Cape Town Nudibranch hunting
Cape Town Nudibranch hunting is our speciality and at Dive Inn Cape Town we really love the little critters.
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.
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…)
Sodwana Bay on the East coast of South Africa is really a great diving spot. The reefs are mostly full of life and loads of corals are seen on most of the reefs.
With the stunning corals the fish also show off with schools of snappers, Potato bass checking you up from close, rays and even some shark species.
Our Last Dive Inn Cape Town trip to Sodwana in April 2016 we were even lucky to snorkel with a whale shark and dive with a Manta on stringer reef for over 30 minutes. The Manta we also spotted on the surface once and had another quick observation of it on the chains reef. Dolphins were also kind enough to let us see them on snorkel quickly.
Over our stay we did 2 dives each day with 1 one dive on the last day totalling 13 dives for the trip.
Sodwana Bay reef names run according how far away from Jesser point they are. Thus 2mile is the most dived reef just of the launch site. 2 Mile have sites for all type of divers but the deeper sites do offer more Macro life like Sea Horses and loads of nudibranchs. Roonies is the reef for that but nitrox is a good option on this dive. The other reefs down the coast which is dived is then called 5mile 7 mile and 9 mile. Most of them got more dive sites on the reef itself like 9 mile got coral tree, 5mile Teddy bears picnic etc. Coral bleaching unfortunately can also be observed but for the untrained eye the reefs still looks great. You can view more pics on Dive Inn Cape towns Facebook page as well.
The trip crew
The week was perfect, we had good weather, calmish seas making it easier to launch through the surf and of course warm 26 degree water. The warm water for our Cape Tonians a delight and then the clean blue water a bonus on top of that.
Reefteach hosted us in their lodge and took us out on the dives. The Dm’s and beach staff is good and the breakfast on the beach always great for a hungry diver. The bee’s also enjoyed our breakfast most of the days. Every night we went for dinner at a different institution and the consensus was the Elephant water hole was the best. The Light house had a good score and Maak n Jol almost got top scores.
Sodwana bay falls under the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and big plans are there to upgrade parking etc. to the area. Hope the small town will also get a boost. From Durban airport it is a 3.5 – 4 hour drive and if you not staying in the park itself like with Coral divers you would need your own transport to get to and from the beach.
In short Sodwana bay according to me can offer the same as most tropical destinations in the world and much more cost effective compared to the oversea destinations. Sodwana Bay rocks.
Join us on our next adventure to Aliwal Shoal and Protea banks in November 2016.
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.
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.
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…)
I’m absolutely mad about nudibranchs, and scuba diving in cape town gives me the opportunity to hunt for these amazing creatures.
Cape Town’s cold waters may not have the many colourful fish found on coral reefs. Instead, we have incredibly colourful reefs, which are perfect for a macro fanatic.
So, what is a nudibranch? Hmmm, short and sweet, it’s a slug – a sea slug. But not your common dull garden-variety slug – no, nudibranchs are usually rather colourful and attractive, showing incredible variety. Nudibranch itself means “naked gill”, because the gills are on the outside of the body.
And while we all commonly refer to all sea slugs as nudibranchs, technically they are only one type of sea slug – there are many others!
GasFlame Nudibranch – Bonisa nakaza
In Cape Town we have around 75 known species, according to our naturalist and nudibranch fundis. For most of them we have nice common names. We also have the scientific names for those who like to tick off species lists.Guido Zsilavecz has written a book “Nudibranchs of the Cape Peninsula of False Bay”, which shows most of the known species. While in Georgina Jones’ book “A Field Guide to the Marine Animals of the Cape Peninsula” the more common ones are shown. And in-between all the other animals found in our 8-18 degree waters.
Dive Inn Cape Town – Great dives in Cape Town
Cape Town Dive Inn was busy last week with courses and diving Freelancing for Pisces Divers. We did a Digital underwater Photography course, a PADI EFR course and started an advanced course. Between the courses DM duties was also done meaning more dives and fun in Cape Town. (more…)