Newsletter: Signs of winter

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

No launches planned – diving on Tuesday and Wednesday next week!

The weekend has typical winter conditions. A long period swell of around 5-6 metres with 30 – 40 kilometre/hour winds means really rough and bumpy surface conditions, not the kind of conditions I enjoy diving in. We have no planned launches. Go flower hunting instead. (The flower in the picture, Hessea cinnamomea, only blooms the winter after a fire, and then goes dormant, sometimes for decades, until the next burn.)

Hessea cinnamomea at Cape Point
Hessea cinnamomea at Cape Point

The visibility is decent and that won’t change too soon. Tuesday and Wednesday have less swell and very little wind so we will launch then. Download a leave form and complete it, and send it in to whoever will miss you if you don’t turn up at work… And join us for some aquatic therapy.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Weekly goodness

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Boat dives, to be confirmed

Under the jetty
Under the jetty

We are in one of those winter zones of good weekday dives, interspersed with questionable weekends. False Bay has been clean all week, and may remain so for the weekend.

I am unsure, however, of how the frontal system will affect the bay as it is accompanied by a swell – fortunately very westerly – that peaked at 8 metres today with pretty strong winds. If we launch it’ll be on Saturday, and I’ll make that call tomorrow afternoon. Let me know if you want to be notified of dives.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Not too shabby

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

No diving

False Bay has not been too shabby at all, and the visibility has been rather good. There is some hectic wind and rain in the forecast for Saturday, but by Sunday it is mostly over.

We are not launching this weekend, but my suggestion would be a boat dive for Sunday to get clear of the run off from the heavy rain, however there are sometimes shore dive sites with crystal clear water after the wind and rain. Best you take a drive and look before you leap, and pack a flask of hot chocolate for after the dive.

Danger Beach in False Bay
Danger Beach in False Bay

Tidal pools

Cape Town’s tidal pools are a national treasure. The City of Cape Town has been experimenting with an environmentally friendly cleaning protocol, to preserve the abundant marine life that these pools house. In order to effect the cleaning more efficiently, a high pressure hose would help. Does the city have budget allocated for it? No, of course not. (We’re showering with buckets, remember.) Are some enterprising ocean lovers running a crowd funding campaign to get one for the city to use? You betcha. Donate here. They’re almost at their target. It’s worth it.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Just swell

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

No diving​

False Bay has been magical all week with exceptional visibility. The weekend looks a little iffy. The first real winter swell arrives tonight: the forecast says around 8 metres at 16 seconds. It thunders through tomorrow, meaning that Dungeons will be cooking… For the brave and top-class surfers. It tapers off during the weekend but Saturday’s wind is forecast to be around 50 km/h. Sunday’s wind is a lot less, however still more than our size boat is suitable for. Sadly a dry weekend for us.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Cooler days

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Boat or shore dives

Storm clouds over Kalk Bay
Storm clouds over Kalk Bay

With the rain comes cooler daytime temperatures and slightly colder water. The plus side is the visibility is very decent at this time of year. The weekend looks really good for diving and I think Sunday will be the better day.

I am out on the boat tomorrow, so I will have a better idea whether we launch or shore dive. Get in touch if either of these activities tickles your fancy.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Boat or shore

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Boat or shore dives – choice to be confirmed tomorrow afternoon

We had a good dive at Long Beach on Sunday – with about 6 metre visibility and 16 degree water, it was a sample of the good winter conditions that False Bay can deliver, but not too cold!

This Saturday looks good for either boat or shore diving. I’ll confirm which tomorrow afternoon after I’ve looked at conditions and seen how the weather has panned out. Let me know if you want to dive.

