Dive Report – Windmill and Froggy Pond

With the wind having died down a little after weeks of gale force winds hammering the west coast of Cape Town, we thought we’d take a chance on False Bay this weekend and see what’s been happening since we last dived it. Unfortunately, the wind started to pick up again on Friday evening and by Saturday morning the white caps riddled false bay, although there was very little swell so we had that going for us!

We had originally planned to do our first dive for the day at Pyramid to pay a visit to our local Cow Sharks, but conditions would have made that dive a little unpleasant so we opted for Windmill which is a bit more sheltered. Water temps were very reasonable at 15 degrees but viz was a little down at around 4m as a result of the wind that had picked up. Still, any dive is better than sitting on land and the reduced visibility meant much closer encounters with the local wildlife, which included loads of Hottentot and Red Roman as well as uncanny amounts of Octopi. Seriously. Octopi under every single little protruding rock, and ranging in size from juvenile to fully matured. They were however shy as always and all hiding in their little caves, so we weren’t able to get any full shots. Still, watching them peek out as we passed was quite entertaining. Visibility cleared up a little within the dense kelp forests and gave way to slowly swaying foliage playing host to an array of colours and life the likes of which is uncommon above water. Sixty minutes of super relaxation later, we were back on dry land.

After a quick cylinder (and dive buddy) change, we were ready to head back! This time to Froggy Pond, a shallow bay consisting of fine white sand, turquoise water and two kelp forests on either side of the bay. Much like Windmill, the shallow sandy entry and sheltered location makes for the most comfortable of entry points and on a good day the white sand together with fairly shallow depth creates an almost tropical feel as the sunlight plays across the flawless sandy bottom, eventually meeting up with great boulders teeming with life of all sizes and shapes. The water had warmed up a little since our first dive especially at this shallow site, but unfortunately the swell had also picked up and visibility had dropped even further to a point where pausing for just a moment to examine the splendour of the underwater world could mean having to surface to find your team. Once we all realised this and stuck together, we headed into the kelp where once again the viz cleared up enough for us to relax a little and enjoy the scenery. On this dive I saw my very first shrimp ever, almost completely transparent with only a few white dots giving away it’s position, and running across the sandy bottom with a piece of lettuce kelp in it’s mouth. With the conditions slowly degrading, we decided to call it a day and exited at 50 minutes.

There’s so much to be seen under water. You can dive the same site every day and still see something new every time, and the closer you get to the reef, the higher your chances of getting a glimpse of something rare and uncommon. Another set of diver’s happened upon a Tiger Catshark this weekend which is a great example of this.

Get out there, get wet! Adventure lies just beneath the surface 😉

-M