6.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 11 - Bait Balls

 

Today we had a cracker of a sardine run day again. In the morning we had a nice size bait ball with everything on. Our friend, the Blue Pinguin is still around and so is a seal , a number of sharks and brides whales. Action out of a sardine run picture book !!!

Corona News :

New infections 12513, and incidence 226.4
I am so sick of even writing this kak but i feel i need to inform whoever reads my stuff.
This morning i read in the internet that all restrictions for travellers from the Uk have fallen away. Nobody need a test or quarantine anymore if coming out of the UK.
That is sweet , i am sure. I don’t begrudge anybody free travelling but how does this make sense ?
The UK had 27187 new infections, all Delta variant while we had ‘only’ 12 513.

Who are the people who make these kind of decisions, i ask myself. Did they ever go to school ? Or is there some level of corruption involved ? Or is it simply me ?

I am not saying they must scratch South Africa off the red list. No way. I get this. We are surfing the third wave and our country is battling with it. No doubt.
But the fact that the English and Russinans are allowed to ramp around in Germany and the EU without a test and without quarantine seems most odd to me seeing how these tow countries are struggling with the dreaded Delta variant….

Is this not going to endanger Germany and the EU ?

We will surely find out in a few weeks from now….

Protea Banks News :

Today we dived Protea Banks again but it was nothing to write home about , to be perfectly honest.
Vis was an okay 15m, water temp 22˚, current normal 1.5kn. Weather sunny and cool.
First dive on the Northern Pinnacle of Protea Banks had 2 raggies, one hammerhead and one black tip.
Second dive we went South looking for Giant Guitarsharks.
But they were not home today…
One black tip on our ascent…

Therefore we had humpback whales non stop and in all distances from the boat. Some near others far. Whales wherever we looked.
When the wind started to freshen up the whales got active and breached all over the place.
To give an idea, if i say we saw 100 whales today, i am not exaggerating !!!  Really cool…

Tomorrow we do a baited dive and afterwards most likely go see the Playground.

Private :

When i got home after a strenuous day, i found Maureen, our maid completely upset.
What’s wrong , Maureen,? i asked her. Are you alright ?

She needed almost half a minute to compose herself.
I could see there is something seriously wrong and prepared myself for bad news…
Her face was shaking, her hands were shaking and i feared she would break out in tears any minute…
Oh dear, what the hell happened here today ???

Everything gone, said Maureen. They came and stole everything…

Jeeeesas, was she robbed ? Did somebody break into the property and steal stuff ?
My adrenaline was heating up.

Maureen was completely shocked and could hardly talk.

All gone, she said.

Bananas gone, 

Bread gone, Everything gone.

Who took it, i asked her. What happened ?

So the moneky came while she cleaned the upper floor of the house and the kitchen door was as usual open. The monkeys came into the kitchen, opened the drawers and stole the bananas and the bread.
Maureen noticed it when she saw the buggers eating their loot on top of the roof.

Ppphhheeeeeewwww, Maureen.  😂🤣😂🤣

I had to giggle. Nobody can imagine who relieved i was….
And the dogs ?
No , they were with her upstairs. Don’t want to be alone, the sissies !!!

All this happened at 11am and poor Maureen worried about this attack all day.

You gotto love her !!! A gift from Heaven 😇

5.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 10 - Bait Balls

After we had the super cracker day yesterday we were hoping it would continue today. In the morning we found a serious bait ball which kept us busy for some time.
later we had numerous bait balls which were smaller and did not last as long but nevertheless we had action all day with gannets diving, sardines everywhere, sharks, a seal and a blue pinguin.

We find that, never seen before  we have bottlenose dolphins super numerous and super active this year on the sardine run. They behave also very odd. Almost as if they looked too deep into the bottle and are stumbling into bait balls and mess them up in a most clumsy way. Just like a drunken soccer fan….hehehe.

So all in all, it was a great day but not as outrageous as yesterday.

Corona news :

16585 new infections, incidence 225.5

4.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 9 - 4 hour bait ball !!!!!!

Like i was hoping, this cold front kicked the old sardines in the backside. Finally i came out of the doldrums…a fresh wind is blowing and immediately the excitement makes way of the old worries.

The sardine run action is cooking !!! I knew it !!!

At 9h42 i got a message from Beulah that they are on a large bait ball. At 13h06 they were still on the bait ball.. yeahi, yeahi

Two of our guests, Roy and Piet were on our boat all these past days and wanted to take a break today. Oh my god…they are livid.

They were asking if the helicopter could take them out to the boat and drop them into the ocean. I was all keen on this idea, but Aaron our pilot reckons the heli is too small to be kept stable when it suddenly looses 80kg. He is worried he could hurt somebody. 
Pity, that would have been a show just up my sleeve !!!

I am still waiting for more news from Beulah and hopefully some real photos for a change…

Here we go. Photos from the helicopter :

In the aerial videos you cn see how dolphins make a bait ball and hundreds of more dolphins are joining in. It is total mayhem !!!

Corona News :

Up and up it goes. 26485 new infections. Incidence 223.3
This Delta Variant knows its business…🥴🙃🤮

3.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 8. oh, oh wait a minute.. It is starting !!!

Scattered bait balls, Sardines everywhere, Gannets diving , Whales and Dolphins… This was the original info i got. Then suddenly somebody let the dogs out.

