The Clan Stuart this morning

Newsletter: The whales are coming

Hi divers

Weekend diving

Saturday: boat dives – 09.00 Atlantis / 11.30 Batsata Maze

Sunday: pool training with students

Dive conditions

So much bad weather for so long – too little diving and not enough sun. That’s my complaint for the week.

This weekend, Saturday is really the only option for diving. There is very little swell and not much wind, but it picks up in the afternoon. False Bay, however, has been hammered for the last few days by big swell, strong winds and lots of rain. The wind direction has been good for water clarity, but the swell stirs up everything and all the murky rain water ends up close to shore.

I drove the coast this morning to take a look. The Clan Stuart was a little murky from the swell, and Long Beach was clean, but from Ark Rock and down to Shark Alley the water was really dirty. A huge mudslide just north of Miller’s Point has also contributed to this. South of Millers towards the point the water looks clean and blue, so we will head off to Atlantis and Batsata Maze. If you are keen to dive, text me. We will meet at the Simon’s Town Jetty at 9.00 and 11.30.

The Clan Stuart this morning
The Clan Stuart this morning

There is a lot going on right now:

Whale entanglement

Yesterday I saw what I thought was a whale entangled in an octopus trap but lost sight of it after a while as the sea was extremely rough. Fortunately it was found again today and thanks to the the SA Whale Disentanglement Network it was freed. It has some serious cuts from the rope but they heal relatively quickly. There are octopus traps as well as whelk traps in False Bay between Glencairn and Kalk Bay, and in 2012 a 4.3 metre female white shark was caught in the ropes attached to the whelk traps and drowned.

We have been concerned about whale entanglement in these fisheries since they were announced; it appears our concerns were well founded. If you would like to ask some pertinent questions about the whelk and octopus fisheries, and raise an objection, I suggest you contact Dr C. J. Augustyn, Chief Directorate, Fisheries Research and Development at DAFF, by email at or by mail at 5th Floor, Foretrust Building, Cape Town, 8000.

Brain food

Orca and dolphin talk

Simon Elwen and Ryan Reisinger are giving a talk on the Marion Island Killer Whale Project (on facebook here) and the Namibian Dolphin Project and soon to be Sea Search Africa in False Bay in a single evening. The talk is on Monday 16 June (a public holiday), at Bertha’s in Simon’s Town, at (about) 7pm. There is a cover charge of R25. Please rsvp on facebook! All are welcome.

Shark conference

There is a major shark conference taking place in Durban, out of which a constant stream of incredibly interesting information comes all day long thanks to a number of scientists live-tweeting the talks as they happen. Follow the tweets here.

Shark talk

Victoria Vásquez, a shark scientist at the Ocean Research Foundation and the Pacific Shark Research Centre in the United States, is giving a talk on shark conservation at OMSAC in Pinelands next Thursday evening, 12 June, at 7pm. If you would like to attend, rsvp here. She has been attending the Sharks International Symposium in Durban this week, so it’s a great opportunity to hear about the very latest shark research.

Finally, if you want to know how our own Department of Environmental Affairs plans to manage our marine resources, check out the recently published white paper here.

See you all soon!


Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099

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