To everybody who read my stories over the year and everybody who participates in one way or another in our crazy life :
A heartfelt Thank You !!! Thank You for going the way with us.
Our life is an adventure but so is every life. It all depends on how you look at it.
A trip on the subway tube can be just as interesting and adventurous as a shark dive.
You know what is often the difference ?
On a shark dive you are fully concentrated on what comes your way and what there is to see. On a train ride everybody exits reality and enters the internet.....
Nobody looks out of the window and admires the beauty of the land, watches fellow travellers/commuters and reads their life story in their appearance and mannerism.
We are like dead meat on a mission from A to B.
Sad but that's life in the new millennium.
I refuse this shit. I am not on social media although they are good for our business and surely opens a whole new window for lonely, elderly people. I struggle to keep this website updated with my stories and certainly neglect the English side. Simply because i don't know if this gets read at all. I know the German side has lots of followers which motivates me to write all kinds of crazy stories from our day to day life.
To add a bit of adventure to ones life only needs a bit of courage and determination to do something a little different. Get out of the old walls, keep an open mind and be observant to your environment. These are the spices which make life so much more interesting.
I don't know how often other people live. But i do know that i only live once. I would be damned to let this opportunity go past.
Of course i have my fears and frustrations, my pains and regrets. But i try to shake it all off whenever possible and suck in a new breeze.
Beulah and i often stick or heads in the sand about things we can't change. We try our best not to get upset and stressed about the impossible.
We try to do the right thing in every situation. When we do well we let others benefit who share our life.
When we were on Bali we learned a lot about Karma.....It is happening.
We wish everybody a magic new year for 2018
It's gonna be a cracker year !!!!
Diving on Protea Banks has been legendary. Despite the lack of sunshine, despite the usual hot summer temps, we are having picture book dives.
Hundreds and thousands of hammerheads the one day, bullsharks and black tips the next day. Guitarsharks at the end of the Southern Pinnacle. Due to relatively strong current we haven't been diving the Northern Pinnacle but i am sure there are still a number of Raggies in the caves.
Yesterday we had top to bottom visibility = 30m plus. Amazing when you do the backward roll off the boat and you can immediately see the bottom of the ocean.
This can only be a brilliant dive. Five launches yesterday. One today and three tomorrow.
The watertemp is a lovely 24° and going up.
Margate is full of holidaymakers and tourists. The roads are jammed up most of the time. Often the cars queue from Margate right through to Shelly Beach.
Us locals know the roads through the residaential areas and get further a lot faster this way.
Yes, it is a bit of a pain but if we look at the bigger picture we realise that we desperately need the visitors. This is what our area is all about. This is why we have such an outstanding infrastructure in this relatively small place. So we put up with the seasnon's inconveniences and survive another year.
Our year 2017 was great. Business did better, every year it is going up a bit. The year was full of little and large adventures. We went through hectic shit as well as through funny times.
Our Sardine Run was definitely the best ever and our holiday afterwards on Lombok, Indonesia was epic.
We will do a couple more great dives on Protea Banks before we are off to the BOOT show in Germany for the eigth time.
Not really looking forward to the cold and wet weather but it is good for business and we also need to spend a bit of time with my octogenarian parents.
Maybe we go skiing again, not sure yet.
As i am writing this , my beloved dog Smiley has passed out next to me and snorews like an old bear.
Life is good.
After an absolut ridiculous day yesterdaywhere everything went wrong that could possibly go wrong , and more, we had a magic day today. Two boats going out to Protea Banks twice today, weather as it should be for summer holidays, warm water and lovely shark sightings. One of our boats found themselves amidst a huge group of hammerheads, saw a bull sharks and a black tip while we had 28 guitarsharks on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks and at least 20 raggies on the Northern Pinnacle.
Honestly, we didn't want to go home today.
But now is the time to celebrate Christmas. Beulah and i are busy cooking gourmet food and the Christmas Tree ist surrounded with presents. We love spoiling each other for the year's hard work.
Merry Christmas to everybody from all of us at African Dive Adventures. We are greatful for your support, interest and friendship. Thank you all.
A magic film made by Marcel Steuermann and Friends in November
For the last ten days life has been hectic. We had to get everything ready for the Christmas season. And as it always goes, in the last minute everything packs up.
Now the run is on. We worked for three days non stop in the beach apartment. As we want to touch up a couple of loose ends, the tv breaks, the fan in the bedroom does no longer work, the basin in the other bathroom is blocked, the cupboards are miff, the lampshades have humidity spots, the carpet looks tatty, the kitchen tap is the wrong way round, the list goes on forever.
I tackle the first problem and end up making it worse. Can happen, i say and take on the next. Disaster strikes again. Damn. Instead of going forward i go backwards.
The first day of maintenance ends in total frustration.
I call Jaco, my handyman and now we are talking.
I am really not the impractical dude who can't do anything. Not at all. But i am the impatient dude who takes short cuts to get things done and ends in the gutter all the time.
So on the day before the Christmas visitors arrive for the flat we are completely done and finished. The flat looks truly amazing.
Diving was pretty quiet last week. Just as well because the weather was often really bad and as i say, we had enough work to do.
Yesterday we got blown outagain. Strong North-East and later at night a strong South-West was shaking the house. Didn't look like we could go out today, but when we awoke there was no breath outside and the sea was as flat as a giant lake.
Great. Lets go dive again.
