Descending near Doug's Cave

Dive sites (Durban): Blood Reef (Doug’s Cave to Birthday Ledges)

Descending near Doug's Cave
Descending near Doug’s Cave

For our last dive we enjoyed lovely drift dive in the fashion of Sodwana. We were aiming to drop in at Doug’s Cave, which is apparently a proper cave in which ragged toothed sharks occasionally lie in repose. Because of the current we missed the cave, and instead of fighting current to get back to it, we continued along the reef at a leisurely pace.

Boxy
Boxy

I was very excited to find a sort of overhang that seemed to be a meeting place for trumpetfish. There were two or three underneath the rock, and another one hanging about on a patch of sand in front of the little cave. The dive was incredibly colourful (especially when I got my strobe to fire correctly), and Maurice and Craig helpfully found several nudibranchs, and showed them to me.

Branching soft corals
Branching soft corals

Towards the end of the dive, as we arrived at Birthday Ledges, we once again found the large piece of yellow and red fabric wrapped around part of the reef that we’d seen on our Birthday Ledges dive the previous day. Patrick, our Divemaster (and owner of Calypso) persisted, and managed to unwrap it. Tony confiscated it immediately, and put on quite a show at the safety stop. We’d had a long dive on the Coopers light wreck a couple of hours prior, so we were out of time before we knew it.

Raggy scorpionfish in repose
Raggy scorpionfish in repose

I thought the Blood Reef complex was amazing, with a lot to see. It’s suitable for drift dives in either direction, depending where the current is going (north-south or south-north), and if there’s no current, that’s also fine. It’s a fairly long boat ride by Cape Town or Sodwana standards (if you’re diving Two Mile), but you’re close to shore.

Dive date: 20 June 2013

Air temperature: 23 degrees

Water temperature: 22 degrees

Maximum depth: 20.1 metres

Visibility: 20 metres

Dive duration: 48 minutes

Draping the sarong
Draping the sarong

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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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