Close up of a basket star at Tafelberg Reef

Newsletter: Ever had a bad Monday? Come diving on Tuesday!

Hello diving people

Anemone at Long Beach
Anemone at Long Beach

You will probably have heard about the shark bite that occurred at Clovelly this morning, at the far end of Fish Hoek beach. For a balanced description of the events, you can read what the NSRI says here. At this time of year sharks do move inshore from Seal Island, and as a swimmer or surfer it is essential to pay attention to the Shark Spotter sirens and flags. As divers we are less concerned about sharks, because it’s highly unlikely that a shark will mistake you for anything other than what you are: a noisy, neoprene-clad figure exhaling clouds of bubbles, unlike any other creature in its domain! I have dived extensively with sharks – when I was working in Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique, our first dive of the day was almost invariably to a reef called Pinnacles, where we saw hammerheads and Zambezi (bull) sharks almost daily, and sometimes tiger sharks. They just do not bug divers.

However, it is recommended to avoid flailing around on the surface too much at any time of the year in Cape Town’s waters, even if you’re in scuba gear. Controlled buoyancy and businesslike behaviour when you surface after a dive will contribute to your peace of mind. If you’d like to chat about sharks or are concerned about what to do if you see one while diving, please get in touch (my contact details are below or on the About page). You can also read this post in our Frequently Asked Questions section for more information, and my account of seeing a great white shark while diving. There is a follow-up on that sighting here.

Sharks are a reality of life lived close to and in the ocean, and we are privileged to reside in a country where great white sharks have been protected for nearly 20 years. Increased shark sightings in Cape Town are attributable both to population growth of great whites – back towards their natural levels before fishing for them was popular – and to increased efforts being put into minimising interactions between bathers and sharks, chiefly by the excellent Shark Spotters campaign. For a bit of background and some food for thought, you can read this post about the history of Shark Spotters, and this movie review.

Tony and Gerard on Tafelberg Reef
Tony and Gerard on Tafelberg Reef

Sharks aside, the ocean has been kind to us of late. We dived both the Atlantic side and the False Bay coastline this last weekend and had a good 12 metres visibility with 10 degrees at Tafelberg Reef, and at Long Beach we had 6 metres visibility and 15 degree water. Yesterday we dived Partridge Point with some tourists and had 15 degree water with 8 metre visibility, and some friendly and playful seals made the tourists extremely happy. On the way out we saw several whales from the boat, and then on our way back our skipper took us on a tour to see the penguins, oystercatchers, and some other tourists standing on the beach!

Bluefin gurnard at Long Beach
Bluefin gurnard at Long Beach

On Saturday ScubaPro will be holding a dive day. This is taking place at the False Bay Yacht Club in Simon’s Town and there will be five or so dive boats running dives at R100 each. Tonight was the deadline for booking a spot on the boat so hopefully you have all made a plan. We had 12 spots but they are all taken. If you are on the first launch on Saturday (8am), please be at the yacht club by 7am. Directions here.

Basket star on Tafelberg Reef
Basket star on Tafelberg Reef

ScubaPro will have gear available for testing on a dive so if you have finally saved up some hard earned cash to purchase a BCD for example, you could test the one you have had dreams of owning… Oh, no you can’t do that… You need to hand in your old one to test a new one. Or fork out some cash to hire one first so that you can hand it in. Once again the local dive gear suppliers show little or no concern for new divers getting into the sport except to take their money.

Anyway, this is how the day will look:

GOODIE BAGS for every diver booked on a dive with a participating Charter – Please note, only bookings received by Wednesday 28th September are eligible for Goodie Bags. Collect your Goodie bag on registration day.

DEMO GEAR: Hand in your gear and borrow the latest & greatest for a test dive!

SPIRIT of SEALIFE Photo Comp: A fun competition where the picture that best captures the fun & wonder of diving wins, not necessarily the picture that is technically best!

EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY at the Prize Giving Party! Great food and beverages will be available and there’ll be music and a slide show from the Sealife Photo Comp! Prize giving for the photo comp and the lucky draw will take place at 16h30.

WORLD CUP RUGBY on a BIG SCREEN:

Although there’s no Springbok match, we’ll be screening the World Cup matches in the morning (07h00 and 09h30).

WIN OVER R17 000-00 WORTH OF PRIZES: Try any item of demo gear to qualify for the Lucky Draw.

On Sunday I will spend the day at Long Beach as there are six people wanting to experience scuba diving for the first time, so it will be a DSD day.

Close up of a basket star at Tafelberg Reef
Close up of a basket star at Tafelberg Reef

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

Checking out the kink in the chain at Long Beach
Checking out the kink in the chain at Long Beach

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Tony

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

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