NAME: Clown anemone (undescribed) SIZE: 1cm in diameter DISTRIBUTION: False Bay to at least 10m. Endemic DESCRIPTION: A small anemone with tentacles which may be banded in whit black and yellow or mostly white or even translucent. All have the curious habit keeping a couple of tentacles extended and the rest flat, giving it the […]
NAME: Algoa cone (Conus algoensis algoensis) SIZE: Up to 80mm. DISTRIBUTION: Saldanha Bay to Cape Peninsula, intertidally to 53m. Endemic. DESCRIPTION: A cone shell with a rounded shoulder and ‘steps’ between shoulder whorls. Shell chocolate brown and blotched with white. Spire mostly white with brown splashes. NATURAL HISTORY: Feeds on polychaete worms. Egg capsules shaped […]
On 9th September there will be a Clean-Up Dive at FBYC, starting at 0900. There will be boerewors rolls and hot chocolate available from Neptune’s Galley afterwards. Do come and join the clean-up crew down there!
Pisces will be hosting a talk by Dr Delphine Thibault, who has been a regular diver with us for some time now (and who also completed her Divemaster with us) On the topic of jellyfish or gelatinous zooplankton to be more exact. Come along on Wednesday 6th September at 1900. Learn a bit more about […]
NAME: Cloudy marginella (Marginella nebulosa) SIZE: 50mm. DISTRIBUTION: Cape Peninsula to East London from 5-75m. Endemic. DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized snail with a distinct shoulder to the shell. Shell pale but with longitudinal wavy bands of varying colours of brown. Foot translucent with red and white stripes and spots. NATURAL HISTORY: Feeds on other snails. Familiarize […]
NAME: Blue-speckled nudibranch (Dendrodoris caesia) SIZE: Up to 120mm. DISTRIBUTION: Cape Point to Port Elizabeth subtidally to at least 20m. Appears to be endemic. DESCRIPTION: A large nudibranch with a frilly margin. Speckles can be almost continuous and in some specimens the animal is pink-speckled. NATURAL HISTORY: Feeds on a yellow-brown sponge. Egg mass a […]
Pisces’ 6 month or one-year internship program Is diving a dream job for you? Diving instructors make their living by teaching new divers and leading diving groups. Pisces offers a one-year internship program to get you from beginner to professional without needing to spend much time at all sitting in a classroom. Treat yourself to […]
NAME: Blue-striped hermit crab (Pagurus liochele) SIZE: Up to 50mm. DISTRIBUTION: False Bay to Port Elizabeth down to at least 18m. Endemic. DESCRIPTION: A medium-sized black and white hermit with bright blue stripes on the hairy legs. NATURAL HISTORY: Sometimes seen on the palmate sea fan INFRAORDER BRACHYURA: true crabs Familiarize yourself with these interesting creatures […]
PADI Kids Bubble Maker Experience PADI Kids Bubblemaker is great fun. It is a chance for your kids to blow bubbles underwater. If your child is eight years and above, he/she can use the scuba gear to breathe underwater and have fun in shallow waters. Give your child a memorable moment by hosting an exciting […]
NAME: Dentate moss animal (Bugula dentata) SIZE: Colony 50mm in length. DISTRIBUTION: Cape Peninsula to Sodwana Bay in 5-35m. Also Indo-Pacific and Brazil. DESCRIPTION: Colony grows like a spiral wiry bush. Colour grey but blue when torch- or sunlit. NATURAL HISTORY: Tends to be found hanging downwards on vertical walls. Familiarize yourself with these interesting creatures […]
We have had another awesome week of diving due to great conditions thanks to the North West wind. There has been a little bit of a ground swell rolling but we have managed to avoid it by doing dive sites not to close to the shore and they have had an average of 6-10m viz […]
Winter conditions are definitely here as once again we have had a stunning week with very little wind and what wind we have had has been North West which is great for visibility as well as flat calm seas which looks like it is going to stay for the week end. We have had an […]
NAME: Sea swallow (Glaucus atlanticus) SIZE: 30mm. DISTRIBUTION: Circumtropical. An open ocean species sometimes found washed up on beaches from False Bay to KZN. Ocean surface. DESCRIPTION: A bluish-silvery animal with a flattened body and cerata. NATURAL HISTORY: Eats bluebottles such as Physalia and relatives. Utilises the stinging cells of the prey for its own […]
