Thursday last week was a public holiday and the whole country was on the move.
Town was busy with holiday folks mainly from Johannesburg.
Nice to see.
We dived Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Amazing that we did not loose one day although we are in the windy season.
Normally Beulah and i are somewhere on an island during this time of the year.
Diving here is difficult during the windy season from Aug to Oct as we loose about 50% of our business to rough seas and closed harbour.
Not so this long weekend and everybody was very happy to get a bit of relief.
So we dived hard and had unforgettable experiences.
Usually we dive on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks during our winter period.
Here we are pretty much guaranteed to see Raggies from May until Dec.
I did notice a slight swell in Raggie numbers during the last couple of days but when we dropped in on Sunday, we were gobsmacked !!!
As we descend towards the deeper water we start seeing Raggies in midwater.
This is a good sign. And it looks good when Raggies are in the open water rather than dwelling on the bottom.
At 25m the water turned from 20˚ to 17˚ and more and more Raggies came into view.
Raggies love cold water but today they must have told every Raggie in the country to come to Protea Banks.
Ohmygod !!! It was indescribable.
Raggies wherever we looked. The further we drifted from the First Cave towards the Second Cave and beyond, the more sharks we saw.
Uncountable, hundreds of sharks
It was insane !!!
This is Protea Banks. It is totally insane !!!!!
Corona Situation in South Africa
This coming Thursday South Africa will open its borders to most countries. There will be a list of countries which will not be allowed entry at this stage. This list obviously depends on the infection rate of its people and will be adjusted from time to time.
Most countries in the world however will be more than welcome.
This is not an act of desperation on the side of our government but we have indeed reduced our infections to less than a thousand a day and our death rate is around 50 people a day.
So we are ready to make this first step into hope.
We do understand that it will take some time for tourists to come back again. All they need to get into South Africa is a negative Corona test which is not older than 72 hours.
We are moving into summer which should further help dropping the infection and death numbers drastically.
Let us hope for the best.
The last week was a tough one.
We broke our 4x4 vehicle again...Came back from diving and as we want to push the boat up the steep driveway at the diver villa we hear a 'clack' and the diff was shorn.
This means, no 4 x 4 on the boat towing vehicle. Cost : around ten thousand Rand.
Besides this, our old Prado also packed up totally. Has been with the mechanics for a couple of weeks now. Cost : about twenty thousand Rand.
But our tractor is finished being repaired now. This one was gone for almost a whole year. Now it is ready. Cost : Sixty five thousand Rands.
Getting rid of money is no problem at all. But bringing money in seems not working very well....
Thursday we had public holiday. We call it Braai Day ( officially called Heritage Day )
The whole town is booked out. The entire country is on the move. I think everybody needed to have a change of scenery. And my turn is coming soon too ...if Beulah doesn't want me to have a heart attack soon...
Se we had a couple of divers with us this long weekend.
If is so, so nice to see our friends Sophie and Jerome and their friends Nolwenn and Jose again.
Sophie and Jerome brought their rebreathers. I was looking forward to start up my rebreather and join them, but my machine is stuck and will not budge.
I must have tried 25 times and more to start it in all different variations. But it seems as if my oxygen solenoids are stuck which could be due to a bit if corrosion from standing for too long. Whatever i tried, it won't get past this test.
So we watched the lucky friends diving without bubbles while the rest of us sucked nitrox.
We dived hard. Twice on Thursday, twice on Friday, today and tomorrow we only get one dive in.
The sea is rough and cold at 19˚C on the bottom.
The dives were absolutely fantastic.
We saw almost everything there is in the sea including
twice two humpback whales
A divers dream.
I must say, i am not used to diving so much and spending day after day our in the rough sea but i love it. Love it like nothing else.
Sure, it takes it out of me and i am exhausted when i get home, but i feel alive again
17.9. 2020 Lockdown Day 178 Phase 2
Last night our president spoke to the nation.
From Monday next week we will be in Lockdown phase 1.
And the best :
From 1.10. 2020 our borders will be open again.
This is excellent news. Of course we all know that we won't be run over immediately, but it is a major leap out of this mess.
Conditions are :
There will be a list of countries whose citizens will be allowed to enter South Africa.
This list is according to the infection rate in the specific country and will be updated regularly.
Each traveller must be in possession of a negative Corona Test which is not older than 72 hours.
