Night dive at Long Beach

I was fortunate enough to be in Simonstown for a work function, and managed to get a dive in while i was there. Mike and I met up at Long Beach just after 7 PM, and experienced a comedy of errors while kitting up. The one cylinder didn’t quite fit with my regulator, so we swapped cylinders. Then Mike couldn’t get his BCD strap to clamp down on the other cylinder, while i lost the O ring of my cylinder, but we were keen to dive so we pushed through.

The dive was absolutely worth the effort! We had 20 degree water, with 10 meters of visibility, and a bottom time of 57 minutes. We saw loads of baby fish, two octopi, a bright red cuttlefish and it looked like all the hermit crabs were looking for new homes. But the highlight of the evening was definitely the giant ray. With a wingspan of approximately 2m, and a height of maybe a half meter, it was phenomenal stumbling upon this giant. It was more awesome when we saw it move off, which is when we noticed the smaller one tagging along. Unfortunately it kicked up a storm of sand when it swam away, so we couldn’t follow (and hence the unclear pics), but it was an absolutely spectacular site!

Maggs Hoosain

Night dive at Long Beach

Anand, Jordi, Mark, Stephan and I met up with about 12 False Bay Underwater Club divers to do a night dive at Long Beach on Monday night. The air temperature was a balmy 19 degrees and the water a refreshing 14.  We entered just after the sun went down and did a nice swim around. The vis was about 5m but there was lots of particles floating about with all the divers in the water. Mark led us around with an entire disco light system flashing on his back – which was brilliant for the night dive. There was unfortunately not all that much to see, so we called it at 33 minutes. It was cool to watch the little sea creatures try to crawl back into the darkness when you shine your light on them.

Maggs

From 2000 feet above sea level, down to 7 meters below sea level in the evening!

So on Saturday morning I went for a gyrocopter flight from the Fisantekraal airfield just outside of Durbanville. The pilot, Louis, showed me just how manoeuvrable this little airplane is  by doing steep ascents and descents, sharp turns and pivot rotations – which was a BRILLIANT flight. We hit a maximum altitude of 2000 feet above sea level and skimmed a mere 50 feet above the ground as well. Making a remarkable 30 minute flight. Louis handed the controls to me briefly, allowing me to experience this amazing craft first hand.

Later on, Jolene, Naomi, Justin, Carel, Stephan, Martin and I met up in Simonstown for a dive. We wanted to dive Windmill Beach but the water wasn’t looking too good there, so we headed back to Long Beach for a night dive, and what an AWESOME dive it turned out to be. An amazing 73 minutes in the 15 degree water (the coldest at one point being 12 degrees) with loads to see! We got to see 3 octopi on the dive, cuttlefish, shysharks and lots of other fish. It was an absolutely fantastic dive.

Maggs

Night Dive at Long Beach

I met up with Carel, Pieter, Nick and some students at Pisces on Friday evening. The wind was howling and the ocean was looking quite rough, so we headed for Long Beach.  The sun began setting while we got our kit together, so we went in with our torches on. The swell was quite big on the surface, so we went under rather quickly, and got amazing dive conditions. Pieter and I were buddies while Carel and Nick took care of the students.  We managed a 56 minute dive in lovely 14 degree water with 4 to 6 meter visibility. With loads to see, the hour passed by really quickly, making the dive an incredible experience. The teeming life didn’t however erase the eeriness of the night dive, but it was still a great experience!

Naomi

2 turtle doves, and a Paaartriiidge iiiiin aaaa peeeeaaaaar TREEEEEEE-(up an octave)EEEEE!!

My esteemed dive buddy and scuba instructor was too lazy to climb over the rocks and a bit of kelp to dive with the cow sharks so we had to dive Long Beach – again!  Charl, Retha and myself walked up the beach (sauna session to burn off the festive season over-indulgence) to the rocks for our entry point to avoid all the other swimmers, divers, etc.  Retha adjusted to her new scuba gear and Charl tried out his new action camera.  We spent a bit of time around the wreck (forget what it is called – Charl might know) and then headed East, or so I thought.  Viz was low and though Retha had a spiffy new super-fast pair of fins, I seemed to keep losing them behind me.  So we dawdle here and scratched a bit there – visiting the many octopi (?) in their interesting shelters.  We turned East, West, South, North – basically got ourselves lost if that is possible.