It’s been a wonderfully wind-free week so far and the swell forecast is flat, flat, flat! We are going to be launching tomorrow for a couple of dives and then have a full weekend planned, including a pelagic shark trip on Saturday. We are heading to Whittle Rock at 0900 on Saturday, for those keen […]
Diving is a wonderful experience and beautiful art to learn. Though open water scuba diving within 30 meters is great fun, it is just not deep enough to discover bigger and deeper dive sites around the world. As adventurous divers you will be eager to go a little deeper and have more fun. These and […]
We’ve had a huge, long period swell this week and the first real winter big wave surfing happened in glassy Dungeons. There were some incredible images doing the rounds. That was followed by some gale force SE which completely dissipates by tomorrow, leaving the Bay nice and calm – and flat! We have students out […]
NAME: Shaggy sea hare (Bursatella leachi africana) SIZE: 150mm. DISTRIBUTION: Langebaan Lagoon to East London, in the shallows. Species circumtropical, but sub-species endemic. DESCRIPTION: Large sea slug with shaggy extensions to skin. Spade-shaped head. Sandy-coloured, may have black spots and occasional blue or yellow speckling. May also have spots resembling eyes. NATURAL HISTORY: Usually in […]
Another lovely week in the Mother City, this time with a touch of NW and even a few drops of rain last night, with a wonderful thunderstorm for good measure! Its yet another Long Weekend, with Freedom Day this Thursday and Worker’s Day on Monday. Please come and join us for a dive or three, […]
Are you ready to experience the thrill of the Sardine Run in 2017? Every year, between the May and July, billions of sardines travel far north from the cold southern ocean up the East coast towards Kwa-Zulu Natal. This migration is called the Sardine Run. The Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon caused by a […]
It’s been a gorgeous autumnal week in Cape Town with small swell, mid 20’s daytime temperatures and hardly any wind to speak of. We have been out there all week and this weekend is looking just as good. Come down and get in the water! We are doing our free guided shore dive at 0900 […]
It’s been another busy week at Pisces this week: Our group of brand new PADI Instructors have now completed their Master Scuba Diving Instructor prep course and are all sleeping in this morning after their celebratory braai in the rain last night. Here they are eating chocolate after a chilly Smits dive on Tuesday. Congratulations, […]
NAME: Frilly-Mouthed Sea Jelly or Flag-mouthed sea jelly SIZE: Up to 40cm in bell diameter. Tentacles may exceed a metre in length. DISTRIBUTION: From the West Coast to False Bay and into the Atlantic Ocean. Surface to at least 35m. DESCRIPTION: Bluish white with ragged edges to the bell and a sturdy root with convoluted cauliflower-like tentacles […]
We have been so lucky with our weather and dive conditions for the last week. There has been some super warm water in the Bay with 18 degrees recorded at the inshore dive spots on Saturday and Sunday, although a bit of surge pushed through on Sunday. We were out in the deep doing pelagic […]
We have been loving the change of season down here in Simonstown. On Tuesday we had oily calm flat seas both inshore (10m viz and 14 degrees) and 20 Miles offshore on our pelagic shark trip (25m viz and 20 degrees). Yesterday was much the same as Tuesday and then we get a short blast of […]
The blue shark (Prionace glauca) is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, that inhabits deep waters in the world’s temperate and tropical oceans. Preferring cooler waters, blue sharks migrate long distances. Even though it is the most abundant shark species on the planet, it is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN. Although generally lethargic, they can move very quickly. Blue sharks are viviparous and are noted for […]
NAME: Yellow Sea Spider SIZE: 50mm. DISTRIBUTION: Saldanha Bay to East London subtidally to at least 20m. DESCRIPTION: A small body with relatively sturdy legs with white tips. Colour bright yellow. Head with long tapering proboscis. NATURAL HISTORY: Seldom seen, despite its bright coloration, probably because of small size and slow movements.
