Newsletter: Taking advantage

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Boat dives at 10.30 to Photographers Reef / 12.30 to Roman Rock northern pinnacle, meeting at False Bay Yacht Club

Alex at Photographer's Reef
Alex at Photographer’s Reef

False Bay is clean at the moment. This is the time of year for really good visibility, and even though it’s cold, it’s often really worth it.

Saturday has swell, wind and a little rain. Sunday has less swell, less wind but a greater chance of there being a touch of rain. I think Sunday will be our choice for diving, and we will start a little later than usual to take advantage of the improving weather mid-morning.

We will meet in the parking lot of False Bay Yacht Club at 10.00, for the first launch will at 10.30 to Photographers Reef and the second at 12.30 to Roman Rock northern pinnacle. Let me know if you’re on board.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Clean and fresh

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Boat dives (max 18 metres) at 9.00 am and 11.30 am from Simons Town jetty

Simon's Town boating on a windless day
Simon’s Town boating on a windless day

It is the time of year where False Bay is mostly good, clean and a little bit cooler. Providing the usual winter swells don’t hammer us, the conditions are good. Sunday looks to be the better day for us, so we plan to launch at 9.00 and 11.30 am from False Bay Yacht Club. Both sites will be a maximum depth of 18 metres as I have students to qualify.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Turtle time

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty at 10.00 and 12.00, likely to Roman Rock (suitable for Open Water divers)

The weekend looks good for diving. We’ll be boat diving on Sunday. If you want to join us, you know what to do!

Green turtle on the move
Green turtle on the move

Turtles

It’s that time of year when turtle hatchlings get caught up in currents that bring them to Western Cape shores, where it’s too cold for them to survive. If you find one on the beach, please keep it dry and warm, and get it to the Two Oceans Aquarium as soon as possible. Read more about what to do on the aquarium blog here, and here.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Slightly swelly

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday and Monday: Boat dives (location to be decided)

Last weekend we did some boating in Table Bay as a support boat for the Robben Island to Big Bay Freedom Swim. The remnants of the swell on Thursday and Friday was enough to give the swimmers a sizeable challenge with strong currents, choppy surface conditions and very cold patches of water.

Colin swimming across Table Bay
Colin swimming across Table Bay

The swell climbed from under 2 metres to a little over 5 metres this morning.  This means diving tomorrow is pretty much out, as is diving on Saturday (thanks also to the Two Oceans Marathon). The swell drops off during the day on Saturday so both Sunday and Monday should deliver some reasonable diving conditions.

It is difficult to say whether Hout Bay or False Bay would be better on Sunday and Monday, but I will make that decision late on Saturday afternoon. I have Open Water and Advanced Open Water students so one day is likely to include a deep dive to more than 18 metres.

If you are keen to dive on Sunday or Monday, let me know and I’ll schedule you in!

regards

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

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Newsletter: Cool opportunity

Hi divers

Long weekend dive plans

Tuesday: Early boat dives from Hout Bay

Last weekend we had boat dives out of Hout Bay, to two of the lesser dived sites (the Sentinel and Die Josie). Maori Bay was very green but we found lovely visibility right up against the mountains.

Happy divers at Die Josie
Happy divers at Die Josie

The water in False Bay is very clean and cold right now. Sadly, the wind for Saturday is at the limit of what I think will be pleasant. Sunday’s wind will be way too strong. Furthermore, the Navy Festival this weekend spells traffic chaos as well as parking issues for boat trailers and tow cars.

These reasons induce me to skip diving over the weekend and plan boat dives for Tuesday, which is a public holiday. The Atlantic will again be cool, flat and clean so we will launch from Hout Bay, nice and early. Text or Whatsapp me if you want to be updated on meeting times and dive sites.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Cool summer

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Friday: Shore dives at Long Beach

Sunday: Boat dives from slipway in Hout Bay, meeting at 7.00 am

The weekend forecast looks mostly like it is going to be a cool – or rather cold – water dive weekend. There is a fair amount of swell on Saturday, too much for my liking. Sunday has less swell and a little less wind. Hout Bay will most likely be the best option as the wind is fairly strong south easterly which is not all that pleasant in False Bay.

View towards Simons Town from Glencairn
View towards Simons Town from Glencairn

It will again be an early start as I have both Open Water and Advanced students, so we will likely meet at 7.00 am at the slipway in Hout Bay. Text me if you are diving.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Still waiting

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Possible launches out of OPBC in Granger Bay

We are still waiting for the non stop south easter to stop blowing, or to at least ease up. False Bay is grumpy to say the least, but the Atlantic is clean and cold, around 9 degrees celsius.