Then I had a thought – Octopi (?) seem to love mussels and ‘decorate’ their homes with their trophies – so where do the mussels live??  I went digging a bit (just half a hand under the sand and found them).  Charl for unknown reasons put one down on the sand (sharp side down) and low and behold, how DO they get themselves buried?  We have it on video if you’re interested.   The esteemed instructor surfaced at 1 point to re-orientate ourselves and off we went.

Ok, so a bit more East, West, North – by this time I was sure we were under the navy ships as my compass appeared to be confused – or was it me?  No more Octopi, just NOTHINGNESS.  Maybe a horseshoe mussel or 2, a pipefish and some furry sea slugs, 2 greenish crabs, a lost tropically juvenile fish…. (how does the Christmas song go?) 2 turtle doves, and a Paaartriiidge iiiiin aaaa peeeeaaaaar  TREEEEEEE-(up an octave)EEEEE!!  As you can see I’m not very good at identifying underwater species.  I just like the pretty colours and shapes!

90 mins later, we surfaced, very very far from the exit point and as my BC wouldn’t inflate (manually or otherwise) for unknown reasons – worked perfectly well underwater – I worked off some more festive season pudge and battled a choppy swim back to shore.

Was I worried at any point in time?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!! And here’s why:

A)     Our esteemed instructor and dive buddy is a brilliant underwater navigator.  How the heck he does it remains a mystery – he seems to always bring us back to the exact little rock positioned between the brown seaweed with the slight twirl and the 3 edged boulder on the left and those other 1486 rocks that look the freakin same to me – without surfacing to check might I add.

B)      It’s Long Beach.  You can’t get lost and if you want to try to get lost, it is the place to do it – cause you can’t get lost  It’s a bath!

That about wraps it.  Hope you enjoyed the report and we’ll be round tomorrow for our free fill!! Yippee (cheapskates – I know).

Zelda

Long beach at its best in every way

 Morning…post from Rochelle….am at Long Beach if anyone would like to join me.

Me….mmm well I am alone today….yes get off my butt and go.

Arrive…27 degrees, sunny, Rochelle catching a tan.

Rochelle…I am getting hot, lets dive, I have my camera housing back. (Hopefully not leaking)

 

Water was 17 degrees, snorkelling out from the beach, I thought we were at home in my pool. Had to stop and take 2 to realise the viz was incredible. For me the clearest yet at this both loved and despised spot for diving !

It was all excitement cause I could get to be the under water model. It was a real fun dive, so relaxed we just wallowed in the moments. Rochelle taking pics, myself the poser, or just cruising to the next spot that caught our eye !

Everything was abundant in colour, the coral, the fans, the pipe fish, the PLENTIFUL cuttlefish, the nudi’s, the little blue fin gurnards scurrying along the sea bed, the box jellies even had purple shades.

Long beach was at its best in every way, one of those dives that you sometimes wondered if you were really under water…. And that was because after 75 minutes Rochelle asked me how much air I had left, and I was too relaxed to even figure out what she was signalling…oops !

Good Old Long Beach

Marius and I enjoyed a 56min dive at Long Beach today and after the reports from all the other dives, I’d say we definately picked the spot of the weekend! It was 16 degrees with about 5-6m viz and flat. The sun came out just before we went under so it made for pool like conditions.

Marius hadn’t dived in a year so we took thinks slowly and we saw some beautiful things including a baby Electric Ray and baby Blue Fin Gurnard. This lends weight to the concept of Long Beach as the nursery of False Bay.

The Underwater Explorers Trilogy

Alistair had to cancel the second time he wanted to have their Birthday launches. Wynand was already in Simons Town and we dragged Carel, on his day off into the water. Long Beach was full of little babies: gurnards & brittle stars and a huge blue jellyfish. We did not see the stingray’s yet, but they are back. Next time. I think this has also been my longest dive 74min in 15.3 degree water.

Naomi van der Colff

Dived my head off

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