We are doing a lot of diving these days. We have a large group from Johannesburg with us. I really like this because local South African divers are rare these days.
A weekend on the coast with accommodation, lots of booze and a good number of dives sure has a price. And besides, a lot of local divers are scared of Protea Banks.
I call it the equivalent to Kruger Park. You are guaranteed to see amazing marine life and definitely sharks a plenty on every single dive.
And we are lucky too. The conditions this weekend are magic.
We have 25m vis 22˚ water temp, gentle current and lots of sharks.
On the Southern Pinnacle of Protea banks we see regularly in excess of 1000 hammerheads. We can estimate this number as we count the amount of schools we encounter and know that each school consists of minimum 200 animals. Hard to describe. Its just hammerheads wherever you look right through the dive with a few breaks in-between. Crazy stuff.
On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we counted over 40 rages today. For this time of the year this is a lot.
Besides these two species we see turtles, eagle rays, guitarsharks, black tips, duskys.
Yesterday i filmed a hammerhead which came pretty close with my GoPro. Afterwards i tucked my camera on my side making sure that my safety cable is clipped in properly and the camera is secured.
Five minutes later i am looking for my camera again...she is gone. I try everything just in case she is floating around me or stuck on my dive kit. Nothing.
How can this camera come undone !!! Damn. I really made sure. Gone !!!
I can only imagine that the hose from my octo which was threaded through the same d-ring opened the clip and let the GoPro go free.....
Now i am a very unhappy divemaster !!! I love my little GoPro.
I think about buying the new hero 6 with all the lovely new features. But no, i want my hero 4 back. Also my Ikelite Mountingtray with the gorilla arms for my video lamps is invaluable.
Besides this, i have 2 homeports which only fit the GoPro 3 and 4.
In other words, a huge disaster....
Honestly, there are between 20 and 40 Kameras of all sizes, mainly GoPros somewhere on the ground at Protea Banks. The current and surge pushes these things into a small gully, hole and overhang where they get stuck forever.
And in my 20 years and 3713 dives i have never ever found a lost camera on Protea Banks. Impossible.
Of course i will never stop looking for my beloved camera in years to come. But it will be all but impossible. We did not even drift straight as usual but the damn current pulled inshore and forced me to correct the course all the time in order to avoid drifting off the inside edge.
Anyway, the second dive yesterday was clear. We went South again. AT least it gave me an opportunity to look.
Within five minutes it became clear that there is absolutely no chance to find this small little camera in this great big ocean. Everywhere the bottom looked the same.
My heart sank and a feeling of hopeless doom overtook me....
And guess what ???
Barely 2 minutes after i gave up hope, there is my camera on the bottom of the ocean smiling at me !!! Unbelievable !!! As if it was placed right there in my path. It wants to come home. Oh yeah.
I was the most happiest chap ever !!! That's for sure. Wow. How much luck can one have !!!
Today was our first diving day = working day since mid August. Nobody will know how this hurt !!!
We originally had 4 divers booked for today and i thought, i will take it easy, let Spike and Steve take the boat out and do a bit of beach duty myself ( ...hopefully go home early...)
Oh dear, before sunset yesterday we already had 15 divers booked and obviously needed 2 boats. There goes my easy ride...i was ordered to dive.
And what a day it turned out to be !!!
The sea was rough alright but nice and blue with a cool 25m vis. The current what we call "gentle" and the water temp 22˚
Sharks wherever we looked.
On the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we saw 4 hammerheads, 30-40 black tips, 1 eagle ray, 14 guitarsharks. we also saw 3 schools of barracudas
On the Baited Dive Holger had 15 black tips, one am and a dusky with hammers in the background.
Later on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we had 25 rages, one zam and schooling hammerheads non stop. We estimated 1000 + hammerheads !!!
As soon as we got back to base the weather collapsed. Now it blows a strong 25kn South Westerly with lots of rain and freezing temperatures. There goes my shorts and lovely holiday tan.....
We are back from Bali, actually Lombok.
We had a magic holiday in a wonderful country. On the German side of this website there are many photographs and long travel reports. I must be honest, i was too lazy to translate it all....
So we had a nice, long break, basically since mid August. And loved it !!!
We returned back two days ago and will resume diving operations from Monday 9.10.
The weather is and has been absolutely shocking. Strong winds from all directions almost everyday. I am not sure how much diving we will be able to do until the weather calms down. But we do what we can as long as the safety of our divers is guaranteed.
At the moment i believe we have the usual 15m vis, typical for this time of the year. There are lots of hammerheads around on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks and on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we still have a good number of raggies.
Whales are frolicking everywhere. It is very possible to encounter some on a dive.
Looking forward to getting wet again...