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.
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 first quarter update 2017
Wow, these days the time flies. My idea was to blog every month about something and now I note the first quarter of the year is already gone. Thus the heading for this blog is Dive Inn first quarter update 2017 and almost a follow up on Dive Inn Cape Town 2016 blog of January.
My sightseeing tours are still doing very well with me doing about 8-12 tours a month and the rest followed by Scuba diving. Scuba diving, PADI training, Dan First aid training or nudibranch hunting. So far this year my computer states 58 dives and 60.2 hours underwater.
98 percent of all the tours and dives are still private with 1-4 people per day. I normally do not mix booked guests unless the weather force my hand and then also only with confirmation with my current guests.
In February we had a great Scuba dive trip to Aliwal Shoal and stayed and dive with Aliwal shoal scuba. For 2 days we drove down the coast to Protea banks and dived with Aqua Planet. Protea banks were the first time we dived there and it was really great. We did do a baited dive, followed by a deep reef dive. In future I would mostly do a baited dive on Aliwal rather than protea BUT we did see Zambesi (bull) sharks here. Unfortunately the Tiger sharks did not come by. The water was much clearer and the current very strong. On the 2nd dive we spotted a school of
Hammerheads and were an awesome sight to see. Day 2 we did only one dive in great viz and drifted 4.8 km on the 50 minute dive. Thus stay with the dive master as if you do not do it you will be lost in a flash. ALSO the clear warm water can let you dive too deep so easily so keep a look out on your computer and air usage.
Aliwal we had good viz as well with our one and first dive to the Nebo wreck low viz. The low viz was on the wreck itself, midwater was a nice blue but our Cape Town guys were still able to enjoy the low viz dive. Think the DM’ts on this dive was a bit worried. The rest of the 9 other dives were good, nice colours and I was still able to find some Nudibranchs. This time we had no ragged tooth sharks compared to our trip 2 years back where raggies were almost in my Nudibranch pics.
The next trip to warmer waters will be in September/October to Mozambique you can book by sending a mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last week we had a big group from Ukraine and Dive Inn went in partnership with Kimo and Tammy from Redsea Jol for the Cape Town stretch of the tour and dives. They just came from Sodwana and Aliwal. It was a tough schedule but a great one to see our wonderful city. We had Great white shark cage diving with Marine dynamics, followed by a drive to Agulhas, the southernmost point of Africa.
Next day was seals and sharks with Shark explorers and penguin viewing. Day 3 was a Cape Peninsula tour with 3 doing an extra seal dive. I chartered Tony form Learn to dive. Day 4 Winelands tour with 10 again doing Blue and Mako shark diving. Day 5 ended most of the touring with a Cape Town city tour. The weather did not play along thus the guys went up the mountain on their off day the Saturday. Organising, touring and diving with such a big group were a first for me but a great experience.
Most of my other tours the last 3 months were in, around, above or under Cape Town. The furthest we ventured was to the game lodges at Sanbona between Montague and Barrydale. We were fortunate enough to have spotted lots of different animals above and below water. Underwater we were even lucky to see rare Nudibranchs and have been
spotting a new well camouflaged and very small Nudibranch. At this point we do not know the name of the species.
The beginning of the month the Submerge Diving Magazine published some of my photos in their “Viewfinder” section. Go get your copy or even better subscribe. I am very satisfied with the outcome of the published photos.
Dive Inn first quarter update 2017
This in short was Dive Inn first quarter update 2017. I hope to get a more interesting blog out in May with more Photos of the rarer Nudibranchs species or even new ones we have been spotting in Cape Town.
Happy Diving, Traveling and Touring
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…)
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…)
Aliwal Shoal Dive Trip July 2015
Winter time in Cape Town can be challenging so what is not better to go and find some warmer waters to dive in South Africa like Aliwal Shoal in Umkomaas.
Grab the day and cup it.
We got a small group together and arranged a package with Aliwal Shoal Scuba in Umkomaas which included Stunning ocean view accommodation, dinner, Breakfast, 12 dives, 1 baited shark dive and transfers from airport.
Arriving mid-afternoon on a Saturday we were shown to our en-suite rooms and where to unpack our dive gear. The rooms are Very comfortable but a bit noisy due to the breaking waves on the outside. No complaints on the ocean noise levels as rooms like that in South African dive centres is not common, so bargain.
Aliwal Shoal Scuba previously known as Umkomaas lodge is one of the centres with the most diving knowledge in SA and the only operator in the town to have rooms on the beach.
The reef offers a wide variety of dive sites and also one of the places in South Africa where you can almost be guaranteed to see Ragged tooth sharks. They do however move in some seasons where the sightings are not in such big numbers what we experienced. With the raggies around they drop their teeth all over the reef and if you are lucky enough to spot one you can keep it. Just remember it must be on the reef and not on the shark 😉 We were also fortunate to see how a raggy bit into the sand and this is how they get rid of their older teeth and give space to the new row of sharp teeth.
Oceanic Blacktip shark
Potato bass one of the other big fish we spotted was also kind enough to pose for photos and allow us to pose with them. On the baited dives they liked to make an appearance and next to the sharks you can note they are really big.
Of the 2 wrecks on the shoal we were only able to dive the Produce and had dark eerie water due the SAPPI pipeline. But our Cape Town divers felt at home as this is what our summer False Bay waters normally look like, only difference, water was 21 degrees. Kerri and Brian were the only ones seeing the big Brindle bass so we need to go back again. On the wreck scorpion fish and lion fish are in abundance with goldies everywhere. Here my camera skills failed as with the set up I did not pop up my flash so photos could only be taking with a high iso and a torch shining on the subject.
A baited shark dive is where 3 drums with mashed up fish are hanging in the water where the oil and smell trail from the drums are there to attract the Black tip Oceanic sharks. Summer months Tiger sharks and bull Sharks can also be seen. We were treated to 2 dives with these awesome creatures and so cool to see them swirling around us with other fish who can eat the scraps coming out of the drums. With the sharks comes the remora fish attaching themselves to the sharks or just using the slipstream to swim with them. Some of them and a whole lot of sharks had some human interactions where you can still see hooks and line sticking out from their mouths. In bad cases the jaws and mouths are misshaped due to jaws being broken or cut badly. One shark also had a bad chunk of skin and flesh away just under the gill slits.
The whole dive is done in around 10 meters of water with sharks, fish and even potato bass all around you and they are not interested in us at all. An awesome way to experience the blacktip sharks from so close.
Aliwal reef dives vary from 30 odd to 5 meters with current changing and surge that can affect you ears. This trip we had not to hectic currents and the surge was very calm.
But getting to the sites is where the fun starts. Early morning between 6 and 7am is kit-up time. This depends on the wind as wind pick up normally over lunch time. Once all your gear is loaded on the boat we get on the back of the truck and head of to the river mouth, about 5 minute drive away. (more…)