Newsletter: Back to business

Hi divers

Weekend dives

Saturday: 9.00 and 12.00 from Hout Bay to the Romeliathe Maori and/or the BOS 400

Sunday: 9.00 am double tank dive from OPBC to North and South Paw and/or the Cape Matapan

The week(end) that was

We had a dry weekend last week as we spent three days at the CTICC participating in the Cape Town International Boat Show. We met a lot of new people, some old friends and a few really cool dogs. Many of the visitors to our stand expressed an interest in diving and asked to be added to the newsletter. To new readers we say welcome and hopefully we see you all soon in the water!

The special offers on Open Water, Advanced, Refreshers and Nitrox Specialty will hold for another few weeks, so if you missed the show you can still be part of the summer diving bunch.

Clare at the boat show
Clare at the boat show

Conditions report

The south easterly wind has been hectic all week so theoretically the Atlantic should be crystal clear. I drove home along the coastline today and there are huge patches of clean water and huge patches of darker water. It looked very clean around Llandudno so I think the Romelia is on the cards for the weekend. I doubt False Bay will be good as apart from the wind, the swell is in a southerly direction which does not improve conditions at all.

Saturday looks like the best option for diving, and Sunday a maybe. If you want to dive, reply to this mail or text me. Sunday’s launches will be confirmed late on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday: launching from Hout Bay at 9.00 and 12.00. I have mostly students so we will look for clean water around the wrecks of Maori Bay and the Romelia wreck area.

Sunday: conditions permitting, we will be launching from OPBC at 9.00 for a double tank dive. We will look at the viz around the wreck of the Cape Matapan, and if it’s not clean there we will dive the pinnacles at North and South Paw.

Safety stopping in Maori Bay
Safety stopping in Maori Bay

Congratulations are in order

for Shane and Odette, who got engaged this week. Wishing you all the happiness! Also congrats to Brian, who has just completed his Divemaster course in… wait for it… Hawaii! Brian is starting an Instructor Development Course this week. Good job!

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

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Christmas gift guide 2013

Ok so this is a bit late, and if you haven’t done your Christmas, Hannukah and Festivus shopping yet, shame on you. Or just shame. Most of these ideas don’t entail going to a mall and having your personal space invaded by ten thousand hormonal adolescents. You can order online, or make a phone call or two. Get going!

Christmas at Sandy Cove
Christmas at Sandy Cove

Books

For the reader, you could check out our book reviews, arranged by topic:

I’m not going to suggest a magazine subscription – I’ve let most of ours lapse as we seem to have entered a long dark teatime of the soul when it comes to South African diving magazines. If the quality picks up, they’ll be back on the gift list at the end of 2014.

Dive gear

Check out What’s in My Dive Bag for some ideas… You can contact Andre for most of these:

Make sure you know the returns/exchanges policy of wherever you make your purchases. Some places can be difficult, and if the mask doesn’t fit it’s no good at all!

For lady divers

For the diving lady in your life (or your man friend with too much hair), what about some rich hair conditioner to apply before going in the water? Suggestions here. A pack of cheap, soft fabric elasticated hairbands is a good stocking filler.

Some high SPF, waterproof sunscreen, or a nice hooded towel for grown ups (available in one or two of the surf shops in Muizenberg) would also not go amiss.

Experiences

Don’t forget to add a memory card for the lucky recipient’s camera if you plan to gift any of these! Contact Tony for prices.

For the non diver, you could inspire a love for our oceans with one of these:

For those who need (or like) to relax

Memberships

Wall art

Clip Clop designs and prints beautiful tide charts for Cape Town and Durban and moon phase charts for the year. You can order online or usually find them at Exclusive Books.

My underwater alphabet is available for R200 in A1 size, fully laminated. Shout if you want a copy.

If you take your own photos, you could print and frame a couple, or experiment with stretched canvas prints if that’s your thing. A digital photo frame pre-loaded with underwater images is also a lovely gift for a diving friend.

Donations

For the person who has everything, or because you’re feeling grateful:

Christmas gift guide 2012

In the interest of planning ahead, here’s our annual Christmas gift guide. This is specially for the people whose idea of a good gift is “whatever’s available in a shop close to the mall entrance on 23 December!”

Books

For the reader, you could check out our book reviews, arranged by topic:

There are also a couple of children’s books to consider.

