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The journey to 100m

Very few divers decide on diving deeper than the allowed recreational depth of 40m. Of those who do dive deeper than the 40m limit, only a small number continue to achieve the 100m mark. That is exactly what I did... this is the journey to 100m. By Wiehan Thuynsma

Where do you start? You need to be 18 years old, have a number of dives behind your name and must have completed your advanced scuba diver course along with your recreational Nitrox qualification.

Guinjata Bay news

We here at Guinjata are really happy with the diving over the last few months - nice clear, warm water (even for winter time) lots of Humpback whales spotted on dives and even Whale sharks on reefs as shallow as 3m.  New divers went diving for the first time and spotted three Whale sharks on a 5m dive. This as we all know is something some divers wait their whole life to experience! We are also very happy to say that we are handicap friendly and even the boats are accessible for people diving with disabilities – a great thanks to Koos Pieterse for his great designs to transport handicapped divers on to the boats! H.S.A. (S.A.) recently qualified our first African Paraplegic scuba diver – Lolo Molipa from Rand Water.

The history of Tiger shark diving at Aliwal Shoal

For many years, we encountered mostly Raggies as the only sharks on the Aliwal Shoal. There were a few sightings of Tiger and Zambezi’s in the summer months, but only when the water was very clear and they were spotted on the periphery. But the spear fishermen told another story... it was not uncommon to encounter Zambezi and Tiger sharks – it was more the rule than the exception. By Amilda Boshoff and Walter Bernardis

Humpback whales

The fluked tail disappeared below the surface leaving a perfect ripple radiating out from the where the majestic male Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)disappeared into the blue depths of the Madagascan waters. By Richard Lomax

A short while later the small boat started to vibrate. Below, about 20m down, the male Humpback hung motionless, face down, singing. The song is made up from low frequency sound waves that the male emits with incredible energy. The low frequency, together with the loudness (energy), allows the sound to travel vast distances. Water is a wonderful medium for conducting sound waves – the sound made by the Humpback is  amongst the loudest sounds made by animals.

Shape up

Does size matter? Well that depends on who is asking and of course, who’s answering. But the burning question is: Does shape matter?

By Jeanne Liebetrau and Peter Pinnock

s 534-1Shape must have some implications; otherwise the ‘weight loss remedy’ wouldn’t be worth the billion-dollar industry it is today, not to mention the recent upsurge of sports nutrition products. Both industries challenge one to change body shape to achieve a certain effect. Being a certain shape or size can certainly have its advantages. Just think of it – diminutive Pigmies can follow deer tracks in dense jungles, the tall Masai warriors can see for kilometres as they tower above the grasses on the plains, heavy Sumo wrestlers use the extra weight to bolster the battle while the smaller jockeys have the winning edge. One could speculate endlessly on the merits of shape and size. Ask any woman or look at the numerous glossy magazines on your newsstand. It’s much the same in the underwater realm: shape matters.

Scubacraft

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This new innovation has been a long time coming – no more surf launching with 12 people on the rubber duck and no space for your gear and fins. Now you can dive with your own boat without any worries about a buddy.

As the world's most advanced watercraft, Scubacraft embodies excitement and adventure on and below the water. Combining dynamic surface performance with underwater flight, Scubacraft presents the future of scuba diving transportation. It integrates with your standard scuba diving equipment.

Instructor logbook Beginner

Starting your dive hobby is a fantastic adventure, but your first step, and possibly the most important as it will haven an effect on your whole diving future, is to identify the school you want to join. By Wiehan Thuynsma

My advice is chat to friends that already dive and find out how they experience their dive school or club – this can give you a better idea of what your expectations might be. Visit the school if you can and check out the facilities for yourself before making the final decision.

Circle of life

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As divers we are privileged to be able to get up close and personal with the diversity of life that exists on our planet. The purpose of this article is to help you as a diver to understand how the lives we meet under the water are named, interact and possible reasons for their existence. It also tries to explain why there are millions and millions of organisms all constructed into different groups and what their function might be.

School is out!

School is out!

At Neptune’s Academy for Pisces there are no teachers, educators or headmasters, no classrooms or books and no corporal punishment. Yet most of the time there is considerable order with precision control reminiscent of a military parade. The vast ocean is an open classroom where 80% of all fish attend school at some stage of their lives (the other 20% are not considered illiterate – they just prefer their own company and engage in self studies). By Jeanne Liebetrau and Peter Pinnock