International coastal clean-up 2013

False Bay Yacht Club was the venue for our annual International Coastal Cleanup. Once again we partnered with Plastics SA, who organised cleanup’s throughout the South African coastline.

False Bay Underwater Club, University of Cape Town Underwater Club and Old Mutual Sub Aqua Club joined forces to get as many divers as possible involved. About 80 divers pitched up for the event – less than previous years. Probably due to the fact that it was a long weekend and many club members went away.

At registration the 1st comers got goodie bags and even a hoody. The Expresso show on SABC 3 had a crew out and Graeme, one of the presenters, did his best to help remove debris on snorkel, as he is not qualified as a scuba diver. The SA navy divers also joined in and they picked up most of the prizes given out, making us wonder if they were stock piling rubbish for the annual cleanup.

Divers entered the water via the slipways and stairs and we provided the divers with mesh bags so that the rubbish could be easily transported underwater. This year, a regatta was on at the same time, so the divers were warned beforehand of boats moving about. Every one worked well together and we had no incidents.

SAN Parks, who had their boat in the water for safety, also provided the vehicle to remove the rubbish from the slipways. The counting and sorting the rubbish is often good fun to see what has been found underwater. the weirdest items were a fire extinguisher, scale, bikini bottoms, jeans, cell phones and big batteries just to name a few. Plastics were the biggest culprits and glass also featured high on the count list. While counting, we try save critters that are hiding away in the rubbish – mostly animals like slugs, snails, crabs and here and there a Goby.

The rubbish removed was a lot less than previous years, hopefully meaning that the annual cleanups are working and that people are being more responsible.

Port Elizabeth Dive Festival 2013

Hi all OMSAC’ers

I and some mates decided to go visit our PE dive buddies for the PE dive fest.

Saturday the diving was unfortunately cancelled due to some rain and heavy wind, causing big swells. Rochelle and Roland decided to have some fun on their own and headed into town. Me and my mates eventually once up, decided to go visit the aquarium and our aqua friends. Unfortunately it was closed due to construction happening, so we went to the museum that was right next door.

We had some fun exploring all the interesting stuff in the museum including a nice canon expo and wreck display with lots of old artifacts brought up also on show. We also managed to play a bit with a 3 year old constrictor snake at the snake sanctuary interaction display.
After making it out of the maze of a museum we ended up at the Boardwalk Casino, and visited the Magic Company to play some games and have some fun. By this time we were a bit dry mouthed and had to visit the Bar also and eventually ended up at the Noordhoek Ski boat clubhouse having some drinks with the locals, even some pink ones.
Well on Sunday we managed to get in some diving as the weather cleared and it ended up a lovely day in PE. The viz started out at around 3m I believe and by the time I went for my first dive it was 5-6m, with a nice blue color. The temp on all 3 dives I did was about 16C.
On all my dives, deep and shallow, I saw mostly the same sea life which included lots of fish swimming around include some nice colorful ones like butterfly fish, some nice big red fans with basket stars attached, and the rest mostly the same as in Cape Town like nudibranch’s, anemones and lots more colorful reef creatures and plants. I also saw the biggest pajama shark i have ever seen, just short of 1.4m I would guess.
The dives for Saturday was moved to Monday(Public Holiday), but unfortunately we already had plans for the Monday and a long drive back to Cape Town. We heard some rumors that the viz then was 15m, but maybe it is just the locals playing on our feelings 🙂
The 3 sites I dives was Bermuda, Pinnacles and Swim Thru on the Wildside side of PE.
Thanks Heather, Brendon, Rochelle and Roland for a very nice weekend away.
Evert Meyer

Underwater beauty of Sodwana

I met Carel and Naomi at Cape Town International and off we set for a week in one of the worlds premier dive sites. A two hour flight and three and a half hour car ride and we arrived at Coral Divers. An easy check in and off to dive planning to sort out the next days diving. The first dive launches at 07h00 so we all meet at the kit up area at 06h00 to catch the shuttle to the beach about 2km away.

A dive briefing from a DMT and a then a surf launch.

Dive number 1 was at Bikini on 2 mile reef. With Carel and Naomi as my dive buddies I was treated to an hours dive in 27 degree water. During this dive I saw my first Moray Eel, a Ribbon Ray and many of the other colourful fish we never see in the cold waters of Cape Town.

Over the next week I did 7 dives while Carel and Naomi did 10. All my dives were at 2 mile reef at an average depth of around 16m for about 60mins

On these dives we saw a young turtle, scorpion fish-(how Carel sees them I have no idea) a school of rays, various nudibranchs and many common warm water fish.

Carel took me through the digital camera course and helped me spot many photographic opportunities.

As the week came to an end the rain came down but the dives were done. My thanks to Carel and Naomi for showing me the underwater beauty of Sodwana.