January 2019 Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter

Hello omsaciaans

Welcome to another exciting year. We look forward to spending lots of quality time under water, playing with seals, finding those nudibranchs and taking awesome photographs.

First off we’d like to welcome our new club members Troy Grundlingh and Elton Davies. We’re sure you’ll have lots of fun and enjoy diving with your fellow dive buddies.

International Coastal Cleanup feedback
I’m sure most of you will remember the International Coastal Clean

clean up
clean up

up we took part in last year. Well we’ve received the report and boy does it make  for some interesting reading, example – 50 000 refuse bags were


distributed and 10 800 gloves provided in September. For more information on this click here.

Big ocean clean up of Hermanus
Start the year off on a good note – HERMANUS BIG OCEAN CLEANUP,

hermanus old harbour
hermanus old harbour

scheduled for Saturday, January 26th. For the past four years, the SA Shark Conservancy has been conducting a marine debris research project focused on micro- and macro-plastics on blue flag and non-blue flag beaches in the Overstrand. The Big Ocean Cleanup builds on this project and aims to unify all stakeholders and raise awareness about marine pollution. For more information on this click here.

Submitted by Meagon

Annual potjiekos competition

potjie kos
potjie kos

Date TBC. This year OMSAC will be organising the annual potjiekos competition. If you would like to show off your culinary skills, please contact Naomi otherwise we hope to see you all at the event.

Hiring of Old Mutual Sports Club
Did you know … you can hire out the venues at the Old Mutual Sports Club.

Rate for top & bottom venue:
R350.00 during the week
R1500.00 on Saturdays.  R500.00 refundable if bar tab exceeds R1500.00

For more information visit their website.

Dive stats – December
No of OMSAC dives = 32
Guests/students – 1
Avg dive time min = 53
Avg temperature = 16
Avg visability = 8.875

Upcoming events

7 February – Jacques Davies will provide feedback on the current status of the SABS standard (SANS10019), that affects all users of SCUBA and SCBA Cylinders – hosted by OMSAC in Cape Town.


13 Feb – Naomi vd Colff



OMSAC News October 2018


OMSAC News Letter October 2018

Hello omsaciaans

Wow, what a bumper couple of months we’ve had, from braai’s to cleanups & a talk by Plastic SA and of course plenty of diving.

Burger night – 23 August



Thanks to Lezette for organising an awesome burger night and to Clynton for doing all the braai’ing. Who needs the spur – Lezette catered for all taste buds, from cheese burgers to vegetarian burgers (which isn’t too bad) and even just plain old salad burger.


Kalk Bay Harbour cleanup – 1 September

Several members of our club met up on Saturday, 1 September to help do a cleanup at Kalk Bay Harbour. The weather conditions for the “on land” cleanup was great and from what I heard the water was a bit surgy but our divers managed to bring up quite a bit of lead, fishing line and some really mean looking fishing hooks. The cherry on top though was Arno finding some bullets.

And let’s not forget … the most fun part of the day was when Melanie, while trying to help some of the divers out the water, very gracefully fell into the water. Unfortunately this was not caught on camera – maybe next time!!

Plastic SA talk at OMSAC – 13 September

John Kieser from Plastic SA join us at OMSAC to explain the damaging effects plastic has on our sea creatures and what we need to do to try and avoid this.

Did you know … Plastic Recycling 2017*

  • 43,7% of plastics were collected for recycling in South Africa
  • 334 727 tons of plastics recycled back into raw materials
  • 74% of the plastics that were recycled, came from landfill and other post-consumer sources
  • Enough landfill space was saved thanks to plastics recycling to fill 714 olympic size swimming pools

*Sourced from Plastics SA

International Coastal Cleanup : Hout Bay Harbour – 15 September

Over a hundred bags of plastic litter was collected from Hout Bay Harbour and beach.

Every year we organize this event because we are ocean lovers and we want to stop more and more plastic landing up in the ocean. We are all responsible for our planet. Considering the ocean produces 70% of the oxygen we breathe we have to protect it. The plastic is slowly killing the ocean and its inhabitants. We need to be part of the change and not part of the problem. Start recycling and if not recyclable make an eco brick. This year we corroborated with various organisations and it was a big success. Thank you very much for every volunteer.
To view photos > Page 1 | Page 2
PS: Thanx to all that joined and sponsored prices.  Reef Souths Africa, City of Cape Town, Alan and Monica Olivier, De Mooij exports, Somerset timbers, Houtbay bay Market , Pick a Pay, NSRI, Plastics SA, DiveInn and many many more.

Submitted by Naomi vd Colff

Hiring of Old Mutual Sports Club

Did you know … you can hire out the venues at the Old Mutual Sports Club.

