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Cape Town Nudibranch finds

Cape Town Nudibranch finds

Cape Town Nudibranch finds on our nudibranch hunting trips can provide some nice critters to photograph.

But to find most of them you would need to go very slow. A very good idea is too dive often as well. This will ensure that your sighting possibilities will increase, hopefully.

Dive Inn Cape Town also offer Specialised Nudibranch hunting scuba dives. So book us and we can try and show you the small stuff that you miss. You can check most of our photos out on FaceBook or Instagram.

At the moment we are still able to get between 10 and 20 different species of Nudibranchs per dive. Nudibranchs is also known as sea slugs but we will not go to deep into the different species of slugs which can be found all over.

As in previous blogs we did mention about over 80 different species we can find in Cape Town waters. However every now and then a species pop out we do not know. Like the Opera house, which have been seen every now and then. We were lucky to have spotted one in January last.

A new species we have been seeing is not named yet. But for now we just call it an Orange Corambe sp.

Cape Town Nudibranch finds


Hopefully in the near future we have it described by a scientist. It is orange, quite small and live on Bryozoans or that’s here we have been spotting them. (chaperia spp)


Then of course we find Nudibranchs which have not been seen in a long long time.

We had some great Eubranchus and Doto’s in Cape Town Nudibranch finds. It is a shame that most of these unusual finds are so small. This probably is good in a way as then we can find them on a nudibranch hunting trip.


Dive Inn Cape Town 2016

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 will have a summary of what happened to us .Looking at my calendar today I could not believe that 2016 has flown by. Last year we had a blog post Dive Inn Cape Town Peak season stating what we did in a short period.  Thus it will be like a chairman’s report on what were the highlights of our year.

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016

Cape town from air

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 we did 156 dives with an average bottom time of 54 minutes. We had one dive trip to Sodwana Bay at Reef teach and had some great sightings. Snorkelling with a whale shark and Dolphins then scuba diving with a big manta. Not to mention the small critters like Sea horses and of Course Dive Inn favourite – Nudibranchs.

We had more Nudibranch hunting trips then scuba training. Courses done were PADI Open and Advanced open water, RAID Enriched air divers, Discover Scuba divers, PADI Rescue diver. And our topside favourite course the DAN basic life support and First Aid course. This course is ideal for divers and non-divers alike. DAN also does a lot or the dive community so a good agency to support. An extra feature of the DAN BLS & FA course is that it is Department of Labour Approved.

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016


The touring part of Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 was the busiest with over 100 days of touring done. With the Cape Peninsula and Cape Winelands tour being the most popular. Table Mountain and city tour a close follower. With the great white sharks cage diving and Hermanus tour another popular trip we did.  West coast flower trips we had no requests to do. These tours are normally done in August and we hope we will some for the 2017 year on the calendar.

Lot of my guests and friends ask how can you do the peninsula tour sometimes 3-4 times a week and not get bored with it. Easy as the only the road/route stays the same (sometimes). The sightings and weather change constantly and of course our stunning Guests. With all the tours we share what our wonderful Cape Town has on offer and all the guest share a bit of their stories as well which makes the tours even better. I think for me and the guests.

Most times after a tour when we do our farewells it almost feels like we are family or have known each other for a long long time. Thus the tours can never get boring or so I hope ;-). The wine farms always have good wine or we visit the De Villiers chocolate or even have Beer Tasting at Cape BrewingCompany. So the options are endless.

Our Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 guests were from all over the world but the most was from America. We had Brazilians, Peruvians, Argentinians and Mexicans. From up north the Canadians also had a couple of representatives.

Dive Inn Cape Town 2016

Nudibranch Hunting

Europe side we had English (for now), Irish, Scottish, French, Danish, Dutch, Norwegians and Germans. Also from Africa we had guests from Dubai, Qatar, Ghana, and Namibia and of course South Africans.  In addition Ukraine, Singapore, India and Indonesia also send some guests my way. Sjoe as I’m typing here it is unbelievable how many nationalities I have met. Wonder now which countries I have missed.

Thank you

Most of all Thank you to all my guest and students who endured my strong Afrikaans accent and added to it my fast way of talking.

