Lately the conditions improve a lot on Protea Banks. The spell seems to be broken and finally we see species like hammerheads, zambezies and even the odd guitar shark again.
We did have some amazing encounters with individual hammerhead which came within a few short meters of us.
And yesterday we got our long awaited break.
To be honest, i didn't even go with as i had a lot of work piled up in the office. Thought, just another day at Protea, what the hell...
Beulah and Spike phoned me after the first dive and wanted to lead me up the garden path. Bad vis , nothing to see , cold water etc.
I can see the entire ocean from my office and there was a proper blue line out there.
It turns out that the water is crystal clear at 30m vis, 25˚ water temp and a healthy strong current.
They had hundreds of hammerheads.
My luck of course...
I immediately jumped into my car and shot to the harbour in time for the second dive.
We went in and before long i left the group behind me and went on my own.
Loved it !!!
I came past a school of hammerheads about 30-40 animals strong. Then a huge school came . I estimated probably 300+
Later i found myself passing through a school of barracudas. Pure Magic.
Couple of black tips followed me, probably in the hope for a meal or so.
After 20mins on my own it was time to tell Spike where i was and shot my smb up.
He followed my bubbles and was above me in a second.
Good man !!!
The others had a similar good dive, but there is nothing like diving on your own in such great conditions.
At the moment we have a super crowd with us. Mostly guys from Northern Germany
I love their accent and can listen to them all day. They have a great sense of humour.
I love nothing more than a good giggle.
Again it is a long time since i wrote last. I think, i was hoping everyday to get better news and time just went by.
We are really busy these last couple of weeks. Most days we run two boats, some days even three and four.
This part of the business is going well but the diving has not been the greatest.
Everyday we hope to see hammerhead schools and the first tigers of the season. It sure is the time now, but the buggers don't want to show up properly.
Oh yes, we get the odd day with incredible sightings. We had a sunfish, we had several marlin sightings.
On Friday we suddenly were surrounded by 30+ hammerheads in just over 5m vis !!!
Amazing still happens on Protea Banks, but unfortunately not often enough.
We have either no current at all or we have screaming current which pushes us 4km plus over the reef.
Visibility is mostly around 10m - 15m. Sometimes lower, seldom more.
The weather is mostly really good so the mood is light and generally happy.
But we are missing our multitude of sharks for which Protea Banks is so famous...
Amongst all our divers are good, old faithfuls like Horst and Heike 6th visit, Frank and Claudia 9th visit, Walter 5th visit and Daniel Brinckmann, the well known journalist and underwater photographer from the Tauchen, Dive magazine in Germany.
Poor Daniel has real stresss as he is here for a month and besides amazing pictures of rays, black tips and our beautiful underwater landscape, he has still not got any photos of the hammerhead migration. This was the reason for his assignment to us, but Protea Banks has not yet delivered...
Daniel has another 4 days in the water...if he doesn't get the pics, he can't write the article, he can't earn his money !!! So everyday another s gets added to the word stresss.
Today we got our first day off in many weeks. We all really needed it and we think, we didn't miss much anyway.
Beulah and i are so tired, we can hardly tell the difference between being awake and being asleep !!!
Even Spike gets confused these days and when he spotted a bright orange round something miles away from our buoy line he thought it was myself wearing my bright orange hood....only to find that he was chasing a bright orange balloon...
Next week will be a fun week. Until Friday we only have one diver and Daniel, the journo. So we are planing to dive like hell.
We are busy these days. All our boats are in use and we just work and sleep.
I hardly find the time to update my news report here. Our hectic time has definitely began.
The diving on Protea Banks didn’t leave much to write about in the lastb1-2 weeks.
It has been difficult for us to make our divers happy. Often we had no current, cold water at the bottom, few shark sightings etc. It was a hard time, no doubt.
Today things have turned around and we all had a really good day with flat sea, warm water 26°,mgreat 25m vis and good shark sightings once again.
The baited dive produced the first Tigershark of the season, albeit only for a few short moments. But our shark hungry people all got to see the stripy suit..
10-12 Black Tips and 2 Zama were on the bait bucket.
Walter saw a marlin as well .
I did a special project with Daniel Brinkmann, a well known photo-journalist from Germany. He is here for a month to document the Hammerhead migration on Protea Banks....if only we had Hammerheads here at this time !!! Damn. We normally do, but what is normal these days ? !!
Anyway, so we took our own boat and dived Protea Banks a bit different. We went in without a buoyline stayed 25 minutes in the Southern Cave and waited for Hammerheads. We did see 2 great Hammerheads which is a good beginning, a zam and a couple of black tips. We also saw an eagleray and lots of barracudas.
The second dive we did on our newly discovered reef called Wild Oceans. It is an offshore mount resembling a small volcano. It starts at 40m and is of course completely untouched by humans.
Quite a privilege to see this.
So,the diving will continue on Protea Banks tomorrow and we are hoping that the conditions will further improve as is normal for March and beyond