Today we had Bait Balls everywhere.
The guys spotted a Great White Shark. Now we are talking !!!

Our helicopter sees black spots everywhere in the ocean. These spots are sardines. Plenty of sardines !!!

Last night we had quite a strong wind here in Margate. Probably about 25 knots coming from South West. This means, the wind should have been in Coffee Bay around late afternoon.  This brings a cold front and i would not be surprised if tomorrow the sardines pull finger !!!

In the meantime Bart and his friend are working all day on the trailer. He phoned me to tell there is a problem but he is busy solving it. I am so used to problems, i don’t even get excited anymore. As long as Bart is there i can relax. 
Bart is worth his weight in gold.

Corona News :

New infections yesterday 21584, incidence rate 208.9

Yesterday a woman fro m Pretoria phoned me to enquire about a booking. She said that all the people she knows are sick with Corona. All !!!

It is getting worse everyday because we don’t vaccinate enough. I think by now we have less than 2% of the population vaccinated. Great !!!

On TV i hear that the situation worsens in the whole country. The hot spot Johannesburg ( Gauteng Province ) is spilling over to all the other provinces.

I still have an Austrian Group and thereafter a Spanish Group. It would be perfect if i could get all this business done before corona shuts us down completely. But this is just wishful thinking. I am grateful that i will get all or most of my sardine run program in.

Who can tell what happens tomorrow ?? Literally, it is impossible to even plan for one day ahead. Damn !!!

For now i will start my Brat and chuck a proper rack of ribs in the fire. To hell with corona and all that shit.

                        Thousands of Dolphins                                                                    Jasmine on a heli flip                                                             Mega Pods of Bottlenose Dolphins

2.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 7

We got all the tools ans spares bart needs and he is on his way to Coffee Bay. His vehicle is not in a good condition to drive all the way so he asked his mate to come along as he has a better car.. His mate decided, this is a good idea and brought his whole family, wife and two kids along. Eish. what am i going to do ? I probably have to foot the bill for all…

What can i do. The job needs to be done, the options are less than few…

From the Sardine Run i don’t hear many news. Maybe i don’t listen properly because my mind is dominated by all the problems.

Beulah tells me there are sardines everywhere but no real bait balls. Dolphins like we have never seen before.
Some say, maybe the sardine run is already finished ? 

I don’t believe this. Every single year we had initial action in June, then we had a gap and after the first few days in July the flood gates opened.

Let’s see if i am right or wrong.

Remember, Mother Nature is female…..if it was predictable it would have been called Farther Nature…hehehe

Corona News :

Jou, it jumped another notch to the 25000 mark. Incidence around 186

1.7. 2021 Sardine Run Day 6

Two boats out at sea today. It is very difficult to get decent infos out of Coffee Bay. The communication between me and Beulah as well as between Beulah and the crew seems extremely complicated this year. The cellphone signal swings in and out of reach like a carrot in front of a donkey.
Looks like corona affects frequencies as well…???

Beulah is reporting scattered bait balls in various places. They saw a manta, hammerheads and bronze whaler sharks. Something new to our sardine run experience is the bottlenose dolphins coming in their hundreds if not thousands. They seem to chase sardines from the bottom to the surface and apparently push them towards the shore. Never seen this phenomenon before in our 12 years on the sardine run.

The guys are having nice whale action as well. Our guests are absolutely happy. There is no lack of entertainment although everybody is hoping for a proper , static bait ball.

Our heli is flying all day. He has quite a number of private flips which is a huge attraction here at Coffee Bay.

We and our crews bend over backwards to give our guests everything possible.

Corona News :

New infections yesterday are at around 16500. Incidence 178

Protea Banks News :

Everything worked very well. I had to concentrate like hell not to forget anything.

I am not complaining but i had to do everything . All the admin stuff Beulah usually does like MPA permits, indemnities, corona check list, checking c cards and so on. Then i had to make sure the boat works and has everything on board. It is a lot !!! Really.

Then i had no proper vehicle and had to use my broken Prado to tow and launch and even to load the boat after the diving. What a mission it was. 

And my German guests had to go to do a PCR test before the dive briefing…eish. But they were finished and back before we were ready for launching.

Luckily all went well. The motors were performing perfectly which lightened my mood immediately. It was better this way because the surf was big and a faulty motor would have gotten us into trouble.

First dive we did was baited. Visibility was 10m, temperature 23˚. Too warm for this time of the year.
We had 4 black tips and 3 zambezis. The dive was really good.

Second dive Protea Banks Northern Pinnacle. We saw about 12 raggies and 3 Zams accompanied us all the way from the caves to the safety stop. Very nice.

At 17h00 i got home exhausted from the hectic day.
Then i had to cook for my maid. Jou. Not that she cooked for her nice and tired boss…..in my house the roles are switched. But we love her too much to moan.

And just as i put up my legs Spike phones me. He had an accident. The second boat was supposed to be brought back to the hotel when it came off the trailer hitch and pummelled down the incredibly bad path at Mapusi.
It came to a stand still at the sharp corner and miraculously did not get damaged at all. Only one wheel of the boat trailer broke apart when it hit a rock in a deep ravine.

The problem is how to repair this damage. The boat and trailer cannot be moved at all. We have to leave it in the middle of nowhere until we can solve this problem.

Bart.

I phone my friend Bart at 20h00 and tell him about the problem. I will go there tomorrow , he says. 

Who has a friend like Bart ??!!!