Hard to believe it is 10 days later. I always wanted to write something on this website but was simply way too busy. We had /have lots and lots of divers. Everyday it is a fight against the wind. For the last three days we had picture book conditions Protea Banks. 25m-30m vis, 24C warm water and just the right current.
On the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we had tons of hammerheads. When i say this, i mean one thousand and possibly more !!! Besides the hammers there are about 15-20 sandsharks, always 2-3 bulls and a couple of black tips.
On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we have the very last 3-5 raggies, we have a few hammers and bulls as well.
And finally whenever we bait we have bull sharks, +- 3-5 a few black tips ( mostly not more than 2) and often hundreds of hammers in the background.
Lots of repeat guests are here this month. We have been out for dinner at least 4 times last week. Pfff...
We did a lot of rebreather diving last week with my friend Supp and another mutual friend. It was so much fun. For over a year we have looked forward to this. We got everything we expected and more.
The real big event this last week was Thembi.
Thumb came unexpectedly into our lives. As we are still mourning the loss of our most favourite Marley, Thembi was not on anybody's plans.
Two days ago, Supp and his friends heard a dog screaming in the bush near our Dive Centre. They found this starved and insect infested puppy, barely 5 weeks old. Worms, fleas, ticks and lice were crawling on its back. The poor little thing had probably hours or a few days left to live.
There was no doubt that Thembi will live with us. We really think, Marley must have sent her to us.... That's how we are !!
After 3 visits to the vet, x-rays, injections, 5 baths, antibiotics and what else, Thembi is now on her way to recovery. She still has a bad , persistence cough which worries us badly. Tomorrow it is back to our hero Dr. Bruggemann.
Because we need to introduce her slowly to our big dogs i have been sleeping with Thembi in the tv lounge while Beulah and the others are upstairs.
I can't say i got much sleep....Thembi is a sick little creature but she is full of fun and play whenever she feels a little better.
Hopefully we will bring her through this ordeal.
Still thinking and crying for Marley everyday...i miss my boy so so much.....
The roller coaster ride called Protea Banks Diving continues. Early this week we had good dives with around 15m visibility. Yesterday we were greeted by purple water = 35m vis. One could almost see the crayfish on the bottom of the ocean .
We set our bait station and knew it would be a success. in fact we told the divers that this one would be for the book of life. And so it was.
Estimated 3000 hammerheads. Just walls and walls coming past the bait. Black Tips and dusky but strangely no bull shark. Even so, the divers were elated while I had to watch the boat.
Then the wind came and blew us right out of the water. Second dive was cancelled due to strong NE'ly wind. This bugger carried on all night. when I took my dogs out late last night, the clouds flew past the moon at a rate of knots. I was worried if the old ball up there could hold it's place....
As we feared, this damn wind messed up the launch at Shelly Beach properly. Waves came in all sizes from all directions. The base was closed all day. Late morning the wind pumped from the other direction, SW"ly. Now, all we can do is hope that we get a chance tomorrow before the predicted gale force is coming through late afternoon. Up and down and down and up !!! And 16 divers are standing on dry land with tears in their eyes...
As I wrote about the wrongly published newspaper article about lost divers which turned our weekend upside down last week, the South Coast Herald has given us a nice bit of space in this week's publication. here they apologise profoundly for their mistake and we had the opportunity to tell the diving and non-diving public what we really do. We are also presenting our new, exciting ENOS Rescue System besides a host of other safety devices carried out to sea on every trip we do.
We spare no costs and no effort when it comes to safety equipment. After all, shark diving is meant to be fun and not life threatening. Going out on a shark dive even in a rough sea is in no way nearly as dangerous than driving a car to work everyday.
However, it is definitely much, much more of an adventure to go shark diving than to go working !!!
by the way, I am the pretty one in the picture
Diving on Protea Banks remains unchanged this week with top visibilities of 25-30m, lovely warm water with 24C, gentle current and sharks galore of all species.
Bull sharks give our divers unforgettable experiences on our Baited Dives while hammerheads can only be missed if a diver closes his eyes. Besides we have eagle rays, guitar rays and sting rays.
We might not have seen the sun lately but we sure see the bottom of the ocean from the boat. Hardly any wind allowed us to dive twice a day this last week, lauches are easy and sea conditions pretty flat .
We did get a bit of rain which we needed urgently in order to avoid water restrictions. Our drink water level had sunk below the sea water level which caused saltwater to be pumped into each and every household. Any tap we opened only spewed out seawater ( while the water meters kept on turning...)
So everybody had to buy bottled water which soon ran out in all the supermarkets.
Lucky, this bit of rain brought some relieve and we are back to normal for now.
Lost Divers on Protea Banks
Three years ago myself and a group of local divers were lost by our boat and drifted for a couple of hours in the sea. My comrades celebrate the happy ending every year by blasting it out on the social media. Unfortunately people don't understand that this is merely a celebration of a past event. Some over-eager, under-intelligent reporter picked half the story up and printed it as actual news in our local newspaper. Now half the world thinks we were lost last sunday which actually happened on that day 3 years ago.
Everybody is shocked to learn that such a mistake could happen un-checked by the editor. I guess we now have to change the name of the newspaper from South Coast Herald to South Coast Hearsay.....
Today was one of those days we get maybe ten times a year. Everything was perfect. Visibility 25m+, watertemp 24C, healthy current, no wind.
Supp and I took one of our boats and skipper Josh and went rebreathing on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks.
As we fall in, we are surrounded by zambezis. Then we saw the tiger shark which normally moves off pretty quickly. Today and without noisy bubbles he was in no hurry. Black tips, sandsharks and hundereds of hammerheads.
The kingfish at Kingfish Gully didn't move an inch. They stayed and let us come right among them. Never experienced this before. We did get closer than usual to the hammers but we will get even closer. I am sure of that.
Amazing day we all had.
Yes, my Marley died a week ago and i have been devastated. The tremendous loss i feel about having lost my friend and little brother is eating my soul.
On sunday i started my rebreather course with my friend Supp. This has definitely kept my mind occupied. With the rebreather one can have a completely different diving experience but there is certainly no plance for errors.
We had a few teething problems setting everything up. Now it is all done and African Dive Adventures can offer the full service for rebreather divers with their own machine. We have the sorb, we can fill oxygen and every day we are gaining more experience.
Even Brian, our compressor operator has learnt that he mustn't fill air in an oxygen cylinder....eish...
In the meantime Beulah and Spike were running two boats a day with mostly two launches. We are very busy this month.
Protea Banks has had a tough time with visibilities of less than 10m, going to 15m on a good day.
The sea last week was rough like hell due to relentless winds pounding the ocean from both sides. Still, the divers saw lots of sharks. Hammerhea schools in the south, raggies in the north and bull sharks on all baited dives.
This week conditions are much better. Although we don't see much sun, at least we don't have this all destroying wind. The sea looks like a lake.
Visibility has improved to a whopping 25m today. The guys saw a manta, schooling hammerheads, bulls, dusky, black tips and guitarsharks.
Again on our Baited Dive lots of zambezies right amongst the divers, hammers in the background.