Nikkitilley, Nikkitilley, Nikkitilley. This is Panama Jack. Over
Promoting us on stage
These people give it their all to protect sharks
High time to report back again. We are at the stand all day and overtime i want to sit down and write my reports, i get "disturbed". In the evenings we are done !!!
When we arrived in Dusseldorf on 17.1. it was cold. Cold. Cold. ou man !!!
Inside is warm, outside is freezing. It took 2-3 days and i was sick. No chance !
We first had tolerant how to dress properly. T-shirt, shirt, fleece, bear-jacket.
Then i had to buy proper shoes. Oh, dear. These feet of mine haven't been in closed shoes for months. Not like.
The only shoes which appealed to me were called Panama Jacks. Wow. Stunning boots. But the price !!!! I could have bought a second hand car in South Africa....
Needless to say, Panama Jacks are the Merc of all winter shoes. Cool. After i had two huge blisters on each heel, everything came right.
And so we spent the first 6 days enjoying beautiful Dusseldorf . Lovely town, very nice people, very small beer glasses and humungus prices.
A typical dinner for 2 including 2 beers and 2 glasses of wine sets us back Euro 50
Exchange rate 18 to 1 translates into ZAR 900.....oh dear !!!
Then, saturday the BOOT show opened. First day was a huge success. The hall was bursting full and business was excellent.
Every day i am on stage to promote the ENOS diver safety system. Afterwards i get 10 minutes to promote our region and the diving on Protea Banks. I made a video clip which ends in a number of shark photos. this clip is played everyday on the huge screen on the stage while i explain what we do. To see the pics on this giant screen is absolutely out of this world. It draws a crowd and makes me nervous but is also real fun. Afterwards we have a storm on our stand with lots of interested people.
i am glad, i don't have to sing and compete with the idols....at least i know what to say about diving at Protea Banks.
Time flies. The show opens at 10am and when i look at the time it is already lunchtime. There is little opportunity to walk around and see what other stands are offering. So many stands with so many interesting destinations and diving equipment. Heaven !!!
I found a new bcd jacket for myself. it is absolutely unreal. Can't live without it any longer. Only the price is scary. I guess, i could buy 3 pairs of Panama Jacks for the money....
Almost done with the show. Three days to go and the last three days are going to be heavy. Every day this week was really good. Much better than in the last couple of years. Again this year we have Nikki from South Coast Tourism on our stand. Her job is to promote the South Coast in general. Whenever people want to know what they can do after the diving, besides diving and how safe it is to visit the South Coast , Nikki is the person to give our potential visitors the proper information. It is truly invaluable to have her with us.
The last days before our departure were pretty hectic. There is just so much to do and so much to organise. The more one wants to clean up, the more problems one finds. Go the bed later, get up earlier, drive faster....anything to gain an extra minute.
And then the time comes when you just have to let go... When the door closes and the vehicle takes you away, the stress simply drops off.
We went to Durban with the minibus which took three hours. Got there far too early, but the stress was over and we got into travel mode. Lovely.
We arrived at Dubai at 2:30 our time. Went straight to the Heineken Lounge. Beer never tastes as nice as it does this time of day !!! After the first i got so tired that i had to plan every sip of the second Heineken so i got the glass safely onto the table before nodding off.
Then it was bed time. We have this habit to stay at the airport hotel in Dubai after every flight. It cost us € 173 ( special rate for us regulars ) and we really get two sleeps out of it. So by 8am we are done with the world and get our first good sleep in our hotel room. Get up by 14:00, shower, bathroom etc and do a bit of shopping in the duty free zone. Not too much because the duty free in Dubai is a lot more expensive than the cafe around the corner in Margate !!! But they got more stock..
Then we went to the business class lounge. Joh. As silver frequent flyer we can eat and drink as much as we like compliments of Emirates.
Beulah likes Moet & Chandon very much....The lounge is huge with about 6 different restaurants and food /drink stations. It is really comfortable there.
We have snacks, more champagne and dinner. All on Emirates. Thanks a lot.
Then it is sleep time again. Back to our lovely hotel room and a most comfortable sleep. In the mornng shower, bathroom and breakfast at the business class lounge.
Straight onto the plane from there, and here i sit rght now.
Everyone around me looks exhausted...
The flight in the A380 superplane is completely calm. No shaking at all....but we're not there yet....
I miss my dogs and my life at home already. Especially my little Thembi...
But i am lookingg forward to real Wurst and real Bread and of course to see all my favourite divers again at the show, my family afterwards, take a break, change of scenery. We'll see what happens.
I was told to stay off the water this weekend and start getting my stuff for Germany together. Stuff for Germany ! What is there to worry about ? I simply go to my cubboard and with ne sweep take all my wnter clothes i own straight from rail into suitcase. Done.
Lucky i don't listen to wife-advise. If men would always listen to wa's we would still be in the stone age !!! Instead, we are diving with hundereds of sharks in crystal clear and lovely warm water on Protea Banks. There you go !!!
Yesterday we had 30m vis and 25C watertemperature. We saw nothing less than a thousand hammerheads on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. Plus 12 Zams and 7 guitarsharks. Unbelievable.
It was this thing about bad weather and good diving....same today.
