The humpback whales continued to be a source of delight and amazement this month as the ocean seamed to be alive with them. There were groups that could be seen far out to sea due to the big slashes made when they breached; groups travelling slowly along, so close to shore you could watch them as you walked along the beach; and then there was the one, up close and personal viewing during a dive at Solitude.
Sabine Rubroeder completed her PADI Open Water diving course last year, here at Rocktail and she loved diving here so much that she was back to complete her Advanced course. That morning it was just Sabine and Brian on the dive with Darryl and Karlien. They were doing a deep dive at Solitude and what a dive they had. There was a big school of bait fish just off the edge of the reef which Darryl and Brian were watching, when they saw a huge couta patrolling, waiting for it’s chance to catch an unsuspecting fish. As they looked across the sand it seemed to get a bit darker, as if there was a shadow. Darryl looked up and realised what it was – a huge, adult humpback whale was busy swimming right over their heads! Darryl rattled his shaker to get everyone’s attention and Sabine and Karlien saw it swim off into the distance. Now that’s a whale sighting they won’t forget in a hurry.
There were wonderful dolphin sightings this month including bottlenose and spinner dolphins. Shark sightings included grey reef sharks and white tip sharks. Last month there were three white tip sharks making their home at Gogo’s but this month it was back to just the one resident white tip shark. There have been lots of ray sightings during dives, including round ribbontail, sharpnose, diamond, blue spotted, electric rays and a guitar fish.
There have also been a lot of turtle sightings, mainly green turtles and hawksbill turtles, with one or two loggerheads. A dive at Aerial reef produced a massive green turtle that had all the divers debating what type of turtle it was, they could not believe that it was a green turtle because it was so big! Suresh had a picture of it and we could clearly see that it was a large, male, green turtle. Most of the time divers will see adolescent green turtles along our coastline and therefore think of green turtles as relatively small turtles, so everyone was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was in fact a large adult turtle.
As for the little guys, Karlien found a tiny pink and white frogfish at Pineapple Reef! She has seen it in the same area for a few days so we are all hoping that it finds a safe spot to hide and settle in so that it stays in that area.
Two weeks later we saw the same size and type of frogfish at Aerial reef, so now we have two to look out for.
Congratulations to the following divers:
Josie Elliot; Frederik Vuylsteke; Gilles Lecouter
Robert Eustace; Marshall Murdoch
Ian, Lewis, Robert, Grace Bright
James & Murray Wilson
for completing their Discover Scuba Diving course
Jack and James Elliot; Mathieu Vulylsteke; William McLaughlin
for completing the pool session of the Discover Scuba course
Samuel McLaughlin; Gert Pomstra
for completing his PADI Bubblemaker course
for completing her PADI Advanced Course
Yours in diving,
Darryl, Clive, Michelle, Karlien, Mandla and Sipho
The Rocktail Dive Team