This year we do our Sardine Run with a Chopper. Only the best for our guests !!!

Spike is watching the situation

We still have space on our Sardine Run Program

Considering the circumstances we have good bookings for the Sardine Run so far. Of course it can always be better.
We have space for more and we expect an epic run this year.

We are busy talking to Aaron who owns a helicopter. We want him to be our air support this year and things are looking good.
A helicopter would be the ultimate. I am highly excited !!!
Aaron seems very keen. More than keen which excites me even more. He is a nice guy and knows how to handle his copter like a pro. 
Of course this will benefit our guests as well as the Ocean View Hotel as Aaron will offer help flips to see the Sardine Run action from above.

IMAGINE !!!!!!!!!

All sings are pointing to an epic Sardine Run this year. Never before have there been such incredible masses of sardines amassing around Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay.
One day they start running from there along the South African East Coast. We don’t really know what is the sign which triggers the run. It is not only the water temperature, that’s for sure.
I think, it might simply get too crowded for the sards down in PE and they bugger off…???
( I am clearly not a scientist…)

We take this very serious !!!

23.5. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections Yesterday 4236 - Incidence 36.1

Corona :

This week we had nothing less than 3500 new infections a day and yesterday broke through the 4000 mark. No doubt, the third wave is happening here…the question is only : how bad will it get ?

I am completely demotivated to be honest. Hardly feel like writing , got to force myself. I am so done with this corona shit , i can scream…
The emotions are going crazy. Beulah is working her heart out to keep us high up in the rankings. The energy she puts into her marketing is unbelievable. Her body can’t keep up with her mind…
I try my best to get a sardine run together. AT least one decent boat for two weeks. Just to be present and part of this what promises to be an epic sardine run this year.
One day the bookings are looking good, the next day we get a cancellation and the whole pile of apples collapses…

We get depressed for the day and look for strength to carry on. This strength is still in us, but somewhere deep down…
How much longer does this carry on…?
I am only grateful i can live here in Margate.
Everyday the sun shines. Today we had 23˚. At night we have 14˚. It is winter now….

Last week:

This morning Beulah and i sat in bed and enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee. We were watching two young humpback whales as they breached no less than 15 times while going past our view.

Can anybody imagine a nicer Sunday morning ?

Last night we had a braai (bbq) We had Lobster. Renier gave us 8 lobster he caught fresh. Beulah had one half and i had seven halves….

Can anybody imagine a nicer Saturday evening  ?

Wednesday and Thursday we dived Protea Banks. We had 25m vis, a pleasant 24˚ water temp and strong current.
Wednesday we saw a Giant Manta Ray. It was the biggest Manta i ever saw in my dive life !!! And i saw a lot…
It was fascinating watching this massive giant flying through the water like a bird…unreal.
Shortly afterwards a Striped Marlin came towards us at a speed of knots. I saw him coming from far. He came from the back of the dive group and came so near to Renier that i worried the marlin would spear the diver.. Barely 3m before the group the Marlin turned, stopped, watched us and moved on slowly.
I had to dream my head off to alert the other divers who probably still saw the manta in their minds. I dreamed so hard that i lost my voice for the following three days. Serious !!!!!
But it worked, all divers saw this magnificent creature and felt the joy we get when we see these animals alive and well.
Unfortunately my GoPro was frozen at this moment. But such is life…i know this all too well…
After the Marlin we counted 15 Giant Guitar Sharks which is another rare privilege.

Can anybody imagine a nicer Wednesday  ?

Monday was my birthday. Like every year Beulah spoilt me rotten. She bought me a bunch of flowers with Proteas ( i called them my Protea Banks )
When i was a child my grandpa always bought me flowers for my birthday and i treasured this every year. Beulah keeps this tradition going and i remember this wonderful man i miss so much everyday of my life !!!
I received over 800 birthday wishes from people all over the world. This is crazy and i love nothing more than Beulah reading me every single name and every message…
Monday afternoon Beulah took me to JAXX Restaurant. Those who know this place know how great the food is.
Amazing !!!

Can anybody imagine a nicer Monday  ?

What an amazing birthday week i had !!!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who remembered me and made the effort to send a little note of just a thumbs up. I love it like nothing else when Beulah reads all the names off facebook. 

