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 by on 24 June 2016 | 1:25 am

Newsletter: Planning ahead

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No diving this weekend, but conditions are promising for weekday dives next week! A six metre swell put paid to any hopes of celebrating Youth Day with a dive, but we have a week of very favourable conditions coming up. This coincides with school holidays (for some lucky ones) and we hope … Continue reading Newsletter: Planning ahead

Posted by on 17 June 2016 | 12:48 am

Bookshelf: Ice Blink

Ice Blink: The Tragic Fate of Sir John Franklin’s Lost Polar Expedition – Scott Cookman In Ice Blink, Scott Cookman provides another account of the much-reported final expedition of Sir John Franklin to the Canadian Arctic, in search of a Northwest Passage. The story has been told many times, in many ways, and Cookman’s rendition is … Continue reading Bookshelf: Ice Blink

Posted by on 13 June 2016 | 1:14 am

Newsletter: Clean out

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Launching from Simon’s Town jetty at 7.45 am to Roman Rock We have been out a couple of times this week and False Bay is really clean. Visibility today south of Partridge Point was easily 15 metres and the water is 15 degrees. There is some south easter and some swell … Continue reading Newsletter: Clean out

Posted by on 10 June 2016 | 12:50 am

Bookshelf: Climate Change

Climate Change: Briefings from Southern Africa – Bob Scholes, Mary Scholes & Mike Lucas This is the book on climate change that I never knew I needed. It is written in the form of 55 questions and answers, from a South African perspective. One of the three authors (Dr Mike Lucas) is a biological oceanographer, so … Continue reading Bookshelf: Climate Change

Posted by on 8 June 2016 | 12:59 am

A Christmas dive with cowsharks

One of Cape Town’s best known dive sites is called Shark Alley, located close to shore near Pyramid Rock in False Bay. Here, broadnose sevengill cowsharks may be seen fairly reliably. There are times when they aren’t around (perhaps owing to a recent orca predation, or some other mysterious cause). Jerrel filmed this beautiful footage on a … Continue reading A Christmas dive with cowsharks

Posted by on 6 June 2016 | 12:39 am

Newsletter: Keeping it tidy

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Sunday: Boat dives, conditions dependent, in False Bay or the Atlantic Several days of south easterly wind is not uncommon in winter, but it is a little unusual. Today, tomorrow and Saturday it is meant to blow around 25 km/h from the south east, so it’s likely we may dive the … Continue reading Newsletter: Keeping it tidy

Posted by on 3 June 2016 | 1:01 am

Bookshelf: Blue Mind

Blue Mind – Wallace J. Nichols In Blue Mind, biologist (turtle researcher) Wallace J. Nichols articulates and elaborates upon an idea you’ve probably already had all on your own: that being close to water is good for you. More precisely, Nichols is interested in what proximity to water does for our brains. In this book he presents scientific … Continue reading Bookshelf: Blue Mind

Posted by on 1 June 2016 | 1:34 am

A visit to the Blue Planet aquarium in Copenhagen

On our last day in Denmark, after a week-long family visit between Christmas 2015 and new year 2016, we went to Den Blå Planet, Denmark’s national aquarium. (Actually we were wrong about it being our last day in Denmark, but that’s another story involving Turkish Airlines, who seem to innovate in the field of disappointment.) The aquarium is situated … Continue reading A visit to the Blue Planet aquarium in Copenhagen

Posted by on 30 May 2016 | 1:28 am

Newsletter: A raft of penguins

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Launching from Simon’s Town jetty at 9.00 am for Roman Rock and at 12.00 for Photographer’s Reef or the wreck of SAS Pietermaritzburg Sunday: Shore dive at Long Beach or A Frame at 9.30 am Conditions in False Bay have been great this week, and I am sure they will be pretty good for the weekend. Some … Continue reading Newsletter: A raft of penguins

Posted by on 27 May 2016 | 1:39 am

Newsletter: Making friends

Hi divers Weekend dive plans Saturday: Double tank dive at 7.30am launching from Simon’s Town jetty Sunday: Double tank dive at 7.30am launching from Simon’s Town jetty I’ve been out several times this week and we’ve found clean, green and brown water in False Bay during this week’s dives. We’ll do double tank dives on both … Continue reading Newsletter: Making friends

Posted by on 20 May 2016 | 1:35 am

Newsletter: A weekend off

Hi divers Weekend dive plans No dives planned We will not be diving this weekend, but if you are able to get into the water then do so. False Bay looks promising. We will be back to full dive mode on Monday morning. Thank you to Jerrel for this week’s gorgeous photo of strawberry anemones, which he … Continue reading Newsletter: A weekend off

Posted by on 13 May 2016 | 1:02 am

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