Dive Report – Sandy Cove

Greetings and salutations! For those who missed it, the weatherman was spot-on with this weekend’s forecast and we had an absolute blast hitting the Atlantic yesterday. A big thanks for Mandy and Naomi for ensuring that I didn’t dive by myself, and especially to Naomi for leading the dive.

Site: Sandy Cove & surrounds (Kelp forest)
Avg Temp: 16 degrees
Max Depth: 8 m
Dive Time: 64 min

When I reached Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa yesterday morning at 08h50, Naomi and Mandy were already eagerly busy kitting up with the conditions being absolutely perfect. A little lingering cloud cover left from Saturday slowly made it’s way over us while the water was dead calm and clear beneath us, having reached it’s weekend low of a mere 1.6 meters and almost no wind worth mentioning.

We briskly kitted up and made our way down the slope. Although the conditions were potentially conducive for a good dive on Justins, Naomi felt that Sandy Cove would better suit the abilities of our dive buddy Mandy, who is fairly new to the diving scene. We reached the water which was calm and flat, with top-to-bottom viz all the way out to our point of descent. As we started descending, we were greeted by a school of Hottentot as well as a lone Rocksucker not entirely living up to it’s name whilst clinging to a kelp branch. The water was a very comfortable 16-17 degrees and viz was easily 10+ meters with brilliant rays of sunlight playing across the kelp and rocks below.

On this dive we managed to see not one but 3-4 (One might have been the same swimming by again ? ) Pyjama sharks and my personal favourite, ye olde Leopard Catshark! And as is always the case with Atlantic dives, there were more crayfish than we could count. At one point I came around a rock and interrupted what could only be the AGM of the WCRLU (West Coast Rock Lobster Union) with the best part of 20 lobsters just chilling on a flat rock. I of course did the prudent thing and broke it up very quickly before a riot broke out (Disclaimer: No I didn’t. I’m a considerate diver, to wildlife and fellow divers ? ) Although myself and Naomi at first thought that this site was strangely devoid of Nudibranchs, we found upon closer inspection of some of the walls some tiny Cape Silvertip, Ghost and super-tiny Orange-Clubbed nudi’s.

All too soon it was time to head back and I managed to land us a few degrees east of where we were supposed to head, thus leading to a little surface swim back to the exit point.

As if the day was not great enough already, we ran into the likes of Stephen, Irene. Justin and Ronel on our way out as they were heading in, AND then Rochelle also stopped by on her way back from their morning DSD class! When all were out and dry and my head was tanned till I was no less red than the very lobster I had seen earlier, we decided to head for some post-dive drinks at LaVie in Seapoint, where I polished a bacon, egg and cheese burger, headed home, and fainted on the couch.

Then I woke up and washed my gear at 22h00 before going to bed ?

-M

(PS: For more pics, visit this forum post)

Pyjama Shark, Sandy Cove