Our Japanese divers have left . A happy group . They did not understand much of what we said, but always had a smile for us...even when we tore our hair out !!!
They did what they wanted under water. In the beginning we tried to get some kind of discipline into the group but soon gave up and trusted in a greater power to beware us from accidents... Thankfully we had no current during their visit. On normal conditions they would all be taking the waterway home..
Now we have lots and lots of Deutschers. Three boats tomorrow. Tired....
We have lots of Black Tips on the Baited Dive. Tigers are here but rather elusive still.
Today we dives the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks, the caves. Always a magic dive. And today we had the pleasure of seeing a lone Sandtiger Shark. This time of the year ? Never had that before. It was a truly welcome sight valued by all divers.
Two tigers today on the Baited Dive. First we saw the one coming in slowly from the left and then the second coming from the right side. They stayed about two minutes and disappeared. Then we saw a black tip which was hardly interested in our baiting effort. Usually we have to worry that they don't bite our heads off....
Black tip gone and two bulls were cruising on the bottom. Then we saw the one tiger and shortly afterwards the second tiger again. It happened a few times and went quiet again. Strange but crazy dive today !!!
Second dive we went South and saw absolutely nothing.... no current, no,sharks...
I have to say it because it is true : we dived the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks twice today and had a tiger shark on each dive. Absolutely fantastic.
The other boats went South and had a relatively quiet time with just a few sharks showing up. So, needless to say, my divers were smiling all the way.
Tomorrow we are back to normal for two days. One boat.
And next week we carry on again with two boats everyday.
Actually i should be in bed by now. I am so tired that if i were standing i would simply fall over... Getting up at 4am everyday, at the base by 5am.
It is hard physical work all day. Beulah is a tiger and runs us like machines....
Ja Baas ,is all we can say...
We are doing 6 launches a day. And by 13h00 we're done. magic.
The dives are out of this world. Tigers now sighted on most dives. Huge amount of rays, marble and eagle-rays. Guitarsharks, barracudas, Hammerheads and Great hammers, Zams and Black Tips...This Protea Banks of ours is ridiculous !!!!!
We can see the bottom of the ocean from the top. 35m and 26˚ water temp.
Of course i have an ear infection. But who cares ? I just get on with it and dive.
Today i did two dives to the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks. It was so exciting that my divers requested to do exactly the same tomorrow. Nice compliment !!
We can never go wrong with the caves. Everybody always loves this dive and it is easy for me to get people excited to do it. Even with our Raggies...
But then on the ascent comes the Tiger....Say no more...
It was a long day today but a very special one. Today we really saw a tiger shark properly on our baited shark dive. This is the beginning of the tiger season on Protea Banks. Usually it begins by a tiger sighting far away, often just a good guess. Then as the days go by, we see the closer and closer. Today we had a lovely female doing turns around our dive group for a good five minutes. Next they will come to the bait and start loosing their fear. Poor sharks are so fearful of us horrible humans !!!
Besides every single diver having seen a tiger shark, we had great hammerhead sightings, marlin, guitarsharks, eagleray, lots of bull sharks and black tips of course.
And we still have our glorious 30m vis and 26˚ water temp.
All three boats launched twice today. Hopefully we can keep this up for the rest of the week.
Sadly we had to say Farewell to Paulo-the-Portugeese from London. I so enjoy meeting people like Paulo. He gave me a lot of valuable ideas about this website. I hope i can remember it all once i have time again....could be long from now....
And Vladimir, our Vladimir is leaving tomorrow. After i considered strongly to ground him in the beginning of his time with us, Vladimir caught himself and became an excellent diver. He could speak a bit of English but understand nothing. Yet we all enjoyed his company wholeheartedly.
A day later amd everything is fixed again. In the end it didn't break the bank either. But that's how it goes in life. It just carries on...If we only knew it beforehand we would not need to worry...
We have a great lot of divers with us at the moment. Most of them regulars of many years. It is good fun diving with people i know.
Yesterday we did not go out due to bad weather, but today we gave it a shot.
We could see that the sea was rough. Shark-Tooth Horizon usually means 4-5m swells. Nothing we cant handle !!!
The water was lovely. Deep purple again with top to bottom viz, warm water and our usual current.
We did not see as much as we saw lately. About 4/5 Black Tips, a Zam and a Hammerhead was all. But we had Vladimir who dived all over the ocean. He starts by loosing his integrated weight pocket. This grinds me badly....i hate those stupid pockets !!! Then i see him way up just under the surface, next thing he is making a new cave at 32m. Then he is way behind and a moment later way ahead until he disappears completely out of sight. Just as i start getting worried, Vladimir zooms past again on his way to no-where. Eventually he runs low on air and Matthias who tried his best to keep track of him brings him to the surface in a good condition.
