Limespot butterflyfish and coral

Dive sites (Sodwana): Two Buoy

Two Buoy is fairly central on Two Mile Reef, and like the entire reef system is only a short boat ride from the beach. That said, it was our first dive in Sodwana and the sea was ROUGH. The boat ride was vigorous but refreshing (I find surf launches quite scary). When we stopped I got quite seasick however – the swells were two metres high and the boat was rocking violently.

Boats lined up on the beach at Sodwana
Boats lined up on the beach at Sodwana, ready to launch through the surf

Because of the surface conditions and the current, we didn’t want to mess around when we rolled into the water, so we descended fast. Beneath the surface it was somewhat calmer, but still very surgy. Most of us were feeling weird – Tami on her first ever boat ride (in pretty hairy conditions), Fritz without a hoodie couldn’t get used to the water in his hair, and I just felt as though everything was upside down. I was also diving without a hoodie, which made for a spectacular display for my fellow divers… I lost my hair band almost immediately, and did a mermaid impression for the rest of the dive – pretty but annoying! The surge also took a bit of getting used to, as we couldn’t really go anywhere of our own volition but were at the mercy of the water.

Tami on Two Buoy
Tami on Two Buoy

The contrast between Cape Town diving and the coral reefs beneath us, however, put all the irritations and discomforts out of my mind. The coral is incredible – huge plate corals that have taken decades to form, little soft ones, and spiky ones that look like Christmas trees or deer’s antlers. And in between the coral were the fish – in colours you can’t even imagine. Several times I had to remind myself that I wasn’t diving in the fishtank in the Chinese restaurant near Tony’s house… This was the open ocean.

Limespot butterflyfish and coral
The ubiquitous limespot butterfly fish passing in front of a HUGE coral formation

I was incredibly excited to see a giant clam – I immediately felt like a character in a Willard Price novel (for kids!) and took care not to get my foot stuck in it, as if that was a danger!

Two Buoy, with giant clam in right foreground
Coral on Two Buoy, with giant clam in right foreground

The other thing that stunned me was the clarity of the water. In False Bay, 10 metres visibility is a really good day… We could see at least 12-15 metres on this dive, and that was apparently “not so good”. It’s that feeling of being able to move in three dimensions that I love about diving, hanging in space and being able to see for ages.

Dive date: 8 October 2010

Air temperature: 23 degrees

Water temperature: 22 degrees

Maximum depth: 13.2 metres

Visibility: 12 metres

Dive duration: 47 minutes

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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