Rate for top & bottom venue:
R350.00 during the week
R1500.00 on Saturdays.  R500.00 refundable if bar tab exceeds R1500.00

For more information visit their website.

Dive Stats

No of divers = 18
Guests = 2
Dive time min = 390
Temperature = 15.0

Upcoming events

27 Oct – Sports day at OM Sports Club
27 Oct – Halloween party at FBUC


3 Oct – Angela Sass
12 Oct – Carel vd Colff

Omsac Night Dive Saturday – 22 April 2017


The first ever dive I did with OMSAC was a night dive, so it was an interesting reflection for me to be the one doing the dive briefing for Saturdays Night dive, and in turn introducing four new divers to the wonders of diving at night. To me this is exactly the reason to be part of an active club, an environment where new divers can become experienced divers and divers of all levels are welcome.

Thank you Mandy for organizing our first night dive of the year and for all those that attended to make it such a great evening. It was great to see faces, old and new kitting up. Just on a side note if the conditions are all messed up this weekend please blame Anand and Conrad, who dusted off their gear and graced us with their presence. It was great to have them with.
So with a mix of apprehension and excitement 12 divers hit the water as the sun sank below the horizon at trusty Long Beach. For convenience we again split into groups of four divers. My group went in search of the short tailed stingray with an epic swim to chains and back to the pipeline, we didn’t find the ray, only a huge patch of disturbed sand which meant we were in the right place. What we did find were some unusual fish species which was the highlight of the dive for me. Other groups found the smaller species or ray, as well as the staples of pipefish, sole and beaked sandfish.

Haa, I almost forgot and the seal that gave Mandy a heart attack as it bombed past her as she was looking at the puffer fish, and also played with us for a couple of minutes at the end of the pipeline.
Thank you OMSAC for another great dive

Dive Site: Long Beach
Dive Leader: Various
No Divers: 12
Dive Time: 60min
Temperature: 14-17 Degrees
Vizability 5-7m verticle

Dive Report 26 March 2017


The Sunday dive From Carel Past!

Part 1

So it was retro Sunday for Carel van Der Colff from Dive Inn and some of our OMSAC divers Pierre Luke Tanya, benefited from his generosity. One person’s stomach bug is another’s opportunity to dive.

I can only postulate that after a two year absence the Siren call of Pick N Pay, AKA sharks and seals, was too much for Carel. So down the shot we went starting at the Smitswinkle side of Partridge point. Green pea soup greeted us with plenty of whale snot in the water. Oh well I thought I am the DM so I am the only one who cannot get lost on this dive. Returning from warmer climes it was a pleasant 16 degrees.

We started off at a really conservative pace back towards the Millers point side purposely keeping to the 18m contour and not following the shallower gulley for more seal action. It was a nudi fiesta with Coral, Silver tip and gasflame nudibranchs being the most prolific combined with other really nice sightings like big Cape Dorid.

As we hit the first sand patch so the vista opened out from pea green to clean green, however the proportionate increase in visibility was accompanied by an inversely proportional decrease in the water temperature a nice welcome back, for me, from Cape Town Diving. Still there were compensations four juvenile seals joined us at this point and kept us company for a couple of minutes with their normal antics.

We swam on and I particularly enjoyed the huge rock formations teaming with both colour and life, so at odds with the bland reefs of Sodwana. As we hit the 50min mark, signals from cold divers became too much to ignore, with my shivering leading the way. I deployed the DSMB and managed to find a pinnacle at five meters, with some big redbait and sturdy kelp on which to spend the last safety stop minutes of our very pleasant dive.

Of note We also found decomposing remains of a dead seal

The Dive By The Numbers

No Divers OMSAC Divers: 6
Guests/Students: 1
Dive Time: 51min
Average Dive Time: 51min
Acumulated Bottom Time: 51min
Viability: Variable 1-2m 10m in the thermo cline
Temperature: 9°C
Max Depth: 18.6m

Sunday dive From Carel Past! (Part 2)

As we neared Millers point the visibility noticeably cleaned up which boded well for part 2 of our diving excursion a visit to the ever popular Pyramid to rock, to drop in on the Seven Gill Cow Sharks. After a changeover of cylinders we headed back out to a convenient piece of kelp off pyramid rock. With top to bottom visibility there was no need for a shot line so we simply rolled and after collecting ourselves descended into the kelp. Within minutes we were mobbed by at least four juvenile sharks in the 1.5m – 2m size range. They were super relaxed and cruised over around and behind us as they are want to do. After they disappeared we went for a fly though one of the kelp forests of the area. Always fun to dive through kelp forests. After a few minutes of cruising through the kelp forest we turned back towards pyramid rock and swam towards the cave at pyramid. As soon as we broke out onto the beautifully undulating seashell sand we were again mobbed by juvenile sharks with some great fly bys and fly over’s and some particularly close encounters. I as is want to happen as Anna was checking on her buddy a young male swam up to her so as she turned back its spotted flank was the only thing to fill her vision. It seemed like they would ever keep circling, but as we again got into the kelp they again melted away.