Hope Dive Inn 2017 to be just an eventful year with loads of laughs and awesome guests from all over the world. Check us out on FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter. We even have some of the guests praising us on Tripadvisor.

To end Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 blog, also some bit of advertising as seen in the 2017 Official visitors guide Cape Town. “Dive Inn Cape Town provides Private tours, Scuba dive tours and training to travelers and locals in Cape Town with packages to suit all. Level 1 First aid training (department of labour approved) is also provided. We’re committed to ensuring you have a wonderful time in Cape Town above and below water.”


Cape Town Nudibranch hunting

Cape Town Nudibranch hunting

Cape Town Nudibranch hunting is our speciality and at Dive Inn Cape Town we really love the little critters.

Cape Town Nudibranch hunting

Gasflame Nudibranch

In Cape Town Nudibranch hunting from shore is possible and you have a good chance to spot alot. Nudibranchs do move around and are seasonal. Or this is what I noticed so you are not always guaranteed to spot them. With some they are so well camouflaged and or small so very difficult to spot. And just to make it slightly more difficult our wonderful Cape Town waters can have low viz with a bit of swell and surge. This can make nudibranch hunting and photography quite challenging. And Macro Photography is what nudibranchs are about. The Frilly Nudibranch is the only one I have not spotted from shore yet. Most of the photos in this blog are of all the Nudibranchs I have see in Cape Town.

Cape Town Nudibranch hunting

Crowned Nudibranch

Last year I did do a blog about Nudibranchs but decided to it again this year but this time mention all the Cape Town Nudibranch hunting from shore I have spotted the last 6 months only. This will mostly be from the False Bay coastline but do have some pics from Atlantic side. (Please note False Bay is still Atlantic Ocean but slightly warmer. The oceans meet at Cape Agulhas which is about a 3 hour drive from Cape Town)

The most dived shore dive site probably is our training beach – Long beach Simon’s town. The next beach from here towards Cape Point is Sea forth beach, Windmill, A-frame, Pyramid rock and Castle rocks. There are other beaches or dive sites that can be dived on this stretch. They can be slightly more work or can even be very boring. Before Simons town there is the Clan Stuart wreck, Whale Lookout and Sunny cove. On the Clan Stuart wreck I found the least species but did found my first Indian Nudibranch there. (more…)

Sea Anemones

Sea Anemones: (Pronunciation: Uh-nem-uh-nees)
Before I start about my quick view on Anemones, Wikipedia can do the more scientific explanation:
“Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria. They are named for the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Hexacorallia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger prey and also lack a medusa stage. As cnidarians, sea anemones are related to corals, jellyfish, tube-dwelling anemones, and Hydra”.
Well I think Sea anemones are slightly easier to say and here in Cape Town we give them even easier names. But for the clever ones out there I will put the proper names in bracketsIMG_0444.  I have learned local names can differ from region to region so in a way it’s good to learn the tongue twister names.

They are all over the world and old “Nemo” loves them.

False Plum anemone(Actinia Equina)One of our biggest species is the False Plum Anemone (Pseudactinia flagellifera). They can devour almost anything they can fit into their mouths. I have seen west coast rock lobster, redbait, and even shy sharks sticking out of them. Spider crabs love to hind behind them as well.
Walking sock anemones ( Preactis millardae) are exceptional feeders and they can strip multi-coloured seafan (Acabaria rubra) polyps that only bare stalks are left. They are not stationary and move around more. Saying this some of the other anemones does have the ability to move as well. Juveniles can be sometimes incorrectly be mistaken as a type of nudibranch.Walking Sock anemone(Preactis millardae)

Walking Sock anemone(Preactis millardae)Most of the sea anemones have prime land and do not allow others to get close by. There are of course the exceptions like strawberry Anemones (Corynactis annulata) who can cover a rock or wall in a pink carpet. In other places in the world a similar specie is called Jewelled Anemones. The close -up of their tentacles are really stunning. A close up of the cup coral (Balanophyllia bonaespei) tentacle ends looks great as well. The Cup coral I always thought was an anemone but writing this blog I read it is not as it even has a skeleton thus it falls under the coral family.
The other carpet forming ones who are also a bit bigger than the strawberries are the striped anemones (halianthella annularis). Size them up and then the Sandy Anemones (Aulactinia reynaudi) come into play with a wide array of colours and we normally see them in the Atlantic side.

