Newsletter: Friends and family

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Double tank dives from False Bay Yacht Club at 8.30 am

I reckon the better option for diving this weekend will be on Sunday morning in False Bay. The tide is against us but I still think the visibility will be better than in the Atlantic. We will meet in the False Bay Yacht Club parking lot at 8.30 am with the aim of launching by 9.00 am. It will be a double tanker (that means your options are two dives, or none) as the wind speed grows by lunchtime. Let me know if you’re keen to come along.

Sunny Kalk Bay
Sunny Kalk Bay

Water

The latest Wednesday Water File from the WWF is about the power of community. Read it here. On that subject, here’s something on starting a water committee (at your apartment block, office, or kids’ school, for example). Community could be the eleventh good thing about the drought, if one were to extend this excellent list from WESSA.

regards

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

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Newsletter: High hopes

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Meet at the False Bay Yacht Club Parking at 9.00am for a double tank dive

The south easterlies are not ready to leave yet for the winter, but they are giving us a break right now. The forecast is for strong westerly wind tomorrow which will, if it blows, clean up False Bay rather nicely for some good visibility on Saturday. There is a 3 metre swell arriving on Saturday but I think it will be fine for a dive or two, and the tides are in our favour.

We will meet at the False Bay Yacht Club Parking at 9.00am. We’ll double tank it and choose the sites once we’re out there. Let me know if you want to be on board.

Giant short tailed stingray at Millers Point
Giant short tailed stingray at Millers Point

I had a couple of good days on the boat this week, the highlight being watching this huge giant short tailed stingray on a flat calm day.

Water

We shared a blog post about diving during a drought this week. Check it out! Also, the WWF’s fourth Wednesday Water File was published yesterday, and it’s very pertinent. It’s all about toilets. Read it here.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Spring into action

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Double tank dive in the ocean, location to be confirmed

What to say about the weekend? Saturday looks way too windy for my liking. Sunday is almost windless, however some swell and the howling south easterly wind all of the previous night might not leave False Bay very pleasant.

It is not inconceivable that Hout Bay cleans up… but last weekend was similar conditions and the Atlantic stayed green. I will launch on Sunday for a double tank dive, destination unknown and launch site to be confirmed late on Saturday. You know the drill if you want to come along!

Spring flowers in the West Coast National Park
Spring flowers in the West Coast National Park

For your diary

Diversnight this year is on Saturday 4 November. For those that don’t know it is an annual event, held worldwide, with the aim of getting as many people underwater at 8.17 pm (2017 – get it?) on the evening of the first Saturday of November. All of the many locations worldwide send in numbers and a bunch of Norwegian enthusiasts collate it all. Join us!

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Here today, gone tomorrow

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Sunday: Early morning double tank dive, location to be confirmed

Conditions last weekend were pretty good. Not much wind or swell and decent visibility. The wind and swell for the weekend ahead look great with very little of either. False Bay, on the other hand, looks a little messy from some humping south easterly wind today.

False Bay this morning
False Bay this morning

The wind dies tomorrow and stays away for the weekend. I don’t doubt that both False Bay and the Atlantic will offer decent diving if you take the time to check before you choose. I plan to launch on Sunday as early as possible for a double tank dive somewhere clean. I have family arriving at midday from abroad and want to be done by then. If you are up for a early dive let me know and I will add you to the list.

Great news

The Shark Spotters mobile app is available – search for Shark Spotters in the Apple app store or Google Play store and download it for free!

regards

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

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Newsletter: Blooming tides

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Launching at 6.00am from Simon’s Town jetty for a double tank dive

Coral display at the aquarium in Copenhagen
Coral display at the aquarium in Copenhagen

The water is really doing its best to limit diving right now. It is either murky green or way too windy for decent diving on a regular basis. At some point it will change, but I doubt it will change in time for the weekend. There are areas in False Bay that are clean and free of red tide, but you need to go and look for them.