Those who don't have the test on arrival will be tested at the airport and must wait for their result in quarantine.
One step at a time...
10.9. 2020 Lockdown Day 168 Level 2
One of those days again !!!
So we are keeping the boats at the Diver Villa where they stand under the massive tree. The one we use currently is parked on top by the garages.
First we started with the smaller boat, the Southern Comfort. Then we swapped over to use the Twilight. But this one has an endlessly long trailer neck which is now really in the way. It is probably 2.5m longer than the others to give you an idea…
So in order to get the Twilight even up to the garages, Spike eroded half the garden’s trees and shrubs. Good thing Beulah hasn’t seen it yet…
We managed to get the boat in and out. In is easy, out is not.
It usually entails for us to drive over the neighbours across the road’s outside garden. Sooner or later he will find out and give us shit..
So we deliberated and came to the conclusion that the boat has got to be in front of the car and going in first as well as going out first.
The only way to do this on the outward route is to turn the rig around.
So Spike comes halfway down the hill and swings into the lawn. The heavy weight of the boat pulls half the grass out and leaves us with a potato field of note…
Without potatoes , of course…
Okay, so we managed to turn the rig around at the cost of the garden and proceeded towards the gate. The boat went through easy but there was no space for the car to turn and so we had to go straight towards the big dip…
Long story short, we ended up with the boat being stuck 10cm under the tar of the road in front of the Diver Villa. We could neither go forward nor backward and no car could pass either way.
And this is a very busy school street…rush hour…oh dear…
Traffic piled up as far as one could see. 40 minutes it took.
6.9. 2020 Lockdown Phase 2
We went diving today.
Originally i wanted to do a doublethink dive but we had some cloud coverage and straight away everything appears colder.
Besides it is Sunday and home is a nice place, especially on a Sunday.
So we decided to do only one dive and went to the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks.
We dropped in and as we near the First Cave we see lots of Raggies hanging out everywhere.
I tie the buoy in my usual spot and let the divers explore for a while.
As i look up i see a Tiger Shark circling curiously in the distance.
I did not have a dive since the lockdown where i did not see a Tiger Shark on Protea Banks.
Lots of female Raggies these days. They are a lot bigger than the males and a lot rougher looking. Too much hanky panky....
Once our bottom time was up we started ascending slowly.
The vis was great in the bottom half @ 20m plus. Top half was very murkey.
So i tried to spend as much time as possible on the edge of the visibility.
Then we moved up to 10m .
I see something funny and as i swim towards it , it materialises into two Humpback Whales.
This is Protea Banks.
1 x Tiger Shark
1 x Black Tip
2 x Humpback
What can i say !!! Where in the world do you see this in one dive ???!!!
Tomorrow the weather is great again and we have nothing better to do than dive....
4.9. 2020 Lockdown Day Whatsoever
So we are in Corona Phase 2 of 5. Two is not too bad anymore. Life is almost acceptable...
Our borders are still closed, but this is not an isolated case for South Africa but a worldwide situation.
There is talk though that our borders might be opened by the end of September ??? Rumours at this stage !!!
Our infection rate is below 1000 a day and our death rate is below 100 a day.
Bad enough, but not too shabby if we look at other countries.
A lot of luck and a lot of effort on the part of our politicians got us this far.
Me and Beulah are definitely behind our government.
Two massive events are lined up :
1. Beulah's Birthday tomorrow. I have to behave properly for a whole day...
2. We are diving again on Sunday Yeeaayyii can't wait.
I was just going to tell what happened this week, what we did but to be honest, not much has happened.
I am busy getting spearfishing equipment into our little shop. I am keen to cater for the local people of the South Coast and as scuba diving is essentially a luxury sport, spearfishing is not.
There are quite a number of Speeros around here and the community is growing.
I think, with the economy in tatters and more and more people out of work, why not get these youngsters off their asses, throw away the dope and the playstation and do something really good.
Learn how to shoot a proper fish and either put some food on the family table or put some cash in your pocket.
We will have everything a Speero needs. Experienced or novice, i want to keep every spare and every piece of equipment to get a gut going.
I am working together with one of the foremost Speeros on the South Coast to get the necessary knowledge and also to offer really good training.
We are investing a couple of bucks and build it up from there.
Really exciting !!!
Once we have it all together and displayed in the shop i will post some pictures.