Weekend Dive Report – 3 & 4 March 2018: Ice Ice Baby!

This weekend’s diving conditions were typical of Gordon’s Bay summer – although water temperatures were somewhat chillier than average.

Consistent and strong south easterly winds during the week resulted in upwelling – the bringing in of clear, cooler water from outside of False Bay.  These are the conditions we look forward to in Gordon’s Bay in summer.

On Saturday, the wind was still blowing quite strongly, although the swells were virtually non-existent.  To shelter from the wind, we decided to hug the coastline and dived Stone Dog and Cow and Calf.  We’d expected it to be on the chilly side but were quite surprised to see the fish finder showing a surface temperature of 9.5C.  This is quite unusual, as “cold” water temperatures are usually around 12C in Gordon’s Bay.

We had two amazing dives , although most of the fish must have felt the cold as there were not the usual numbers around and those that we did see looked like they were sleeping (or hibernating).  They were definitely alive!  As there was very little surge, we were able to explore right up to the cliff face and found lots of coral, silvertip and crowned nudibranchs munching away on the beautiful green and purple soft corals and lacy moss animals.  There were lots of tiny rock suckers chilling (literally) on the rocks and gasflames the size of jumbo jets sat atop the reefs 😀

Saturday Temperature:  8C- 9.5C and Visibility:  10m+

The next day we launched to very similar conditions and enjoyed two more dives at Cow and Calf and Stone Dog – this time in search of soft coral nudibranchs, protea dorids and pipefish.  We had two amazing dives and managed to spot what we were looking for!  The water was 11C but still very clear with about 8m, especially along the outer edges of the reef.  There really was so much to see, including a gorgeous tiny octopus and a cute little blenny that took up quite a lot of our time.  Almost every sea fan seemed to have its own pipefish – and they were all very big ones!  There were even larger gasflames on the pinnacles just past Cow and Calf and Richard, Pietre and Robbie spotted some protead dorids (at last!! YAY!).

It really was an amazing weekend of diving – and although the water was icy, it was clear and the reefs were showing off their beauty!

Thank you to everyone who joined us  – let’s do it again next weekend 😀

Here’s just some of what we saw…