Newsletter: Cool, calm and collected

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Shore dives in False Bay, site TBC

A boatload of German wreck divers
A boatload of German wreck divers

Diving this week

We have had a busy week and False Bay has been really good. We have dived mostly wrecks this week but did go and look for cowsharks yesterday (no luck). All in all we have had good viz, very little wind and enough sun to warm almost everyone. This picture was taken today at Long Beach and we were doing a Rescue course. Hardly stressful conditions.

Long Beach today
Long Beach today

The weekend has some swell in the forecast with winds from all directions so it will be a hit and miss affair. There is a lot of dark water around and most of it close to Rocky Bank.

We will plan to shore dive on Sunday. I will choose the site later on Saturday afternoon. Text or email me if you want to dive.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, use the form on this page!

Newsletter: Diving in a glass of water

Hi divers

Weekend diving

Sunday: Possible boat or shore dives, if the weather forecast  moderates. Text me to be notified.

Liam and Christo near the Brunswick
Liam and Christo near the Brunswick

Conditions report and forecast

We had exceptional conditions in False Bay last weekend, with 20 metre visibility and a comfortable 18 degrees on the surface. It’s been a long time since False Bay has been so clean. There are some photos on facebook that will show you just how stunning the conditions were. We dived Photographer’s Reef and the wreck of the Brunswick.

The viz has dropped somewhat this week but it is still pretty good. Sadly we are unlikely to have good conditions this weekend: just as well, because on Saturday is the all day long DAN day that you should attend if at all possible, with very informative talks about diving safety and a tour of a great facility in Cape Town. If you want me to forward the details then send me an email, but be quick as you need to book in advance (i.e. tomorrow) if there’s still space.

Alex at Photographer's Reef
Alex at Photographer’s Reef

On Sunday I don’t think the conditions will be all that great. There is a 2-3 metre swell, which is not too bad, but the wind is forecast to blow more easterly than south easterly and this tends to cause a larger than is pleasant wind chop that makes for unpleasant surface conditions. I am hoping the forecast changes as we get closer to Sunday and the wind drops off, and that way we can get some diving done. I will make that call late Saturday afternoon. Text me if you want to be on the list to dive if we do go out.

Surfacing in False Bay
Surfacing in False Bay

Training and permits

Winter is a good time to further your dive training – the water is cleaner in False Bay, and we have some really beautiful conditions to work with. If you’ve been thinking about a Specialty course, Advanced, or Rescue (for example), let me know and I can tell you a bit more about what’s involved. You’ll build up your confidence in the water and be a better buddy!

Please make sure you have an up to date MPA permit when you come diving… For visitors, I have a temporary (one month validity) permit book, but if you live here it’s definitely better to get a one year permit from the post office.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, use the form on this page!

Newsletter: Round the Point

Hi divers

Launches

FridayRoman Rock and Photographer’s Reef , and a night dive at Long Beach. Text me before 10am on Friday if you want to do the night dive.

Saturday (at the crack of dawn): Ark Rock wrecks and Phoenix Shoal

Monday: divers’ choice and Shark Alley

The week’s dives

We were boatless last week so could do shore dives only, but by Friday the boat was back after repontooning.

Leaving the jetty in Simon's Town with our new pontoons
Leaving the jetty in Simon’s Town with our new pontoons

This week we have been blown out most days, but today we headed off to Diaz Beach inside the Cape Point Nature Reserve with a group of very tough and brave swimmers that swam from Diaz Beach to Buffels Bay, a distance of approximately 8 kilometres around the tip of Cape Point. The swim was called Swim for Hope and was in aid of the Little Fighters Cancer Trust.

Swimmers waiting to tackle the shore break
Swimmers waiting to tackle the shore break

Each swimmer had a support boat and each boat had a shark shield, but there was nothing to shield them from the cold or the huge shore-break they faced at the start. Once round the Point the wind eased and the swell dropped and it was far better. Our swimmer, 61 year old Richard Child, swam tirelessly and had nothing more than a few swigs of hot chocolate on the way. He started with a stroke rate of 70 strokes per minute and ended on 68. Very impressive.

Rounding Cape Point
Rounding Cape Point

Weekend dives

Tomorrow is a good westerly wind, this will improve the viz inshore so we will do two dives tomorrow from the boat and then a night dive at Long Beach. There is a fair swell this weekend so I think Long Beach would be the best option . Saturday we launch again but it will be really early as the wind is set to pump from midday. On Sunday we are staying home while 35,000 very energetic cyclists compete for space on the peninsula road network.