Rain! What a nice thing! We had a good couple of mm in the South peninsula last night and along with a bit of NW, the inshore visibility has been lovely today. Graeme managed to spot a Sevengill shark from the boat as it was silhouetted against the sand this morning, the water was so […]
Argus weekend is rushing up on us and has even spurred on the road construction between Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek, with a flurry of road surfacing happening before 35,000 cyclists descend on the peninsula. At least there is a silver lining. If you are like me, you can’t even remember when the road works […]
The weather is going to be awesome this weekend with no wind but a bit of swell Sunday, which does seem to be dropping daily. Please see our weekend launch and shore dive plans – and remember we might revise these depending on the weather, so please check our online calender to confirm sites. We were […]
NAME: Clown Anemone SIZE: 1cm in diameter. DISTRIBUTION: False Bay to at least 10m. Endemic DESCRIPTION: A small anemone with tentacles which may be banded in whit black and yellow or mostly white or even translucent. All have the curious habit keeping a couple of tentacles extended and the rest flat, giving it the appearance […]
We have just returned from a day on the Atlantic side where Davi reported 15m plus visibility and nine degree water. Bracing! The wind drops right down tomorrow and we will stay in the Bay for a windless and hot day. Neil and I will also be heading out early bells for a pelagic trip […]
Over the week end we headed out to the big blue for Saturday and Sunday and had great activity with happy divers and snorkelers all round. We are heading out again as the weather is looking to be a peach of a day with no swell or wind – If you would like to join […]
Our dives Wednesday to Ark Rock and Kelp forest made for very happy divers with calm conditions and stunning viz – Kelp forest they had 10m viz and looks like these great conditions might spill over to the week end. It seems the red tide has finally been blown away and temperatures are around 17 […]
Pisces Divers is now in Düsseldorf, Germany for the Nine Day Boot 2017 dive show, showcasing our abundance of sharks and the spectacular sardine run. We hope to welcome many German divers in the coming season. The weather is going to be stunning for Saturday and Sunday diving so don’t miss out. – check out the dive […]
It was a great evening on Wednesday as PADI Regional manager Patrick Voorma gave a very interesting presentation on challenging yourself and furthering your diving career in 2017. Please check the upcoming week and weekend dive schedule on our website, it looks like we are going to get a whole week of diving in as […]
This is what the whole Simons town looked like the day before yesterday, covered in smoke – not a pleasant day and we hope anyone in the area is all ok and no one was affected. On a happy note, we managed to get out today and that little red tide that was hanging around […]
Divers had a great dives on Tuesday at Ark Rock and had spotted some amazing critters. Thanks to Gino Symus for sharing these stunning pictures of underwater creatures. Dive conditions are looking to be good for the whole week. Please see our weekend launch and shore dive plans – and remember we might revise these depending […]
It’s been an unusually busy December and we have been exceptionally lucky with our weather, losing only a couple of days near the beginning of the month. Our luck has run out with our compressor though, and we have been running our portable non-stop and ferrying cylinders up and down to other dive centres. We […]
We are enjoying a merciful break from the wind at the moment – The Bay is lovely and calm this morning and we are not expecting over 12 knots of wind the whole weekend. The vis has been around 6m and the temperature around 16/17 degrees. The Seven gills have been spotted for the last […]
We did a brief foray to Hout Bay on Wednesday and had 13 degree water and 6-7m viz in Maori Bay and at Duiker Island. At that stage, it was looking good for a few days of Atlantic launches, which we were quite excited about at this time of the year. Then the wind dropped […]
We had a quiet one last weekend – Ryan was out for a training dive at Long Beach as was Danie with a group of shore divers and the vis was predictably poor (2-3m) but we did hear that conditions were somewhat better on the Atlantic side on Sunday – 5-6m and 14 degrees – what a surprise for the middle of winter!
Things are looking much better this weekend with gentle NW today and tomorrow which will hopefully translate into some decent False Bay conditions into the weekend. There is a longish period swell on Sunday which we are keeping an eye on, but tomorrow and Saturday will be very nice.
The cut-off low pressure has wreaked havoc on False Bay since Tuesday afternoon – It’s not looking pretty down here! There is still Southerly swell for the next few days, coupled with some serious wind and my honest feeling is that the Bay is not going to recover by the weekend. The swell goes back to a more normal direction from Monday, so let’s hope for Wednesday diving next week.
It’s a weekend for log-fires, red wine, friends and family. Have a toasty, warm one!
It’s great to be back home, although the Wild Coast and specifically Buccaneer’s at Cintsa has started to feel like home-away-from-home!
And it’s been a pretty wet welcome back home so far which is good for the dams and gardens, but not quite so good for motivating divers to creep out early from under their duvets… Those that have ventured out have been rewarded with some lovely diving – the guys reported 10m viz and a brisk 13 degrees on our Tuesday launches. The boat is out again this morning, so you are welcome to call the shop this afternoon for an update. Wind wise, it’s very calm this weekend, but there is a bit of Southerly swell which might make its presence felt on Saturday. Hopefully the good visibility we have now will hold up for the weekend. Hop on the boat with us, or meet at the shop at 0900 to join our free Saturday shore dive led by Jano.
It’s been a crazy month for all of us at Pisces! We have been hosting several large groups of overseas divers during the month in Simonstown as well as running the first three weeks of the month up at East London for the sardine run. The guys have been having some lovely winter diving down here with some really excellent conditions and we have managed to dodge most of the storms that have come through. There’s no dodging this weekend, though, and a huge swell makes its presence felt from today onwards. We are planning launches for Sunday and will keep a close eye on the weather and sea between now and then. No launched for tomorrow or Saturday. Graeme also initiated a rescue for a juvenile Humpback whale that had become entangled in rope from an Octopus trap and fortunately the NSRI Station 10 team was able to free the whale quickly.
