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Wetpixel Ocean Safari begins Monday


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#21 Drew

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 07:22 PM

2nd and 3rd day update:
Seems after a great 1st day and bringing hopes up, mother nature decides to temper our expectations as gale force winds blow out 2 days in a row. It's not called the wild coast for nothing. On the good side, we did manage to go around the area for sightseeing and cultural experiences. The auntie beeb crew are here as well and enjoying the off time.
Hopefully the weather breaks tomorrow so we can get out there, but it looks bleak. Never have I had 2 days of not launching but it threatens to make it 3!

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#22 loftus

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:50 AM

You know what they say in South Africa; 'We stand for culture..... Agriculture'.
Ironic that the best time for diving down there is the most unpredictable time for weather.
Hope you guys are at least filling up on biltong, boerewors and sosaties. I'm getting a stash tomorrow.
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#23 Travy

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:24 AM

You know what they say in South Africa; 'We stand for culture..... Agriculture'.
Ironic that the best time for diving down there is the most unpredictable time for weather.
Hope you guys are at least filling up on biltong, boerewors and sosaties. I'm getting a stash tomorrow.


Im busy snacking down on a nice piece of Kudu biltong right now,looking out of the window in Cape Town.The weather is horrible,5 meter rough swells is keeping the NSRI very busy indeed.
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#24 loftus

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:34 AM

Im busy snacking down on a nice piece of Kudu biltong right now,looking out of the window in Cape Town.The weather is horrible,5 meter rough swells is keeping the NSRI very busy indeed.

Of course you know why they call them kudu? :P
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#25 Travy

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:46 AM

Of course you know why they call them kudu? :P


Why?
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#26 loftus

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 06:53 AM

Because their nuts are so large, when they walk they go ku-du, ku-du!
Old Jo'burg high school joke
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#27 Travy

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:02 AM

Because their nuts are so large, when they walk they go ku-du, ku-du!
Old Jo'burg high school joke


Yip,ive heard that one before.LOL
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#28 Drew

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:30 AM

Well looks like the weather isn't going to give us a break. The good news is the guys are keeping good spirits and entertained by the wonderful scenery of the area. The rains have made it difficult to even contemplate launching.
The terrible thing is while we're complaining about the rain and its effect on us, people in KZN have been killed by landslides and flashfloods and many hundreds displaced by the rising water. Really does put a damper on things.

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#29 Drew

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:54 AM

Went out to Magwa and Fraser falls today. The rivers were so full that the falls were really showing off their potential, so much so we couldn't cross them as we normally do.
Planes are flying again and reports of very little activity in terms of birds and dolphins. But this place has a way of turning things around overnight.

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#30 shawnh

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:03 PM

Drew, real bummer about the weather. I have my fingers crossed for your crew. I await the report later in the trip of the monster bait ball, loaded with sharks, whales crashing through and 10,000 gannets crashing in!
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#31 Travy

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 04:49 AM

dolphins_on_bow_e.jpg

Hi guys
A guy i know called David has just returned from a trip to the Sardine Run in KZN.He is the owner and skipper of one of the world's fastest trimarans which he sometimes uses for diving,sailing and spear fishing trips.Anyways he has just sent this pictures today.Its taken before the cold front moved in up the coast.





dolphin_uw3_e.jpg


The pictures of him surfing with dolphins while being towed behind the trimaran are real and not photoshop'd.


breaching_whale_2_e.jpg surfing_with_dolphins_3_e.jpg swimming_with_whales_e.jpg


Enjoy,good luck with the Sardine Run.
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#32 Drew

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 11:48 AM

Well it's been a very decent 2 days topside.
Yesterday we had thousands of dolphins spread out everywhere and couldn't spit anywhere without hitting a common dolphin. Then the birds were diving madly but not real sardine activity we could see as the rains killed viz. We did have 4 humpbacks having a tussle later in the day but the skies were cloudy and light was pretty bad. We still managed some decent shots of breaches and cardunkle throws before calling it a day.
Today we came out to dirty water and a dead sea... but no sooner as we were fretting did reports of activity spring us into action heading south. We followed the bird activity and bumped into a Bryde's whales and even a few bronze whaler breaches. Then a small pod of pantropical spotted dolphins showed up followed by a few common dolphins. As sudden as the life came, the birds sat and sea was empty again. As we chomped on our meatball pasta salad, I noticed a few splashes in the distance. I knew this to be dolphins but we had a very pleasant surprise as a continuous long line of common dolphins approached, with numbers of over a thousand at least. They were in travel formation for awhile then suddenly split into a wide line for hunting. These superpods are common during this time of year and is probably the most spectacular sight of the indian ocean. It is my favorite thing to see here.
We followed this superpod and then they ran into a pair of humpbacks which weren't happy of the dolphins' presence and began tail smacking, breaching and throws at the pesky dolphins. We were waiting for the humpback to contact with one of the dolphins for that flying dolphin shot but it wasn't meant to be.

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#33 Drew

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 07:32 AM

A very positive day as the weather was wonderful and the visibility returned. Had 3 species of sharks (brachyrus, limbatus and sphyrna), 2 species of whales (Bryde's and humpback), 3 species of dolphin (pan tropicals, bottlenose and commons) and lots of gannets and petrels all over the place.
Got into the water with a mini-baitball of anchovies that disappeared as fast as I arrived. Seemed to be a training hunt for mother and calf dolphins as I only saw parent child pairs hit them. The best news for all is the viz has cleared to a workable 15ft/5m+, even to 25ft/8m in some areas. Now we just need the baitfish to hit hard.

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#34 shawnh

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 02:11 PM

Rooting for you guys down there. Hope the vis continues to improve. All the ingredients are there (except sardines) but that can change in a flash. Look forward to the next report.
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#35 pakman

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:00 PM

Just got an annoying text last nite from a buddy who's out there now. Thousands of dolphins, bride's whales, and breaching humpbacks... grrr... Nice of him to rub it in... ;)

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#36 Drew

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 06:35 PM

The sardines are already here. There was a 15 km shoal just before the crew arrived and was happening until the cold front created havoc. Seems like we were brought back to square one and restarted the whole process again. Which isn't a bad thing for the new guys.

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#37 Drew

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:42 AM

Very nice day for cetacean watching for the crew as we spotted a pod of Pygmy Bryde's whale (B. Edeni) consisting of younger pups and a mother and a small minke (B. Bonarensis) .
The weather was gorgeous and the sea was so flat but activity was a bit lacking so I suggested a shark dive with a plastic bottle as an attractant. It wasn't very successful but then we delayed the doldrums in time to jump in on small baitballs of anchovies with diving gannets and dolphin action ( with the sharks always lurking in the murky shadows. The visibility has stayed clear but the water temp has risen so there is fear the sardines are staying deep. Hopefully the conditions will allow a pocket to surface for the sea life to get into gear.

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#38 wagsy

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 04:21 PM

Go Drew...
It's like having your very own on the sport news reporter ;)

Kelly spotted a Great White out Whale Sharking here yesterday.
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#39 Drew

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 10:27 AM

Had a short but fruitful day today. The winds were making the sea choppy but we still jumped on a few hundred common dolphins. Then out of the blue 3 humpbacks swam right by us and with 2m of one of the guys... scaring the crap out of him. He was so shook up, he's been sucking on wine all day to celebrate the experience.
Sardines are plentiful but none are playing in cleaner water. Seems the dolphins are hunting a different kind of baitfish in the clean water. Hopefully we can hit the stuff tomorrow again.

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#40 jonny shaw

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 04:57 PM

Sounds awesome....

Good luck and hope you get a super sized bait ball with all the trimmings!!!!

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