Great Hammerhead
Raggie in First Cave
Raggie in the background

16.5. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 2750 - Incidence 31.2

Infection rate is going up and morale is going down….at least mine !!!
I am gatvol, that’s for sure. We try our best and don’t seem to win. Of course we can’t give up although the thought is there all the time, to be honest.
Last week we had about 3500 new infections every day. We put this down to the 2 long weekends, Easter and Frist of May exactly two weeks ago. But no-one knows where it leads to. 

We work like hell diving Protea Banks, bending over backwards for the few clients we get. We are grateful for everybody who comes to us and our beloved Protea Banks rewards each and every one with unforgettable dives.
Our work load is the same if we have two divers or a full boat. As long as they stay with us at the Diver Villa we don’t run at a loss. 
We do what we have to do, but when we sit down we realise who much effort we put in this. Good thing i love diving so much….

We are working tirelessly on our Sardine Run program. If everybody comes who has “confirmed” we will be fine. We will be part of an unprecedented Sardine Run this year and we will come out with a bit of surplus to pay the rent for the rest of the year.
But what if Corona stuffs it all up for us ???
We never know and watching the number every single day several times is driving one nuts.
This is definitely a mind game…

Keep diving, brother

8.5. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections yesterday 1956 - Incidence 19.2

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we dived Protea Banks ( what else…)

It was real adventure diving with strong currents and lots of sharks. Hard diving, just the way i like it. It was like a work out. And i definitely needed a good work out to get rid of all the frustrations caused by this rubbish Corona.
I had 2 dive masters and 3 instructors , 2 Germans, 1 from Holland and 2 locals. Highly experienced divers but i don’t think any of them ever dived this extreme…
After three days of really great diving the guys were ecstatic. They loved every moment of every dive, they saw a lot and learnt a lot. For sure.

Now we have the weekend off and are looking forward to our new group from Czech arriving on Tuesday. They will be joined by a couple from France.
So we are happy to see internationals trickling through every now and then. Those who refuse to be brainwashed and really want to travel can do so.
And coming to South Africa is really so, so easy.

4.5. 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - New Infections Yesterday 897 - Incidence 14.6

It was a bit windy today and the sea choppy. But nothing big. This is the quiet time of the year when we have very little wind, always sun and cool nights. Today we have 23˚. Need to dress a little warmer already .

Times are exciting and the sardine fever is heating up. Like i reported, we have a chopper supporting us this year’s sardine run. The pilot and his machine will be based with us at the Ocean View Hotel. He will fly 3-4 times a day for us to spot action and besides this we offer heli flips for our guests whenever they want to see the sardine run from the air. 
How exciting !!!

We dived today. 5 shark species in one dive !!!

First dive : Southern Pinnacle of Protea Banks
Vis 10m top half and 20m bottom half
Watertemp 25˚C
We saw : 3 Great Hammerheads and 6 Scalopped Hammerheads

Second dive : Playground
We saw 1 x Tiger shark, 1 x Bull shark, 2 x Black Tips, 2 x hammerheads and 6 x Raggies

Unfortunately i did not get photos of every shark… 

Tiger
Raggie
Raggie
Zambezi

1.May 2021 Lockdown Level 1 - Incidence 13.9 - New Infections Yesterday 1674

At the moment we are having a few quiet days…in these quiet times…

We dived Monday to Thursday this week. Now we are free for the weekend and dive again from Wednesday.

With the Raggie season staring now diving on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks is always great. Guaranteed shark sightings.

At the moment there are between 20 and 30 Sandtigers in the first cave.
On the South Side we saw a Guitar Shark, Black Tip and Bull Shark.

When we wanted to visit the Tiger on Playground, the bugger was not home.
In fact nobody was home until we got to the safety stop when suddenly a Black Tip and two Zams came to see us.
They and their Remoras gave us great entertainment and so we extended the dive by another 20 minutes.

Why Not !!!

The vis was 25m and the water temp 26˚ on top and 25˚ on the bottom. What a pleasure !!!
I must look back in my logbooks and see if we ever had such lovely warm water so “late” into the summer.
So we love it, enjoy it .

Meantime it got really fresh outside. Currently we have 23˚ and at night the mercury drops down to 16˚

For us this is terribly cold…haha