Aside from the sharks which were beautiful as always the highlight of my dive was three big variable nudibranchs, with the one pair matting. (I still want that pic Pierre.)

Of Note We observed one young male shark with big bite marks on it’s right flank and we also saw the shark with the hook in its mouth with a small piece of fishing trace attached.

The Dive By The Numbers

No Divers OMSAC Divers: 6
Guests/Students: 1
Dive Time: 62min
Average Dive Time: 56.5min
Acumulated Bottom Time: 113min
Viability: 10m
Temperature: 13°C
Max Depth: 12.3m

OMSAC recently participated in the Kalk Bay Harbour Clean-up



The Kalk Bay Harbour Clean Up had divers and non-divers join in from across Cape Town, all helping to remove the trash that gets into the harbour. With very low vis, a surprising amount of trash was recovered!

Please visit our Facebook to see more recent events and activities.

OMSAC Facebook Page


Here is some video footage of awesome people make a difference! 2 garbage bins, a shopping trolly and lots and lots of rubbish were removed from the harbour filling up the back of a big truck. These guys and girls did their part, now it’s your time to make this world a better place. (Video by RyanCoe Photography)

Below is an article about the big day:

Kalk Bay Harbour Clean-Up Success Story!

Sports Club Report for 2014

OMSAC continues to be the leading dive club in Cape Town and is growing on a monthly basis. We host weekly meetings on a Thursday evening in a room at Mupine Golf Club where we often braai and chat about all things diving. We also arrange weekly dives for all members at various spots around the Peninsula and even travel off to some exotic locations together.

Over the past 3 years we have done significant fundraising and in January this year, we finally reached our financial goal of R100 0000 and bought a new compressor for the clubhouse, replacing our 30 year old grandpa. It has meant cleaner air and faster filling and after some compressor operator training, we’re supplying the best air in Cape Town.

We again hosted the International Coastal Cleanup in Hout Bay in September 2014 which was supported by Pick ‘n Pay and Plastics SA, as well as other dive operators and shops. With over 80 divers again, we cleaned up underwater and pulled out a truck load of rubbish. We also donated to the NSRI who supported us in the harbour for the day. This event continues to be one of the highlights on our annual calendar. We also held our second Finathon at Long Beach in Simons Town. A shortened route was followed this year to cater for the less fit and then laps were completed by those able to do more.  Another R5000 was raised for Shark Spotters and Project Aware.  We also supported the Cape Town Dive Festival both with organisers and a food stall for the weekend.

Our training schedule has picked up with the addition of Discover Scuba Diving days. We have hosted these every 2 months in summer (on average) and this has led to more Open Water students and other speciality training.

We continue to interact with the other dive clubs of Cape Town in various activities, including the Interclub Potjiekos Competition which was held in Bellville this year. We won the floating trophy for the 1st time in many years and walked away with our heads held very high. We also attended the Cannon Run and Pool and Darts evening. There is some great camaraderie between club members. OMSAC were also invited to help clean the submarine SAS Assegaai, in the Simons Town Harbour and were treated to a tour beforehand.

We also held our first ever Diver’s Market for Christmas where we invited various dive shops and other suppliers over to the Clubhouse to get people interacting – it was great fun and something we plan to do again. Our Christmas party was held at the Two Oceans Aquarium where many divers had their 1st dive with the Raggies – always a delight! Another 1st was an excursion diving in Cape Point where some of the divers were lucky enough to dive with Southern Right Whales!

Froggy Pond a.k.a. Justin’s “Bay to the left of A-Frame”

Date/Time: 2014/06/22 12h00
Site: Froggy Pond a.k.a. Justin’s “Bay to the left of A-Frame”
Bottom Time: 45min
Dive Temp: 15 degrees
Visibility: Endless… (Okay 10-12m-ish)

Hi, my name is Martin and I’m a divaholic. It has been almost 2 months since my last dive… until yesterday!

Yes folks, many a dive happened over the weekend and for those who could not muscle up the courage to discard the warm embrace of their duvet, hot chocolate and mini series, let me be that person everyone dreads and tell you that you missed out on one of those rare perfect diving days in the kingdom of Capetonia.

