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Eyes – The window to your soul

Eyes

“each of a pair of globular organs in the head through which people and vertebrate animals see, the visible part typically appearing almond-shaped in animals with eyelids”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye

Eyes are also the window to the soul it is said by some.

Eyes

Galaxy eye

Eyes of underwater critters, animals and humans can have loads of different colours, sizes and shapes and fascinating to eye.

Underwater my favourite eyes to take photos of are that of the Klipfish. Some of them have stunning lines with colours. Some of the rays got lids over them like a veil and lets the eye melt in with the skin colour.

In our DAN first aid course we also advise students if you have an eye injury to close the other eye as well as that injured eye will always move in sync with the other eye. Also have eye protection when working with injured people is a good barrier to have with gloves.

For taking photos of the seeing organs is not always the easiest as you need to get very very close to get the perfect shot. On land it is just as difficult but every now and then you get a good opportunity with a friendly subject who let you get close to their eye. For that reason the 100 mm Macro lenses are much better suited than my 60 mm.

Eye

Lesser guitar fish Eye

An eye do have the ability to mesmerize you; I can vouch for that as I got hooked by my wife’s stunning blue orbs years ago. In them you can also see the mood of most creatures.

Not a lot of critters in the wild can survive blind after being blinded. Our humans have been able to adapt with other sensory organs taking over and with technology being able to help and the old way of reading with Braille using ones fingers. Most currency also assists the blind with some braille markings on.

Eyes

Ostrich eying

Thus in short with Dive Inn Cape Town our eyes are needed a lot for the above water and underwater touring we do to observe the wonders Cape Town holds in our oceans, from the top of Table Mountain to the route to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope plus the stunning Stellenbosch & Franschhoek winelands.

 

Dive Inn Cape Town Peak Season

Dive Inn Cape Town Peak Season

Dive Inn Cape Town Peak Season

WOW what a season. Loads of tourists visiting from the states and United Kingdom (mostly cricket supporters) touring and diving in our beautiful city of Cape Town.

Dive Inn Cape Town Peak Season blog is a quick view of what we were up to with some pics of where we have been.

Diving was a bit on the down side with us only being able to do 14 dives in the month. Tours were much more in demand with us doing Cape Peninsula tours, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch, Constantia winelands, Stellenbosch winelands and even 2 trips to Gansbay / Hermanus for shark cage diving.

Cape Town Peak Season

Table Mountain

On our dives we saw loads of Nudibranchs but did not find any of the resident seven gill cow shark. They have been scarce for a while now. However we were lucky to have spotted the shy gully shark on the dives which helped as a shark dive just makes it more fun. The best is that most of our dives were still done in the warmer waters of False Bay and Walker Bay with temperatures of 16 to 20 degrees Celsius and viz from 5-15 meters. The Atlantic dives had good viz but with 8-10 degrees, BBBRRRRRR.

Dive Inn Cape Town Peak Season

Orange Lined Nudibranch

The only courses we done was PADI discover Scuba Diving and refreshers. The rest was Nudibranch Hunting.

We started early on most of the Cape Peninsula tours to miss the seasonal traffic jams there was hectic lines at Boulders Beach and Cape Point Gate. We even changed the tour routes around to miss the big coaches. Table Mountain unfortunately had ques all the time, even with our pre-booked tickets. I got some good exercise in as I needed to park the touring vehicle miles away from the cable car and running up and down to fetch it in very hot weather. More exercise at Cape Point with hikes up to the light house, erected in 1860. There are about 140 steps to the top of the lighthouse after riding up with the Flying Dutchman Funicular. (more…)

Aquila Private Game reserve

Aquila Private Game Reserve is situated just over a 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town. Dive Inn Cape Town had some guests who needed a surface interval before flying to Aliwal shoal and we arranged a day trip out to the Aquila Private Game reserve.

Aquila Private Game reserve can arrange a pick up from your hotel as well but Dive Inn also provides this service and we add some extra touring information on route and have the flexibility to stop and check out other places of interest, depending on time of course.

We had an afternoon safari booked and needed to be there at 12pm. On arrival you are welcomed with a glass of bubbly or a non-alcoholic a sparkling grape juice. After a quick registration and payment the guests are directed to the restaurant for lunch where a buffet of traditional South African food is served. This is included in the day trip price but excludes drinks. The food is top notch and for the morning trips a breakfast is also included.

Aquila Private Game Reserveprovides stunning accommodation and to do an overnight or longer stay plus a safari on horseback is highly recommended. (more…)

Marico Oog

Marico Oog

Marico Oog

On a trip inland where heat wave conditions with temperatures between 36 and 40 degrees was ranging we had had to make a plan to get a dive in. So what is another 200 km to drive to go and experience the cool/warm 20 degree crystal clear waters of Marico oog (Marico eye).