Dive gear

Check out What’s in My Dive Bag for some ideas… You can contact Andre for most of these:

Make sure you know the returns/exchanges policy of wherever you make your purchases. Some places can be difficult, and if the mask doesn’t fit it’s no good at all!

For lady divers

For the diving lady in your life (or your man friend with too much hair), what about some rich hair conditioner to apply before going in the water – suggestions here, otherwise try what I’m currently using: Aussie Moist Three Minute Miracle, which is available at Clicks. A pack of cheap, soft fabric elasticated hairbands is a good stocking filler.

Some high SPF, waterproof sunscreen, or a nice hooded towel for grown ups (available in one or two of the surf shops in Muizenberg) would also not go amiss.

Experiences

Don’t forget to add a memory card for the lucky recipient’s camera if you plan to gift any of these! Contact Tony for prices.

For those who need (or like) to relax

Magazine subscriptions

Memberships

Wall art

Clip Clop designs and prints beautiful tide charts for Cape Town and Durban and moon phase charts for the year. You can order online or find them at Exclusive Books.

My underwater alphabet is available for R200 in A1 size, fully laminated. Shout if you want a copy.

If you take your own photos, you could print and frame a couple, or experiment with stretched canvas prints if that’s your thing. A digital photo frame pre-loaded with underwater images is also a lovely gift for a diving friend.

Donations

For the person who has everything, or because you’re feeling grateful:

Newsletter: Waning winter

Hi divers

As the cold slowly lets go of us the water temperature starts to move up a degree or two and soon we will all be comfortable in the water again. Today the temperature was 15 degrees so it’s heading in the right direction. There has been a fair amount of north west wind on and off and the visibility is not too shabby, 8-10 metres, and this should hold for the weekend.

There are a host of sites to dive in the bay before the southeaster arrives and sends us to the Atlantic I want to get in on some of them. Both days this weekend seem good from a weather point of view with Sunday being less windy than Saturday but both days will have a north westerly wind which flattens and cleans the bay.

Descending on the SAS Pietermaritzburg (taken in early August)
Descending on the SAS Pietermaritzburg (taken in early August)

Weekend plans

The plan for the weekend is to do two dives on Saturday and the same again on Sunday. On Saturday I want to visit Sherwood Forest (18-30 metres) and then go to Ark Rock (8-14 metres).

Sunday I want to do Batsata Maze and then go down to the cave off Cape Point and explore around the walls on the outside. There is also a new pinnacle near Boat Rock that looks very interesting on the sonar.

I have not decided whether we launch from Miller’s Point or the Yacht Club as yet but will send a text to those diving with details the evening before. Miller’s Point has been quite hectic of late plus they have decided to change the fee for using the site.

The dive “season” as it is so commonly referred to is about to start and as the days become longer, warmer and more beach friendly so too do many divers haul out their gear and get diving. If your gear has been laid up for months in a dusty garage, remember to get it serviced before you drop into the ocean.

Next weekend we will get going with Open Water student dives and Refreshers so we will most likely shore dive on one if not both days.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

Christmas gift guide 2011

It’s that time of year again. I trust you are all feeling suitably festive. Here’s our annual (well, second so far) Christmas gift guide. Use it/don’t use it…

Books

For the reader, you could check out our book reviews, arranged by topic:

There are also a couple of children’s books to consider.

Dive gear

Check out What’s in My Dive Bag for some ideas… You can contact Andre for most of these:

Probably not a good idea to get a mask unless the place you buy it will let the person exchange it if it doesn’t fit!

Donations

For the person who has everything, or just because you’re feeling grateful:

Experiences

Don’t forget to add a memory card for the lucky recipient’s camera if you plan to gift any of these!

For those who need (or like) to relax

Magazine subscriptions

Wall art

Clip Clop designs and prints beautiful tide charts for Cape Town and Durban and moon phase charts for the year. You can order online or find them at Exclusive Books.

Newsletter: Summer’s last fling

Hi divers

Recent Dives

As part of the Deep Specialty course currently on the go, we visited the SAS Fleur on Saturday morning. The Fleur lies in 42 metres of water (on the sand), and is quite far out in the middle of False Bay. Her sister ship, the SAS Somerset, is that curved grey navy vessel parked behind the Two Oceans Aquarium at the Waterfront. The Fleur is a spectacular wreck and we were fortunate to have perfect conditions both above and below the surface, with calm seas and 10-12 metres of visibility on the wreck (though it was dark).

