Newsletter: Where did all the treasure go?

Hi divers

Beautiful colours at Roman Rock
Beautiful colours at Roman Rock

As the seasons change from spring to summer so do the winds, the southeaster gets more air time than most winds and diving starts the annual pilgrimage to the Atlantic. It becomes a little harder to predict the diving conditions for the next several months and my weather prediction success rate will plummet from around 10% to zero!!!

Knobbly anemone on Photographer's Reef
Knobbly anemone on Photographer’s Reef

Local diving is also entering its silly season with many dive operators vying for top spot as being the one that can post the most rubbish on facebook in one week. In an effort to appear popular and busy some claim to have dived in “flat calm with 10m viz” having not even left the couch at home. On a good day (yesterday, for example) the viz is claimed to be 2 metres, 7 metres and 10 metres within minutes of one another by different operators. While this provides incomparable amusement for those of us who watch the weather ourselves, divers who do not consult Magic Seaweedor a similar site for information on wind and swells will be very disappointed!

Keren ascending after her first boat dive as a qualified Open Water diver
Keren ascending after her first boat dive as a qualified Open Water diver

Last weekend

Fun in the sun at the ScubaPro day
Fun in the sun at the ScubaPro day

The ScubaPro day was a success with around 140 people enjoying boat dives at R100 each. The False Bay Yacht Club is a nice venue and often the only place to dive students when the southeaster gets up and humming. There were four launches by five boats so a lot of good diving was had. We had an early dive to Photographer’s Reef with good visibility and the last launch to Roman Rock had a slight drop of but the diving was great.

Blue gas flame nudibranch at Roman Rock
Blue gas flame nudibranch at Roman Rock

On Monday I dived a fairly new dive site called Atlantis, twin pinnacles just north of Smitswinkel Bay that start at 6-7 metres and drop off to 34 metres on the sand. This site had the biggest schools of fish I had ever seen in Cape Town, and then went to Pyramid Rock to dive with the cowsharks. We saw lots of sharks and a small spotted gully shark. I was happy to see that an injured shark we spotted earlier this year had recovered well and was looking far more healthy. The shark has lost a huge portion of its tail fin so it is quite distinct. The snoek boats are all out fishing so two more sharks have hooks trailing in their mouths as they apparently chase the fishing boats taking the catch of the fishermen’s lines.

These two dives were done off a hard boat called Shark Explorer – I was Divemastering for a company called Shark Explorers who do various kinds of shark-focused diving including shark cage diving in False Bay. It was a backward roll and a half!

Nils negotiates a gap in the rocks at Photographer's Reef (gives an idea of the visibility, too)
Nils negotiates a gap in the rocks at Photographer’s Reef (gives an idea of the visibility, too)

Tuesday I spent in the pool with Cecil and his double tank configuration as he worked through the training drills for valve shut down and other skills in preparation for his foray into the world of cave diving. His skills practice went well despite me doing my level best to stress him by shutting valves, intentionally tangling him in line, flooding his mask and a few other tests of his patience!

Compass sea jelly at Roman Rock
Compass sea jelly at Roman Rock

This weekend

The wind and swell arrive tomorrow, 4.5 metres of swell and a strong southeaster. This will spoil Saturday for sure and it is unlikely Sunday will survive unscathed. There is less swell and wind on Sunday but the visibility will have dropped. I will dive on Sunday, a shore entry at the best looking sight so text me if you want to dive, I just can’t be sure of the conditions as yet.

Upcoming events

Clare and I plan to attend a talk at OMSAC in Pinelands about the WWF’s SASSI program (encouraging and empowering consumers to eat responsibly fished, non-endangered seafood) on Thursday 20 October. The event invitation is here. If you care about the sea and like to eat fish, this will be an informative and useful evening. Plus we’re looking forward to checking out OMSAC – we’ve attended several of their events but never visited the clubhouse.


Tony Lindeque
076 817 1099

Diving is addictive!

xkcd: Desert Island

Desert Island

James and Claire gave me the xkcd book for my birthday this year. It’s unashamedly geeky humour, and I love this particular cartoon (not in the book) so much that I’d consider getting it tattooed on my back.

Okay, not really, but I do like it very, very much!