Protea Banks rewarded us by throwing the priviledge of diving with sharks at us. Hundereds if not thousands of hammerheads. From the moment we entered the water until we finished the safety stop hammerheads were all around us. Luckily the visibility improved from yesterday 12m to a healthy 20m today due to a good 2 knot current. Watertemp was at 22C , not bad at all.
On our way back we had whales all over the place yesterday. We followed a family and watched the little one breach time and time again around its elders. Eventually they allowed us within 5-10m from them much to the excitement of our divers.
Where in Johannesburg do you get such an experience....!!!! J.
It was really good to be back in the water at Protea Banks. Next week we are scheduled to dive almost every day again.
In the meantime our new shop is shaping up slowly. What took us two weeks of dust, sweat and tears would have taken any reasonable practical guy less than three days. But what the hell, we had the time.
While my chaos team Kyle, Brian and Shorty worked tirelessly destroying a perfect building, i ran ten times a day between them and the hardware store.
I did learn on these trips that there is actually beauty in a tool. True. I came accross this amazing cordless drill from Makita and had to stop in my tracks when i saw it. My heart started beating faster by the sheer beauty of this tool. The price was of course shocking and i really don't need it...but...
I woke up at night thinking of this Makita drill... Bought the damn thing on friday.
When the salesman wished me good luck i thought, no way will this beautiful machine be used. Not gonna mess it up !!! My wife's diamond ring doesn't get used for glass cutting either.....
It looked like a "normal" day today where we don't have to tie down the house to prevent the wind from blowing it away or the rain from washing it into the sea. I had to go past the shop to see the workers who insisted to work even on a sunday. You never stop a willing worker, ever !!!
So i took the dogs with me for a run on the beach afterwards. What i saw there was incredible. Waves are not uncommen here but today we had 5-6m walls of water crashing into South Africa. It was spectacular. Just as well we don't have any diver these days. For most of the week it would have been impossible to launch a boat.
We used the time to work on our shop. It is ridiculously small but we want to make it a real treasure chest. We only have a retail area of about 15m2 and so have decided that we want to make it really special. It will look smart and we will sell smart goods to our smart guests.
In order to protect our valuables i had this cleve idea to install a garage door on the inside, just behind the glass entrance door. When we close the shop we pull the garage door down and the place is safe from burglaries. The problem is only that nobody builds a shop with provisions for a garage door in mind...
So out comes the great big angle grinder - otherwise known as dust pump - and nothing will ever be the same again....especially not your newly painted , brilliant white walls...
We are working feverishly on the new shop. Driving up and down from Margate to Durban from the hardware shop back to our shop. Eating dust and breathing paint fumes. Tearing hair out because some workmen want to charge us the earth and others never pitch...
But it is also hugely exciting to see this little shop inching forward. We have been shopping to our heart's content. Beulah just ordered 70 stunning sunglasses and 90 pairs of Havaianas ( slippers from Brasil ). The GoPro man is coming on friday. Dive equipment has already arrived but the big orders will have to be done very soon.
And tomorrow i will go and buy the HiFi.....
Today is father's birthday. He turns 84 but thinks he's only 64 !!! In winter he skies the black slopes and in summer he climbs mountains. Unbelievable ! He bakes the best Bretzels one can get anywhere. I must say, i taught him, but he perfected them for sure. Mother has just turned 80 while we were toasting her from the South Pacific. She is more on the quiet side, no more great adventures for her.
It is truely a priviledge for me to have them.
Here in Margate things are going quiet for a while. By 5am it gets light here and the dogs wake us up. So we sit in bed with a cup of coffee and watch the whales. In the last hour we saw no less than 10. Magic.
We on the other hand are facing a new and urgent challenge starting today. We have to vacate our storeroom in the harbour by the end of the month. We have found a lovely little shop right on the main road and right on the beach at Shelly Beach. It is small but sufficient for us to make a start into an unknown phenomenon called retail. We don't have a clue how to start and where to look, but today we will begin with cleaning and painting......
We were truly lucky this week and were able to dive every day. the weather wasn't always great and the visibility was average between 10m and 12m. but the dives on both sides of Protea Banks were amazing.
On the Southern side of Protea Banks we could guarantee to see hammerheads. Sometimes distant, some came close to the divers. Often hundreds of animals.
On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we were sure to dive with lots of raggies, some hammers, a zambezi or two , couple of black tips and quite a number of duskier. Four species of sharks were seen on every dive this week. The conditions were not always as perfect as we all wish for. We have to deal with rough seas which causes sea sickness, cool air temperatures which makes us shiver when we surface and often murky water with barely 10m-15m visibility. But this is the time of the year when we have to expect it and deal with it. But the rewards are unforgettable.
What can i say, Protea Banks is just an amazing dive site....
We can hardly believe it but we actually had two diving days in a row. We had to negotiate 3m super waves during the surf launch. This really gives everybody a huge amount of respect for the sea. Once we reached the backline we were through the worst. And good old Protea Banks made up and rewarded us for the long wait.
Our first dive was on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks where we were greeted by a bullshark on our descent. In the first cave i counted 30 raggies. Beautiful.
On the ascent we had another bull and a black tip showing it's curiosity.
Visibility was at an average 15m , typical for this time of the year. Watertemp 22C and current a slow knot.
Second dive we baited. We do our Baited Dives directly on Protea Banks but we dive to a maximum of 10-12m. We spent our dive time with 8 black tips, one hammerhead and one cheeky bull shark. The divers couldn't stop smiling on the way back to base.
A whale - humpback kept us busy for almost 15 minutes when he kept on thrashing it's tail barely 10m from our boat. This time of the year they are on their way back to the antarctic but they don't rush there.
We are back home and all our lovely memories from an amazing trip seem to be gone with the wind in Shelly Beach. It blows like hell, the waves have an impressive 4m height which makes it impossible to get through them with a boat. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
We are still suffering from jet lag. By 17:00 we can't keep our eyes open and 2:00 am we sit upright in bed.
Maybe we should consider travelling less, working more and saving like good people...???