Newsletter: Up to all of us

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Shore dives at Long Beach The wind, strong as it has been, has not been from the right direction to create favourable diving conditions. The Atlantic needs good solid south easterly winds and there has not been enough of that yet. Tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to offer up wind from the right … Continue reading Newsletter: Up to all of us

Posted on: 19 January 2018 | 12:00 am

Reef life on Seven Mile in Sodwana

While we were in Sodwana in September, one of the dives I did was to Seven Mile Reef, which is further out and less busy than Two Mile. The dive was also slightly deeper than the Two Mile dives we did, which meant there was less surge and conditions were a bit easier all round. … Continue reading Reef life on Seven Mile in Sodwana

Posted on: 17 January 2018 | 12:25 am

Snapper in Sodwana

Snapper are one of my favourite coral reef fish to dive with, because sometimes they’ll allow you into, or very close to, the dense schools they form over the reef. This must be what it feels like to be a fish, albeit one that breathes loudly and blows bubbles! We saw these bluebanded snappers (Lutjanis … Continue reading Snapper in Sodwana

Posted on: 15 January 2018 | 12:55 am

Newsletter: Summer fun

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Launching from False Bay Yacht Club for Roman Rock and Shark Alley We have had more diving days this summer than is usual, and 2018 has started well with pretty good conditions and warm water… There have also been a few darker days. On Monday we were in Smitswinkel Bay with … Continue reading Newsletter: Summer fun

Posted on: 12 January 2018 | 12:02 am

Map puffer in Sodwana

This handsome, uncommonly seen map puffer (Mappa puffer – honestly) swam towards me on Seven Mile Reef in Sodwana, and hung out for a minute or two while I took his picture. His patterns look a bit like a circuit board, don’t you think? These fish are solitary and quite shy, usually staying near overhangs in … Continue reading Map puffer in Sodwana

Posted on: 10 January 2018 | 12:35 am

Cleaning stations in Sodwana

A barred rubberlip (also known as a red-lined sweetlip, Plectorhinchus plagiodesmus) at a cleaning station on the reef at Pinnacles on Two Mile reef in Sodwana. It was a surgy day, but if you look closely you can see the bluestreak cleaner wrasses (Labroides dimidiatus), with grey, black and blue stripes, swimming in and around … Continue reading Cleaning stations in Sodwana

Posted on: 8 January 2018 | 12:35 am

Newsletter: Happy Blue Year

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Launching from False Bay Yacht Club at 8am for a Smitswinkel Bay wreck / at 10.30 am for cowsharks I’m launching early on Saturday for a student dive to one of the Smitswinkel Bay wrecks, and at 10.30 am for (most likely) cowsharks. They’ve been spotted by a couple … Continue reading Newsletter: Happy Blue Year

Posted on: 5 January 2018 | 12:20 am

Bookshelf: Essential diving books

I wish I’d had this list of diving books when I started diving. It’s a collection of books about the sport, both basic and wide-ranging. I’m starting it now, and I’ll add to it when good general diving books cross my path. Neutral Buoyancy – for divers and those who love divers Scuba Fundamental – for divers … Continue reading Bookshelf: Essential diving books

Posted on: 3 January 2018 | 12:27 am

Newsletter: Where’s the weather

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Hout Bay launches Monday: Late morning False Bay launches As per normal for this time of year, most people are on vacation and on most days, diving is ruled out by the conditions. Despite my hopes of more diving than during a regular week, the rest of this week … Continue reading Newsletter: Where’s the weather

Posted on: 29 December 2017 | 12:02 am

City of Cape Town’s new protocol for cleaning tidal pools

Early in November I attended an information session at the Kalk Bay Community Centre, where the City of Cape Town announced that they will be trialling an environmentally friendly cleaning process on five of the 19 tidal pools on the 260 kilometres of Cape Town’s coastline managed by the City. This coast stretches from Silwerstroom … Continue reading City of Cape Town’s new protocol for cleaning tidal pools

