Horned blenny on the Aster

Newsletter: The luck of the draw

Hi divers

This weekend

Saturday will be filled with Open Water training somewhere in False Bay and most likely in Simon’s Town at Long Beach.

Sunday is Advanced training and fun dives, and we will boat out of either Hout Bay or Miller’s Point depending on the conditions.

Anemone on the top of the mast of the MV Aster
Anemone on the top of the mast of the MV Aster

Last week’s diving

The past few weeks have delivered some days of stunning dive conditions with a sprinkling of dodgy days. Last weekend we planned to do Open Water training on Saturday but the weather did not oblige, and when we arrived at the beach the conditions were less than optimal. Sunday we did Advanced training and launched out of Hout Bay, and it was a terrific day with really good conditions. That’s the luck of the draw with weather related activities.

Fortunately for me and divers free during the week we have had a lot of week day courses and there have been some really good days in the ocean. The water temperature during the week has plummeted from 21 degrees on Monday to a coolish 13 degrees last night. Seven of us braved the slightly cooler water last night and enjoyed a really good night dive with a display of tentacles from an octopus, small cuttlefish being all “scary” and a host of other sights. With all the torches, cyalumes and flashing strobes it is amazing to see just how big a pool of light seven people can make. Sitting in a circle at the start of the dive we all turned off or buried our lights briefly and it is quite unreal how much light there still is below the surface despite the late hour.


Clare and I are booking plane tickets to Durban tomorrow. I’ll let those of you who are coming or who have expressed interest know which flights we are on so you can get on the same flights or ones with similar departure and arrival times.


If you’re wondering why I sometimes cancel diving in conditions that I deem poor, you can read an explanation here!

Divers ascending in Hout Bay
Divers ascending in Hout Bay

Winter diving

The winter season has not yet arrived and I am not planning to rush it in but it does usually signify a slowing down of new divers to the sport – isn’t it too cold, they ask. During the winter months we run fewer Open Water courses but there is an increase in Specialty courses such as Deep diver, Wreck diver, Nitrox etc, and this also heralds the “boat season” as most of these specialties are boat dives. Winter diving is in fact some of the best diving the Cape has to offer as we have the best visibility in False Bay during these months.

We did a deep dive last winter on the wreck of the SAS Fleur that lies in the middle of False Bay in 42 metres of water and at 25 metres we could see the wreck clearly below as well as the boat’s hull and shiny propellers on the surface.

Sunburst soft coral on the MV Aster
Sunburst soft coral on the MV Aster

Boat dives – the way forward

All dive planning generally happens on a Thursday afternoon or thereabouts. Once the boat charter newsletters go out the boats sometime fill very fast and there is not always time for me to text 20-30 people and wait for responses. I want to try something a little different and it will work like this:

I will text or email you by Wednesday each week about which days we will be on the boat. The text will not have specific info on dive sites but will ask whether you’re available for the boat on the weekend, which days, and what launches. If you then respond with a text it will give me far more lead time to plan and organise a good day of diving. At this point you will only be tentatively committing to diving and once we have Grant’s newsletter I will finalise the details with you and you will then still have a chance to back out.

This way we stand a far better chance of all getting on the boat on the days we wish and if we fill a boat we will hopefully be able to choose the site we dive from the options Grant gives us, dependent on where he launches from. Last winter we had many, many stunning days out on the water – one highlight was a detour we made after a dive to view a pod of a few hundred dolphins off Kalk Bay harbour one sunny winter Sunday.

There are more divers than boats in Cape Town so something to remember for this coming season is that if you book to dive and don’t arrive you are still liable for payment as it is not possible to fill that spot at the last minute.


Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099

Diving is addictive!

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

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