Strawberry anemoneWe can found sea anemones at depth, on rocks, kelp, crabs, shells and in the sand. Low tide anemones can be seen in rock pools and in tidal pools as well so everyone can have an opportunity to check them out. I can remember as a child tentatively putting my finger in a rock pool touching an anemone and pull back quickly when it feels like it is grabbing your finger with its tentacles.
On safety stops in Cape Town I prefer to get to a pinnacle at 5 meters thus the last 3 minutes of the dive I can still explore and take pics and normally between the redbait heads you find the best blue and red & yellow spotted Knobbly anemones(Bunodosama capensis).Knobbly Anemone(Bunodosoma capensis)

Knobbly Anemone(Bunodosoma capensis)

In Summary Sea Anemones are a very well adapted organism who as a basic organism can survive almost everywhere.


High Tea in Cape Town – Taj Hotel

High Tea in Cape Town – Taj Hotel

High Tea in Cape Town

Upon deciding to treat ourselves one Saturday morning I had to phone 12 of the top rated establishments in Cape Town before I could get a booking for 2. Truly were impressed that the high tea’s were so high in demand here in Cape Town.

IMG_3167What is the High Tea about then you may ask?

As per Wikipdedia: “Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 4 pm and 6 pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the wealthy classes in England in the 1840s. Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is widely credited as transforming afternoon tea in England into a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle, though Charles II of England‘s wife Catherine of Braganza is often credited with introducing tea to the court upon her arrival in 1662. By the end of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its current form and was observed by both the upper and middle classes: “the table was laid… there were the best things with a fat pink rose on the side of each cup; hearts of lettuce, thin bread and butter, and the crisp little cakes that had been baked in readiness that morning.”

Traditionally, loose tea is brewed in a teapot and served with milk and sugar. The sugar and caffeine of the concoction provided fortification against afternoon doldrums for the working poor of 19th and early 20th century England, who had a significantly lower calorie count and more physically demanding occupation than most Westerners today. For labourers, the tea was sometimes accompanied by a small sandwich or baked snack (such as scones) that had been packed for them in the morning. For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by luxury ingredient sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon), scones and usually cakes and. In hotels and tea shops, food is often served on a tiered stand; there may be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter or margarine and optional jam or other spread, or toast, muffins or crumpets. It was the emergence of afternoon tea that saw Britain regard biscuits as something dunked in tea; a British custom that was later exported around the globe.”

We got a booking at the “Taj Hotel” in Cape Town. Upon arriving we were shown to plush lounge chairs with a small table which has been set-up for tea already. Our table booking confirmed with a printed card with my surname on it.

The venue is set in the atrium/lounge of the Taj hotel and small to big groups of people(mostly women;-) ) were seated on big sofa couches from an array of colours and designs.

The waitron was quick to take our drink (tea) order. The bagged tea was really easy to choose from. An English breakfast tea to start off, then followed by an Earl Grey. This gave us time to get a view and taste of the treats on offer from a buffet table. Some of the other establishments would provide 2 people with a 3 tiered tray with selection of savoury and sweets on them.

We were munching on square, triangle and rectangular shaped Egg, chicken & mustard and basil pesto, tomato and cheese sandwiches, small dainty wraps and mini quiche. After a plate was emptied the waitron would swop it with a clean one, the same happened with the tea cups. As who would like to mess up the aromas of the new tea with the old one. Ghmf.

From the bag teas we upgraded to the loose teas and looking through the tea menu which also included the different history of the blends, decided on a black tea. This tea came in a small cast iron pot which I adored. The loose tea is fresh and flavoursome.

The sweet treats like Lemon curd tartlets, cream filled eclairs, pecan tartlets, scones of course with cream, cheese and jam, lemon macaroons and small nutty and chocolate dipped biscuits were all beautifully decorated.

What a feast and if you are keen to try al the buffet table got to offer get a partner who does not mind sharing otherwise you are going to feel unwell the rest of the evening.

The last tea we had was the red chai tea, rooibos grown in the mountains of the Cedarberg infused with marigold some chai spice and orange. Truly a relaxing 2 hours spend over cups of tea and delicious snacks.