Last weekend was again an epic weekend of diving in False Bay. Can this coming weekend make it three in a row? We had lovely dives on both days last weekend and we also ventured off-shore on Saturday for a successful pelagic shark trip.
We have very little wind in our immediate future, with a bit of a NW on Sunday afternoon, so I am expecting tomorrowand Saturday to remain excellent. Thanks to Rory Bruins who joined us out at Whittle last weekend and grabbed some great shots. Graeme has found a new piece of reef not too far from Atlantis which we are going to go and explore on Saturday at 0900 if you feel like something new. Depth range on the new piece of reef is between 14m and 30m with some promising looking topography.
What a wonderful weekend of diving we had last weekend! We had really awesome visibility and flat calm seas. We had quite a front that passed over yesterday and last night, along with a large swell, so gave yesterday a skip and are out today and tomorrow again. The water has been consistently around the 12 to 13 degree mark and the viz remains very nice. Very little wind is forecast for the weekend and SW swell of around 2.5m should deliver good conditions for a second week in a row! We are mixing it up again this weekend and are heading out to Whittle on Saturday morning, followed by Atlantis. Sunday sees us at the Princess Elizabeth first up, followed by the lovely PMB Reef – both sound like good two-tank combos to me!
It’s been a lovely flat and calm week so far and that continues for a few days before we get some serious SE on Sunday. We will be making hay while the sun shines and getting out tomorrow for a pelagic charter and some more inshore diving on Friday and Saturday. We will stay out of the water for Sunday. If you are one of the mid-week warriors, consider joining us tomorrow for what promises to be an epic day out there!
Bookings are coming in steadily for the Cape Town Dive Festival and are at about 65% currently. Please take a few minutes to go online and get yourself registered for the event to avoid disappointment. Visit www.ctdf.co.za today!
It’s almost a week since our group of Red Sea divers returned to Cape Town and the team at the shop have been super busy in my absence. The IDC has been in full-swing and the candidates are making their final preparations for the Instructor Exam tomorrow. The boats have been busy as well and have been going out most days of the week. This week has had some challenging conditions with lots of wind and swell, but yesterday we found clean water slightly deeper and today the wind has dropped nicely and the Bay is looking lovely and flat calm.
This weekend is looking very nice and we are expecting conditions to be lovely! Looking at the forecast, there is virtually no wind off Cape Point for the next few days – can it be true?
It feels as though the seasons are changing and I for one am really enjoying the cooler weather after the blistering heat of February!
Last weekend we had a windy day on Saturday and we had 15m visibility in 10 degree water (under the thermocline) at Smits. The shallower sites were not as clean (6-7m) Neil sneaked in a very early training launch on Sunday morning before the wind really ramped up and we scuttled home to batten down the hatches. We have just returned from a couple of launches and it was lovely and windless, but quite surgy, with 6-7m visibility in the Bay. There is not much wind for the weekend BUT there is a solid swell arriving on Sunday with quite a bit of South in it – so we will be watching this swell with interest and make a call on Saturday for the Sunday launches.
Last week was a busy one with lots of launches and training. We also managed to get out to the deep twice, on Thursday and again on Saturday. Harry Stone took some amazing shots again, as always, one of which is below. To see more of his work, there are some photos on our Pisces FB page (www.facebook.com/piscesdiversct/) or look for Harry Stone on FB – love his work!
Last Minute Notice: Our Madagascan connection, Jacques Viera is in town for a few days and he has offered to do an impromptu talk and slide show this evening at Pisces Divers at 1830.
I have just returned from a very interesting dive show: The Boot Show in Dusseldorf. It’s a combined Boating, Diving and Sailing show spreading over 14 exhibition halls. Just the Dive Hall takes about half an hour to walk around – without stopping (which is almost impossible!) Two dive centres from SA got an opportunity to be there on the PADI stand, so I was lucky to be there and Louis van Aardt from Pro Dive in PE joined me. We were amazed by how many people who stopped by our stand had either been to SA and were planning to return or it was firmly on their bucket list.
It’s almost a month since my last newsletter – and I have not even been away on a trip or anything! We have been training and diving like crazy and getting our new boat out to the deep on a few special days. On one of these trips we had well known underwater photographer Harry Stone join us and he has been sending us a few of his awesome images taken on the trip, one of which is pictured below.
The boat has just returned from a couple of launches in the Bay and the divers were beaming from ear to ear about the conditions! They were calling it 15m on the PMB, or as Ryan said “One of those days when you stick your head underwater and you can see the wreck from the surface!” The weatherman seems to be predicting pretty benign and calm weather for the next few days, so I am pretty sure the current excellent conditions will hold! The next wind we will feel is late on Sunday afternoon, so let’s hope it stays as predicted.
