Today a couple of OMSACcians took to the water to see if the PMB is still as awesome as the rumors claim… Among others, our group consisted of Myself, Jolene, Naomi, Stephen, Irene, Stephen Sr., Wynand and fearless leader Justin “Silver Fox” Johnson leading the expedition aboard the H.M.S. Pisces.
We launched at around 11h30 with calm seas and cloudy, yet thankfully dry skies. A full 3.2 second boat ride and we were ready to drop anchor and get wet! Today was an auspicious day for me seeing as it was the long-overdue first dive with my recently upgraded video lights which I made from modern day sticks and dung: PVC and… well… elbow grease!…
So a quick roll and into the drink we went, passing a mild thermocline and descending on Justin’s accurately placed shot taking us to the middle of ye olde wreck at 20m. The first part of the descent sported some low viz, but once we went through the thermocline it cleared up to a very decent 10m+ at around 13 degrees, depending on behind who you’re swimming
A quick inspection confirmed that the new lights were holding up and I proceeded to do a few zig-zag passes over the deck and through the swimthoughs, followed closely by keen-photographer Potgieter. Over the period of the dive we managed to do multiple passes as well as a fairly complete parameter swim of the wreck which is looking gorgeous as always.
Alas, much as we would have loved to stay down there forever, after about 30 minutes, it was time to start heading up, stopping for a quick smoke at 5m before returning to the dreary, gravity-ridden world above sea level…
Total dive time was 36min, max depth 20.4m and avg temp 13deg.
Now. Let’s all return to work tomorrow. Joy.
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.
We have been kicked out of the Atlantic this week with strong surf and wind pushing the swell up!
False Bay has been kind with 15m vis on the PMB and lot’s of Cow Sharks around at Pyramid. Today at Long Beach we had 17deg, seals, 2 octopus and a few shy sharks who seem to be making a return. The rays seem to be scarce this week, with few divers having the pleasure of their company.
This weekend we are False Bay side again, with a deep speciality on the Smits Wrecks. Can’t wait!
A group of 8 us from both OMSAC and Pisces Divers set out on a night dive at Long Beach. Carel had 2 Advanced students with him who did a little navigation and then on we went to some dicovering. There was plenty to see and I have a new found respect for Long Beach – always something new on offer! Although Ander and I did not see the rays this dive, the others in the group did. I wonder if they ever sleep?!?
The dive was a very pleasant 19 degrees and viz of about 8-10m. All in all a worth while effort 🙂
Finally I saw them all. I convinced Rod, Graham and Ander to walk to the Brunswick and then swim back towards Long beach. My reason: we might get bored just swimming down the pipeline and around the wreck and then still have a lot of air left.
No Brunswick but the best Long beach dive ever! So typical and unexpected this ray swam past me and almost next to it a smaller one was giving us his feeding performance in its hole. The pink mosaic pleurobranch, octopi, pipefish, flute fish, orange clubbed nudibranch and gurnard was also interesting. The cherry on the cake was the double sash butterfly fish. We all achieved something: Ander did his 90th dive, closing in on 100 soon. Rod navigated perfectly and Graham was very impressed with his air consumption on my longest dive ever of 70 min.
Contributing factors was 19 degree water and not deeper than 5 meters with average viz.