Klipfish at Long Beach
Klipfish at Long Beach

Marine ecosystems MOOC from UCT

The University of Cape Town has added an online course dealing with large marine ecosystems to the excellent Coursera platform. The course starts on 14 May, but will be repeated every few months. If you’re ocean-curious, this is for you. Sign up here – it’s free, just select the option without a certificate.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Awesome Autumn

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Shore dives at Long Beach

Sunday: Boat dives from False Bay Yacht Club

Autumn is a good time for False Bay diving! False Bay is currently pleasant, not too cold and the weekend does look decent after the latest weather updates. My plan is shore dives on Saturday, when it will be a little more windy, and boat diving on Sunday. Let me know if you’d like to get in the water.

Spring low tide at Muizenberg
Spring low tide at Muizenberg

Shark Spotters binocular fundraiser

Don’t forget to donate to the Shark Spotters crowd funding campaign to raise funds for new high powered binoculars for the spotters. Shark Spotters does fantastic work – read more about it here and here. You should also make sure you download their very cool shark safety and beach information app – available for both Android and iOS.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Getaway

Hi Divers

We are away in Botswana for a break – there is no seawater here, but plenty of the other kind.

Frustratingly for those of us who are out of town, the weekend looks mild and excellent for diving, so please do make an effort to get wet!

We’ll be in touch to plan dives on our return.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Seasonal changes

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Staying dry

Both days this weekend have swell, and wind blowing from the wrong direction, and the current dark colour of False Bay means we are definitely staying dry. The weather does look better on Monday and Tuesday for those that have a flexible work schedule – if you’re one such, get in touch.

The Shark Spotters centre at Muizenberg
The Shark Spotters centre at Muizenberg

Binoculars for Shark Spotters

The Shark Spotters team are running a crowd funding campaign to raise money for new, high powered binoculars for the spotters. I can tell you that the right pair of binoculars makes all the difference. Cape Town’s Shark Spotters program is an international model for a beach safety solution that protects both sharks and people. They are very deserving of your support – please consider contributing to the campaign at this link.

Citizen Science Day

I promised to remind you again about the SANBI Citizen Science day, and it’s rolling around this weekend. There’s a full program of short lectures from representatives of various projects on Saturday, free of charge, in the conference venue at Kirstenbosch Gardens. There’s more detail at this facebook event link, and a list of the talks here.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Bookshelf: The Annotated Old Fourlegs

The Annotated Old Fourlegs – Mike Bruton (and Prof J.L.B. Smith)

This is a beautifully designed and produced annotated version of Old Fourlegs, J.L.B. Smith’s account of the discovery and positive identification of a living coelacanth in 1938. Wide margins around the original text allow Mike Bruton to bring Old Fourlegs up to date with additional scientific information, as well as photographs, explanations, and other curiosities.

The Annotated Old Fourlegs
The Annotated Old Fourlegs

Old Fourlegs describes the months in 1938-1939 during which Smith confirmed the identity of the coelacanth with the essential assistance of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer of the East London Museum. Ms Courtenay-Latimer acquired a fish specimen from a trawler captain, and, realising that it was an exceptional find, contacted Smith, an ichthyologist at Rhodes University. A rollercoaster of events – which involved the chartering of a South African Airforce plane and stretched all the way to then-Prime Minister D.F. Malan – was set in motion. Old Fourlegs is a surprisingly emotional, thrilling book by a man deeply invested in his work, and whose world was upended by the discovery of living coelacanths in the waters of the southern Indian Ocean.

It is also a book of its time, and today’s readers will find some parts by turns mystifying, and others offensive. The offensive bits – including lionising D.F. Malan, who, with his government, laid the foundations of the edifice of South Africa’s apartheid legislation – remain so, but Bruton’s annotated version provides context for readers unfamiliar with the history.

The book concludes with an examination of the cultural legacy of the coelacanth, which is disproportionately significant. The fish also has deep and wide links to South Africa and our research and diving community. If you have the appropriate (very deep diving) qualifications, you can dive with them in Jesser Canyon in Sodwana Bay. If you’ve never seen a video of one of these magical animals in motion, I encourage you to hit up youtube. Watch with the sound off for best effect.

Get the book here (South Africa), here or here. This is a volume you should read in hard copy, not as an ebook.