I hope your year has started in the best way possible! We have been super busy down here at Pisces, which came to an abrupt halt last Thursday when the SE started pounding us relentlessly! So the last week has been a chance to “make and mend”, take a breath and prepare for the next patch of good weather.
We did manage another trip out to the deep last Wednesday and we enjoyed some 22 degree and very blue water. Olivia Anderson was on the trip and she took this awesome shot of a Blue shark. We were also briefly visited by a Mako shark and two Bronzies were spotted as well. If you are interested in joining us for a pelagic trip, please let me know and we will put you on our call list for the next weather window.
A group of us have just returned from an absolutely fantastic Maldives trip – we are jet-lagged but still basking in the glow of a wonderful trip, with lots of photos to sort through. And we are all missing that 6AM bell waking us up for coffee and the morning dive briefing!
After some truly awful weather of late, today dawned crisp and calm and there was a special treat out on the water. Skipper Graeme Grant managed to get a couple of shots and says they joined this family group of Orca’s just after they had taken a common dolphin. Let’s hope they stay with us in the Bay for a while!
Conditions report: 16 degrees and 6m visibility. There is some SE arriving, so we will keep you posted on the sea state.
It seems we finally have a bit of a break from the relentless SE! Aside from a little bit tomorrow, the wind is very low for the weekend and the swell is tiny. We are heading out on Friday,Saturday and Sunday this weekend, so come and join us…
Here we go again! The wind has cranked back to 20 knots plus and there is a very nasty long period Southerly swell making the Bay a mess. Due to the swell size and period, the Atlantic should not be any better, so I think it’s going to be a dry weekend. Carel will be braving Long Beach with some students, but that’s about it.
Right, first off I have to eat some humble pie from last week. We had stunning conditions on the Friday and this inexplicably turned into 1m muck on Saturday. We did our first launch’s dive by brail around Fan Reef with the crap viz going all the way to the bottom with no hint of a thermocline. The temp had jumped from 10 degrees on Friday to 16 degrees – so at least the soup was warm! We cancelled the rest of the weekend’s launches.
The weather really has been all over the place this week and we are bracing for a serious SE klap next week! The forecast is for a 17 second period, 4.5m swell on Monday. Fortunately, the spell of NW we had yesterday has really cleaned up the inshore sites and the guys reported excellent viz (in 10 degree water!) at Pyramid this morning.
A very happy new year to our large family of divers, friends and family! We hope that 2015 is filled with brilliant dives and stacks of happy memories for you all. We certainly have an exciting year to share with you and some very big surprises in store!
Happy festive times are here! With more and more visitors in the Cape, we’re adding a few extra boat launches in the coming days to be sure that everyone will find a place on the boat. And finally we’ll be enjoying some calm days for the weekend and into next week, a very welcome break from the strong southeaster that has been near relentless for months!
Ye Olde Southeaster strikes again… inshore on the Bay is so brown that it looks like a muddy river! We’re so eager to get into the water that many of us strongly considered a shore dive at Long Beach before we saw the colour! Everyone will just have to wait until Sunday. We predict that with this long and sustained southeaster, Hout Bay will turn nice and blue again so our new boat will just have to journey to that side for her maiden voyage!
Another southeaster is on its way but we’re determined to get our divers out and into the water! False Bay is just going to be icky so we’ve picked some great inshore sites out of Hout Bay. This past weekend our dives in the Atlantic were graced by phenomenal visibility and super cute seal interactions at Duiker Island. During the week we revisited Duiker Island for some filmmakers and found the water chilly and the seals just as happy as could be!
The wind did turn on us earlier this week but in a way, we’re quite glad! We’ve changed the plan for tomorrow to go and play in the Atlantic! For the weekend we’ll stay in False Bay. The Bay is choppy on top at the moment but the colour is still so blue! Carel and Neil have both had a busy week with teaching. We’ve welcomed a new Advanced Open Water diver and have two Open Water students in the classroom as we speak! The wind will drop for Saturday and only pick up during the day on Sunday, so we’re excited to get out there!!
How awesome was it to have a public holiday on a Wednesday to break up the work week? But now, the weekend is fast approaching and we’ve been carefully planning some great boat dives! There is swell and wind coming for the weekend however, we believe that conditions will still be good enough for diving in False Bay. The season for teaching is building up and we’re seeing more students on the boat and getting more divers certified! We love getting divers back into the water to improve their dive skills! Students are always the happiest smiling faces on the boat!
