Sunday, February 27, 2011

Marius Charging the Cyclone Swell
This past week saw loads of clean northerly swells march in from the cyclone off Madagascar. The easterly winds also persisted, but every morning there was a light off shore that made conditions perfect for surfing. The sea temperature was still low but it did start to increase towards the end of the week.

This meant that for most of us we put away our dive gear and waxed our surf boards. We had some epic surf sessions and were fairly content, well that's until we heard that the guys who were diving the Bluff off Durban were climbing into the shoals of Couta, and that the water was clean and warm there.
Kyle Yoko loving the clean conditions
This weekend was another pulse in the swell and we were all set for some more surfing as the water looked green at home on the Friday evening. To our surprise the sea was warm and clean ....really clean! I had already committed to taking photographs and tried not to get too distracted with the fact that I was missing epic diving conditions.
Super Clean Water ..... I guess we could have been diving!
So after a day of fining in the break-zone trying to fight my way into position to take some surf pics ... and not really getting what I was after! You can only imagine my disappointment when I heard that some mates had nailed it big time off Umhloti. They apparently loaded up on some good sized Couta and other pelagics and were almost at their limit when they beached at 9:30!

Looking at the forecast there is some more swell predicted and some more light and favorable conditions for the surf. I know there will also be some good diving as well. Which one? Will I make the right call this week??

Welcome to the spearfisherman's dilemma.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cyclones, Swell and the Beasterly Easterly

It has been over 20 days of predominately east winds on the coast. We had one day of light southerlies a week or so back, but it did little to effect the sea conditions. In December and January we had loads of rain which messed the vis up and we had brown river water 40 km out to sea in places. Then we have had 3 weeks of east winds which have brought in cold green water. About the only good thing has been the lack of rain with the east winds and the small rivers have almost dried back up.

With these rivers not pumping brown muck in the sea the vis has cleared some what and even though the water has been extremely cold for this time of the year there have been some fish around. There have been some shoal couta here and there and snoek allong the back line.
Mr Adjes with a quality Yellow Fin and Shoal Couta
This week however saw the beginning of the swell and those who braved the thumping sets were rewarded. The cyclone swell has continued to pick up and although is not as big as it could have been, its just too strong and messy to risk a swim.

There is southerly due on Sunday and this will hopefully drop the swell and turn the current. I know this is wishful thinking ...but we can only hope.

Lets see what next week brings.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Stand Up Paddle Boarding Blog

Richard Du Preez clapping it on his Stand Up Paddle Board
A good mate of mine Richard Du Preez has just started a new blog called Finding The Rail.
Rich is an all round waterman and is a gifted surfer, kite boarder and stand up paddle boarder. I guess if its got to do with the sea he is on it!

Any way pop into his blog and check it out.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Febuary Vidal Spearfishing Mission

Spearfishing the inside ledge for Snoek at Cape Vidal

With the North Coast area and South Coats a total right of far as diving is concerned. We decided to dive up to Cape Vidal to spearfishing. The problem is that it is a hellova distance to travel for one day, especially if you don"t get any fish. And believe me it has happened to me more than once over the years. So I guess you need to fairly desperate to make the call and get up at 2bells to make the drive.

The conditions were great and even though the vis wasn't epic we had 10-12m vis and 25deg water. The deeper drifts were very quiet other than the 5 Zambies that were following us. The one was an absolute beast and made a habit of swimming right up to us every time we dived down. Impressive to watch, but I dont think we were going to be getting any fish out with them around.

Another boat of divers also joined Guy, Mike and myself out there. And we road back to the shallow ledge to see what they had gotten. They had a couple of snoek and said they were in decent shoals.
Tyran Yeld and friends, the local boys going right to the fish.

We decide to give the shallows a shot and landed up in Snoek heaven. Most the time the fish were coming through in big shoals and they were just cruzing ...not skittish at all. Kinda the way I like them!
We all landed up with a good bunch of fish all ranging between 5 and 7kg. We also got the odd small dart Couta, but nothing special. I landed a 7kg Kakaap which is a special fish, and Mike got a nice Fulvie out o the sand.
Good haul at Cape Vidal
So for once we nailed it at Vidal, one lady commented that it was a lot of fish. I recon that if you divide them across the amount of times I have not shot fish there I am probably at about a fish a trip at the moment :-)
I guess I am just stoked to have had gotten the place on ...just like you hear other guys who have had it good there.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spearfisherman Speared

This spearfisherman that got speared cant be the happiest chap around.
I got sent some pics of some spearfisherman who got shot with a speargun, the spear went right through his shoulder. I dont have any details on this indecent, so if you have any info please just write a comment and let us know.
Damn.. they must have butched his suit to get the spear out of his shoulder!
I guess this is a cold hard reminder that spearguns are extremely dangerous, and not to be careless about how we dive ...... Ouch Big Time!!


Friday, February 4, 2011

Whats Happening to the Weather

Its been more than a week ago since we had a southerly wind and clean water. While the good water was around there were loads of good fish around and things were looking good for February. That was short lived tho as we just have not been lucky with the weather, first it was the unbelievable amounts of rain, then the east winds that just have not stopped for a week now.

The sad news is that the whole of next week is horrible east winds, that means no surf or dive, or any joy in the sea. Bloody depressing!!!

Last weekend before the east wrecked the sea there was a small patch of clean water between the brown muck river water from the Tugela and Umvoti rivers to the north and the Tongaat to the south. We had some real fun with the shoals of snoek in about 6-8m of clean warm water. Both Braiden and myself got 3 snoek each all over 5 kg.
Braiden some good Snoek off Salmon Bay Ballito
The water dirtied up quickly at the beginning of the week, but with the low tides and the early morning off shores there were some waves to surf. I grabbed my water housing and hit the surf to see what shots i could get of the guys.

This is a new learning curve for me getting all the right settings down to get the pics nice and sharp. Its even another story getting into the right position to get the shot off. I did manage to get a couple good shots off and now all we need is some good conditions.
Chris Braim getting shacked.

I thought this one was nice with the green water and blue sky.
With the whole week of east wind predicted, high tides, and pea green sea I dont think we are going to be doing much else other than some pool training ...... oh so much fun I cant wait.