July – Sardine Run
1.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 3
Not a bad day today. The guys had lots of gannets and dolphins but the sardines were fast moving and no bait balls were seen today. They followed whales and got into the water with them. Some guests almost right up in touching distance. Nice calm sea and perfect weather, hardly any wind.
Full day out at sea.

2.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 4
For some reason i am not able to get photos from Coffee Bay. So at this stage i can only report what i am hearing. This is most frustrating to me…
So today we had a moderate Sardine Run day. There was activity but nothing much exciting. It sounds like everybody is still very happy which is the main thing.

3.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 5
Today was probably the most quiet day so far. According to my information there was almost nothing at all. The guys did a Baited Dive and even with bait they did not get a single fish, let alone shark.
I am jumping up and down here in Margate, but there is nothing i can do to change things. This is the deal….

4.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 6
Finally some pictures have come through. I have tried for over an hour to upload them, but to no avail….the frustration continues…
Anyway, today we had a much better day than yesterday. Lots of whales, lots of birds, turtles and common dolphins. No bait balls sadly.
Our micro light had a crash landing today and Louis our tough as nails pilot fixed it with some proper doct tape and flew on….they never give up these South African farmers !!!

Protea Banks
While the world is looking at the Sardine Run, Protea Banks is rocking . We see walls of hammerheads, bull sharks and black tips everywhere. There are some really big bulls down there. On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we saw 80-100 raggies.
What a lovely sight. Water was cold at 19C at the bottom. The top 15m was murky and resembled a white cloud. When we came through we got into blue and crystal clear water. It looked we were flying through the clouds. Brilliant.

5.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 7
The early morning looks uncomfortable. Like a european autumn day. It seems as if the day is doomed but absolutely not. Today is one of the best !!!
When we meet at the dive shop, the skies are covered in heavy clouds. Getting into the cold wetsuits at 16C airtemp is nasty.
Lucky we have hardly any wind and calm seas when we push the boats in.
With only 6 guests on our boat we have more space then we could ask for.
Just as we launched we spot the first dolphins. They play with the boat. We turn into a northerly direction where we see countless gannets congregating as well as common dolphins. Everyone moves towards the action.
Before we know, we find ourselves amongst hundreds of dolphins and birds. The activity is fast moving. We have to drive with our boat to stay with them. No bait ball in sight.
We get a call from the microlight plane. Louis tells us about activity off shore. We go and check it out. The water turns blue but we don’t see any sardines. Just as we are busy with a cup of hot chocolate, one of our divers spots two whales.
They come right up to us !!!
All of a sudden, one of the whales is breaching right in fron of our boat. The feel the splash deep in our bones !!! The fountain is huge. Just as we realise what is happening, the second whale breaches. Insane !!!
A few more breaches allow for good photos. We are completely happy. Was this the day’s highlight ? It was the highlight of my life !!!!!

6.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 8
Today we had a good day. Lots of action everywhere. We even had a Bait Ball.
Diving Gannets, countless Dolphins, Humpback Whales all day long.
Our Landcruiser broke down today. Apparently a snapped drive shaft. I get told only half the story of course. I assume , Kyle was taking on the Cruiser. Man against Machine….and man won !!! It will probably be some time until we have the car back in action…

7.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 9
Today we had a bad weather day. We could not launch safely and decided to stay on land.
Our guests were entertained with all kinds of trips and adventures. Alone the drive to Hole in the Wall is an adventure. This road is crazy !!!
The rain has stopped in the afternoon but the wind carried on.
We hope, this wind will bring us more sardines from the south

8.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 10
Today was another super day. A whale jumped so close to the boat that all cameras had to be hidden quickly. This is an amazing sight.
Later a group of bottlenose dolphins pushed a school of sardines into the bay off the Ocean View Hotel and started hunting them. Unfortunately we could not go into the water because this action happened too close to the rocks and it would have been dangerous in today’s sea conditions.
Our guests have experienced rough seas today and understood why we could not go out yesterday. Despite this, everybody had a great day today.
The water has cooled down to 16C which is perfect for sardine activity. It won’t stay this cold for long but we hope, it will bring a bit of movement into the sardines.
Our pilot had to do another emergency landing. A strong gust forced the plane backwards. He barely managed to get the plane landed on a stretch of beach without an accident. Lucky, old Louis is an old flying fox. His experience had saved him a plaster or two…

9.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 11
Not a breath of wind today. It feels a bit warmer despite a light rain.
Lots of dolphins underway. We are following a large school of dolphins which swims in one direction as if they know something.
When we get closer, their interest focuses on us rather than some elusive sardines.
They play with the boat waves, jump and swim all over the place.
We get our gear ready and jump in with them. the vis is not ideal but we get many dolphins in front of the cameras.
We play with a whale for some time. But no sardines in sight today….

10.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 12
The sky is covered and the light takes time to get through. The morning is cold, the sea calm. We wonder what the day will bring…
Only very few Gannets are around and few dolphins. We are side by side with our other boat. What can we do today ?
We see our microlight coming towards us. No action inshore, says the pilot Louis.
So we take course off shore. The green water turns a deep blue. Now we only need some animals !!!
A while later we hear on the radio : Lost of whales are coming up from the South.
We start driving towards the coast again and watch one breach after the other.
Some whales surface next to the boat. This is breathtaking stuff…
We love the whale action of today so much that we don’t worry about sardines today.
Tomorrow is a change of guests. We won’t be going out. Maybe the buggers are going to miss us !!! ???

12.7. 2015 Sardine Run Day 14
It is sunday. While most people in Germany are still in bed, we push the boat in the water in Africa !!
No wind and calm seas make the launch easier.
We have new guests on our boat and need to practice a bit with them. In the next couple of days we have wind and waves forecast.
The ocean is quiet. No dolphins no gannets….grrr.
We follow some whales and manage to snorkel with some. Our new guests are still a bit nervous and don’t know what to do properly. This results in the loss of one action camera.
After a short appearance of the sun, the sky closes up again and wind freshens.
Enough for the day. The drive back is uncomfortable and wet but the mood is great. Everyone loves this adventure and we take it as it comes.