Newsletter: Pretty perfect

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Boat dives from False Bay yacht club at 8.30 am to Roman Rock or Photographers Reef / divers’ choice for the second dive The forecast for the weekend is really good with almost no wind or swell. False Bay is a pleasant colour and temperature. Our plan is to meet in the False Bay yacht club … Continue reading Newsletter: Pretty perfect

Posted on: 26 August 2016 | 12:53 am

Newsletter: Mountains

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Boat dives at 10.00 and 12.30 from Hout Bay or False Bay yacht club It may seem that given the week-long south easter we are having, it would be a simple matter to decide which side of the peninsula to dive. The picture was taken from Chapmans Peak drive today around lunchtime, and … Continue reading Newsletter: Mountains

Posted on: 19 August 2016 | 1:01 am

Newsletter: Cocktail weather

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No dives We are in a phase of semi-decent weekday diving and dodgy weekends again. We had fairly good False Bay diving during the week, but the weekend forecast is not ideal for much beyond storm chasing. Strong winds and some significant swell topped off with a dash of rain are hardly a cocktail … Continue reading Newsletter: Cocktail weather

Posted on: 12 August 2016 | 1:38 am

Sharks! MOOC videos (part II)

Here is a selection of the videos for weeks three and four of the recent Sharks! MOOC hosted on edX. You can find weeks one and two here. All the videos are available on youtube if you’re really interested – you can check out the channel containing all this year’s videos, or a giant playlist containing all the videos … Continue reading Sharks! MOOC videos (part II)

Posted on: 10 August 2016 | 1:01 am

Sharks! MOOC videos (part I)

I completed the edX-hosted Sharks! MOOC, presented by Cornell University and the University of Queensland, and it was excellent. The content was clear and for me, who stupidly quit high school biology at the age of 14 for the sake of a more classical (less useful) education, filled in a large number of gaps in … Continue reading Sharks! MOOC videos (part I)

Posted on: 8 August 2016 | 12:57 am

Newsletter: Testing 123

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Two launches from False Bay Yacht Club, meeting at 8.00 am A long period 3 metre swell arrives tomorrow, drops on Saturday and then builds again on Sunday. I am planning two launches early on Saturday morning as I have several students to certify. We will meet in the car park at False … Continue reading Newsletter: Testing 123

Posted on: 5 August 2016 | 12:53 am

Testing a self-inflating life jacket

If you’ve been on our boat, you may have noticed that I always wear a life vest. It’s a slimline one that we purchased in Denmark a few years ago. The vest contains a small gas cannister with a pellet (looks like a headache pill) that releases the gas in the cannister and inflates the … Continue reading Testing a self-inflating life jacket

Posted on: 3 August 2016 | 1:22 am

Article: The New York Times Magazine on animal tagging

Staying with our informal theme of the last few weeks’ (admittedly sporadic) posts, let’s look at a recent article from the New York Times Magazine. Not solely focused on marine animal studies, the article explains how technology has enabled even the general public to directly observe and learn about the migrations of birds, sharks and other animals. … Continue reading Article: The New York Times Magazine on animal tagging

Posted on: 1 August 2016 | 1:27 am

Newsletter: Swell weather

Hi divers After a few days of rain and southerly swell False Bay does not look that great. This swell direction is set to stay for a few more days and in fact changes only on Monday. There is some south easterly wind on Friday and Saturday but not really strong enough to clean up the … Continue reading Newsletter: Swell weather

Posted on: 29 July 2016 | 12:50 am

Two ways to count sharks

Did you pick up the July edition of National Geographic to read about great white sharks, or read the article online? (Pro tip: you should.) The article’s author, science writer Erik Vance, contributes to a blog that I follow called The Last Word on Nothing. I was delighted to read a follow-up he posted to his National Geographic feature, … Continue reading Two ways to count sharks

Posted on: 27 July 2016 | 1:01 am

Help Shark Spotters create a free beach info smartphone app!

Shark Spotters have been keeping bathers and surfers safe, and providing groundbreaking research on Cape Town’s white sharks, for over 10 years. They are currently developing a smartphone app that will provide information on sightings of sharks and other marine life, sea conditions, and other information pertinent to the Shark Spotters program. The app will be … Continue reading Help Shark Spotters create a free beach info smartphone app!

Posted on: 25 July 2016 | 1:24 am

Newsletter: Diving 9 to 5

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Shore dives at Long Beach Sunday: Boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty at 10.00 to the wreck of the Brunswick and 12.30, site to be determined on the day The cold front seems to have passed by and the second one that was meant to arrive tomorrow seems now to … Continue reading Newsletter: Diving 9 to 5

Posted on: 22 July 2016 | 1:19 am

Newsletter: Wishing winter away

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty to Photographer’s Reef and Roman Rock OR shore dives at Long Beach I know we are barely past the halfway mark of winter, but the last few warm and pleasant days have got me wishing summer was here. Some swell and lots of south easterly wind … Continue reading Newsletter: Wishing winter away

Posted on: 15 July 2016 | 1:11 am

Bookshelf: One Breath

One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits – Adam Skolnick This is the book on freediving that has long needed to be written. Structured, well researched, and focused, you must to read it if you have an interest in the sport. It is the best book by far that I, a rank … Continue reading Bookshelf: One Breath

Posted on: 11 July 2016 | 12:52 am

Newsletter: Afternoon antics

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty We went out hunting for cowsharks (they’re still AWOL) and visited the seals this afternoon. The visibility is not great, about 4-5 metres at Patridge Point and about 3 metres at Shark Alley. This weekend we will launch the boat for dives on … Continue reading Newsletter: Afternoon antics

Posted on: 8 July 2016 | 1:21 am

Article: National Geographic on great white sharks

The July 2016 issue of National Geographic contains an article entitled “Why Great White Sharks are Still a Mystery to Us“, and luckily for those of us who don’t have approximately $100 to drop on a magazine (I exaggerate, and it’s probably worth it), it’s available online as well. It’s an excellent explanation for why and … Continue reading Article: National Geographic on great white sharks

Posted on: 6 July 2016 | 12:52 am

Bookshelf: Pristine Seas

Pristine Seas: Journey to the Ocean’s Last Wild Places – Enric Sala Those of us who will likely never visit Kingman Reef and the Line Islands in person should be grateful for Enric Sala. Marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Sala brings the same substance, urgency and gravitas to his underwater photography that … Continue reading Bookshelf: Pristine Seas

Posted on: 4 July 2016 | 12:47 am

Newsletter: Watching waves

Hi divers Weekend plans Saturday: Big wave surfing at Dungeons (we will watch, not surf) Sunday: Boat dives in False Bay, from Simon’s Town jetty The Bay has been on and off this week with some swell interfering with good diving. A 7 metre swell is expected tomorrow and this means that Dungeons may be worth a … Continue reading Newsletter: Watching waves

Posted on: 1 July 2016 | 1:36 am

Bookshelf: Sharks

Sharks – Michael Muller Michael Muller is probably best known for his work as a portrait photographer (focusing on celebrity subjects). He also has, it turns out, a longstanding fascination with sharks. While working as a commercial photographer for Speedo, Muller designed and built a waterproof housing for his 1,200 watt studio strobe lights. Incredibly, he … Continue reading Bookshelf: Sharks

Posted on: 29 June 2016 | 12:25 am

Newsletter: Winter waning

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Student boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty This week the visibility was good in False Bay and the water was around 13 degrees.  There seems to be a lot of wind and rain in the forecast for the next week, however Saturday does look like a good option for … Continue reading Newsletter: Winter waning

Posted on: 24 June 2016 | 1:25 am