Posted on: 27 December 2017 | 12:16 am

Bookshelf: Life’s a Beach

Life’s a Beach: Your Round-The-Coast Guide To South African Beaches – Ann Gadd Compliments of the season. If you’re contemplating which beach to head to for tomorrow’s traditional Boxing Day beach outing, a venerable South African institution, I have just the book for you. The product of a mammoth investment of time (which couldn’t have … Continue reading Bookshelf: Life’s a Beach

Posted on: 25 December 2017 | 12:31 am

Newsletter: Just in time

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Friday: Boat dives from False Bay Yacht Club Saturday: Boat dives (maximum depth 18 metres) from False Bay Yacht Club Sunday: More boat dives from False Bay Yacht Club Just in time for Christmas, we have been granted a few days of almost flat seas and very little wind. To top it … Continue reading Newsletter: Just in time

Posted on: 22 December 2017 | 12:02 am

Old woman angelfish in Sodwana

Old woman angelfish (Pomacanthus rhomboides) are curious, friendly fish, and this one spent a long time with our group of divers in Sodwana Bay while we explored Pinnacles on Two Mile Reef. (S)he was biting our bubbles and swimming among us like one of the gang. You can see the first part of her visit … Continue reading Old woman angelfish in Sodwana

Posted on: 20 December 2017 | 1:00 am

Trumpetfish in Sodwana

We saw this lovely trumpetfish (Aulostomus chinensis) at Pinnacles in Sodwana. He probably sees divers every day, and swam through us with no cares in the world. An old woman angelfish tried to photo bomb early in the video, and I have more to share of that friendly creature in a separate post coming up. … Continue reading Trumpetfish in Sodwana

Posted on: 18 December 2017 | 1:06 am

Newsletter: Conflicting signs

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Boat dives at 10am The forecasts are conflicted as to whether the weekend’s wind will be manageable or hectic. Saturday looks like the better option and it is too early to rule out the Atlantic. Currently it is green off Long Beach in Noordhoek and the CSIR buoy shows the temperature … Continue reading Newsletter: Conflicting signs

Posted on: 15 December 2017 | 12:57 am

Sodwana backward roll

Here’s a backward roll. We were at Pinnacles on Two Mile Reef in Sodwana Bay, diving with Coral Divers. This backward roll was well executed: everyone rolled on the skipper’s cue, all together. Clare and Laurine are wearing buffs, pink and blue respectively. Clare says it helps to keep hair out of one’s face and … Continue reading Sodwana backward roll

Posted on: 11 December 2017 | 12:29 am

Newsletter: More purple crayons

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No diving There is little doubt in my mind that diving this weekend will be for the hardcore only. Both Saturday and Sunday will feature howling south easterly winds which will make for rough surface conditions. The forecast seems to imply wind strength capable of affecting both sides of the mountain so there will … Continue reading Newsletter: More purple crayons

Posted on: 8 December 2017 | 12:20 am

Finishing a boat dive in Sodwana

This isn’t the most exciting video, but I hope it reminds you of how blue and clear the water is off the coast of KwaZulu Natal, and what it’s like to dive in Sodwana on a good day. It was filmed at the end of a dive on Pinnacles on Two Mile Reef, as the … Continue reading Finishing a boat dive in Sodwana

Posted on: 6 December 2017 | 12:50 am

Christmas gift guide 2017

I wondered when I’d need a picture of a glass of champagne next to some dive gear; this post feels like as good a time as any to use it. I feel obligated to explain that the champagne was being consumed on our pool deck during the course of a late afternoon fool around in … Continue reading Christmas gift guide 2017

Posted on: 4 December 2017 | 12:53 am

Newsletter: Summer winds

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Shore diving at Long Beach Sunday: Boat dives from False Bay Yacht Club Thank goodness the daytime temperatures are more in line with my comfort zone than they were a month ago. The warmth does come along with the south easter, though, and it has been very noticeable this … Continue reading Newsletter: Summer winds

Posted on: 1 December 2017 | 12:28 am