Five shark species in one dive. This is Protea Banks
And i am off today...one doesn't understand the value of an off day...
With full speed onto the beach
Boat has landed
Ou man !!! Diving hasn't been that good since we came back from our winter break. We have unbelievable conditions. Visibility of 30m and sharks everywhere. Hammerheads in their thousands. Even the divers who are normally not good with large estimates all agree. 2000 - 3000 hammers on a dive is not unusual. Just look at the pic and imagine this scene for 40mins - 50 mins. Paradise !!!
Raggies on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks, Hammerheads on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. Bullsharks, Black Tips, Guitarsharks, Dolphins, Eaglerays...all part of the scene.
Yesterday i got some of my best hammerhead footage. If only the damn battery of my GoPro didn't run out. !!! Just in the middle of the best scene ever the GoPro shuts down. Jeeeezas !!!
Today i got the best footage of Guitarsharks ever. They were holding still for a change and in good vis i managed very well. Most exciting. Besides the fantastic conditions we also have a fantastic dive crowd. People who are here to dive. No UUHs and AAHs and How Much's. We dive because we love it and we are rewarded handsomely with unforgettable memories of Protea Banks, South Africa....
I am working hard these days. Got the boats full of divers and most of my staff busy with other stuff. Brooke went to a wedding, Steve went on a course, Spike went to an operation and Kippie ( Ek ) must do everything myself !! Get up 4h30 in the morning and leave house by 6am. Get the boats out of the yard and take them to the base. Get the boats ready for launching and set up the meeting place. Make sure everything is on the boat, no matter how damn heavy it may be.... :):)
Then drive back to the shop and load 25+ cylinder and everybody's dive kit.
When i am finished, the boys rock up !! Cool swagger while i am on my teeth...
What the hell, i see it as a work out and love it ( for a couple of days )
One thing is for sure, when everything is back to normal, i am going on a holiday !!!!
Despite all this, the diving is amazing. Raggies still strong on the Northerns, Hammers always South, Bulls and Black Tips everywhere and believe it or not : 2 Mola-Molas.
The one fish i have never seen yet in all my life. And old Holger had to bump into two of them on Sat !!! Unbelievable. I launched first. Rushed my guys in the hope to see more Hammers. Holger came second and saw all the unusual stuff.
Althoigh i was not the lucky one, i still get all excited because it were my divers who saw these amazing animals.
I get my turn for sure. Still got 20 years to see it.....:):)
This is our part of South Africa.
An amazing film by Achim of Aqua Active Agency
Rough seas and crazy launches is the order of the day on Protea Banks. Once we get through the surf, heaven awaits us. At least this is how we see a shark infested sea...
The caves on Protea Banks are still very busy with Raggies, the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks has lots of Hammerheads and many, many Guitarsharks.
If only our vis would finally break out of it's winter-mode and go beyond 15m !!!
Early dive usually 15m, midday dive barely 10m.
Can't wait to see that deep purple water with visibility of up to 40m again !!
Old Holger Simm has moved to Margate with his wife Brigit lately. He has been diving Protea Banks for many years on countless visits to the country. Now they have bought a lovely big house with 3 guest rooms/flat to let for holiday makers.
Palm Tree Manor Margate
Holger has been trained on guiding dives now on Protea Banks and is doing very well.
Whenever we need help he is only a phone call away and always ready to jump in.
From next year he wants to organise guided tours through South Africa.
A good week lies behind us. We were really busy and got most dives in. Often we only managed to do one dive due to rough seas and rainy,windy weather. Sometimes we came back frozen stiff fron the boat ride. The water (21C) was always warmer than the airtemp. It took almost two hours to get all feeling back into my numb hands...
But the diving was good. On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we always found 25+ Raggies. On our way back to the surface Black Tips and Bull Sharks kept us interesting company.
On the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we regularly found Guitar Sharks, Black Tips, Zams and lots of Hammerheads. The numbers often estimated between 200 and 500. As it is with Hammerheads they are there, we see them but the buggers don't want to come close to our cameras. One day....
Visibility is typical this time of the year and varies between below 10m and above 15m.
The one day we had 25m vis and lots of Hammerheads nobody wanted to do a second dive...i don't get it...
What's new at African Dive Adventures ?
Kyle, our fearless shark diver is no longer working with us. In his place is Steve, a well mannered, yound afrikaans man. Steve is well trained, clean, respectful and motivated. I think we found the right person for the job.
