Valve handle at Maidstone Rock

Newsletter: Birds and dolphins

Hello everyone

This was the sight that we experienced at Long Beach while kitting up for a days diving.

Sunrise at Long Beach
Sunrise at Long Beach

Finally a weekend of diving!!!! We had really good weather this weekend and despite a rather large swell in the Bay the conditions were good. Saturday we spent the morning doing a Divemaster mapping project, the target: a concrete yacht that sank some years ago and that now lies 25 metres inshore of the north western yellow marker buoy at Long Beach. You can read all about it here.

Corne at the surface next to the buoy
Corne at the surface next to the buoy

Navigating our way out there  it suddenly seemed to get a little darker, more so than when  the clouds cover the sun and at the same time Corne surfaced to get a bearing only to find the surface covered with hundreds of cormorants. I was waiting at the bottom and was amazed at these birds’ ability to dive, stop suddenly, look around, then swim off.  I am not sure who got a bigger fright, them or me, but suddenly they seemed to be everywhere, perhaps our bubbles made them think there was a school of fish they could feast on, but instead they just found neoprene clad divers, way bigger than they could muster so they went off somewhere else. We saw them all again on Sunday, this time further out and from the surface.

Cormorants underwater at Long Beach
Cormorants underwater at Long Beach
Flocking cormorants in False Bay
Flocking cormorants in False Bay

Saturday afternoon five of us were back in the water and whilst swimming around the centre platform of the wreck these klipfish seemed keen on conveying some form of message to us  so they all lined up. I never did get to work out what they were trying to say… So much to learn in the ocean.

Row of klipfish
Row of klipfish

I can honestly say that I cannot remember a dive where I have not seen something new, or a creature I have seen before doing something new. We see warty pleurobranchs  ploughing their way over everything lately but on Saturday I saw a few doing acrobatic swimming and performing the most amazing somersaults… So much for me thinking they were like snowploughs… They seem more like circus animals!

Cavorting warty pleurobranchs
Cavorting warty pleurobranchs

Sunday we spent on the boat, the first dive was to Maidstone Rock. Andrew was completing his Advanced course and Gerard and Cecil were … well, only they know! The second launch took us to a new reef discovered by Grant and Peter Southwood called Tivoli Pinnacles, near Roman Rock. Being  a new dive site we were possibly the first to see a few amazing features and Clare discovered her first underwater treasure… a hand wheel from either a stem valve or a fuel valve, with a diameter of 120mm and made of brass. It has clearly been in the ocean for some time given the amount of corrosion on the material (a salt water corrosion resistant material). We will clean it up and see what it looks like.

Valve handle at Tivoli Pinnacles
Valve handle at Tivoli Pinnacles
Cuttlefish at Maidstone Rock
Cuttlefish at Maidstone Rock

There was also what seemed to be a huge brass ring almost a metre across so this will be a dive site worth exploring further.

Long beaked common dolphin in False Bay
Long beaked common dolphin in False Bay

Despite two amazing dives on a flat calm sea with great visibility, the good stuff was not yet over and when we surfaced  we were treated to the sight of a flock of I would guess at least a thousand cormorants and then Grant took us for a ride to a point just off the Kalk Bay harbour where we witnessed a pod of around 300–400 Dolphins. All in all a very pleasant day of diving.

This weekend

On Friday I will be doing Discover Scuba  Diving students at Long Beach all day, then on Saturday will continue with the Open Water course started last weekend and more DSD students. There are also two promising boat days looming.

Sunday looks good for shore entries and we will dive with the cowsharks if the swell is small or perhaps A Frame and or Sunny Cove.

Congratulations

…are also in order for Kate, who last year in October arrived in Cape Town wanting to learn to dive. By the end of November she had done OpenWater, Advanced, Nitrox specialty, Night Diving specialty and Wreck specialty as well as Rescue and Divemaster. Back in the UK for Christmas she did a Drysuit specialty and an Equipment specialty, and returned here in April to do a Deep specialty and then achieve the highest non professional qualification, Master Scuba Diver. It did not stop here and we dived as often as possible over the last few weeks to get her log book up to 100 dives and today she finished her Instructor course and Instructor Examination in Sodwana and is now officially an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Well done Kate! To achieve this much in such a short period of time takes determination, hard work and commitment.

DAN talks

We attended a DAN talk last week on ears at one of the local dive centres. It was run by DAN SA and we had a doctor talk us through what goes on in the ear and why whilst diving and the importance looking after those pink bits. We also received a free diving emergency booklet that has lots of info on handling diving related issues. These talks will be on a monthly basis and the next one will most likely be about lungs… So if you dive and have lungs… You should be there… It’s free and its very valuable knowledge to have.

If you wish to dive this weekend please text me sooner rather than later because the weather is good and the bookings will fill up.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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