Newsletter: Last blast

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Launching from Hout Bay at 9.00 and 11.30 So, we are into May and the southeaster soon starts to wane… Except for tomorrow and Saturday. The four graphs below show the direction (around the compass rose) and amount (the size and colour of the pie wedges) of wind during … Continue reading Newsletter: Last blast

Posted by on 6 May 2016 | 12:49 am

Newsletter: Gremlins

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: shore dives at Long Beach Monday: boat dives from Simon’s Town, conditions permitting We had a small gremlin interfere with our newsletter timing yesterday and for this we apologise. We had decent conditions on Wednesday with dives in the vicinity of Roman Rock. There was a dirty layer on … Continue reading Newsletter: Gremlins

Posted by on 29 April 2016 | 2:36 am

A Day on the Bay: Freedom Swim 2016

A day early in April was the date for the annual Freedom Swim, a 7.5 kilometre open ocean cold water swim from Murray’s Bay harbour on Robben Island to Big Bay near Blouberg. As we have in several previous years, we provided boat support for a swimmer. This entails providing a straight course for the … Continue reading A Day on the Bay: Freedom Swim 2016

Posted by on 28 April 2016 | 12:58 am

Bookshelf: Cold

Cold – Ranulph Fiennes I have been lax with book posts lately, but hope to remedy that in fairly short order (sorry for you!). This book, Cold by famed British explorer Ranulph Fiennes (not to be confused with Lord Voldemort), is the one that set me off on my recent epic binge on Arctic literature, which is … Continue reading Bookshelf: Cold

Posted by on 26 April 2016 | 12:58 am

A new ocean MOOC starting on Monday!

This one snuck up on me. Starting on Monday 25 April (yes, this Monday), a massive open online course (MOOC – remember those?) about science-based solutions to challenges facing the world’s oceans becomes available to the curious. It’s a collaboration between Kiel University in Germany, its GEOMAR Hemholtz Centre for Ocean Research and “cluster of … Continue reading A new ocean MOOC starting on Monday!

Posted by on 23 April 2016 | 1:15 am

Newsletter: Swell weekend

Hi divers Weekend plans Saturday: Big wave surf viewing at Dungeons Sunday: Boat dives in False Bay (conditions permitting) We are set for the first real winter swell and the forecast is saying that we should expect 10 metres with a 20 second period by tomorrow evening. It tapers off thereafter and Sunday will be a … Continue reading Newsletter: Swell weekend

Posted by on 22 April 2016 | 12:42 am

Newsletter: Whether the weather

Hi divers We ventured out to Long Beach last weekend and found the conditions to be less than ideal: surgy, especially for a 10 year old student, and with 3-4 m visibility. Winter diving is around the corner and we look forward to improved conditions. The forecast for the weekend is not that great. The … Continue reading Newsletter: Whether the weather

Posted by on 15 April 2016 | 1:13 am

How to help marine wildlife in distress

  It’s not uncommon to come across marine wildlife – seabirds, seals, turtles – apparently in distress. This is not always the case, so before you mount a complex and dangerous rescue mission, or try to provide help where none is needed, it may be wise to get an expert on the telephone to help you determine … Continue reading How to help marine wildlife in distress

Posted by on 11 April 2016 | 12:24 am

Newsletter: So you think you can swim

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday & Sunday: Boat or shore dives on both days We spent Saturday morning shadowing a swimmer doing the Freedom Swim from Robben Island to Big Bay… Around 7 kilometres in 14 degree water that at times looked like brown onion soup filled with jellyfish. The swimmers are a brave … Continue reading Newsletter: So you think you can swim

Posted by on 8 April 2016 | 1:09 am

Terrestrial citizen science opportunities in Cape Town

For the sake of completeness, here are a few opportunities for ordinary citizens to contribute to science and conservation in Cape Town in the terrestrial realm. If it’s marine citizen science and conservation you’re after, read this post. Western leopard toads Western leopard toads are gorgeous, endangered palm-sized toads that are found from Rondebosch to Bergvliet … Continue reading Terrestrial citizen science opportunities in Cape Town