Last week and this week Spike and i are training him on the specifics of Protea Banks. Spike teaches him how to handle the boat and i teach him the reef.
Our Brian is also back at work. He won an almost ten month battle against TB and is well on his way back to health. So good to have him back with us. Brian comes a long way with African Dive Adventures. I think it must be well over 15 years.
Beulah and i are preparing for the next BOOT Show in Düsseldorf in January 2017.
This time we will have a double stand and be joined by our colleagues Louis van Aardt of ProDive Port Elizabeth and Mike Nortjie of Pisces Divers Cape Town.
With them on board we can cover South Africa well.
And brother Günter of Reisebüro Mauz will be on the stand as always with expert advise on travel facilities and immediate booking including flights, rental cars, accommodation, insurance etc. Günter knows his business and knows South Africa. He can offer best possible prices
Since yesterday we can dive again. We did a couple of Baited Dives on Monday which were amazing. Lots of black tips and a few zams. One of the seams came up to bait level and made for amazing footage.
Today we tackled the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. It was time to see how the Raggies were doing.
Got 20 down in the two caves. Our divers loved diving North.
On the second dive we got a huge Tiger Shark. This animal came out of nowhere and stopped at the first cave as we arrived. It stood in the water looking at us for a good 20 seconds.Then it slowly swam around us and disappeared into nothing. And we carried on watching the Raggies.
Today the luck was definitely on our side. We expected a big SW wind by 10am and got everyone to meet us at 6am. When we returned from the first dive and still saw no trace of the wind we changed cylinders and went again. Only when we finished packing up at 14h00 did the buster come through.
Yeah, the Wild Coast has just moved a few hundred kilometers to the north. And we pay the price. All week we had killer waves here at Shelly Beach. Then there was a short window on Friday morning where we could get out for a dive. The sea was very rough and the dive mediocre. At least we got wet. Saturday again, we had time for one dive before the wind blew us home again.
We did a Baited Dive and had a beautiful interaction with 8 black tips, 2 zams and a bonus 2 hammerheads which came pretty close on their way past.
Today is 25knots SW after same strength NE wind yesterday.
The good thing : it is 9am and we still sit in bed with our dogs and hot coffee watching the white, foamy sea outside.....beautiful.
We are so ready to go diving, it is ridiculous. But since Sunday our harbour is closed. Huge, 5m swells are hitting Africa relentless. All the way from Cape Town to Maputo. It looks like nobody along the entire coast can launch.
When i look out to sea from my favourite room i can see a lovely, clear blue water line about 5km off shore. This means, Protea Banks has clean water and so good visibility. That it is full of hammerheads and rages, we also know....Just one problem : We can't get there...
So what is left for me to do today ?
Take the dogs for a walk on the beach
Source and purchase a 4m curtain rod
Clean Up garages
Defrost freezers and get rid of old bait
Put new stickers on Toyota
... pretty boring stuff...
Hey guys, i am back online. We chose to take a long ( very long ) break to have a proper holiday. It ended up being over 2 months. What a pleasure. !!!
We went to the Kruger Park with my family for a week in August. Spent another week in the Eastern Transvaal and a third week at our house here in Margate. When they went back home, Beulah and i decided to go back to the Kruger Park. This time for 3 weeks. Hooooh - how nice is that !!! It is an absolute privilege if one can spend such a long time in a game reserve. There is no better place to relax and recharge. For sure. We left on September 1st and came home on 21.9. only because we received an award from the Tourism Board of our area. We couldn't be rude and send somebody else....
Yes, we work hard and need to play as well.
Since we are back, we get everything oiled up and ready for a busy October. We went to do a dive on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks yesterday. It was magic after such a long time of absence. The vis was pretty low in the first half and opened up to 20m in the bottom half. Water temp 21C top and 18C bottom. Lots of Raggies around as well as Black Tips and Zams.
I hear, on the Southern side of Protea banks the Hammerheads are thick !!! Can't wait to see them. Latest Tuesday.
We start slow next week and pick up to 2 boats a day from 10.10.
I promise to make the effort and do lots of reports here with lots of pictures.
I am fit, healthy and full of energy to start diving hard again until we go to the German BOOT Show by mid January.
My mate Leo overhere and i had a great time in Kruger. We cracked up laughing.....