Newsletter: Weaker weather

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Shore and boat dives on Saturday and Sunday Last Friday while diving out of Hout Bay we were visited by what felt like an overwhelming number – but was approximately fifty – whales. Most of them seemed intent on staying close to the boat and in fact a few rubbed themselves on … Continue reading Newsletter: Weaker weather

Posted by on 11 February 2016 | 11:52 pm

Coastal foraging part II: the feast

After foraging on the sea shore for edible seaweeds and mussels under the guidance of Roushanna and Gael from Good Hope Gardens, we returned to Gael’s house in Scarborough to prepare a meal with our finds. The group divided into four, and we worked together to prepare the food using recipes provided by Roushanna. Sushi … Continue reading Coastal foraging part II: the feast

Posted by on 8 February 2016 | 11:49 pm

Coastal foraging part I: the forage

A chance conversation with a friend who also volunteers at the Two Oceans Aquarium led to me enrolling in a coastal foraging course with Roushanna and Gael Gray from Good Hope Gardens, the nursery between Scarborough and Cape Point. Their coastal foraging courses are run during the summer months (I went in December), on dates close … Continue reading Coastal foraging part I: the forage

Posted by on 6 February 2016 | 11:49 pm

Newsletter: The right thing

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Boat dives from Hout Bay / shore dives at Long Beach It would seem from the forecast that it is a open and shut case of where to go and what to do this weekend. To be honest I am not too sure of the right thing to do! … Continue reading Newsletter: The right thing

Posted by on 4 February 2016 | 11:48 pm

Console inspection

Cats are useful when it comes to boats. Despite using them to sleep, play and look at the world from, they can also perform useful inspection duties, making sure everything is in order. Here, showing unusual devotion to duty given that both the boat cover AND the console cover are on, Junior inspects the interior of … Continue reading Console inspection

Posted by on 4 February 2016 | 12:08 am

Bookshelf: Are Dolphins Really Smart?

Are Dolphins Really Smart? – Justin Gregg Beliefs about dolphins’ superior intelligence, bond with humans, mystical abilities and their disproportionate intellectual capabilities abound. There is a personhood movement that seeks to acquire rights for dolphins just like humans. In Are Dolphins Really Smart?, marine mammal scientist Justin Gregg examines the evidence for outsize dolphin intelligence, and … Continue reading Bookshelf: Are Dolphins Really Smart?

Posted by on 2 February 2016 | 12:08 am

Bookshelf: Voices in the Ocean

Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins – Susan Casey It is clear from the first pages of Voices in the Ocean that Susan Casey is enchanted by dolphins, and her book does not shy away from the mysticism and wild attributions of almost supernatural powers that dog our … Continue reading Bookshelf: Voices in the Ocean

Posted by on 31 January 2016 | 12:08 am

Newsletter: Surfers’ paradise

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No launches planned Today we took a load of surfers out to Dungeons. Amongst them were a few first timers at Dungeons and the happy cheers and bear hugs when they caught their first serious Dungeons roller was a sight worth seeing.  Dungeons is a spectacular sight so if you … Continue reading Newsletter: Surfers’ paradise

Posted by on 29 January 2016 | 12:11 am

Article: The Atlantic on jellyfish locomotion

Cross-disciplinary co-operation in the sciences can lead to striking results (it occurred beautifully between mathematics and computer science late last year). In this instance, The Atlantic covers a breakthrough in our understanding of jellyfish locomotion, made by a mechanical engineer. John Dabiri and his team injected dye into the water around a moon jelly as it swam. Like … Continue reading Article: The Atlantic on jellyfish locomotion

Posted by on 26 January 2016 | 11:58 pm

Mortal combat

Boat covers aren’t just excellent resting spots. They can be used as sparring arenas for cats. Here are Junior and Blue getting ready to unleash fury on one another.