Dwarf sperm whale at the V&A Waterfront
Dwarf sperm whale at the V&A Waterfront

Sadly the wind does not really ease off until late on Monday so I am unable to commit to launching this weekend just yet. On Saturday afternoon we will make a final call as to whether we can dive on Sunday but it would most likely be Table Bay, most likely North and South Paw. If we can go to Hout Bay then we may visit the Aster and the Katsu Maru as there may be some respite from the wind inside the bay.

Text or email me if you want to be on the list.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Winter waning

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Student boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty

This week the visibility was good in False Bay and the water was around 13 degrees.  There seems to be a lot of wind and rain in the forecast for the next week, however Saturday does look like a good option for diving. I am still not done with the backlog of students for boat dives so the boat is pretty much full this Saturday.

Tuesday and Wednesday are also possible diving days so if you are not on the list for Saturday, or are taking some time off in the school holidays, you will be up soon.

Muizenberg on a moody winter day
Muizenberg on a moody winter day

Winter solstice

The excitement when the 21 June comes around has always amazed me. It’s not like the temperatures start climbing or the sun shines 6 hours more each day, but my wife tells me that the psychological effect of passing the winter solstice is tremendous. While the shortest day of the year was on 20 June, the latest sunrise of the year is still ahead of us, on 30 June. The earliest sunset was on 13 June.

Shop with a purpose

Shark Spotters have recently been added as a beneficiary on the MySchool Card programme. If this sounds mysterious to you, don’t worry. Apparently it’s a way of getting MySchool partners (mostly shops) to donate a portion of your shopping bill to a school, charity or NGO. It doesn’t cost you anything. If you have an existing MySchool card and would like to add Shark Spotters as a beneficiary but don’t know how, let me know and I will hook you up with Clare to talk you through the process.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Planning ahead

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

No diving this weekend, but conditions are promising for weekday dives next week!

A six metre swell put paid to any hopes of celebrating Youth Day with a dive, but we have a week of very favourable conditions coming up. This coincides with school holidays (for some lucky ones) and we hope to get some good diving done.

We won’t be diving this weekend, but if you’d like to be informed of any planned aquatic excursions next week, let me know.

On the boat out of Simon's Town last week
On the boat out of Simon’s Town last week

Things to do

It’s cold out now and then, and if you’re looking for things to do on your non-diving days, here are some suggestions:

  • The new I&J Ocean Exhibit and the jelly hall opened today at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Read about it here and here, and check out some photos on Instagram. The full tunnel is the closest feeling to being underwater that you can have while on land, and might persuade some of your non-diving friends to take the plunge.
  • The Underwater Photographer of the Year exhibition is still on at the Chavonnes Battery Museum until 30 September…
  • While you’re at the Waterfront, pick up some NSRI gear to keep warm, look cool and lend them some support, and stop in at the Iziko Maritime Centre to experience something of South Africa’s shipping history.

Over and out! Hope to see you all on the boat next week. Message me to be kept in the loop.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Bookshelf: Ice Blink

Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin’s Lost Polar Expedition – Scott Cookman

Ice Blink
Ice Blink

In Ice Blink, Scott Cookman provides another account of the much-reported final expedition of Sir John Franklin to the Canadian Arctic, in search of a Northwest Passage. The story has been told many times, in many ways, and Cookman’s rendition is gripping.

Several theories have been advanced to account for the failure of any members of Franklin’s expedition to return. A few bodies have been found, and eyewitness accounts from Inuits in the areas that the Erebus and Terror were trapped in the ice provide some clues as to what happened. A conclusive explanation, however, has not been found.

Cookman advances the idea the the men were killed by botulinium toxin, introduced into their diets from poorly prepared tinned food.  He is dogmatic about this theory to the exclusion of all others, and at times makes it sound misleadingly certain that this was the cause of the disaster. In fact, experts fail to agree on what killed the men; other theories include lead poisoning (from the canned food), or simply just the cold and poor preparation.

I would recommend you read this book after you’ve familiarised yourself with some of the other literature about Arctic exploration and Sir John Franklin in particular, and are equipped to separate fact from hypothesis. If you’re interested in the subject, may I strongly recommend The Man Who Ate His Boots and Frozen in Time.

You can read the first chapter of the book here and a New York Times review here.

Get a copy of the book here (South Africa), here or here.