Today we encountered another Great White Shark on Protea Banks.
Steve, our guide basically stood barely 4m away from a fairly large female. The shark was curious and checked the divers out nicely before she moved slowly on.
Lucky Steve had 2 Great Whites in barely three months, i saw 4 in 20 years.
I spoke to Graeme who worked for us some years ago and now lives in cape Town where he works for Pisces Divers. He recons, there are no Great White Sharks near Cape Town, Simonstown, Gaansbaai or anywhere in the area at all. Apparently Mosselbaai still has good sightings but the traditional spots have been devoid of sharks for quite some time now. If it had something to do with the drought lately ? Nobody knows but it is sad that Cape Town has lost this great attraction.
Hopefully it will all come right again soon.
And dive we did. Wow, what a divesite my Protea Banks !!
We did the first dive on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks.
We heard that the current was pumping and first needed to assess it before we tackle the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks.
We dropped in at the Southern Cave and - wow - the Vis was 20m+, temp 22° , current 2 knots.
The ocean was full of hammerheads. At least 150 - 200 estimated carefully. 6 black tips, 1 bullshark and 1 guitarshark. Absolutely magic.
We realised that we could dive the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks next. The current is manageable and the divers in our group are all capable.
So we dropped 150m up current of the first cave and drifted straight into the hole.
Here we are greeted by 9 raggies, half of them huge females as is typical of this time of the year. You see these large sharks drifting slowly towards you and you think they look just like Great Whites. Magnificent creatures.
From the first cave we went through the swimthrough and slowly to the second cave.
After the second cave we shot the buoy up. Steve’s line got tangled around his reel and the inflated Liftanlagen started to lift him up fast. He had no choice than to let go of the lot. He signaled to me what happened and before Spike follows an unmanned buoy I quickly pulled my deploybuoy out and inflated it with my octo.
Once my bag was full my octo would not stop free flowing.
No matter what I did, it blew like hell. I watched my air going down in a hurry on my pressure gauge. Time was running out to find solutions. I had to get out of the water and fast.
Within a minute and a bit I had to ascend from almost 30m.
To be safe I sucked a bottle of oxygen which is of course always on our boat.
The divers continued to finish the dive with Steve carrying my buoyline. They had several hundred hammerheads as they slowly ascended from the reef.
All good. Adventure has me back....
And tomorrow we will dive again. Man, i am looking forward to this. More than 50 days on our epic trip away from my beloved Protea Banks. Sure, i did a number of dives in Egypt, but no place is like home.
I am looking forward to 30m-40m depth.
I am looking forward to seeing deco on my computer
I am looking forward to seeing proper sharks and being on a proper boat, not these horrible rubber camels they had in Egypt.
Steve, our guide and skipper for the last two years has resigned. he is moving on and wants to put his ass rather into the African bush than into the ocean. We will miss him lots and hope he will every happy with Nomads Cross Africa Tours. I am sure, he will have lots and lots of adventures.
Steve has been replaced by Jazz Jacobs who is also a local dive guide and has just come back from Greece. Hopefully Jazz will like it here and stay as long as possible.
We have started to dive more regularly again on 30.9. Due to strong winds we have lost quite a few diving days, but the dives my guys did were otherwise. They had hammerheads and tigershark on almost every single dive. Bulls and Raggies and countless whales at the surface.
Last week the weather was so windy that our harbour was closed from Monday right through to Saturday. Unbelievable. The entire week !!
Next week is looking a lot better although there will be a couple of dodgy days.
We can only plan from one day to the next...
The expo in Southern Germany was successful. We got good bookings and lots of interest. Much better than expected. It looks like we will have to be back there next year....i am sure, my parents will love the idea.
After the show we spent 2 days in Munich and then flew out to Marsa Alam in Egypt.
This was phase 3 of our trip.
We stayed at the Hilton Nubian Resort. The hotel was nice, our room splendid, the food okay but the Hilton Guests are weird people.
We are sitting in the middle of nowhere. Dessert all around us, right up to the water's edge. Nobody would greet or talk to anybody. Too weird for words. I hated them.
I did expect almost every person to be a diver. Who on earth would want to go to Marsa Alam if you are not a diver ?
The beach was dessert and then the reef started. If you wanted to go there you had to walk quite a bit in extreme heat. Quite hectic. For this reason there were 4 large swimming pools at the resort. So you did not need to make a caravan through the dessert if you didn't want to.
The distance from our room to the dive centre was 1.5km ....all dessert and 38˚ already in the morning.
Once we were there, we found what we were looking for. Great staff, capable guides, a house reef like we never seen one before. Absolutely amazing.
We could just go there anytime we liked, take 2 cylinders and disappear as long as we liked. No guide was necessary. We enjoyed this most.
Once i went to Elphinstone and did 2 dives and once we went to Abu Dabbab 2-3 which we liked even better.
On Elphinstone i saw my first Longimanus. Most happy !!!
Everything at the dive centre was super except for their boats. They were in a shocking condition. I have never seen boats like that. Everywhere the pontoons came apart, no handles, i broke the last one off, no ropes. The motors were rattling and barely running at half their normal power.
I complained a lot about the boats. They are not safe and not comfortable at all but they charge a healthy rate if you use them.
After 11 Days in Marsa Alam it was finally time to pack our bags and return home.
We opened our driveway gate at 21h00 on 8.10. and were licked to death by our five dogs.....how did we miss them....