The south easter has been blowing for a while now… Almost non stop. Windy, our wind generator at home who generates about a third of our monthly electricity requirements, has been having such a great time that she almost fell off the roof this week. She brakes herself when the wind reaches 78 km/h, and on several occasions the wind gusts exceeded that.
The Atlantic went from clean and cold, to cleaner and colder. The water colour in False Bay is not that bad but the surface conditions are pretty hectic. Fortunately I have had a lot of students requiring pool time so we have at least been getting wet.
There is wind and some swell for the weekend but I do believe that there is a possibility that Hout Bay will be good on Sunday. I have a bunch of students so will plan for both morning and afternoon dives, wind and swell dependent.
If the wind is driving you crazy too, check out the suggestions for land-based marine-related entertainment in last week’s newsletter.
We are back from a trip up north… Really far north – so far north that the temperatures, so I was told, were 0 – 2 degrees Celcius but to me felt like minus 50 degrees. It was great diving in False Bay this week in 22 degree water.
The weekend is a little on the questionable side as the wind and swell forecasts are not promising. I think the best option is going to be Table Bay, and If we go it will be to North and South Paw. I will take a look there tomorrow at the conditions and confirm late afternoon to those on the list if we are diving. Let me know if you’re keen to dive by email, text, or message in a bottle.
The last two months have been what I would call an almost ideal summer.The weather has been terrific and the hectic south easters we had a year ago have not been much of an issue. Whilst we still await the icy crystal clean Atlantic to materialise, the viz has been good more often than not on both sides of the mountain. Roll on January.
The coming weekend’s forecast is almost a carbon copy of last weekend, so we will shore dive tomorrow and have early start on Saturday before the wind arrives. Sunday we will follow a “let’s wait and see” plan as it’s not too clear whether the wind will be as strong as the forecast says it will. That leaves Monday,Tuesday, and Wednesday for us to wrap up diving for 2015.
Taking a break
We will be closed from 24 December until 3 January 2016. If we don’t see you before then, have a merry Christmas and a jolly new year. Be safe and get some rest. We would would like to thank everyone that has dived with us throughout the year. Your support is appreciated and I know I have had a lot of fun, laughs good and bad viz, and an abundance of cake.
Same again is not a phrase we can use for December this year. Last December was appalling by comparison and although we are only 10 days into the month, we have already done twice the number of dives we did in the whole of December last year.
Conditions this past weekend were great and they have been the same all week. The westerly wind today has made things even better and tomorrow and Saturday should be pretty good… In False Bay. The Atlantic looks a little dark and the water temperature is 16 degrees Celcius, which doesn’t herald good viz that side.
We are launching tomorrow and Saturday, but I think Sunday will be a little too windy for diving. The forecast is for it to blow hard from midday on Saturday, so we will launch for a double tanker at 6.00 am on Saturday from Simon’s Town jetty.
Remember our free try dives in the pool until Christmas eve. We have had some bookings and the pool is warm! It’s a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family to scuba diving. Get in touch if you want to bring someone over – booking is essential.
Please have your MPA permits up to date – you can get one for R94.00 at the post office. Take along your ID document.
On the subject of Marine Protected Areas, please read this and send in your comments about the imminent opening of the Tsitsikamma MPA to fishing. Allowing fishing in a marine protected area is a bit of a contradiction in terms, so I encourage you to read about the proposal and let your voice be heard on the subject.
This past week has not really been a diving friendly week. There has been a fair amount of swell on and off and also a decent amount of humping south easterly wind. The weekend shows promise for the Atlantic, which is currently still dirty but is showing signs of improvement. There is a good chance it will be clean by Saturday or Sunday. The swell goes south east, so I think Granger Bay may be a possibility, and Hout Bay will almost certainly work.
Sunday will probably have less viz than Saturday but also a bit less swell, which is important for Hout Bay launches. If by Saturday afternoon the Atlantic is not clean we will dive False Bay instead (warm water is better than cold water in poor visibility!).
Weekend diving has become a scarce commodity of late and the best diving days have fallen in the week. This weekend looks a lot better than last weekend: there is very little swell and no howling winds to deal with. False Bay needs some westerly wind to clean it up, so I am going to choose Sunday as the better option for this weekend’s diving. It’s windier than Saturday but less likely to rain, plus False Bay will have had a bit more time to improve. The Atlantic was crystal clear yesterday but I have my doubts it is going to stay that way for the weekend with the hot day we have just had.
We are night diving on Saturday evening as part of the international Diversnight event, and will meet at Long Beach at around 7.15 pm. The idea is to be in the water at 15 minutes past 8.00 pm (2015). Text me if you are joining, make sure you bring your permit to dive in an MPA, and if you need to rent kit or a cylinder, I need to know by tomorrow (Friday) evening please.
Be sure your permit to dive in an MPA is up to date. It’s particularly important that you bring it on Saturday evening if you plan to dive, so don’t wait until lunchtime on Saturday to look for it!
We had an early start last weekend and launched from Simon’s Town at 7.30 am to get in and out before the wind arrived. Conditions were good and we dived the Atlantis area.
On Tuesday we launched from Hout Bay and despite a few days of south easterly winds the visibility was around 6 metres, but the swell created quite considerable surge. Both dives were around deep Tafelberg Reef and the surge could be felt below 30 metres.
The forecast for the weekend looks a little bleak. Much wind and much swell means slim odds of finding nice diving conditions anywhere. However should conditions change we will keep you posted by text and Whatsapp, and go diving.
Saturday and/or Sunday: Early launches from OPBC (Saturday) / Simon’s Town jetty (Sunday) depending on weather and demand
Last Saturday we launched the boat in Hout Bay for a team of researchers to deploy and retrieve three of the acoustic tracking receivers that listen for tagged sharks and other animals along South Africa’s coastline, providing information about their movements to scientists. The receivers are part the Acoustic Tracking Array Program (ATAP), and you can read more about how it works here.
We launched from Hout Bay again on Tuesday, and the 3 metre swell could be felt at 30 metres on Tafelberg Reef. The visibility was OK, but the water was really cold.
Weekend dive plans
False Bay looks a little messy right now and tomorrow’s wind is not going to help. Today and tomorrow the swell is around 3 metres and goes southerly. Both days of the weekend have strange weather patterns in the forecast.
I reckon Saturday would be best at OPBC and Sunday would be best for False Bay. Wind speed builds mid-morning so either way you are looking at a really early start – and by that I mean launched by 7.00 am. Both days lend themselves to double tanking to avoid the wind.
A 7.00 am launch is not everyone’s cup of tea so I suggest we decide where to go based on who is diving. You can text, Whatsapp, facebook message, email or carrier pigeon your desires to my door if diving is on your mind.
We seem to be in a cycle of great diving days in the week and not so great conditions on weekends. This weekend looks much the same as the last few and neither day is going to be great.
We have a scientific charter first thing on Saturday before the wind comes up, so won’t be running boat dives that day. By mid-morning on Saturday, the wind will be up at around 25 km/h from the south, and on Sunday it’s meant to be closer to 50. Sadly I think its best you haul out the lawnmower.
Thanks to Arne for this photo, taken at Boat Rock a couple of weeks ago…
We did an early launch last Sunday in the hope of ducking the wind but despite a really good first dive we called it off for the second dive as the wind had picked up dramatically. The weather this weekend looks similar… Much offshore wind to clean False Bay on Saturday and much less for Sunday. We will go with two launches for Sunday, meeting in the parking lot at the yacht club at 7.30 am.