Another perfect dive was done on Rock Cod reef on Saturday morning. It was spring tide and the sea was a little choppy with some looming cloud cover, but we were greeted with a total opposite scenario once the dive started. A nice sized leopard cat shark was spotted as well as a shy shark and a large ray.
We nearly had a full launch with divers from various skill levels representing several provinces in South Africa. The longest dive times recorded were close to 50 minutes with water temperature reported to be 19 degrees top to bottom and viz in the region of 8 to 10 m.
One of the things that stood out of the dive, was that the group covered very little distance, with minimum finning. There was just so much to see and nobody was in a rush. This was remarked afterwards as a great experience extending everybody's bottom time to the maximum and causing divers to take more notice of their surroundings.
With never a dull moment to be had, one of the divers tried a new Xcel suit and hoodie without compensating for buoyancy and needed some help to get to the bottom where a quick exchange of weights happened with the DM. (Everybody is talking about the Xcel suits, with 5 of the JBUC club members now wearing Xcel suits, booties and gloves on every dive.)
About three quarters through the dive, Paul, the loony photographer who was testing a new macro lens, also realized that he was underweighted. Being only his second dive after a 2 month dry hiatus he improvised and found two equally sized rocks on the sand patch. (He checked if there were any living creatures on them!) His dive buddy and another diver helped him to put the rocks in the BC. As a result, Paul was able to have 15 minutes more to take photos and enjoy the amazing reef.
Incidents like this are not text book examples of how people should be diving, but they are the real things operators encounter on a dive due to many different skill levels and divers using different rental gear. The great thing about it is how the divers respond to situations. Nobody freaked out, but it was handled calmly by the DM and the other experienced divers gave a hand and before long everybody was sorted out and all could enjoy the dive. At AWS you will never find that the DM or skipper will be rude or irretated with inexperienced divers, unless it´s a matter of life and death.
There were big smiles on the boat as we raced back to shore and one of the comments were " your reefs looks like they never been dived before" We must say, we also love our reefs, and that is why we dive here. Some photos of the dive: