We are busy and thankfully the weather is playing along. It is hot and humid. There is no better place than under water at Protea Banks.
Today we did a Baited Shark Dive and had 5 bull sharks and 3 black tip sharks. Vis was down to 15m.
Although we have lots of divers, nobody seems to be overly keen to do a second dive. This has been happening since the beginning of this month. Too weird. But in the end we don't mind having a bit more time to ourselves as well. We still have to work like slaves to get all the boats out in the morning. An afternoon off is brilliant.
Unless shit happens...
On friday i was so, so looking forward to grilling a bit of meat and sitting in my garden. At 16h00 i went to the shops to buy good meat and drinks. On the way out i bumped into one of our divers from the Diver Villa. I was so happy to see him until he gave me the horrible news...
Apparently one of the rooms had a blocked toilet. Oh shit !!!
I got home at 21h00, rather smelly.
At this stage i refuse to describe what exactly happened between 16h00 and 21h00.
All i can say, it was really uncool.....
I realised one thing : " He who has most toys wins " is not true !!!!!
It must read : " He who has most toys has no life " .....
The diving on Protea Banks is crazy. Every day we fight against the weather but hell, it is worth it. As we are battling with drought we truly welcome a couple of rainy days. And rain it did !!!
So the rule - bad weather , good diving - applies.
Visibility 25-35m , warm , lovely water of 26C and sharks, oh man, sharks !!!!
Inexplicably we seem to have a new clientele here on Protea Banks. They are all excellent divers but nobody wants to do more than one dive a day. This has been going since the beginning of the month. Although we have around 20 divers here, we don't seem to find enough people for a second dive. Despite the conditions and the rewards....
What can i say ! We all enjoy what we have on land and in the sea. We are truly privileged.
This little SHIT knows exactly what's going on...
Every day we push that heavy ball of destiny up the hill. The aim is to get it on top eventually and secure it and be able to chill forever..... ja, right !!!
This damn ball can roll back and once it rolls back it is hard to stop.
Right now, this is the case in our life. All the way down the hill.
When we came back from Germany Beulah's car was completely overhauled and should have been perfect. Instead, she couldn't get the gears in and the clutch was slipping. We went to a new workshop to fix this as we lost faith in our old mechanics. We did teach the mechanic's son to dive for free because we really wanted to share our privilege with people who would not get there... Two weeks later, Beulah's car packed up completely although the engine was supposed to be overhauled...come and dive one more time, my boy !!!!
Our blue Landcruiser has had break problems for a long time. We did ignore it . After all, who needs breaks ??!!!! But eventually we barely managed to get the car home. It was noisy in the wrong places and wobbly everywhere. oh dear...
In the meantime one of the boat motors started to buzz a warning signal. nobody can find the reason for the buzz. The mechanics changed a few cables, cut and reconnected and the buzz was gone. Unfortunately the next day this very same motor went into limp mode all the way to Protea Banks and back. We basically drove into an oncoming wind with one motor.
Thereafter more cable work is being done and all is looking grand...until the next launch. Now we can't switch off the motor....
In the meantime, another boat hits a pothole on the way back to the parking and the axle moved so much that one of the wheels is rubbing hot on the frame.
When Kyle went to fetch the new axle at the Diver Villa, the white Landcruiser did not want to start anymore. He rolled backwards down the steep driveway and when he tried to start the motor, the gear jumped out and the car picked up proper speed on that steep hill.
Without engine power, Kyle had no steering and no breaks.
He smashed into the wall on the bottom and when trying to swing the out of control car into the main road, it simply flipped...
Lucky Kyle did not get scratched.
The panel beater says, the car is scrap. But we don't want this car to be scrapped because we won't be able to replace it with the insurance money. So we are looking for a real panel beater and not a panel replacer.
Hopefully he can save our Landcruiser.
And our boat motor ? The 'mechanics' blew the CDI computer unit and i paid a lot of money to replace it.
The blue Landcruiser ? will be repaired hopefully this week
Right now we are down to one 4x4 which is my private Hilux.
As of this evening i have a little rental car courtesy my insurance.
Diving Protea Banks is absolutely tops right now. Today we had 25m vis, nice and rough seas, hefty currents and lovely warm water at 26C.
We had 4 Zams which followed us from beginning to end of the dive. Brilliant.
Our Austrians are having a farewell party at the Villa tonight. We had a magic week with Tauchreisen Lorenc, the oldest dive travel operator of Vienna.
Lovely bunch of people guided by Andrea Lorenc and assisted ably by the famous photographer Heinz Toperczer who supplied Beulah with the best photos in a long time.
We are working like slaves. Especially me !!! At 4h30 the alarm rips me out of bed. By 6h00 i am in the Dive Centre and load in excess of 25 boxes with diver's equipment. Shoot it to the base at Shelly beach and back to the shop to load 40 odd cylinders.
While i am doing all this physical work i still have to watch the boys and make sure they do at least the minimum of work ...its a hard life...
But when it is all done and we are ready to go diving, the rewards are often unimaginable. That is Protea Banks. One never knows what it throws at us.
Today we had a tiger on the bait for 40 minutes. The divers were over the moon !!!
One of Austria's best photojournalist Heinz Topercer is here and gets the shots.
His amazing work can be seen on Beulah's Facebook page.
I am enjoying a lot of old faithfuls at the moment. Love to dive with repeat clients like Achim and Guiseppe from Bruehl, Horst and Heike from Hamburg as well as Gerome from the island of Reunion.
We had 3 boats and 2 boats going out every day lately. It really is hard work to keep everything going reasonably smooth. There is always something wrong with one of the boats. Nothing drives me as nuts as a broken boat !!! Thankfully in the end it always gets sorted out.
Next week it will be a little less busy. I am planing to do a lot of rebreather dives.
Love it !!!
We are getting ready for the big month of March. Got bookings like hell. So we did not have a bad time since the middle of January when we left for Germany. Came back mid Feb und only now we really have to get serious again.
This of course does not mean that we were doing nothing !!!
He who does not follow a regular work routine ends up working twice as hard !!!! ( Rolands Wisdom )
Most of our broken equipment is back to normal again.
Our old compressor had an overhaul and is pumping like a youngster.
Our boat Southern Comfort has been re-tubed and looks like a beauty queen.
Our boat Avatar had a lot of work done and is flying across the sea.
Only our good, old Landcruiser is still in Auto Hospital with a broken leg....
Diving today was really great. We started off with a Baited Dive ( overall number 901 ). When we got out to Protea Banks, the water appeared blue. We baited the area and dropped the ball which immediately disappeared in the murky water. Oh dear....i thought i was in for a low vis dive here...
As soon as we entered the water we realised that it is only the first few meters which are dirty. Below the water got cooler ( from 25- 19 C ) and crystal clear. AT least 30-35m vis awaited us.
We had 4 Zambezi's and 2 Black Tips playing with us. The Zams were big, fat buggers who were not scared of divers. What a magic time had with them !!
Second dive was going to the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks.
We wanted to play around in the caves with this lovely visibility.
The current was pretty strong and four of our divers couldn't keep up with me and my buddy. The two of us got to see a Tiger Shark which came right towards us.
In the end everybody made it back to the boat safely with a story to tell....