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NWDiver

2012 Sardine Run Recommendations????

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Did a search and got a little background but would like any recommendations or insights to Sardine Run operations. My wife, who is easy going, and a strong diver might want to come. So looking for an operation that has decent accommodations (read hot showers) and trends to safety over cowboy, if that makes sense.

 

Any advice and direction is welcome.

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I've never been on the Sardine Run myself, but I know many who have and literally everyone I know raves about Walter Bernardis (African Watersports). I have dived with Walter at Aliwal and he completely understands and appreciates what photographers/videographers are looking for. Hope this helps.

 

Cheers, Simon

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Thanks, always appreciate first hand experiences. Will check both out.

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Thanks, always appreciate first hand experiences. Will check both out.

 

I confirm : Walter from African Water sport.

I met him in his base last month in Umkoomas, he is the guy.

I dived only on Aliwal Shoal and now I am planning to go back there for the sardine run.

I heard a lot of good things about the lodge he used to rent for this event, by the way the accomodation in Umkoomas are really nice for a really decent price.

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Ok, I guess I have to give a few details since no one who have done the trip with Walter have stepped up.

 

First of all, Walter "Meaty" Bernardis is a friend and I have recommended him to a few other WP members before. There are a few things potential customers should note:

 

1. Walter skippers primarily for charters during the "busy" period and the other boat(s) is skippered by someone other than Walter himself obviously. He only runs his boat for non-charters after the charter guys are gone.

2. His main boat allows multiple tanks for customers, but the 2nd boat (RIB) is more limited in space and filled with up to 6-8 customers.

3. His operation is one of 3-4 ops that have aircraft for spotting and also fun rides for customers.

4. Mboyti Lodge is remote and as of 2010, still does not have GSM reception (you'll get that at sea!).

 

 

Wetpixel will probably be organizing the Indian Ocean Safari for 2012 as well, for 3-4 photographers only, which is open to the public to sign up.

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*Note to new members who are part of organizations with commercial interest in the Sardine Run:

 

If you work for or affiliated to any operator, please do not try to pass off as an unaffiliated party making a recommendation. It is against WP rules and dishonest! If your ops is a good one, then stand by it.

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I've done the last 3 years in a row with Steve Benjamin from Animal Ocean, very enthusiastic guy with loads of experience in getting you where you need to be to get the results you want...

 

Jean.

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I've heard that this past year's sardine run did not go very well. Stupid question, I know, but is there any way to predict when the best time to go is?

Steve

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I've heard that this past year's sardine run did not go very well. Stupid question, I know, but is there any way to predict when the best time to go is?

Steve

We did the worst this year, what can be even worse next year !!! I don't think you have any way to predict it. Just go for it, be the lucky one !!

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We did the worst this year, what can be even worse next year !!! I don't think you have any way to predict it. Just go for it, be the lucky one !!

 

Hmmm actually the veterans (ok 3 of us who have done the run for a decade or more!) were comparing 2003 ,the previous worst year for most (except for a few people who had the best year EVER!!!). I think 2007 was probably similar for water conditions (in that you can't get in with bad viz!!!)

Listen every year is different. This year there were more cormorants in the baitballs than I'd seen the entire history of my stints. And they are cool. It was the first time I'd seen 3 Bryde's whales circle a baitball (only because there were people in it!) The action was in the crap viz this year and some of the guys got better shots of birds than they did in the bonanza last year.

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