Posted by on 24 January 2016 | 11:55 pm

The Cape Agulhas lighthouse museum

The ground floor of the Cape Agulhas lighthouse is devoted to a lighthouse museum and curio shop/tourist information centre. The museum is small, but well worth investigation if you’re a lighthouse buff. There is a large number of posters on display, covering the history of the Agulhas light and the surrounding area, as well as lighthouses … Continue reading The Cape Agulhas lighthouse museum

Posted by on 23 January 2016 | 11:49 pm

Newsletter: Smoky

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Launching from Hout Bay at 8.00 for Tafelberg Reef and the BOS 400 Sunday: Launching from Simon’s Town jetty at 9.30 for Roman Rock and Atlantis This will be a quick newsletter as we are downwind of a raging vegetation fire and the smoke is unbelievably thick. Even our tortoises are going to … Continue reading Newsletter: Smoky

Posted by on 21 January 2016 | 11:37 pm

Documentary (BBC): Arctic with Bruce Parry

Much of my recent Arctic obsession has been historical, with a related interest in the hostile environment that has stymied (and killed) so many explorers over the centuries. Bruce Parry is a British documentarian (didn’t know that was a thing, but it seems fun) who seems to be dearly loved and some kind of national … Continue reading Documentary (BBC): Arctic with Bruce Parry

Posted by on 20 January 2016 | 11:50 pm

Bookshelf: Rescue Warriors

Rescue Warriors: The US Coastguard, America’s Forgotten Heroes – David Helvarg Much of this book reads like one of the Reader’s Digest “drama in real life” stories that I used to devour from the magazines that my granny brought us when she came to visit. (She’d also bring a packet of Sparkles or Cadbury Eclairs.) Journalist, … Continue reading Bookshelf: Rescue Warriors

Posted by on 18 January 2016 | 11:26 pm

Colour fronts in False Bay

Perhaps you have wondered what causes the patterns of strange coloured water in False Bay during the summer months. Perhaps you have dived in it, and wondered why sometimes you can’t see your hand in front of your face! Wonder no more – I am here to help. Colour fronts Frequent visitors to and residents … Continue reading Colour fronts in False Bay

Posted by on 16 January 2016 | 11:51 pm

Newsletter: Windy

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: In the pool Sunday: Boat dives from Hout Bay harbour / shore dives at Long Beach (conditions dependent) The south easter has been blowing for a while now… Almost non stop. Windy, our wind generator at home who generates about a third of our monthly electricity requirements, has been … Continue reading Newsletter: Windy

Posted by on 14 January 2016 | 11:19 pm

Bookshelf: Frozen in Time

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition -Owen Beattie & John Geiger Depending on whether you’ve followed my advice (who am I kidding) and read Franklin’s Lost Ship or The Man Who Ate His Boots, this book could either be a spoiler or constitute a fairly neat wrapping up of the loose ends and methods used … Continue reading Bookshelf: Frozen in Time

Posted by on 12 January 2016 | 11:34 pm

Inspection time

These photos were taken on a day when I was trying my best to work on the boat, but cats were swarming all over it as though it was the Jolly Roger pirate party boat at the Waterfront. Size is not an obstacle when you have determination. Here is Junior demonstrating that the opening of the … Continue reading Inspection time

Posted by on 10 January 2016 | 11:55 pm

Cape Agulhas lighthouse

The Cape Agulhas lighthouse is the most visually pleasing lighthouse that I’ve visited so far. Tony and I visited it while we were staying at De Hoop last September. Cape Agulhas was named by the Portuguese from their word for needle. During the 1500s, when they were plying Southern Africa’s coastline, the magnetic declination in the … Continue reading Cape Agulhas lighthouse

Posted by on 10 January 2016 | 12:07 am

Newsletter: In from the cold

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Launching at 9.00 from Oceana Powerboat Club, conditions permitting We are back from a trip up north… Really far north – so far north that the temperatures, so I was told, were 0 – 2 degrees Celcius but to me felt like minus 50 degrees. It was great diving … Continue reading Newsletter: In from the cold

Posted by on 7 January 2016 | 11:23 pm