We had an amazing diving day yesterday at Partridge Point and Pyramid Rock. The temperature was an even 15, the surface was calm and the visibility was 10-15 metres! Plenty of cowsharks at Pyramid Rock and a Cowshark even came through the group of divers at Partridge Point! It was thrilling to see a Cowshark with seals dancing all around it. On the way back to Simon’s Town, Skipper Dave took the divers to see three breaching Southern Right whales just outside of Simon’s Town! Whilst the weather was lovely for diving yesterday, albeit a bit wet, the windy weather today is going to make Friday a bit bumpy but we’re still hoping for the best!
The wind and swell have kept us out of the water since Monday and with strong winds through tonight, we almost certainly won’t be diving today either! The conditions calm a bit tonight and hopefully will behave for the weekend! We are all feeling too dry and need some time on regs!!
If you enjoy our weekly newsletter, then we invite you to check out our newest blog: the Weekend in Review! This will be posted on our Facebook page on Tuesdays and will feature the dives and training of that weekend! Our first one has been posted so sure be to check it out!
It has been a cold and wet week so far with the latest cold front that moving through Cape Town. It has certainly reminded us that we are still in winter. Fortunately things are looking good for the weekend ahead as the wind and rain backs down leaving us with sunny conditions and a taste of what is to come this summer. Conditions are looking good for False Bay with flat calm conditions on the weather forecast. Friday we are going to explore a bit around D-Frame, so if you are looking for something new and interesting then please call us to book your spot.
It’s been a cold and wintery week and I did feel a bit sorry for Dave yesterday, skippering in the rain for a couple of hours. We had some lovely conditions underwater, however, with 10m viz and flat calm conditions. This weekend it’s looking good for the Bay with nice clean in-shore confitions.
Mike went out for a drive yesterday during the strong wind gusts and found that it was cleaning out the Bay beautifully! Today is going to be a lovely diving day! Carel and I both saw whales on the way to work – close inshore, as well!Tomorrow we’ll get into the water and dive before the southeaster starts up but Saturday may have a touch of wind still.Sunday will also have a light southeaster as well but nothing too strong.
For those who have been to Simon’s Town in the past few days, we’re certain that you would have noticed some changes happening to the front of the building… we’re busy having a mural painted! We’ll post photos once it’s completed but we think it will go fast! Pop in and watch the magic happen 😉 Dave just came in and said that there are whales in Bay – spotted by Roman Rock lighthouse. This week’s divers enjoyed great viz and there was one interesting dive in which a seal was found swimming around at Pyramid Rock!
An exciting week here at Pisces Divers! We’ve had dancers coming to learn to dance underwater, marine archaeologists exploring and learning from wrecks just in front of us here in Simon’s Town and a really thrilling boat trip to the seals and sharks. Whilst our time with the seals was a bit surgy, the water was clean and the seals were very playful. At the sharks we were all taken with the top-to-bottom blue, blue viz and encounters with sharks, cuttlefish, octopus and some interesting klipfish.
It seems that our streak of amazing diving has come to a brief halt. The weather this weekend is going to be wet and chilly but chins up – winter diving is not over yet! Our divers enjoyed the great visibility and balmy 16C water we had this week: visiting Smitswinkel Bay, the seals and the cow sharks with great interactions! The basket stars were especially active as of late – stretching out as far as their arms could reach!
Whilst the winter weather returns, we keep our eyes to the coming weekend and the promise of some fine times to be had in the Bay. But the winter weather doesn’t keep our divers out of the water! Just yesterday, one of our Dive Masters, Andre Visser, took some folk on a shore dive to find some cow sharks and found a Puffadder Shyshark laying her mermaid’s purse! What a treat! We continue to have sightings of whales and hope to bump into some during the dives this weekend.
Neil has been busy getting our newest Dive Masters-in-training up to standard. They spent sometime at Long Beach this week working on stress tests, search and recovery and rescue scenarios.
We’ve had yet another bout of bad weather this week – just now it even hailed by us in Simon’s Town! We all jumped up from our work to go gawk at the hailstones the size of peas coming down and felt lucky not to be Neil who is at Long Beach right now doing a shore dive! The swell is quieting and we will be launching for Friday and the weekend.
The Cape of Storms lives up to her name once again. The surge has moved into the Bay already and both Saturday andSunday are looking messy. The boat divers just visited the PMB and found the water a chilly 12C, the visibility to be between 5 and 6-metres with too much surge for their likings. We are excited about diving next week – those who are dashing of to East London will have their last Cape dives and then we will wait with quite anticipation for their awesome fish tales and photos to start rolling in!
Last weekend we had some incredible diving on Saturday with unbelievably warm water and superb viz. I saw some great pics that were posted of dives to Whittle and the General Botha on Sunday, which also looked amazing. We launched yesterday to the PMB and Pyramid and the conditions were also superb. Carel snapped DMT Lara enjoying the 16 degree conditions on the PMB below…
Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end and there is a nasty SE which smacks the peninsula from Saturdaymorning, so we are going to launch tomorrow while it is still going to be good and then give Saturday and Sunday a rest. If you can slip away from work or studies, tomorrow will be the best bet for the next while!
