For the last ten days we had two divers from Berlin. Everyday we went out to Protea banks and did two dives. Almost always we did a two-tank-dive which i don’t like at all. But it is more economical if we only have a few divers.
On the first day, one of the guys got sea sick in perfect , once – a – year faerietale conditions.
I thought, oh dear…how are we going to do this whole stretch of time with them…???
On day 2 nobody got sick anymore and from day 3 they started to mock.
The dives they had went from good to gooder to most goodest ( !!! )
And the two divers developed from holiday divers to hardened Protea Banks divers.
Nothing worried them. Rough sea conditions, ice cold water, current and crazy sharks. They just loved it !!
And this is exactly what inspires us all here.
Mikko and Ulf got what they deserved. They saw tiger sharks, bull sharks, raggies on the bait , one rag knocking with its head three times on Mikko’s camera and so much more.
We dived the Playground which we haven’t dived for a very long time. And we had the most amazing dives there. So much so that i decided to go there more often again.
The Northern Pinnacles of Protea Banks with so many raggies that we could no longer count them.
They, the sharks and we, the crew all had a really good time
The last couple of days we had a mean thermocline. The water hat barely 14˚. This is unknown to us and we do not appreciate this temperature.
Today i pulled out my drysuit which had been hibernating for the past 2 years.
So we went to the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks which really is the best place to dive in these conditions.
I battled my drysuit which almost strangled me.
I also had to carry the buoy line, watch 3 ‘new’ divers ( instructors but first dive on Protea today ) and carried my monstrous camera with me.
So as i get down i have to orientate myself, get to the cave and tie off the buoy line.
Then i have to get my camera ready and fast. The strobes need to be set and angled correctly.
Then quickly find some motives before the time runs out on the 35m bottom.
Damn, it was real stress…
Luckily it was a slight bit warmer than yesterday at 17˚.
The vis in the cold water was not bad at 20m – 25m albeit a bit dark.
We had about 30 + Raggies, a Tiger ( again ) and a Black Tip. Great dive.
Au wow, this side of the blog has been neglected badly. I am working like there is no tomorrow. It never ends and if i don’t force myself to stop at some late evening hour, it would just carry on. And when everything is stopped, there is the website….
And when i wrote my long entertainment stories on the German side, i am exhausted.
All my good intentions to translate everything comes short.
I will change this. Promised.
For now i can report the diving on Protea Banks to be excellent again. For unknown reasons we do not have any bull sharks on Protea Banks. This has never happened before. Normally, March, Apr, May is the best time for bulls. And Protea Banks is most famous for bull sharks…not this year, i’m afraid.
I hope it is a fluke of nature and not a man made problem.
Spoke to my friend from the Sharks Board. Matt Dicken is a senior shark scientist with whom i do quite a bit of work. He told me, there are no bull sharks all the way up the coast right into Mozamique. He too has no explanation at all.
Good news is that the raggies have arrived in late April and have picked up in numbers to well over 150 recently. At the moment we are back to about 50 – 100
The sight which awaits the diver on the descent to the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks is breathtaking. Raggies wherever you look.
After a disastrous April we have all but given up hope to see the tigers for the season. They have arrived now too.
There are two tigers on Protea Banks these days. One is just on 3m long, the other almost 4m. They are still shy but we do see them on almost every single dive.
Unfortunately for us, we have more tiger sharks than divers these days…
This month has been dead quiet. The whole world descended on us in April, 2 – 3 divers everyday in May. Next month it picks up again in conjunction with the Sardine Run.
Visibility has been consistently good at average 20m and the weather was glorious.
Flat sea, easy launch and until recently lovely water temps of 22˚ – 23˚.
Today we had a whopping 15˚.
Looking forward to tomorrow
Out of bed early these days. Takes its toll…At 3h30 the alarm rings, at 5 we meet at the boats and pick them up. Then it is back to the shop to collect everybody’s dive gear and all the cylinders we have.
This morning the Japanese divers arrived shortly past 6am.
We were ready and launched early.
By 10am we had already the second dive out and by 14h00 we came back to shore after 8 launches. It runs well.
The weather just , just held out for us. It did get a bit rough with a 15-18kn NE.
The diving was good.
Visibility just on 10m at the top half and 15m bottom half. Not bad.
Watertemp 23 top and 21˚ bottom.
On the Baited Dives we had Black Tips , usually a healthy number of between 5 and 8 animals. They were playful and real fun to dive with.
On the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks we had 20 Sandtigers and on the Southern Pinnacle a couple of Hammerheads, Black Tips, one Zambezi and 5 Guitarsharks.
Great day !!