Handy hints: Getting respect on the boat

Do your fellow divers not give you the respect you feel you deserve? Lisa has the answer to all your problems: scare them with a high fashion Doberman hoodie! Some visual intimidation will do the trick.

Lisa in her awesome Doberman hoodie
Lisa in her awesome Doberman hoodie

She was trying out a new hoodie that was a gift from a friend on a dive just after Christmas. I thought she looked like a very friendly Doberman, but maybe it is a superhero hoodie like my Batman one. Whatever the case, it looks pretty awesome.

Handy hints: How to be an awesome underwater cameraman

First, be completely unmoved by the curious looks from people nearby.

Craig and Mark wondering what Mark van Coller of Atlantic Edge Films is doing crouched on the slipway
Craig and Mark wondering what Mark van Coller of Atlantic Edge Films is doing crouched on the slipway

Make sure your fins are within easy reach and that your weight belt is secured. Then, lie on the slipway and wait for the tide to come in, of course!

Lying on the slipway
Lying on the slipway

The cameraman, Mark van Coller, is awesome, so you should follow his advice. You can look at some of his work here.

Mark with his camera gear in Hout Bay
Mark with his camera gear in Hout Bay

He was in Hout Bay to film the Jan Braai television insert about the world’s first underwater braai.

Handy Hints: Hitching a ride

Do you get tired during long dives? Would you like to know how to conserve energy, use less air, and annoy your buddies all at the same time? Fear not. The inimitable Kate is here to show you how it’s done.

Kate was back in town during August, September and October, along with her squire Brian. The two of them dived a lot while they were here. Kate was up to her usual tricks: here, she rides on the unwitting Brian’s cylinder during a dive at Shark Alley in September (no cowsharks to be found). Notice her perfect buoyancy, allowing her to let go as Brian turns around, and then grab hold of his gear again as he turns his back to her.

She did this to me once for almost an entire dive on the Clan Stuart. I felt as though my own buoyancy was up the pole, but couldn’t figure out why. Also, I used up my air really quickly and felt quite fatigued after the dive. Kate, of course, emerged from the dive with a nearly full cylinder, bursting with energy!

Handy hints: What to wear on a boat

Mark in his red dress shirt
Mark in his red dress shirt

I don’t have a good enough photo of this, but here’s our super skipper Mark – face obscured by a drop of water – in a VERY smart red dress shirt, hauling Kate’s (left) and Christo’s (right) gear out of the water after a dive. He has elevated the standard of dress on board Seahorse to new heights. Luckily for us, Mark had a formal engagement after skippering, and forgot to bring his usual t shirt to wear on board.

Handy hints: Getting the most out of your car

The boot of my car, packed to the brim
The boot of my car, packed to the brim

The good people who sold me my little German car probably never would have done so if they knew that I’d pack it with salty, wet, empty cylinders after a dive. In other news, the boot of a Mercedes Benz A class is the perfect width for transporting multiples of five 10 and 12 litre cylinders. Boom!

Handy hints: Smoking in secret

The inimitable Kate has returned to our shores from the UK, in order to further her diving and skippering education. Here, she demonstrates the correct way to sneak a quick cigarette.

Having a secret smoke
Having a secret smoke

And here, she demonstrates how to deflect attention after being found out. Priceless!

Emerging from under the jetty
Emerging from under the jetty

 

Handy hints: How to make the best fruit salad

Times are busy at present, so you’ll excuse the brief post that is only tenuously related to the ocean. I’m sure you’ll agree, however, that the tenuous link is a rather special one.

Spot the diver's fin on the right
Spot the diver’s fin on the right

This is a watermelon fruit salad shark that Tami’s sister Keren made for her birthday party. If you look carefully you can see a ScubaPro Seawing Nova fin sticking out of the side of the shark’s mouth.

Watermelon shark
Watermelon shark

Handy hints: Safe scootering

Gary heads off to the yacht club
Gary heads off to the yacht club

If you’re worried about scraping your limbs if you fall off your scooter, Gary the soon to be Divemaster has a good suggestion: forget teflon trousers and leather jackets. Neoprene is your friend. Here he is going for a drive at Long Beach. It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this…

Handy hints: Weighting your new wetsuit

What is Christo doing?
What is Christo doing?

Are there better places than the end of the jetty in Hout Bay harbour to figure out how much additional weight you need on your weight belt when wearing your new shorty wetsuit? Yes, there might be.

Christo weighting his new wetsuit
Christo weighting his new wetsuit

But Christo deserves respect for resourcefulness, a quailty he has displayed on at least one other occasion.

Handy hints: Putting up a hammock

Initial stage: secure one end of the hammock to a wooden post
Initial stage: secure one end of the hammock to a wooden post

On our recent trip to Ponta do Ouro to do some warm-water diving we took full advantage of our location right on the beach, and every evening sat around a fire just outside our rooms at the Motel do Mar. Nearby were some thatched gazebos that were useful for keeping out of the sun while lying on a towel or, as JP – ever-surprising and comprehensively equipped for any and every outdoor pursuit – showed us, lying in a hammock.

Gently test the hammock once secured on both sides
Gently test the hammock once secured on both sides
Briefly recline with a sea view
Briefly recline with a sea view
Experience a catastrophic failure of the support equipment
Experience a catastrophic failure of the support equipment

Concerned readers will be pleased to hear that, following re-erection of the wooden post, the hammock was secured once again and a pleasant evening was had by all.

Land on the sand
Land on the sand