Boy, have we been having fun in Simon’s Town! The weekend was a touch rough but in that really nice “Cape Town” way *wink*. The wind was howling but that didn’t stop the faithful few that made it out despite the Two Oceans Marathon. While Mike is away, the staff will play and – goodness me – have we been playing! Both Jan and Skipper Dave got their regs wet for the first time in many months! I haven’t heard such numerous squeals of delight underwater since before I started to wear a hood! The next conquest is to get our most trusted service technician Alan under the sea. Last Friday’s boaters were treated to shoaling yellowtail and a nice view of the visiting H.M.S. Portland berthed in the Navy yard.
We had a busy weekend with training last weekend: On Saturday Carel filled up the boat with students and we ran normal launches on Sunday, where the surge and chop had died down somewhat. This whole week has been a great week to be in Cape Town – today’s high is 31 degrees! The boat is out at the moment and we will be out again tomorrow. There is virtually no wind or swell forecast until next Tuesday at least and we all know Cape Town traditionally rains over Easter, so come and get it while the going is good!
The bay is looking absolutely Bee-u-tiful after all the NW and rain earlier in the week – it’s lovely, flat and clean! It should remain this way for the next few days and even the bit of swell that arrives on Sunday will not affect the Bay until Monday. We will be making the most of the good conditions with launches tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday – Do come and join us!
We sneaked in three launches before the swell yesterday and had decent wreck dives at Smits and the PMB. The visibility was pretty good despite the surge! Then the swell klapped us let yesterday afternoon and the sea is in turmoil at the moment. The majority of the swell passes by Friday afternoon and there is pretty light NW and sunny conditions forecast, so we will hope the Bay settles down nicely for our weekend launches.
It’s great to be back in warm Cape Town after my Russian adventure! It was a fascinating trip and we hope to be welcoming more Russian divers to Cape Town in the next year, with a couple of confirmed groups already.
I have to say some special Thank-You’s to people who made it all possible. Firstly, thanks to Jean Tresfon for his generosity in letting me use some of his excellent Cape Town diving images (see more of his work on the walls of our dive centre or on www.underwaterimages.co.za) which really attracted people to our stand.
The second Cape Town Dive Festival is just over the horizon and bookings are now open! Please visit the website at www.ctdf.co.za and start deciding which launches you would like to join – I am predicting that spaces for early launches will start filling up quite quickly, so as with everything in life, the early bird will get the worm. This year we have a new venue for the event – Seaforth Beach – which for many reasons will make this year’s event better than the first one. There will also be DSD’s and refresher dives happening off the beach and nearby Navy pool, much easier parking arrangements, better toilets and changing facilities all of which we hope will combine to making the event even more of a success than the first one.
We had an incredible sighting on one of our recent launches which I wanted to share with you. On Wednesday we had just completed a dive at Partridge Point and were having some chocolate and securing cylinders for the trip back when I spotted a breach out of the corner of my eye. All I saw was the splash, so I kept looking and hoping it would breach again. And it did. A smallish (2m) White Shark did a series of six massive breaches right in front of us, about 40-50m from the boat. Yes, we did get photos and we will post them as soon as the photographer gets them to us! After chatting to a couple of people about it, we think it was probably being harassed by a larger shark, since it was clearly not hunting anything. Just shows you never know what you are going to see down on any given day of diving in Cape Town.
We have been on the hop with our group of Russian divers who were blown out of the water on Monday, but have had two days of lekker False Bay dives yesterday and today. The conditions today are lovely and pond-like with the temperature dropping down from 19 degrees to 13 degrees during the week. Visibility is in the 5-8m range today. Our relatively flat and windless conditions continue for a few days and then there is some SE on Saturday which might well cause us to head over the hill to Hout Bay. We will confirm on Friday.
Last weekend we launched out of Hout Bay in very nice, clean conditions and the wind gave us a short respite before blasting through again for most of the week.
It’s been a sweltering day now that the SE has finally abated. It’s about time to plunge into the blue and wobbly stuff before you melt! Carel and Neil have been busy with lots of training and Carel has moved his office to the bottom of the pool for the rest of summer.
We are all feeling a bit numb this morning after hearing the news of Madiba’s passing late last night. Although we have been expecting it for so long, it’s still a shock when it finally happens. RIP Tata.
In his words: ““I leave it to the public to decide how they should remember me,” he said, “but I should like to be remembered as an ordinary South African who together with others has made his humble contribution.” Let’s all strive to make our contribution!