Naomi

Naomi

The Farm Grootfontein where Marico Oog is situated is between Lichtenburg and Ventersdorp and about 3hours drive from Johannesburg. It is in the North West province and Wondergat is also nearby. Mostly tar road with 30km on a gravel road. The website stated the gravel road was good but I would disagree as in some place it was rather bumpy. This is about for 10km on an off.

Once we arrived we stopped at the farm house and paid the entrance fees and headed off to the trees and reeds. The outside temperature was much better close to the water and under the trees. As it was midweek we had the whole area to ourselves and took our time exploring the small area. There are some chalets you can rent and in one corner a small water slide into a pool.

Vippita spring water is also bottled on the one side. The water is pumped out from 30meters out of the fountain, then some micron filtering to get floaty stuff out and through a couple of ultra violet light systems to ensure no bug survives in the water. The water was great but we also drank unfiltered water direct from the source and had the same taste and were nice and cool without being in a fridge.

Diver floating

Diver floating

Back to why we are there: Scuba Diving in Marico oog.

After a quick view to see which of the 2 entries we can do through the reeds we kitted up and got into the crystal clear water via a type of jetty and a ladder. The other entry had a float where you could get on and then pull yourself to the middle and dive of their. As I went barefoot the metal jetty and rubber mats were a challenge so a quick but careful sprint was needed. Once in we enjoyed the refreshing water and the flowering water lilies trying to get up and under shots.

Howzit

Howzit

Reeds covers the outer edges and water lilies the inner edge at about 3-5 meters with a type of water lettuce t root level. Then it drops down to the 12-15 meters into the eye where you could see water pumping out with lot of water movement. At 5-6 meters a grid is also hanging from a couple of drums so instructors can get students to get some skills done.

Silt can be a problem as we saw loads on the leaves and if you fin too hard everything ends up in the water but luckily it settles fast again. The viz was really great and to be at 5-8 meters of water seeing the lily stems and leaves, followed by reeds on the bank and clouds in the sky are unbelievable.

Some places the reeds makes a floating platform and you can swim underneath it making it look like you are in cave. We saw 2 big koi, some silver fishies, probably some type of tilapia, couple of freshwater shrimps, 1 snail and loads of crabs. Looking up we saw a small water bird treading and in the reeds another getting deeper into the reeds.

Water lily forest

Water lily forest

Swimming carefully between the lily stems and finning carefully we explored the small diving area and enjoyed the coolness. Normally we in Cape Town would say the warm water but after the hectic temperatures it is seen as cool. Now I can understand why the inland guys get so easily cold in Cape Town.

Marico Oog

Marico Oog

We did 2 dives and really enjoyed the experience of Marico oog diving in Crystal clear fresh water. Picnic in between the dives under the trees was great and very relaxing so a good break away I would say for Johannesburg divers who need to get away from their low viz lakes and practice and perfect Buoyance skills. Also note it is at altitude so you need to check or adjust your dive computer and review your dive tables. Just note only thing you buy at Marico oog is Springwater, all the rest you need to bring with. All food, dive gear, cylinders filled up and perhaps white gold as we had none on our visit. Best would be to phone ahead just to confirm that you can dive and Conrad from all about scuba in Klerksdorp can also provide some good info of where to dive at Marico oog.

Happy diving.

Cape Town City Hall

Cape Town City Hall

This iconic building is more renowned for the balcony where Mr Nelson Mandela made his first public address after being released from the Drakenstein Prison. (He was in 18years on Robben Island prison, 6 years in Pollsmoor and the last 3 at Drakenstein previously known as Victor Verster.)

Personally I thought the Balcony was on the 2nd floor but after doing some research I found out it was the area as you get into the grand hall from the steps outside which actually is the 1st floor as the ground level got other entrances.

Cape Town City Hall

Clock tower half the Size of Big Ben in London

Back to the Cape Town City hall situated in Darling Street. This was the 1st Victorian building to be built in Cape Town, some statements say it was the last so quite confusing to which story is to believed. Mayor H Lieberman inaugurated the Cape Town City hall in 1905.

Imported Bath sandstone is showing the wear and tear on front entrance but still stunning. A question is why was the South African sandstone not used and most say it as because of the 2nd world war mining was not the safest outside of Cape Town. However Local Kloof granite (from signal hill quarry) was used for the base work and decorative piers. Other materials used in the city hall, teak frames, Sicilian Marble, terracotta air vents, cast iron pipes and gratings.

The clock rings out the Westminster quarters on 39 bells on the hour on special occasions. Note to self, read up on what this means. The turret clock is also half the scale as Big Ben in Westminster London. (more…)