28.4. 2015. The Raggies have arrived !!!
Yesterday we had one of those Pay Back days. We dived the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks and saw hardly one black tip. No current, 12m vis, no fun !
Today we had another bumper day.mwe decided ro dive the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks, knowing that there would be no current.masmwe got down we counted 15 raggies. They have arrived for the 2015 season !!!
While our divers enjoy this amazing sight, we see five different tiger sharks swimming past. Is this possible ??? I guess so – we are talking about Protea Banks.
On the way up from the deep we see two bulls and three black tips.
What a magic day, no wind, warm sunshine, sea is completely mirror smooth.
So we thought yesterday was the best dive of the year so far….think again today !!!
What topped yesterday’s perfect dive was the fact that we had 5 different tigers today as wells a school of dolphins coming past. Unbelievable…..
We shouldn’t have dived today. We only had one diver, nobody else. If we don’t have at least 3 divers we don’t make any business, more often than not pay for other people’s fun. Only Chris was left for today and he is leaving tomorrow. He asked me really nicely if we could not just do it. Do a Baited Shark Dive as it is his last. And on sunday when he returns back home he goes straight to night shift… WHO CAN DENY A MAN HIS LAST WISH ??? Not me !!! I am a softie and cannot say NO.
Life is not just about business and money. Sometimes one has to give a little to get a little. And so we decided to go dive today.
AND WHAT A DIVE IT TURNED OUT TO BE !!!
Visibility 25m-30m. Watertemp 24C. No cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind, no current at all. The sea was as flat as a lake. Prefect.
Under water we encountered 3 Tiger Sharks, two stayed with us for 80 minutes. Below we had 4 Bull Sharks and on the Baitball 7 Black Tips.
Although we had unbelievable diving conditions going for the past two months now, today was a cracker day. Absolutely epic. I think it must be by far the best dive for 2015 to date.
I have amazing footage which will follow soon.
And poor old Chris ? He is in seventh heaven….
Nightshift on sunday ? Yeah, Whateva…
It has gone quiet for a while. We have a bit of time to clean up and grease all the wheels. I am nagging Beulah to take me away for a while to recharge but it looks like we can’t go until 10.5. Hopefully we will get a breakaway for ten days or so in the Drakensberg.
In the meantime Protea Banks carries on being great. Visibility of 25m-30m, lots of sharks. We have one sand tiger on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks waiting for his mates to arrive in the next two weeks or so. Even without bait we see tiger sharks and bulls. Guitar sharks on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks has become a major attraction to our divers over the past years. This is really funny because in the old days, guitar sharks used to be our emergency sharks. if we didn’t see any real sharks, sandsharks were good enough…..
Besides this, it is fast becoming winter time on the coast. Water is still 24C, but before long this will drop. And it so happens that all my personal wetsuits are packing up. Great. now when i need them most they break !!! Time for new gear, i guess….
Soon our crazy time will slow down a bit and we can breathe again. It is nice when one is really busy, but it takes it’s toll on one. Can’t remember the woman’s name who lives in my house !!! The one is my wife and the other my maid… don’t know which one now…
Anyway, we will soon have bait of time to sort things out again. Protea Banks had one average day where we had pretty low vis. this was followed by two blown out days. but the wind came from the right direction and made the conditions yet again excellent. Our vis is back to 25m, water temp 24C and sharks everywhere. we see tigers with and without bait, bull sharks and black tips everywhere. our little black tip girl still trails the fishing line behind her but i managed to cut off quite a bit. what is left should no longer harm her and her wounds form the cut in line are healing slowly.
She is still as cheeky as ever which certainly got her into trouble the first time.
Kyle had an eagle ray swimming beside him for almost 500m. eventually the ray did summersaults right next to him. Don’t know how he does it…
The wind did not only bring good conditions to Protea Banks but also icy temperatures to the coast. At night we hardly have 14C and when we need to get up early in the morning, it is tremendously cold outside. Can’t go without a long sleeved t-shirt.
One of these days i will have to start the fireplace again….
It also brought us real killerwaves to the coast. We are faced with waves in excess of 3-4m when we stand there in the launch. The base controller Thommy is running around like a headless chicken. He worries himself to death. Every so often he calls us to the ramp and shows us the waves and their patterns. Of course we do appreciate his genuine concern.
The other day we had to punch a medium wave in order to avoid the big stuff. this punch took our boat right out of the water. Even the motors came completely out.
Thommy wants to issue us with a pilot’s license…..and a wings badge…..
Never a dull moment in Shelly Beach
Good news for divers who were with us in the last couple of weeks. There is a little black tip girl swimming around on Protea Banks with fishing line wrapped around her head. The line is tight and has already started to cut into the flesh of the shark.
It is truly heartbreaking if you have to watch there helpless animals suffering and you can’t do anything to help.
We definitely need to go on a course to learn how to put sharks into tonic immobility just to clean them up after heavy fishing activity.
Anyway, i tried everything to help the girl. My knife just didn’t work. I could not get it under the line to cut although we did get close enough to the shark many times.
Then i tried a gaff. Oh my god…the moment i hooked, the shark must have moved and the damn gaff got stuck in her back…
She went wild and shot out of the water at full speed. this shook off the gaff – thank god – and dropped it right through my hand. i missed it by centimetres and lost the damn thing. So i got myself a new one, blunted the point not to repeat the same debacle again but the black tip girl did not appear for a couple of days. We really feared the worst until yesterday she was back. And the bloody gut was loose trailing behind her. It is right off the body and is hanging on one fishhook on her pectoral fin. I don;t think it will be long before it falls off completely.
We are really relieved about this…..
We are completely exhausted. Our Erich Ritter Shark School has departed today after having the time of their lives on Protea Banks. What we are experiencing at this moment is difficult to put into words. The diving is so good for so long that i cannot remember a year which was similar. Visibility is 30-40m, temperature 26C
On every dive we see tiger sharks, baited and unbaited. Sometimes we see one tiger, other times we see up to four different tiger sharks. Besides we see bull sharks, duskies, hammerheads, black tips, dolphins, guitar sharks, the list is endless.
I will upload some video clips soon in order to show what i am talking about. Dark purple water, crystal clear, warm,and full of these most amazing creatures. And all so peaceful….
We work like hell. No time to write news reports. But. Feel gguilty not to. So i try and squeeze it into a full day.
We get up at 4:45 breakfast and off to the shop by 6:00 get everything ready for the divers who meet us at 7:00. Then we dive all day. Four launches a day.
We have the privilege of hosting the famous shark scientist Erich Ritter. He is here with a group of 11 divers doing shark school.
Of course we were worried if we and Protea Banks could deliver….but hey, we are talking about Protea Banks !!!! There is no better shark dive than Protea Banks and this is a fact. And Protea delivers. Every day. And how !!!!!
We see several tigers, bulls everywhere ( i counted 9 ). We see guitar sharks, hammerheads, even a Great Hammerhead Shark !!! We have black tips, dolphins and eagle rays, at the surface on our way back to base we even saw a manta ray.
Our visibility is 30m, water temp is 27C top half and 23C bottom. The current is flying at a hectic 3 knots.
Our shark school people are on cloud nine, and we … We love this stuff !!!!!!!
This is the time of the year, no doubt.