Saturday has pretty strong south easterly wind and a fair amount of swell, Sunday is not looking much better. I have students who require shore and boat dives so I will launch at 6.00am on Saturday for a quick look and double tank dive, and plan the weekend around what we find.

If you’d like to be notified of diving plans that may materialise if we find suitable conditions, let me know!

regards

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

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Giant short tailed sting rays at Millers Point

Giant short tailed sting ray behind the boat at Millers Point
Giant short tailed sting ray behind the boat at Millers Point

Giant short tailed sting rays reliably appear in the warm, shallow waters of False Bay during the summer months. They are seen frequently at inshore dive sites such as Long Beach, but mostly during the warmest months of the year.

They can be seen fairly reliably year-round, however, near the Millers Point slipway. As with Parrie the ray at Struisbaai harbour, the rays at Millers Point have figured out that the discarded fish guts thrown overboard by the fishermen returning from a day on the bay are a steady source of snacks.

Here’s some fly by traffic coming past the boat one November day near the slipway, where we paused between double tank dives to change cylinders and de-gas.

It is illegal to feed these rays or to bait the water to attract them (or anything, if you don’t have a permit), but a short cruise in amongst the fishing boats queuing for the slipway will cause them to come and investigate. Snorkeling or diving this area is very risky because of the boat traffic, so take care.

Newsletter: Different strokes

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Friday: Launching at 9.00 am from Simon’s Town jetty

Saturday: 6.00 am double tank dives from Simon’s Town jetty

Dive conditions

Same again is not a phrase we can use for December this year. Last December was appalling by comparison and although we are only 10 days into the month, we have already done twice the number of dives we did in the whole of December last year.

Conditions this past weekend were great and they have been the same all week. The westerly wind today has made things even better and tomorrow and Saturday should be pretty good… In False Bay. The Atlantic looks a little dark and the water temperature is 16 degrees Celcius, which doesn’t herald good viz that side.

Leaving for dive two on Sunday
Leaving for dive two on Sunday

Dive plans

We are launching tomorrow and Saturday, but I think Sunday will be a little too windy for diving. The forecast is for it to blow hard from midday on Saturday, so we will launch for a double tanker at 6.00 am on Saturday from Simon’s Town jetty.

Freebies

Remember our free try dives in the pool until Christmas eve. We have had some bookings and the pool is warm! It’s a great opportunity to introduce your friends and family to scuba diving. Get in touch if you want to bring someone over – booking is essential.

Action required

Please have your MPA permits up to date – you can get one for R94.00 at the post office. Take along your ID document.

On the subject of Marine Protected Areas, please read this and send in your comments about the imminent opening of the Tsitsikamma MPA to fishing. Allowing fishing in a marine protected area is a bit of a contradiction in terms, so I encourage you to read about the proposal and let your voice be heard on the subject.

regards

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

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Newsletter: Try it out

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: 6.00 am on Simon’s Town jetty for double tank dives in the Roman Rock vicinity

Saturday: Dives from Simon’s Town jetty at 9.00 and 11.30 am, sites dependent on conditions

Dive conditions

We had good conditions last week; they held for the weekend and then kept going at the start of this week. Yesterday and today, however, the viz took a bit of a nosedive and is possibly going to settle into the summer visibility groove of a warm 4- 6 metres, depending on your eyesight. There is very little swell or wind in the forecast which will help.

I doubt there will be too much difference between Saturday and Sunday so the plan is as follows: a screechingly early double tank launch on Saturday (6.00 am on the Simon’s Town jetty). On Sunday we will meet for 9.00 am and 11.30 am. The sites will depend on what we find on Saturday.

A Cape long-legged spider crab
A Cape long-legged spider crab

This Cape long-legged spider crab hitched a ride to the surface on one of the divers’ booties this week. Isn’t he a handsome chap? He is back where he belongs!