On Monday we are also launching, and the first dive has not yet been decided (if you book first you get to choose!) but after lunch we will run down to Pyramid Rock to see the cowsharks.

Courses and travel

Currently busy with Open Water, Enriched Air, Rescue and Divemaster. The Sodwana trip is creeping up on us – twelve of us will head off for some warm water on the 26th of April.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, use the form on this page!

Newsletter: Shooting animals

Hi divers

Surprised by an early newsletter? Well its going to be short and sweet. We will not be diving this weekend at all, however, the forecast looks good for some really clean water in False Bay so if you can dive, do it.

Navigating slightly off course
Navigating slightly off course

We have had a mixed bag this week and had some early morning good viz in Hout Bay on Wednesday and ended off with some low viz in the afternoon as the wind died and the water warmed up. It was amazing to watch the bay go dark in a matter of hours.

Our Divemaster candidates had a really challenging course to navigate with a huge amount of task loading to prepare them for the role of Divemaster. We set up a course close to Die Josie that was angled across the current, the wind and the swell to demonstrate the difficulty in finding someone or something in low viz and with a current running.

Rescue skills
Rescue skills

Yesterday we spent some time at Long Beach and had pretty good conditions. The visibility was perhaps 4 metres, but it was calm and sunny which was perfect for Discover Scuba students.

So far we have thirteen enthusiastic divers heading off to Sodwana on 26 April. If you’re keen to join us, let me know and we’ll do our best to slot you in!

Clare and I are off early this morning, heading north to a game reserve to shoot a few pictures of the wildlife above the water. We are back on Monday and it will be diving as usual next week.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, use the form on this page!

Newsletter: Waiting for Santa to arrive

Hi divers

Weekend plans

On Saturday we will be shore diving at Long Beach and on Sunday we will be diving from the boat, launching at False Bay Yacht Club. Sunday’s wind is not all that predictable as yet, so we will make a firm plan late on Saturday afternoon.

Smitswinkel Bay
Smitswinkel Bay

The water temperature in False Bay is close to the 20 degree mark, so if it’s warm water you have been waiting for then now is your chance. The wind, mostly south easterly, has not really trashed False Bay as it sometimes can but at the same time it has not really cleaned the Atlantic the way it should.

This weekend’s wind will supposedly be more north westerly so False Bay should be quite good for the weekend – not that it’s that bad right now.

Dive update

So, we are into early January and Santa has yet to deliver my present. My request was simple: no swell, favourable winds, and good visibility. Never mind – I am patient and will wait and hope that he arrives soon.

Near Batsata Maze
Near Batsata Maze

Over the last two weeks we have done some diving, seldom in stunning conditions and seldom with terrific viz… But then Santa may still arrive. December and January are traditionally busy months for courses and we are busy with Open Water, Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster courses right now.

The  Divemaster trainees did part of their mapping project at A Frame today and we had 19 degree water and around 5 metre visibility.

Plans for 2014

When the visibility clears up enough for photography (other than macro) we are looking forward to making some contributions to the Spot the Sevengill Shark project. If you want to know what you can do to help identify the sevengill cowsharks that frequent False Bay, there’s some information here, and you should go and like the Spot the Sevengill facebook page, too.

We’re also going to start thinking about dive travel for 2014. We haven’t been to Sodwana for a little while, so I think that’ll be where we point our noses first… Watch this space!

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, use the form on this page!

Scuba diving for kids

Underwater exploration in the pool
Underwater exploration in the pool
  • Are you looking for a way to keep your family busy during the school holidays?
  • Do you enjoy being outdoors and exploring the beautiful environment around us?
  • Would your child benefit from the sense of achievement that comes from mastering a new set of skills, and the enjoyment that comes from spending time in the ocean?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, read on!

It is a little known fact that children as young as 10 years old can qualify as scuba divers, allowing them to dive with a certified adult diver or scuba instructor. It’s often easier for children to learn the new skills that are associated with scuba diving, because they listen and imitate well, they usually don’t have a lot of built-in hang ups and fears, and it’s really exciting for them to be learning something new.

Kids aged 8-9 are too young to become certified divers, but there is a choice of programs available that allow them to experience breathing underwater in the safe, controlled environment of a swimming pool. If the bug bites, they can complete the course to become fully qualified Junior Open Water divers once they turn 10.