Obviously nothing and nobody would stop me from doing a Baited Dive today. Ald hell, it was a cracker again.
We had 8 Zams, 3 Black Tips and a Dusky on the bait. I was doing a lot of filming with my GoPro. Haven't looked at the footage yet, but i know it is spectacular. Ireally needed something for the show in Germany. Today was the day.
We are leaving on Friday. A bit too early but we want to chill a bit, have a look at Düsseldorf and see if we can sort out their political problems over there !!! J.
We will definitely promote our safe and terror free South Africa wholeheartedly.....
Excellent diving these days. Our visibility has definitely improved. Yesterday we had 25m, today 20m blue water. I had a magic dive today on my rebreather. It was dive no. 24 and probably the most pleasant experience. It is definitely not easy to switch from scuba to rebreather. Not as difficult as many say, but one needs to be awake and focused. This is not always easy when dealing with clients. So one ends up struggling with buoyancy, all kind of alerts on the system plus has to look after the dive group and need to find interesting stuff to show them. Quite stressful at times. But today I had no stress.
We were only three divers in the water and saw everything there is to see on Protea Banks.
We dived the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks :
1 x Tigershark
1 x Great Hammerhead
1 x Dusky Shark
7 x Bull Sharks
50+ Scalopped Hammerheads
It looks like we aqre in for a rainy weekend. Brendan knows how badly we need rain !!!
Seriously, we had the best and most sunny December I can remember. All good for our holiday guests. But now it is time to fill up our water reservoirs.
We are preparing for our trip to Germany in barely a weeks time. Maybe it could just rain like hell while we are away ?
For now I can say I really enjoyed the lovely hot weather. Not a day without jumping into the swimming pool @ 30 C
I guess we just gotto get it done. We will be back on 11.2.
In the meantime it is actually pretty quiet at African Dive Adventures. But Karen and our guys are here and will continue with the diving on Protea Banks.
The last two days of diving were absolutely magic. Visibility has improved to about 20m, water is lovely warm at 24C.
Hammerheads are everywhere and so are Zambezies. Kyle and Josh are talking of over 1000 animals a dive.
We dived only on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks because shark sightings are guaranteed there. Everyone's happy.
Only your's truly gets send home because there are too many staff members around and not enough space on the boat. So i go home and be the nanny for the little puppy dog Thembi. Don't mind really as the puppy sleeps all day and leaves me free around the pool.
I took some aerial photos of the Diver Villa today on the way home from the dive site.
Looks amazing !!
And tomorrow it is my turn to dive again. Need to fire up my rebreather this afternoon. Very excited !!!
We made it into the new year. Lets hope, it will be a great one.
We are not diving today. Chilling at home with the dogs.
From tomorrow we are diving again every day on our beloved Protea Banks.
As always, a lot will happen this year besides the plans we already have. But this makes life exciting...and we will be reporting as we go along.
Plans for 2016
The following plans are made up already :
1. BOOT expo in Germany from 23.1. to 31.1. As in the last 5 years we will have our
stand at this gigantic show. We are in Hall 3 Stand F 90.2
2. Mozambique Trip is cancelled so we will be diving Protea Banks in March
3. Rebreather Week 12.5. - 20.5.
Michael Supp from Supp-Diving.de is organising a rebreather week with me on
Protea Banks. We will have a dedicated boat and crew for rebreather divers only
It is our dream to lay in the caves on the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks and
become one with the many sandbagger sharks there.
We are offering a package which includes accommodation, 2 proper rebreather
dives a day, sorb, oxygen and bail out cylinders.
For more info and bookings please contact www.sup-diving.de
4. Sardine Run 25.6. - 25.7.
Like every year Beulah and her team will be relocating to the Ocean View Hotel in
Coffee Bay for a month in order to offer the unforgettable Sardine Run.
We are selling fully inclusive packages. Minimum duration is 5 nights.
Sardine Run is suitable for divers and non divers alike. 90% of the activity happens
on snorkel basis.
Private plans for 2016
To start a year without aims is not exciting. We need something to work towards in order to be motivated. At this stage it looks as follows :
1. After the BOOT expo we will spend 10 days with my parents. Usually we go to
some ski resort. But right now there is no snow anywhere...
2. Once we are back home again we WILL clean up the garage. And then the front
lounge. And then the upstairs room . And then my office, and then......
3. We need to do some renovations on our house. Last year it was the Diver Villa.
This year it is the turn of our house. Maybe a new bathroom ?
4. I am really looking forward to the rebreather week. This will be like a little holiday
5. The wolfpack from Austria and Switzerland ( Mozambique Trip 2015 ) are coming
for the Sardine Run. This group was so much fun that i promised to spend a week
with them on the Sardine Run. Beulah will only allow me in as a guest....
Couldn't be better !!!
6. September/October is our quiet time and we will spend 4-6 weeks in New Zealand.
I am still trying to convince Beulah that we need to stay longer rather than shorter.
7. Last but not least, we will have to buy a new car this year. My Hilux is 12, Beulah's
Beetle 13 years old. In fact we have 6 cars and 5 are in need of repairs. As we
speak, 3 of my cars are currently lying in peaces in some workshop while we are
struggling to get through the day with one noisy old van.....
What Else is going to happen this year ? Find out right here as time goes by....