Matter of fact, I almost missed out myself. Have you ever left a crucial piece of gear at home? A mask maybe? Or a spare o-ring? How about YOUR ENTIRE WETSUIT! I suppose my rush to hit the road early Sunday morning clouded my memory somewhat and while I deemed the car “packed”, both my own and Jolene’s wetsuits were still having a jol in the garage. This we obviously only discovered at 09h40 when everybody started kitting up at A-Frame, and there we were left with one of two choices: Abandon a potentially awesome day of diving altogether, or go to Pisces and rent some gear to join the second dive. We chose the latter, and a mere hour later we were back at Le Frame, ready to get salty!

After what seemed like an eternity, the first group of divers emerged from their earlier dive and even from a distance, it was obvious that conditions were great judging by their widened eyes, massive smiles and waving hands. This only reinforced our enthusiasm to get wet asap!

While some of the diver’s from the first group decided to do A-Frame again, Silver Fox Johnson opted to dive what, at that point, was only referred to as “the bay”. This turned out to be the beach to the left of A-Frame, which was super appealing in the blazing midday sun. White sand and calm turquoise water; like something from a honeymoon destination ad.

Some kitting and walking later, we finally hit the water, a very comfortable 15 degrees (okay, not so comfortable in rental suits, but you get the idea). If it wasn’t for the reg in my mouth, I would have most certainly instantly drowned from the massive gasp I took when we submerged. The viz was incredible, and even more rewarding since it’s been ages since I last experienced the absolute tranquil world that exists a mere inch under the water’s surface. Going from hot and uncomfortable to cooled down in silent weightlessness is like falling asleep at night, and having the absolute best dream ever.

By the time we reached the kelp/reef, we were welcomed (and followed) by large groups of Hottentot, some Red Romans and a few scattered Klipfish and Shysharks. About halfway through the dive a huge seal popped in to say hello, and we also came across several Octopi.

All too soon it was time to head back to shore, and we ended the day chowing down on some Dixies ribs and discussing what was one of those odd perfect winter diving days!

Martin Els

Video by Anna Aldridge

Diving the Lusitania / Mark’s Folly

This dive holds mythical, if not legendary status among Cape Town divers. It is the domain of the SS Lusitania who struck bellows rock  at midnight on 18 April 1911before sliding off the rock to the 40m reef below. It is a site talked about by those who have visited her with a note of reverence in their voice due to the proximity of unforgiving bellows rock that was her undoing. Part of her mystic is the fact that this site is driveable only a handful of times a year when conditions at bellow’s rock are forgiving enough for the safe deployment and retrieval of divers.

I was keyed up with excitement to have the opportunity to dive this site as well as a healthy dose of apprehension when we crossed a mill pond False bay to the point. Rounding the point we soon spotted the mighty bellows rock, as even on this, calmest of days she shot a plume of water 2m into the air.

We arrived on site and Carel and I were soon kitted up and ready to go, only waiting for our Tech friends so sling another redundancy or done a 25kg back plate. Then came the count, I took a calming breath and rolled. All Ok, yes all ok, as per our dive plan we dived I could see Carel was not messing around so I turned face down and began to swim. We descended through a layer of pea green into the best visibility I have seen in Cape Town 15 to 20m.

What a site lay before us to behold, the best way I can describe it is like gliding through a mountain range of huge boulders. Now a giant marble, now a gently sloping plateau, now a vertical cliff face fifty meters high. Two leviathans cruised below us their luminous yellow doubles a splash of colour against the grey reef. A feeling of serenity descended upon me as I realised that I was hovering suspended 2m off the legendry Bellow’s reef motionless bar for the current gently sweeping me along. My buddy with his spotlight highlighting points of interest and flooding the monochrome reef with colour. We ascended a couple of meters to maximise our bottom time and swam slowly towards the sun. All to soon it was time to leave this beautiful reef, although I admit to being cold, I would not sacrifice my time on this reef for such a trivial matter.

We ascended swimming toward the sun having deployed a DSMB from the comfort of our deep stop. We ascended back into the green and back into warm water for an uneventful safety stop at 5m. What of the white water from Bellow’s? We had swum far enough from the rock for this not to be a problem.

We concluded the day with a gentle cruise home and exploration of the cave systems under the peninsular. What a day out what a dive.

What of the wreck of the Lusitania I hear you ask? Well those few pieces that we saw did not amount to much of interest, hence the dive site amendment to Mark’s Folly. Did this affect my enjoyment of this dive? Well I will let you be the judge of that. I will however conclude with this simple statement Lusitania, Bellow’s Rock Marks Folly I will be back at the soonest opportune moment.

Stephen Bardwell

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