On Sat the 12th of May @ 08h00 I met with Johan (my IANTD instructor) and 8 students at Millers point to do my DM cross-over. Our first dive was to the sharks, once again never fails to disappoint saw loads of sharks and even a large sleeping pajama shark. I did notice the absence of abalone even at Millers where we always encounter that delicacy in huge numbers. We finished our dive and headed for shore a couple of meters from the shore I surfaced and bumped into Rob and Erich doing their surface swim out to the sharks (good to see other OMSACers at the same dive sites).
Then we were off to Long Beach to meet Grant from Blue Flash to take us to photographers reef. I then remembered why I enjoyed Grant’s boat so much – all that space makes kitting up a pleasure. We arrived at the dive site after a 20min boat ride,kitted up and rolled over backwards to find top to bottom vis. Our depth was around 16m and a toasty 14 degree water. Students did all their skills and we swam around the reef ,the reef is still teaming with life.
Then the long awaited day arrived the General Botha a 54m dive on trimix (this is a lot more serious than a 50m Durban dive) had finally arrived and since she was scuttled 65 years to the day it was bound to be something special (Shot Alistair from Underwater Explorers). We met at Millers @ 06h30 and set off at 07h30 in our quest to one of the deepest dives in False bay, after 14Km out to sea we arrived at our destination. We descended down the shot line into darkness a erie feeling came over me as we went deeper and deeper (f**k it is deep) then you remember your training and you start to relax. The wreck is broken up quiet a bit but still very awesome we had 6-8m vis, 9 degree water, all in all good conditions.
Holy cow my bottom time is over in a flash there is only 25mins of it. The rest of the 78mins is all deco time this becomes a mind f**k hang around for 50 mins is no joke but if you wanna do the depth you gotta do the time. The 11h00 launch was to the PMB and since the other DM could not dive I had to do it and with 2 hours surface interval we did the qualifying dive for the OW students. I must admit it was bit of a anti-climax after such a awesome dive to the General Botha but I still enjoyed it as the PMB is one of my favorite dive sites.
The PMB is very broken up for such a young wreck.
Hence the saying I dived my Head Off.
Mark Le Roux