Vlads has done 360 dives all over the world but he is not climbing Mount Protea very well. He will have one more chance tomorrow to behave properly on a Baited Dive. If not it is beach holiday for him for the rest of his stay.
What a day !!!
The diving was out of this world. Our first dive was a Baited Shark Dive on Protea Banks.
We had excellent visibility of between 25m and 30m with a water temperature of 26˚
We had 5 Black Tips and 5 Zambezis on the Bait and 4 Hammerheads in the background at some stage. The Zams were getting nice and playful. It was great fun for 75 minutes.
Second dive went to the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. It started off a bit slow but soon we had Zambezi after Zambezi throughout the dive. I estimated about a dozen of them. Beautiful.
One B;ack Tip, one Hammerhead and two Eaglerays. Stunning dive.
And then the shit hit the fan.....
Our Hilux which tows he boats can't engage 4x4. Something is wrong with the diff or the hubs. We will take it to the mechanic and use Beulahs Prado for the day. But the mechanic needs time...
I get to the shop and am told that the big compressor is not pumping at all. No pressure builds up. This is a major crisis as we will be using 2 and 3 boats from next week for almost 2 weeks. It will be a madhouse !!
So my plan is to take the compressor to Durban tomorrow as this is highest priority.
Then i want to try and fix the bombed out internet in the Diver Villa. Last week it went out and the operator said, it needs a technician. But no technician ever shows up...and the guests are having serious withdraw symptoms. A drug addiction is nothing compared to the internet addiction !!! Serious !!! One should have Internet Addiction Rehab....
After an hour with the call centre we manage to get it to work again,...for now...
But in the meantime, Beulah phoned to say that the Prado won't start... Oh dear ...
1 ½ hours later help arrived and the car was left with the Auto Electrician. Now we are down to one car - mine which needs to go to Durban...
I hope, the wind will save us tomorrow...
We got home at 18h30 totally exhausted and totally wet from sweating. It is hot as hell here.
Straight to the bar for a large Castle with a tot of lime. Then into the pool. And now i will throw some good meat onto the bar to save the rest of the day.....
After our free weekend it was time to get wet again. Lovely !!!
The water was out of this world. Deep Purple, like it has been for several weeks - vis 30m plus and warm water.
And every inhabitant of the ocean came to greet us. Dolphins, Bullsharks, Black Tips,
Barracudas, Stingrays, Eaglerays, alles. This was on the first dive on the South Side of Protea banks.
Second dive we went north. Haven't been there this year yet and really wanted to see what it looks like. It is my favourite reef , for sure !!
The caves were magic. Sun rays played through the holes in the rock and lent a unique atmosphere to the dive. After we left the bottom we drifted in midwater. The first black tips showed up and played with us. Then we saw the manta...what a sight.
Bullsharks accompanied us all the way back to the surface.
When we got to the boat, the crew asked us if we saw the whaleshark ???
Yes, i know. I have neglected the English version badly. Hardly had enough time to write a few words on the German side. Life has been a bit hectic since we are back from overseas. Trying to catch up with all the piled up work/trouble...
The diving has been amazing. We are having two weeks plus with constantly over 30m visibility . The water temp is 26˚ and 27˚ in the top half of the ocean and 24˚ at the bottom.
It is hard to describe what we see on Protea Banks. The variety is amazing, ranging from Blue Marlin to Barracudas to Great Hammerheads and Tiger Sharks.
This is the time of the year. We love it.
We did a lot of Baited Dives which had always 5 or 6 ever so cheeky Black Tips, 2-4 Zambezis and often we had a glimpse of the first Tigers of the season. But it stayed at the glimpse at this stage. These magnificent creatures are extremely shy and careful. They watch the game from a distance and take a long time to come closer. If only the rest of the world knew just how careful these sharks are !!!
Even the crazy ass Black Tips. They don't just bite into anything. Although they get into a feeding frenzy if we put out a bit of bait, and especially if there are gamefish around which also hunt for the bait, they still know exactly what is meant for them and what belongs to me !!!!!
Touch wood....sometimes i wonder...
Our normal reef dives on Protea Banks always had Hammerhead sightings amongst other shark encounters.
This weekend we had the privilege to be off. The weather was magic and we spent lots of time in our garden, went for a swim in the pool, made a bar every single day and took the dogs for walks on the beach.
I even washed my car which was a two hour workout of note. But now it looks like new again.
I have to admit, we really have an amazing lifestyle here in South Africa....