Posted by on 7 April 2016 | 12:24 am

Be a marine citizen scientist (slash conservationist) in Cape Town

Here are a few ways for Capetonians to save the ocean. Some through direct action, and others through support for scientific research that enables policy makers and conservationists to make good decisions about which species and habitats need protection. I’ll update this list as new projects are brought to my attention. If you know of … Continue reading Be a marine citizen scientist (slash conservationist) in Cape Town

Posted by on 5 April 2016 | 1:17 am

A humpback whale on the beach

Last year the carcass of a smallish – about 8 metre long – humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) washed up on one of the less-frequented beaches around the Cape Peninsula. I am very belatedly sharing some pictures of it, not least because one doesn’t often get an opportunity to examine an animal like this up close. I view these … Continue reading A humpback whale on the beach

Posted by on 3 April 2016 | 12:46 am

Newsletter: Winter rolls in

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Launching from Simon’s Town jetty Winter arrived rather quickly in my opinion, and it went rather quickly from shorts and T shirts weather to requiring much more clothing. There has also been a fair amount of swell rolling around, but the wind direction is becoming more northerly and westerly … Continue reading Newsletter: Winter rolls in

Posted by on 1 April 2016 | 1:14 am

Newsletter: Stuck record

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Monday: False Bay diving, launching from Simon’s Town jetty I feel like a stuck record when another newsletter has no real news of the diving kind. A good newsletter is also meant to be full to the brim of diving related plans, but this weekend does not allow me completely to fulfil that requirement. Hout Bay … Continue reading Newsletter: Stuck record

Posted by on 25 March 2016 | 12:57 am

Newsletter: Tow the line

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No diving Dive conditions Seasonal changes are one thing, but the conditions have been less than great for a while. Good diving days have been rare over the last six weeks. This weekend – again – is not too rosy from more than one angle. Firstly, this week my tow … Continue reading Newsletter: Tow the line

Posted by on 18 March 2016 | 12:27 am

Article: Outside on acoustic sanctuaries for whales

Whales and dolphins make extensive use of sound to communicate. Some of the purposes of this communication may be to organise during a hunt, to socialise or to co-ordinate group movement. The predominance of long-distance shipping as a cost-effective and efficient way to transport goods around the world has increased the amount of anthropogenic noise in the ocean … Continue reading Article: Outside on acoustic sanctuaries for whales

Posted by on 17 March 2016 | 12:56 am

Article: The Atlantic on finding whales by listening

Let’s stay with whales for a bit. I love tales of serendipity in science. My favourite Ed Yong writes for The Atlantic about a team using multiple (160, to be exact) hydrophones (underwater microphones) to listen for fish in the Gulf of Maine. They were able to visualise the locations of millions of herring; they also discovered … Continue reading Article: The Atlantic on finding whales by listening

Posted by on 15 March 2016 | 12:55 am

Whale carcass reporting in Cape Town

The Environmental Resource Management Department at the City of Cape Town needs your help: We would like to try and get to whale carcasses well before they wash ashore on our coastline to deal with them more effectively and efficiently. As ocean users, if you come across a whale carcass floating anywhere in False Bay … Continue reading Whale carcass reporting in Cape Town

Posted by on 12 March 2016 | 11:35 pm

Newsletter: Castles in the sand

Hi divers Summer weather patterns and wind direction are sure taking their time heading off. This far into March and we have not yet had any spectacular diving. Well it has to change sometime, but I don’t think the time is this weekend. Saturday looks good from a wind point of view, however the swell … Continue reading Newsletter: Castles in the sand

Posted by on 11 March 2016 | 12:11 am

Newsletter: 70,000 wheels

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Shore dives at Long Beach The weekend looks quite rosy for change, and both Saturday and Sunday should be great. False Bay would be best on Saturday but on Sunday there are going to be approximately 70,000 wheels all trying to pass one another on the peninsula from really early until late afternoon. … Continue reading Newsletter: 70,000 wheels

Posted by on 4 March 2016 | 12:11 am