2021-04

11.4. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New infections yesterday 1285 - incidence 10.2

Yesterday we all went on a family outing to dive in Hibberdene, about 30 km north of Shelly Beach. We go there especially for training dives if the conditions in Shelly Beach are not suitable. 
Unfortunately when we got there the visibility at Hibberdene was not good at all. We decided that we are here now and we dive. Any dive in any condition is an experience.
Underwater we had about 3m, sometimes maybe 5m vis. But everybody managed well and got valuable experience. He who can be comfortable in such low visibility conditions will only thrive in better times.

Well done to the students Ilse and Renier as well as Clive who wanted to get back into diving after many years

9.4. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 1366 - Incidence 9.3

We dived on Protea banks the last three days. The day the Russians departed we got two German ladies from JoBurg. With their dog.

Of course we liked the company of the lovely girls, but that dog…everybody was in love with Nala the rescued dog.
Especially because Naja owns a Toyota Landcruiser…Oh man, we all wanted Naja to stay forever !!!      

The weather has been amazing.   28˚C , blue skies, warm sun and almost zero wind. The water was like a mirror. Not a ripple.

Unfortunately below the water was pretty murky due to the lack of current. So we had barely 10m vis, temperature was 25˚ on top and 21˚ on the bottom.

This is not bad, but because we have been spoilt for weeks on end with blue, blue water, it felt like the conditions aren’t great.
Having said this, we saw a tiger shark on almost every singe dive. Especially on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks where the big tiger beast rules at the moment.
Besides tiger we saw black tips and even a great hammerhead.

5.4. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 463 - Incidence 11.0

So Sunday passed and Monday arrived and guess what happened ?
Yep, the sharks were back. It works like that !!! Everybody thinks i am superstitious but it is a fact that in all the 23 years of diving on Protea Banks, Sundays were always quiet days when it comes to shark sightings.

Anyway, today was a super day and i am not only relieved but downright happy for my great Russian group to experience today’s dive.
Vis 20m, water temperature 26˚C and current about 1 knot. The sea was huge with 3m – 4m swells but that was mainly towards the beach. So our launch was an adventure these people haven’t seen yet.
We call it Rough Sea Launching

We had the bait ball in the water for less than two minutes when we already spotted a tiger from the boat. Then the excitement started.
I love it.
We kitted up as fast as possible and dropped in the water. As we went down we saw the first tiger. Shortly afterwards came the second tiger. Ou man, that’s it !!!
Halfway through the dive the third tiger came in and out of view for the rest of our 75min dive time.
In the end we counted 3 Tigers, 3 Zams and 8 Black Tips.

Now our super short Easter holiday is over again. Our divers are departing tomorrow and we are waiting to see who else is coming.
As Europe is locking down again we hope for a bit of local business .
As long as we can keep our boats’ props spinning and cover our costs we should be good to get through this mess.

So, we keep on diving our beloved Protea Banks and i keep on reporting here.

4.4. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 777 - Incidence 11.9

Yeah, i pulled out all the stops like i promised but disappointingly we only had 2 Black Tips on the baited dive….
Luckily everybody was happy and enjoyed a warm dive at 26˚C with a visibility of 15m
After two days of westerly winds the vis should have been 30m. So this is an indication that the ocean is already in winter mode.
We do need more current to clean up further and bring the sharks back.
We will try again tomorrow.

Tony wearing the Danger Suit….

3.4. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 1273 - Incidence 12.9

Yeah, April has not yet started as well as March ended. I told Spike, there will be a price to pay for all the good dives we had since February.
Now we have a group of divers from Moscow and the poor guys have not seen Protea Banks at its best. The vis has been shocking at barely 5m. Having said this, when we went deeper we had a mean thermocline from 25˚ to 18˚ but the vis in the cold water was a good 20m+
On the first diving day we had 3 tigers. On the second day only 2 black tips and a Zams and on the third day we struggled to see one black tip. Got a manta too which made the day.
While i am stressing and pulling my hair out, my Russian divers are just happy to be here and to dive here.
Yesterday we had the Great Cooking Spoon go through the ocean in form of a big West wind. Today we cancelled due to rough sea and more westerly winds but tomorrow we will klap it properly.
I have already prepared my best whale meat, my best tuna carcasses and my best sardines for the Baited Dive in the morning.
I am completely sure we will pull in those tigers. My divers deserve it and so do i.

Watch this space

Couple of nice pics before the wind broke loose at Shelly Beach