Scuba diving is a great activity for the family to do together – I have taught family groups comprising parents and children, and it’s always a lot of fun. Alternatively, if your kids are keen to dive but you would rather sunbathe on the beach or go for a run with the dogs, that’s also fine! I conduct childrens’ dive course with a high ratio of supervisors (Instructors and Divemasters) to participants.

The confined-water (swimming pool) part of all our dive courses is conducted at our pool in Sun Valley, and the sea dives (for courses with participants age 10+) are usually conducted from Long Beach in Simon’s Town, and off our boat, Seahorse, launching from False Bay Yacht Club or Hout Bay depending on the weather conditions.

Ages 8-9

The PADI Bubblemakers and and SDI Future Buddies programs are for kids aged eight and up, and introduce scuba diving in a swimming pool environment. The PADI Seal Team program is available for the same age group, and involve some basic scuba skills and underwater missions to further increase diving competence.

Ages 10 – 15

SDI Junior Open Water or PADI Junior Open Water course is for wannabe divers aged 10 and up. These courses qualify kids to dive to 12 metres while with a certified adult diver or instructor, and when they turn 15 it is possible to upgrade to a regular Open Water qualification.

Age 12-15

From the age of 12, youngsters can earn the PADI Junior Advanced Diver (qualifying them to dive to 21 metres while with a certified adult diver) and Junior Rescue Diver qualifications.

To see all the dive courses we offer, visit our website. For more information about scuba courses for kids or any other diving related enquiries, use the contact form below to send a message:

Newsletter: Sealed with a kiss

Hi divers

Despite summer doing its best to hold on, the winter diving has started and in general the viz in False Bay has improved. The sun takes its time getting up in the morning and goes to bed way before dinner time for me, not my favourite season… (I might be afraid of the dark.)

Last weekend was a perfect example of the ocean reminding me that my understanding of its intricacies is way below par. We dived at Pyramid Rock and had 4-5 metre viz on Saturday but went back on Sunday and had twice that. Waiting at the slipway to recover the boat we had a visit from a seal and it almost seemed as if he wanted to jump in the boat.

Seal at the slipway
Seal at the slipway

We attended a swell course run by Spike from Wavescape during the week and learnt a lot about reading and understanding weather forecasts and such stuff. The course is primarily aimed at surfers but is in fact of benefit to any ocean user.

Weekend plans

What does the weekend hold? Well there is some swell, not too much, and some wind, but very little. So I think both days will be good with Sunday being the better option for the boat. The plan is then to do shore dives on Saturday, most likely at Long Beach as we are running a Rescue course.

On Sunday we will launch from the yacht club in Simon’s Town and dive with the cowsharks and then at Partridge Point. We have not dived the reef system around Partridge in a while. We are visiting the cowsharks quite often but there are many, many sharks there right now and it’s not always this good.

Sevengill cowshark at Shark Alley
Sevengill cowshark at Shark Alley

The shark photo in this newsletter was taken by renowned shark photographer Tamsyn Munnik (thanks Tamsyn!). Note how the cowshark is swimming high in the water column; they were all doing this on Sunday, and local shark scientist Alison Kock suggests that it was because they were swimming above the thermocline, avoiding the very cold water at the bottom.

Please text me if you want to dive on the weekend. If you want to go travelling and do some dives, text me about that too.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Dig a big hole

Hi divers

Our garden, before...
Our garden, before…

So, the week has been a bit hectic – hectic wind and and hectic rain, but today was mild, sunny and mostly dry so we dug a hole in the garden and filled it with a pool.

After... the pool comes through a gap in the fence
After… the pool comes through a gap in the fence

Last weekend

Last weekend we were lucky enough to have two days of excellent diving, both the Atlantic and False Bay were good. We had good viz and a calm, flat sea with almost no wind. We did three dives on Saturday and did some exploring on the outskirts of Maori Bay. In False Bay we dived the cowsharks and Photographer’s Reef. Monday was just as good and we did a double tank dive to cowsharks and the Pietermaritzburg.

Diving with the cowsharks last Sunday
Diving with the cowsharks last Sunday

Weekend diving

This weekend looks like more of the same stuff. Its a tough call on what side of the mountain to dive. Water temperature in the Atlantic today is 15 degrees, False Bay is 13 degrees. Warm Atlantic often means less than optimal visibility. There is some south east wind tomorrow so I think it will clean up. So the plan is, a few wreck dives and a visit to Atlantis!