Some photos taken on the SAS Fleur in False Bay, in 35-40 metres of water:

Overgrown wreckage of the Fleur
Overgrown wreckage of the Fleur
Sea urchin and sea cucumber on the Fleur
Sea urchin and sea cucumber on the Fleur
Rusted deck plates on the Fleur
Rusted deck plates on the Fleur

On Saturday afternoon we took a group of Open Water students on the boat to Castor Rock to finish their course. Castor Rock is a rocky reef system behind Roman Rock lighthouse, which stands near the entrance to Simon’s Town harbour. It was a short boat ride from Long Beach but very scenic.

Marinus and Dean showing off their perfect buoyancy
Marinus and Dean showing off their perfect buoyancy
Reef life at Castor Rock
Reef life at Castor Rock
Robyn (with a flooded mask!)
Robyn (with a flooded mask!)

On Sunday we visited the sevengill cowsharks at Shark Alley near Pyramid Rock. This is a physically demanding dive to do as a shore entry, involving a steep climb up and down the side of the shore and a tricky entry over the rocks. The rewards, however, are great. Even though the visibility was only about three metres, we had a super dive and were visited by lots of sharks. It was sad to see that several of the sharks have been injured by boat propellers and fishing hooks.

Sevengill cowshark emerging from the kelp
Sevengill cowshark emerging from the kelp
Cowshark passing overhead
Cowshark passing overhead
Sevengill cowshark with divers in the background
Sevengill cowshark with divers in the background

Weekend plans

The southeaster will continue to howl for one more day this week. Friday and Saturday should be less windy and we will dive at Long Beach both days doing Rescue and Divemaster training. We will be continuing the Deep Specialty course with a dive from Hout Bay on Sunday morning. Sunday late morning and afternoon will be spent in the pool, doing a Refresher and some Open Water students’ confined water skills.

There is a chance we could do a dive to the Aster, a wreck in Hout Bay Sunday afternoon, if there are enough people. Text me if you want in. It’s for Advanced divers, or you could do it as a deep Adventure dive, because it lies at about 28 metres with an average depth of over 20 metres.

Sodwana is getting close. For those coming along the water is warm, 26 degrees today, sunny and 28 degrees on the beach… For those not coming along the water is warm, 26 degrees today, sunny and 28 degrees on the beach… Hehehe!

Courses

There is a group of Open Water students starting on Monday whom I hope to finish diving during the course of next week.

I am also going to run an Advanced course special starting in the next week or two. It will consist of four boat dives and a shore dive and will focus on the skills and knowledge required to enjoy Cape diving and many of the wrecks we have here. We will focus on deep diving safety and this opens up a whole lot of dive sites in Cape Town. Mail me for more info.

Miscellaneous

Please remember your MPA permits. If you’re coming to Sodwana you will most certainly have yours checked, so make sure it’s in date. Also they’re required for all the diving we do in Cape Town, so please make sure you bring yours with you whenever we dive.

Just a reminder, if you don’t want to be on the mailing list please let me know. Also, feel free to forward this to any of your friends who might be interested in diving with us.

Regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog

Diving is addictive!

Refresh yourself!

No matter what your qualification level, if you have not dived for a while, or have had a bad dive and not been in the water since, it’s often a very good idea to have a refresher dive with an instructor.

You may not remember how all the kit fits together – which is quite important, as you are relying on your gear to be correctly configured when you’re underwater! The instructor will revise this with you, and help you fine-tune your buoyancy again. You’ll also cover basic skills like mask clearing and removal, regulator recovery and equalising your ears.

Most likely you’ll do the refresher in a decidedly non-threatening environment like Long Beach in Simon’s Town, surrounded by other eager scuba diving students. Then you’ll go for a dive, and remind yourself why the underwater world is so appealing…

This is why we love diving
This is why we love diving

Win a DSD for you and a friend on iMod

Tony is running a competition on www.imod.co.za, an awesome blog operated by Christopher Mills. You can win a DSD for two, or, if you’re a qualified diver, a refresher for you and a friend or (if you’re not in need of a refresher) a shore dive with kit, guided by Tony.

If you have friends and family you think might enjoy diving, this is a super opportunity to get them involved.

The link to the competition is here. The competition ends at noon on 29 August, so pay iMod a visit and enter now!