31.10. 2015
My boy Marley is still hanging in. He only eats a bit of liver spread after a lot of coaxing. needless to say that Beulah bought him the best liver spread in South Africa !!!
Yesterday he ate a raw egg. We were so excited, had no words for this huge leap of faith. Today however, appetite is looking very bleak…
I am now spending as much time as possible with him. Usually i do the first dive and Spike takes over from me so i can go straight home to Marley. The two of us love sitting on my top balcony and watch the world.

Protea Banks
On Wednesday our German group has arrived. Thursday we had to abort the launch because our boat took on too much water and we had no power. By the time we returned to the beach the launch got worse. It was on good advise that we cancelled for the day. On Friday we finally managed to get two dives in. Protea Banks Southern Pinnacle.
The vis was below 10m but we had lots of shark sightings despite low vis. 2 Zams, 2 Black Tips, 1 Dusky, 13 Sandsharks and countless Hammerheads. Even the first time Protea Banks divers saw lots and came back happy.
Today they did a Baited Dive before getting blown out by wind. They had Black Tips and 5 Bullsharks on the bait station. Very happy divers !!!

ENOS Diver Safety System
Thanks to the Sharkproject and Seareq we have now the amazing ENOS system on board. this consists of 2 sending units, each carried by us dive masters and one receiving unit which is kept on board the boat. If a sending unit gets activated it sends an alert signal via satellite to the receiving unit. This responds with a loud beep and shows the boat crew the identity, distance, coordinates and direction of the diver in distress.
We have tested it so far from a distance of 1500m and it worked like a dream.
We are fully convinced that ENOS brings us home again.

Diver Villa
Our renovations which began in August are almost at an end now. The Diver Villa has been transformed into a real treasure chest. Amazing what can be done with lots of money !!!!
We have added one bathroom inside the main house so all 4 bedrooms have now 4 private bathrooms.
Outside we have converted the old, unused bar area into a self contained mini apartment with queenside bed, tiny kitchen and bathroom with shower, basin and toilet. This has become my favourite room now.
At the back of the house , the old Backpackers Apartment has been converted into a lovely Garden Cottage with it’s own veranda, kitchen and twin beds. Obviously private bathroom as well.
Last touch ups will be completed next week

26.10. 2015
Back in the Vet Hospital with Marley. We had a bad weekend with him not eating or drinking. It doesn’t look good for my little boy. Beulah and i are devastated….
I am writing this here because so many of our divers have got to know Marley. We saved him from the animal shelter where he was due for execution. He became my best friend ever. Every morning we took him to the base at Shelly Beach where he ran between the diver’s feet, jumped off the boat into my arms and pissed on the scuba cylinders. He truely is a character. He has enriched our lives beyond measure.
Diving on Protea Banks last week was marred by wind and weather. Most days we just got one dive in before the base had to be closed. One day was okay and yesterday we couldn’t dive at all. The visibility was also pretty low. At best 12m, worst day we had 5m
Still the dives were great. On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we had about 20 raggies, on the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks an entire array of shark species such as bulls, black tips, hammers, duskies and even guitar sharks.
Today and tomorrow we are off. Back on the reef with a new group of German divers from wednesday.

21.10. 2015
I am sitting here at the Vet Hospital with my little Marley. He has been on a drip for two days now. His kidneys are failing. Of course, me and Beulah are out of our tree with worry and while he has to stay here during the day, one of us is staying with him. That’s what we do. After all, Marley is my little brother and his time is definitely not up yet !!!
In the meantime life on Protea Banks continues with sharks and more sharks.
In the caves on the north side of Protea Banks we counted 18 raggies today.
One Zam and a couple of black tips on the way up.
Some divers saw a wall of hammerheads outside the second cave while i was too busy looking for teeth… Always glad when my divers see exciting animals even if i miss it.
Visibility is prett low, just on 10m down the bottom and about 5 in midwater. And it is cold…20C…
Most days this week we just managed to get one dive in before the wind blew us out the water. Today our launch was a bit difficult with waves coming from all sides but we managed to get two dives done. As we surfaced on the second dive the Westerly blew like hell.
Hopefully this wind will bring us more clean and warmer water for tomorrow.

18.10. 2015
We are back in business. The Diver Villa is full, the Beach Apartment is full and the boat is full. Lots of new divers who want to experience the magic of Protea Banks.
But before the magic happens, you got to get through the weather. Almost every day we loose the second dive to strong wind. Same today.
A 14 knot North Easterly turned the ocean into a battle field. Many a new diver who doesn’t know our sea has walked right into a steel wall today.
But once out, the reward was amazing.
Tiger Shark, Bull Shark, Dusky, Black Tip and lots of Hammerheads.
What can i say ? Protea is not for the faint hearted, and Africa………

15.10. 2015
After a mammouth dry break of 7 weeks i was more than keen to get back into Protea Banks water.
And good old Protea Banks delivered. After a slow start we got lots and lots of hammerheads. One school came straight towards us. I managed to count 50 animals but estimated twice as many. 4 guitarsharks, 1 zam, 2 black tips. Visibility is 15m and watertemp was 22C.
Second dive was to the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks. In the first cave we found exactly 10 raggies, another 2 in the second cave. On coming up 2 zambezies took an interest in us.
Yesterday it was time to do a baited dive again. We had 6 black tips and 4 bull sharks directly on the bait station. 1 hammerhead and 1 dusky in the background.
Happy divers !!!

13.10. 2015
I am just finishing my coffee and then it is off diving Protea Banks again. It has been six weeks since my last dive. Wondering if i can still do it ???
Today i want to go to the Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks first and see how many hammerheads we can find there. Then it is back to the base at Shelly Beach , a short interval and out again. This time the Caves on the Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks. I am hoping to find quite an impressive number of Raggies around the caves.
Can’t wait …!!!

6.10. 2015
So we got back home safe and sound and the dogs went mal when they saw us.
The flights were a bit shaky at times. I am sure, the pilot smashed a hole into the tarmac when he landed us… I always look around the other passengers when stuff like this happens. But nobody seemed perturbed, so I just acted as if nothing unusual happened.
At home everything seemed to have gone well. September is a quiet month anyway and having the dive operation closed, life was relaxing and easy for everyone involved. Poor Karen had to sit in the quiet shop …
Our building operation at the Diver Villa has taken shape. The Pool Apartment is looking good and the Garden Apartment still needs a lot of work. I have to put hands on this week in order to get it all finished by mid month.
Yesterday the builder and I went shopping. It took us all day..unbelievable !!!
One cannot estimate the amount of stuff one needs to build, equip and furnish one simple room. Not to mention the cost…had I only known this before…