It was time for us to take a break before the heavy time of the Sardine Run starts for us. So,we took Beulah's new Beach Buggy, took the roof off and drove out of town.
We found an exclusive game lodge by the name of Thula Thula. This place became famous for its late owner Lawrence Anthony who saved a herd of elephants from being shot by giving them a new home here on Thula Thula. His adventures and work is described in his bestseller book called The Elephant Whisperer. Amazing !!
Although Lawrence sadly passed away of a heart attack four years ago, his legacy lives on. Everywhere we walk and sit we feel the spirit of these people who give their lives to conservation of the African animals. It is a privilege to be here.
In the morning we go for a bush walk with the ranger and in the evening we do a drive with him. Andrew is a wealth of knowledge . Everything concerning animals and bush is properly filed in his head. Highly interesting.
We stay in a tented bush camp. These tents are large and short of nothing.
During the day the temperature can rise up to 30C but at night is becomes freezing cold. Damn cold !!! So damn cold that we have an electric blanket, each has three other blankets and we have to wear a beanie to keep our heads warm.
How do they do that on Mount Everest if we are struggling in Africa ???!!!!
Raggies May 2017
Jep, the sun came out eventually and the wavesize dropped from 5m to 3m. So we could go and dive again today.
We went to the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks first. The water looked terrible at first as we drove out. All this rain got all rivers and creeks open and lots of mud is washed into the sea. The first few kilometers we drove in brown, horrible water. Then it turned olive green and we started to worry. What if we have no vis out there ??!!!. And suddenly everything came right. The last kilometer we entered into the deep blue water. Excellent. Visibility was 30m, watertemp 23C. Brilliant.
We saw a couple of black tips in the beginning, then a zam, later 8 giant guitarsharks, more black tips. Everyone hooked on Protea...the usual....
Second dive went North to the caves with the raggies.
Always a hectic dive if there is current. Thise who made the cut were rewarded with over 80 raggies. Thise who didn't get down or who didn't get to the caves were fished out by our boats as usual and had to sit in the corner !!! Try again tomorrow...
We had a weekend from hell. The weather is unbelievable. Tropical rain is hammering our shores and flooding everything. Combined with strong winds and huge seas we are locked out.
Our divers are bored stiff. The Poles are drinking whiskey for breakfast, the Turks are finishing our South African tea reserves, the Austrians are hiding in their room and the others are hanging around aimless. The pressure is on !!!
As soon as these 5m swells come down to 3m we will shoot through them...
Everythink is looking good for the next diveable day. Water has a lovely blue colour, the beach feels warm whenever i get a chance to take to dogs for a walk.
Let's see what happens tomorrow...
Jou, we had a heavy week last week. It was probably our busiest week we ever had. The Japanese were all excellent divers and moreover, they just wanted to dive their hearts out. Three dives a day, they demanded and we obliged gladly. But after a week like this, the old bones started to crieck.....and rattle.....i am sore everywhere !! Sure.
The Russians we had at the same time from our colleagues of Aquaplanet were a lot mellower. Two dives was plenty for most of them, some did only one. Nevertheless we still eded up launching 6 and 8 times a day. And it worked like a well oiled machine. Thankfully nothing went wrong with so many divers in the water. And this on the dreaded Protea Banks !!!
I think we had just under 30 divers every day last week.
Between our staff and the girls from Aquaplanet we had an invincible team here at Shelly Beach.
The weekend was calmer again and then we had a few days off. And we all really needed this small break.
Today we were back on the horse. We started with a Baited Shark Dive. We had lots of Black Tips and one Zam. No Tiger unfortunately. But if we don't try, we won't ever know. I must admit, our tiger season was a sad one...
BUT, oh boy do we have Raggies !!! They are everywhere, the caves are bursting on their seams, they are spilling over into the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks, all over.
We estimate 300 + !!!!!!!
We dive like hell. We have 14 Japanese divers , 8 Russians, 3 Germans and 2 French.
Done 8 launches today and 3 dives with the Japs. But i love it.
The conditions on Protea Banks are absolutely brilliant. Visibility of 25m everyday again.The Watertemp is around 23˚C. Due to a strong current we can't go to the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks at the moment. I am sure, the Raggies will be full up there right now. But we see so much on the Southerns that it is more than sufficient.
An average dive these days looks like this :
5 Great Hammerheads
15 Black Tips
Thus is our crazy week and things are running very well. Hope it continues like this