Saturday

Hout Bay: the Katsu Maru and the BOS 400. Meeting in Hout bay at 8.00

Sunday

Atlantis and the Pietermaritzburg. Meet at False Bay Yacht Club at 8.30

Training

Currently I have Divemaster, Rescue, Advanced and Open Water on the go.

Travel

We’re doing the Red Sea liveaboard thing from 17-26 October.

We’ll be checking out Durban’s wrecks from 17-21 June!

Let me know if you want more details… The warm water beckons.

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

To subscribe to receive this newsletter by email, click here or use the form on this page!

Newsletter: Very little newsletter

Hi divers

Not a very wet week on the diving front. We did a few shore dives earlier in the week (at Long Beach) and had 3 metre viz. I did launch yesterday from Hout Bay and must admit the water was much cleaner than I expected.

Launching in the rain at Hout Bay
Launching in the rain at Hout Bay

Weekend plans

The weekend is again a hit and miss one with (in my opinion) too much wind and too much swell today, and too many people running around the streets on Saturday. Monday has a howling wind forecast. This leaves only Sunday for diving. It will be a windless (almost) day and the swell will have hopefully subsided somewhat. I am inclined to try Hout Bay on Sunday as it will be sunny and warm, and the southeaster has been cleaning it up nicely. Text me if you’re interested in taking a break from eating marshmallow eggs and want a dip in some salt water.

Travel

Red sea dates: 17-26 October

Durban dates: 17-21 June

Training

Open Water, Advanced, Rescue, and Divemaster are currently on the go. The arrival of our dining room table is IMMINENT, and with it will come the SDI Equipment Specialty that I’ve been dangling like a carrot for months…

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!

Newsletter: Your right to dive

Hi divers

The week has been good for diving, and we have completed a lot of courses, mostly SDI. We have had the boat out a few times and had some really good dives with the cowsharks. They seem to be back in full force and we have seldom seen less than 15 on a dive, within a few minutes of dropping into the water. While False Bay has been good, the Atlantic almost shut itself down with viz less than a metre on some days.

Despite the public holiday we made the call to stay home today expecting less than favourable conditions. Reports from those who dived were mixture between poor, good and awesome conditions. All are relative terms: the longer it has been since your last dive the more likely you are inclined to find 3-4 m viz “awesome”!

I took a drive down to Miller’s Point this afternoon as we have three launches tomorrow and was not surprised to see a huge number of boats waiting for a chance at using the slipway to get their boats out of the water. I am sure some of them waited more than an hour.

Craig doing some Peak Performance Buoyancy practice
Craig doing some Peak Performance Buoyancy practice

Diving this weekend and next week

The wind dies down somewhat tonight and should be at around 10-12 km/h tomorrow so we are diving cowsharks and seals in the morning, and then doing a deep dive in the afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday sadly look a little on the dry side with winds in the region of 30-40 km/h and a 3-4 metre swell due to arrive tomorrow evening. This does not bode well for a wet weekend. I am keen to dive the weekend should anything change, so let me know if there is something you have in mind and if it’s possible we’ll do it.

The southeaster is going to blow nicely for a few days and then stop on Tuesday, which may be a lovely day for a dive. I’ll probably take the boat to Hout Bay that day – let me know if you’re interested.

Next Saturday is the Two Oceans Marathon, which, delightfully, passes right in front of our driveway. So I don’t think we’ll manage to dive that day. We will endeavour to get out on Friday, Sunday (if you’re not all full of Easter eggs) and Monday, weather permitting.

Kate ensures that Craig needs to be rescued, by dumping him in the sea
Kate ensures that Craig needs to be rescued, by dumping him in the sea

Travel

Our travel plans are finalised – we will be going to the Red Sea from 17-25 October. If you’re keen to book yourself a spot, let me know soon and I’ll put you in touch with the booking agent. We are doing the Northern Wrecks and Reefs itinerary.

Those of you who have expressed interest in our Durban trip to check out some wrecks in June will receive information on flight details and accommodation in the course of the weekend.

Dinho drags Craig up the beach while Kate looks on helpfully
Dinho drags Craig up the beach while Kate looks on helpfully

regards

Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099
www.learntodivetoday.co.za
www.learntodivetoday.co.za/blog/

Diving is addictive!