I am cooked. We work like hell. Every single day and no break in sight. Business is excellent , so I can't complain. Last week we had three boats going out twice a day with a group of fun loving JoBurgers and a group of really nice Singaporeans.
Those Singgaporians were great. half of them dived very well, the other half not good at all. I had a heart attack after the first dive and didn't know how to proceed with them. So we decided to get one divemaster for every two divers in order to keep them all alive. After the second day they got the hang of it and managed well. Lots of laughing and joking then...
Now we are down to one boat which is a lot easier for us. I also had to do talks on sharks and shark conservation which cost me many a valuable evening.
I do feel it now...
So the diving on Protea Banks was actually great. It is not what it is supposed to be like this time of the year. We should have a lot of zams, we should have tigers....
Instead we have one or two zams , a handful of black tips and all kind of weird things like manta ray, sailfish, Raggies on the Northerns, barracudas and so on.
The vis has been magic with hardly less than 20m - 30m and the water warm at 26°
Today, after a period of NE'ly winds we have a bit of upwelling. Vis is max 15m and watertemp has fallen to 24° top half and 20°bottom half. Wakes me up this fresh water !!
I had some people worrying whether the diving on Protea Banks will continue as usual or not because the new permit regulation.
Business is as usual. We have applied for this permit and already paid the fee.
All should be good now.
The diving has been brilliant and weird at the same time this week.
We had visibility of 40m. We had strong current where we did distances of up to 6km in one hour.
We see raggies and sharks which should long be gone off the reef.
And we don't see sharks which should be here this time of the year, like the tigers and a lot more bulls.
Yesterday we even had a baited dive without any shark or even fish. This is most unusual, but nature made it happen.
Tomorrow we will give it a new try and hope, the tigers will come soon now.
Still plagued by strong winds every now and then. Untypical for this time of the year...
It feels as if the windy period has never stopped and the summer was not really very hot either. Too weird...
Nice Weekend Everybody
The diving on Protea Banks is great again :)
A strong 2.5kn current has cleaned the water and brought lovely warm Mozambiquean water onto our reef. We had 26˚ at the surface going to 24˚ at the bottom. Lovely !!!
The first dive was a bit quiet. We saw one zambezi, one hammerhead, one black tip and one guitarshark.
Second dive we did a fly-by on the Northern Pinnacle. In the first cave i still counted 6 raggies and as we hit the Southern Pinnacle we encountered 3 schools of hammerheads. At least 150 plus animals. Not bad, hey !!!
The wind blew a happy 15kn yesterday. As soon as we got into the open ocean, it got pretty rough. Not surprising that today was a no-go -day. The surf was up and the water white. But it all looks lovely for tomorrow. If i look out to sea from my office in the attic i see green water going green/blue, going deep blue further out.
Can't wait for tomorrow !!!
Yeah, so on 27. February some 'officials' came to our coast and caused kak.
They were from the department of environmental affairs and visited our colleagues from the other dive shop as well as the cage divers. These guys were properly upset when they were told that from tomorrow, 1.3. there will be no more cage diving, baited diving, shark advertising, shark depicting and much more.
Illegal, they called our activities, you are all illegal.
This did not go down well with the big ladies and a lot of shouting and swearing ensued.
Clearly, these 'officials' were on a confrontational course. Not explaining things nicely but accusing was the mission.
Thank god i was not in the shop when they came to us....
They found our lovely Carrie who took all the edges off the topic the way she is with people. Lovely !!!
Beulah phoned me in total stress afterwards and i invented some new swear words.
I phoned some of my scientist friends the next day and had to get behind this story.
Before long i found out that there is a new law in South Africa which protects all the threatened species of marine animals which are on the CITIES list.
Among many this includes :
Great White Shark
Whales, Dolphins, Seals, Penguins, Turtles, Seabirds and so much more.
This is amazing. We more then welcome this step. It is a huge step we always fought for. Why did nobody ever tell us about this. Til this day, nly us here in Shelly Beach know that we need a new permit in order to continue our business. This applies for every single operator in the country and nobody has ever heard of it.
So i studied all 200 pages of the Government Gazette of May 2017
Yes, we all need a TOPS Permit in order to 'harass' the now protected species of sharks. Harassing is defined as attracting or approaching the species of sharks .
It is comical how we, who campaigned for 20 years to protect the sharks suddenly over night became the harassers of sharks !!!
But in the bigger picture it is the most wonderful thing South Africa has done for its Marinelife !!
It is hot and humid here. We are sweating all day, but we love our summer.
The diving has been weird, really.
Weghabe raggies in the caves on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. 12 in number. This time of the year ? Never happened before.
We also still have hundreds of scalloped hammerheads. Way too many for this time.
We,see the odd Tigershark, Bullshark of course and Guitarsharks. Even Duskies.
Today we had a huge Great Hammerhead comng directly towards us. Brilliant !!
The Vis was pretty low all this time but because there were so many sharks, everybody was still very happy. Now the current has picked up again and runs at 2-3 knots. Translated it means, we do between 3 and 5 kilometers distance on a dive.
Today the vis was a happy 20m but less sharks.
At least we can get out and do two dives a day without being troubled by the wind this week.
Besides the normal day to day business we had a bit of an upset and drama on the last day of February.
But this is a story for tomorrow....