Newsletter: Whale chasing surfers…

Hi divers

Seal at the safety stop in Smitswinkel Bay
Seal at the safety stop in Smitswinkel Bay

Now that we are well on our way to spring, summer and the silly season it is time for many of you to dust off your logbooks, lose the slippers and put on your flippers… erm, fins. Diving conditions are great all year round in the Cape and despite the bad weather days we have sometimes, there are many, awesome days that beg to be dived. Going to work is one thing but taking a day’s leave in the week and diving is very, very, therapeutic… I call it Aquatic Therapy. Try it, it works.

The past week’s dives

Tiny basket star on the MFV Orotava
Tiny basket star on the MFV Orotava

Last weekend an 8 metre swell on Saturday kept most of us dry that day. We dived the MFV Orotava wreck in Smitswinkel Bay on Sunday.  The surface conditions were decent but it was very surgy at depth. The visibility was good and we were doing Deep and Nitrox Specialties so this was the perfect dive for this. Diving was also good in the week and on Wednesday we had 27 degrees in the parking lot, not a breath of wind (conditions very suitable for tanning) and 8 metre visibility in the water.

Two friendly frilled nudibranchs on the Orotava
Two friendly frilled nudibranchs on the Orotava

Weekend diving

This weekend will grace us with good diving on Saturday and less so on Sunday. We are doing a deep dive early on Saturday, to the Fleur, a wreck in the middle of False Bay that lies at around 40 metres on the sand. Grant will do another two launches, to the SAS Pietermaritzburg and to Roman Rock so if you are keen to go boating, which you should be, then shout.

I will spend the afternoon at Long Beach with Open Water students. Sunday is less easy to plan. The diving conditions will be good but it may be very cloudy and for some this relates to cold. I will decide Saturday afternoon but will dive at A Frame or Windmill Beach. There is a 3 metre swell which may just make A Frame difficult. Windmill Beach is often difficult on weekends due to the limited parking but on a cloudy day we may be lucky. It is a shore entry with a walk to the beach that is a little longer than the walk at Long Beach, but involves less rock scrambling. Shout if you are coming.

Speckled klipfish on the MFV Orotava
Speckled klipfish on the MFV Orotava

Gear

I have recently replaced some of my older gear and added a few extra items. If you rent gear from me on a regular basis please mail me for an updated price list.

Coastal Cleanup Day

Next Saturday morning we are joining OMSAC for International Coastal Cleanup Day, with a cleanup dive taking place in Hout Bay harbour. If you’d like to come along, sign up here and check out event details here. It costs R25, and payment must be made directly to OMSAC. If you need to rent gear for the dive, I can assist. I think it’s going to be quite festive.

This time last year

There are lots of whales in the bay at the moment. I watched a few surfers have a panic attack today and paddle faster than they thought possible when a whale surfaced less than 100 metres from them.

A whale greets three alarmed surfers in Muizenberg
A whale greets three alarmed surfers in Muizenberg

Last year this time we had whales on the surface at the end of a dive in Smitswinkel Bay and that photo soon became the most viewed photo on our blog. Another ‘’last year’’ item, last year I made it possible for any of the courses I offer to be purchased on a split payment arrangement. This worked well for me and many of the students that dived last season. I am going to do the same again on a more permanent and easier payment system. If you want to do a course but don’t have the money, mail me and we can work out a payment schedule.

We have again sponsored some dive training for the Reach for a Dream Foundation. Last year they auctioned and sold raffle tickets for the courses we sponsored and collected a fair amount of money for this charity. So visit their website and help someone reach for a dream. It’s a very good cause.

regards

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

Diving is addictive!

Gift ideas for Christmas

Anyone who’s had the misfortune to set foot in a shopping mall lately will be aware that Christmas decorations are out, and Christmas shopping is in full swing.

If you have a diver, or potential diver, in your life, getting them something to do with their hobby as a Christmas or Hannukah gift is a good idea. Lucky for you, Learn to Dive Today has suggestions for all budgets!

Under R300

Check out the bookshelf category for book ideas, and the movies and documentaries categories for DVD gift ideas.

Under R1000

What about a Discover Scuba Diving gift voucher from Learn to Dive Today? The Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) experience is designed for people who have never dived before, and want to try it out – perhaps before committing to a full Open Water course, or perhaps just for the experience.

Discover Scuba Diving voucher
Discover Scuba Diving voucher

You’ll meet at the beach, have a short briefing explaining the gear and basic dive principles and safety, and then go in the water. Tony will teach you a couple of essential skills – very basic things like mask clearing – and then you go for a dive. That way you get to experience what it’s like to be a diver, first hand, to see if the bug bites!

If you enjoy the dive and want to take it further, you can get the cost of the DSD credited towards your Open Water course.

If you want to order a voucher, email Tony.

Over R1000

Can I get on your Christmas list?! You might find possible gifts in the Gadgets and Gear category – from dive gear to cameras…

Any budget

Have you considered making a donation to the organisation of your choice – Reach for  a Dream, the NSRI, or SANCCOB for example – on behalf of your gift recipient? This is a very special gift that has the potential to do a lot of good in this world that so badly needs it, and impacts more than just the people giving and receiving the gift.

Thank you from Reach for a Dream

Reach for a Dream thank you
Reach for a Dream thank you letter

Last month Learn to Dive Today donated an Open Water course and a Discover Scuba Diving experience to be auctioned at the Reach for a Dream gala evening. The auction was apparently a great success with a profit this year of R350 000, this money being used to fulfil dreams of children with life threatening illnesses.

We  look forward to meeting the successful bidders, and introducing them to the underwater world!

Reach for a Dream

Learn to Dive Today is very proud to be associated with the fundraising efforts of Reach for a Dream.

At the Gala Evening being held tomorrow evening at the Westin Grand Hotel, one Discover Scuba Diving experience and one Open Water course will be auctioned, donated free of charge by Learn to Dive Today.

Reach for a Dream
Reach for a Dream Gala Evening

We look forward to supporting this good cause by doing what we love best!