Yesterday was fantastic (yes, you’ve heard that line before, but it’s true!) The Bay had 12-15m viz and almost no wind. Today the wind was stiff SE which raised the temperature up to 17 degrees and unfortunately dropped the viz back to around 6-8m. The wind does back off a bit tomorrow, when we will be launching for a full boat of Openwater students. We are going to keep our launches in the Bay as it seems the SE has been bringing some nice blue water, but will possibly move over to Hout Bay for Sunday.
Last weekend delivered some lovely False Bay diving and the Bay has maintained the good viz and temperature this week: 17-18 degrees and 6-8m viz. We were out for a couple of launches on Wednesdayand wanted to dive Livingstone Reef, but were moved on by the Navy due to a gunnery practice. We tried to explain that we felt safer in the target area than immediately adjacent to it, but they were having none of this and we retired gracefully to another dive site. We did our second dive at Pyramid and spotted a couple of Sevengills in between the swarms of jellies. I am hoping the gentle NW yesterday and today will clean them out a bit.
In a departure from the norm, I am sending out an early newsletter this week. One reason for this is the fact that the South peninsula will grind to a complete halt with the Big Walk on Sunday. Well not a complete halt, but to the speed of thousands of large ladies crammed into too much Lycra kind-of-pace. The other reason is that we can be relatively certain that the Bay is going to be the place to dive for the next few days at least. We have decided to close the shop completely on Sunday and will instead be partaking in a Big Sleep In.
What a great five days we had in Sodwana! A group of us headed up last Tuesday and we joined Jenny and Adriaan who had arrived a couple of days before us. We decided to stay and dive with Triton on the recommendation of friends and what good advice this turned out to be! The team that work for Coelocanth diving legend, Peter Timm, are simply fantastic. We were royally looked after and treated to some of Sodwana’s finest dive sites. The DM’s were great, pointing out many obscure critters that would have been missed otherwise. Kim in the kitchen was a wizard and we all put on a few kilograms while we were up there J A bonus was that our visit coincided with the annual Sodwana Shootout (photographic competition) It was lekker to see how well the Cape Town divers fared up there:
Phew, what a week of winter weather!! In between the storms, we launched on Monday for a big group of Norwegian divers and on Tuesday for some Russians. Nice thing about the Scandinavians and Russians is that this is considered pretty mild weather at home! All of us soft Capies have been shivering in our boots.
This weekend is in stark contrast to last weekend’s mild and sunny weather! There is a serious storm bearing down on the Cape and we are anticipating some huge swell and gale force winds. I think the prudent thing to do is find a warm place with cold beer to watch the rugby on Saturday morning! There are whales all over the place this morning, with a couple seen right off Long Beach.
Welcome to Spring! For a change, it seems as though the back of winter has been broken and there is some fair weather on the way. This weekend is looking very favourable, so we will be out there tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. Today Carel had decent conditions for his shore dives, with water at 13 degrees and viz around 6-7m, which should improve over the weekend.
The National Watersports Show last weekend in Johannesburg was an interesting glimpse into the Joburg dive industry. Up there, dive centres are usually located in shopping malls and pay up to R1000 per square metre of retail space per month. Its no wonder they push hard to make their sales! Oh yes, and there are 97 registered centres… It was very nice to meet divers who have dived with us in the past and to meet new divers and try and persuade them to come down for a diving weekend to Cape Town. It was also nice to do some networking with the industry up there. We also managed to pick a good weekend to be away from Cape Town, although by Sunday things had settled down and the boat did two launches with reasonably decent conditions.
Carel and I head up to the National Watersports Show this weekend, where we will be at Stand B11, which is part of the Scubapro Village. For our Joburg based clients and friends – please come and visit us and have a chat!
We had some really great weather last weekend and it’s hard to believe that it was 27 degrees last Saturday as we shiver this morning! There was some seriously huge, long period swell which hit the peninsula late Sunday and then the early part of the week. The big wave crew were out in force and Jean Tresfon captured this rare shot of a surfer getting barrelled at Dungeons (and looking really casual about it too!)
Last weekend saw the first Finathon taking place and a bunch of intrepid divers braved the 12 degree water for a looooong swim from Glencairn to Simonstown – some even made it J I think it was a nice initiative and I am sure some money was raised for Shark Spotters and Project Aware. I am sure it will become a regular fixture in the calendar.
Last weekend turned out to be absolutely perfect – calm as a mirror and fantastic viz on all the dives. It’s been great seeing all the photos of clean-water again! This weekend we have some serious swell tracking towards the peninsula, mainly focussed on Saturday. We will launch on Friday and Sunday this weekend. The water is still super-clean, so fingers crossed.