Try diving in the pool

In the month of December until Christmas, we are offering Discover Scuba sessions (try dives) in our pool, free of charge, every Wednesday and Thursday after 3.00 pm. If you have a friend that needs a little persuasion to qualify as your future dive buddy, then bring them along. Booking is essential. Get in touch if you want to reserve a slot.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: Purple and orange, and Minions

Hi divers

Weekend dive plans

Saturday: Meet at Simon’s Town jetty at 8.00 Fan Reef and 10.30 Atlantis or Outer Photographer’s Reef

I photographed this (recently deceased) backspine cowfish after retrieving it from the surface just inshore from Roman Rock, last Friday. This was an unusual opportunity to look closely at this not often spotted little chap. There was a visible plankton bloom in the area with a few other dead fish floating on the surface, too.

Backspine cowfish (deceased)
Backspine cowfish (deceased)

Both WindGURU and Windfinder have used their purple and orange crayons for the forecasts again which means the wind will blow harder than most people find enjoyable. Fortunately these colours are confined to Friday’s forecast, and by the weekend we are back to low wind conditions. The wind direction tomorrow will improve the already very good visibility in False Bay, so that is a good thing. The downside is it that might rain and it might be cold, but then again it might not. And you’re going to get wet anyway!

Saturday looks to be the warmer day so that will be my choice for boat dives. We will go to Fan Reef at 8.30 (meet at 8.00) and Atlantis or Outer Photographer’s Reef at 11.00 (meet at 10.30). We may do these as a double tank dives, in which case there will be no getting off the boat in between. There will be hot chocolate on the boat in my new Minion cups to make it worth your while.

Shore diving for the out of practice

We are planning a shore dive next weekend, on Saturday if the weather plays along, for everyone who needs to get back in the water and dust off their confidence and buoyancy skills, so make a note in your diaries and I’ll confirm the details in next week’s newsletter. Winter is a great time to dive in False Bay. The water is generally clean, and the prevailing winds flatten the sea. With this in mind, how about a trip to the post office next week to renew your permit to dive in a Marine Protected Area?

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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Newsletter: In the net

Hi divers

Weekend plans

For a change the weather looks good for the weekend. I cancelled last weekend but that was a mistake as the conditions turned out to be good (loud self inflicted slap). The wind won’t be too strong, and the swell is from the south east which means flat sea along the Atlantic seaboard. I would like to dive North and South Paw on Saturday from OPBC and possibly do a double tanker to Justin’s Caves on Sunday. Text or email me if you want to dive.

Last week’s diving

Wild wind and grumpy sea in False Bay has had us on the Atlantic coastline most of this week. We have done a few trips to Duiker Island and spent an afternoon just off Oudekraal. The water is cool and clean.

We did manage a warm(ish) dive in False Bay on Tuesday when we were fortunate to take two media people for a dive along the new shark exclusion net in Fish Hoek. It was spring low tide so we could almost have walked out to the end of the net, but the idea was to get some photos and a positive story out on the merits of the net, the work involved in deploying and retrieving it and the conservation efforts behind it all. An article appeared in yesterday’s Cape Argus – you can read it here and see some photos from the day on facebook.

Over-under view of the exclusion net at Fish Hoek
Over-under view of the exclusion net at Fish Hoek

Sevengill cowshark project

There is a huge amount of work going on to try and establish a photo ID project for the sevengill cowsharks that hang out at Shark Alley. Its a dive most people really enjoy and very little is know about their movements and habits. Please go and like the project’s facebook page and if you have anything to contribute… info, stories etc… please do so! All the information about what is required for the project can be found on the facebook page.

Pool deck at home is complete
Pool deck at home is complete

Festive season diving

Lots of public holidays and annual leave happening over the next few weeks means we will try and schedule more weekday diving than normal. I will send out text messages if I schedule dives in between newsletters – let me know if you don’t usually get texts from me (and want to), and I will add you to the sms list.

Things are looking so good at home now – we just got the pool deck finished – that I’m looking forward to spending some time doing confined water skills with my Open Water students too!

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

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