Divers descending on the BOS 400 wreck

Newsletter: Atlantic Ocean and rock lobsters

Hi divers

Anemone at Long Beach
Anemone at Long Beach

Summer is on its way as can be seen by the southeasterly winds that are prevalent during the next few months. The plus side of this is it keeps the colder rainy days away and sends us diving on the Atlantic coast far more often than the False Bay coast. Today the visibility on the Atlantic side is reportedly top to bottom whilst False Bay has between 4-5 metres, less in some places. The downside to Atlantic diving is the temperature, a good few degrees lower than False Bay but with the cold water almost always comes stunning visibility. The boats tend to favour Hout Bay and OPBC for launching during these months.

Fanworm at Long Beach
Fanworm at Long Beach

Rock lobster season is open  (or crayfish as they are often called) which means the water will be filled with people trying to catch them for dinner. Due to the limits on numbers and sizes each person may take in a day the authorities are also all over the place watching and checking anyone that has been in the water almost daily. Whilst taking of rock lobster on scuba is illegal some people do and this is the reason they will pay you a visit as soon as you exit the water. The first question will be “Do you have lobster?’’ and the next one will be “Where is your diving permit?” Diving in a Marine Protected Area (MPA) has required a permit for several years now. Its obtainable at the post office, costs around R98 and is valid for ONE year only. Please check your permit and make sure you have it with you when you arrive for a dive with us. You may be denied a dive or denied access to a boat without it as the stories of “arrested for no permit’’… “gear confiscated”…  “boat confiscated’’… etcetera are rife. How much truth is there in these stories? I have no clue, but it is not worth taking the chance.

What we have been up to

We did not dive much last weekend as I made a poor decision based on my interpretation of the weather – wrong call, as Grant had 15 metre visibility  on the Lusitania. We did however spend some time in the pool with new students, and did one dive at Long Beach on Sunday. Still diving in my book.

Pipefish at Long Beach
Pipefish at Long Beach

The week days have been better with diving on Monday and Tuesday delivering 6-8 metres at Long Beach and 8 metres on the wreck of the Clan Stuart. We will shore dive the Atlantic tomorrow and see if the visibility is as good as the claimed top to bottom.

This weekend

Grant will launch from OPBC and I have booked places on the first launch. Grant will do several launches on both Saturday and Sunday but many people love the clean cold Atlantic water so the boat will fill quickly. Don’t wait until Friday night to try and book. Please note that as of 1 November, prices for boat dives have increased to R220 per person per launch.

Divers descending on the BOS 400 wreck
Divers descending on the BOS 400 wreck

I’ve included some pictures from last summer’s Atlantic diving to whet your appetite. We are doing the first launch to look for some depth for an Advanced course and then will do a few shore dives at Oudekraal.

Saturday looks really good for a night dive, the swell is small, very little wind and there is still some moon. I will do a night dive at A Frame or the Clan Stuart if there is enough interest.

Seals on Klein Tafelberg Reef
Seals on Klein Tafelberg Reef

Sunday we will move back to False bay for Open Water students doing dives 1&2.

Pelagic trips and baited diving

A trip out to the tuna fishing grounds to dive with sharks and see amazing bird life has its special place in my style of diving. The whole cage diving and baited shark diving issue is a very contentious one and both sides have good strong arguments yet neither the yeah- or the naysayers have much in the way of scientific evidence. This is largely due to the fact that there is very little funding for such research. But never mind the science, as a diver it is far easier to make a judgment call on such a topic once you have experienced such an event. As with cage diving, baited dives need to be conducted in a safe and animal friendly manor to avoid injury to the sharks. Operators do exist that have respect for the ocean and its inhabitants and take care to ensure no harm can come to the animals.

I want to plan a few trips to the open ocean to photograph and experience these creatures in their own environment. They take some planning and preparation as it’s a long boat ride and the conditions need to be perfect. If you are interested in these trips please mail me so I can start planning a few trips.

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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