We launched from Harbour Island in Gordon’s Bay and the water was mirror flat. We’d had the south easterly wind for a few days, but this had dropped and the water was looking crystal clear as we left the harbour.
Dropping on the southern region of Steenbras Deep, the descent down the shot line was through pretty murky water, but from 20 metres down to the sand at 26 metres, the visibility stretched beyond 15 metres. It was pretty chilly at 12C, which is quite normal for crystal clear water of this type. Virtually no surge pleased the photographers and the rest of the divers explored the gullies and nooks and crannies. White edged nudibranches (Flabellina capensis) were found in their hundreds on the top of one of the pinnacles and frilled, crowned, purple ladies and candy nudibranchs were also found dotted amongst the marine life. Seals buzzed down to visit the divers and a huge short tail stingray made its way up to the photographers to check out what was going on.
After our surface interval, we dived the area between Stone Dog and Pinnacle, and enjoyed exploring the reef’s numerous nooks and crannies. There were lots of fish larvae around, as well as very tiny jutjaws, still in their stripey colouration. There were many rock suckers, Cape dorid, giraffe-spot, whipfan and inkspot nudibranchs as well as a number of puffadder shyshark, red roman and janbruin. It really was a stunning dive with very little surge and great light. Visibility was around 5 metres and water temperature 12C. Another hour well spent beneath the surface in Gordon’s Bay! This was also Brian’s first Open Water dive, and he climbed onto the boat beaming like a Cheshire cat – he’d loved every minute of it!
For our third dive, we went closer to Pinnacle and spent another almost-hour swimming amongst the sea fans and exploring the reef. With the change in tide, visibility had increased to 8 metres and it was beautiful to watch the sunlight dapple through the water onto the rocks and sandy sea floor. There were so many fish around, as well as silvertip nudibranchs, orange dorids, and whipfan nudis. We also found the rare Protea dorid (this is one of the few places they can be found).
All in all, a great day of diving!