We went to the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. Nice and easy dive. But the current was finally back after over a month of absence. Halleluiah. Finally.
Unfortunately the vis was just 10m - 15 m despite our hopes for a healthy, happy 25m
Watertemp was still the same old 22° we are having for the last 5 - 6 months.
Myself and my mate Supp dives a bit to the right of the group and saw hundreds of hammerheads schooling past us. The rest of the divers did not see them as they were about 15m to the side of us. Then at Sandshark Gully we had 4 sandsharks.
Once we ascended from the bottom we saw the odd hammerhead. So it was actually a great dive but it did somehow not feel like one.
Couldn't wait to get home to my dogs and the pool. No better place to be on a sunday.
I am definitely getting old....
I took the dogs for a lovely, long walk to the beach, had a swim to cool off, dozed in my lounger next to the pool and had a magic braai tonight.
Tomorrow we dive again....
Yes, yes, yes. When Protea Banks is good, it is amazingly good !!!
Yesterday we had 25m viz and over 70 Raggies on the North Side of Protea Banks.
It was paradise. I can't describe the feeling. So, so many sharks and still here this time of the year !!!
Tony, one of our old faithfuls and i are speechless. We just look at each other and shake our heads in awe...
Later at the surface Tony reckons, this was his best dive ever.
And hell, Tony has done a lot of dives on Protea Banks for sure
Usually this time of the year we have the last Raggies of the season. Maybe a handfull.
Not so yesterday. Wherever we looked there were Raggies floating around. Pretty cold water at 18˚ and no current.
This damn current is now gone for over two weeks. It messed up our shark swim at the beginning of the month, it messes up our hammerheads and bull shark encounters but luckily it delivered an unforgettable Raggie experience.
Hey, its me again. I know i am hopeless in writing my blog. Either too much happens to find time to write or too little. One definitely needs to be in the right frame of mind to write. I think, i had writer's block....hahaha.
Anyway, since mid November we were cooking. Divers everywhere and we were running all day to keep them all happy. We had two boats a day for weeks now. Great dives, crappy dives and blown out dives. What can you do. But one thing is sure : those who stayed here long enough got their share of Protea Banks.
We truly had some magic people here. To mention a few, Don, the reporter for X-Ray Magazine and Wetpixel was a treasure. He was with us for 2 weeks and became definitely the favourite of all of us. And Phillip who was here for a week for the second time. What a pleasure to dive with you.
Good old Marcel and his French/Belgian/Swedish friends were easy going and grateful for every dive we did. It is so much fun to dive with people who appreciate everyday no matter how it pans out.
Then we had the great adventure of the www.madswimmer.com
This is a group of totally mad guys and girls who just want to swim. Swim, swim and more swim. Lead by Jean Craven the founder and accompanied by amazing people from all walks of life. 21 swimmers, one from Spain and about 5 from Israel.
They already swam the Channel , right around Ibiza, from California to Mexico, the Dead Sea from Israel to Jordan, the highest lake in the world in the Andes and more.
This time it was the Great Shark Swim
The plan was to highlight the plight of the sharks and raise funds for children's charities.
To swim in the "shark infested" waters of Kwazulu Natal without any form of protection must show the world that sharks are actually not out to eat humans and destroy every person in their path.
This swim proves that sharks are completely misunderstood and need our protection rather than our decimation before it is too late.
So i got roped into planning a mad swim in the Agulhas Current which is apparently the world's fastest current. It runs down the East Coast of Africa.
Mad swimmers wanted to swim 100km in one day. The plan was to swim 3.3km and drift 4.5km and thus make the distance of 100km in 12 hours and a bit.
The planing was extensive. i drove 3 times to Durban and 3 times to Umkomaas for meetings. We had the Rescue Police, Medevac, Doctor, Support Vessel, several scientists checking the weather and current and a whole lot of unbelievably interesting people involved in the planing of this attempt.
For months it was a dominant part of our lives and towards the actual event date we had all hands full. Press conference, promotions and much more. This was a serious thing.
When the day arrived we launched our support boats at 3am about 100km south of Durban and motored out 11 nautical miles to meet up with the support ship.
Here we dropped the swimmers in the water as the sun rose behind some grotesk looking clouds.
The stage was set.
The guys swam and swam and swam some more, but unfortunately the current did not help them. In fact, there was absolutely zero current on that day. Damn current !!
Nevertheless they managed to swim 28km in just over 9 hours. !!! What an act !!!
But then the Blue Bottle Jelly Fish came and destroyed the poor swimmers.
Blue Bottles are extremely painful when in contact with humans. One's glands swell up and the pain of a Blue Bottle sting is excruciating. To us on the support boats it looked as if they were getting electrocuted.
And yet they didn't want to give up.
These people are extreme sportsmen. They go through hell to achieve their goals and quitting is not an option.
Some even needed medical attention and were banned from continuing by the event doctor. Hectic stuff !!!
In the end the Blue Bottle minefields became so extreme that they simply could not continue. Damn.
Still these people were heroes in every way.
If they had the damn current which is usually running they would have made their 100km. That's for sure.
We all learmed a lot in this event and we all understand that Rome was not built in one day. We will be part in a new attempt , hopefully next year.
And then we hope that all parameters which make this attempt possible will be met.
Good weather, calm seas, strong current and definitely zero jelly fish.
I was privileged to be associated with such a fine bunch of people.
And more than glad that i didn't have to swim so far.....