Loggerhead turtle at Drop Zone in southern Mozambique

Dive sites (Southern Mozambique): Drop Zone

Loggerhead turtle at Drop Zone in southern Mozambique
Loggerhead turtle at Drop Zone in southern Mozambique

Drop Zone is a newish reef in Malongane Bay, and was the first dive we did. The surf launch was uneventful and even enjoyable. Either I’m growing a pair, or our skipper Wayne was a master at reading the waves, or a combination of both effects was at work. We saw dolphins almost as soon as we left the beach, and watched them from a distance for a while. The dive itself was a bit of a shock to the system: we dived for over an hour, surfaced with air to spare, and didn’t even notice the water temperature (which, after diving in Cape Town, means it was very comfortably warm). There were also large creatures all over the place, magnificent coral, and some tiny stuff to reward close scrutiny of the reef.

It was my first dive with my new Ikelite AF35 strobe, and I was a little anxious that I’d have a wonderful dive but nothing to show for it as I fumbled around, blinding the divers with curious directional choices for the strobe arm. Fortunately I got the hang of it fairly quickly, and actually got some half decent results. Magnificent visibility provided much assistance. You’ll see that the picture of the moray eel is a bit washed out, as positioning the strobe when the subject is close up is something I haven’t fully mastered yet.

This is why I got an external strobe
This is why I got an external strobe

I was thrilled to see cowries – lots of them. As a child we’d find empty (small) cowrie shells on the beach at Betty’s Bay, and they’ve always had more value to me than other shells. These molluscs can cover almost their entire shells with their soft feet, and their shells are usually very shiny. Cowries are either male or female (for creatures of that level of complexity this is quite unusual) and our Divemaster told us not to touch or move them because then they’d lose their mates. I’m not sure whether they are faithful to each other like that, but not touching stuff is important here.

Dive date: 8 May 2012

Air temperature: 24 degrees

Water temperature: 25 degrees

Maximum depth: 13.8 metres

Visibility: 15 metres

Dive duration: 65 minutes

Ascending from Drop Zone
Ascending from Drop Zone

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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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