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June/July 2007



Worried about

WRASSE R24.95 (incl. VAT) Other countries R25


Sardine Run meet your new dive buddy...




S UBMERG E • June/July 2007

June/July 2007 • SU BM E RG E




Editorial Director Sabrina Moolman

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Copy Editors Jackie de Klerk Jeanne du Plessis


B S SECRET d Worrie

Illustrator Theo Liebetrau

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Image by Fiona Ayerst. Im


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buddy... new dive meet your




Marketing & Sales Tania Tomas



Fion Ayerst uncovers the Fiona trials that the Napoleon trial wrasse is up against on wra page 10. pa


Technology Director Michael Hindley Web Master Bastijn Bollen

PRINTING & DISTRIBUTION Printing Paradigm Print Distribution Junk Mail Distributors

The thrills of winter (forget about the chills)

CONTRIBUTORS Adam Cruise • Andries Burger Angie Gullan (dolphincare-africa) Charles Rowe • Claudia Pellarini-Joubert and Leon Joubert (www.bittenbysharks com) • David Holloway Don Shirley • Dr Frans J. Cronje • Fiona Ayerst Henry Berry • Jason Boswell • Juan Perreira • Justin Bean • Michael Franze • Michelle van Aardt (Pro Dive PE) Neville Ayliffe • Ocean Divers International, PE • Prof Michael Schleyer • Rob Bollen SEAL Expeditions • Wreckseekers • Zaber

ABOUT SUBMERGE MAGAZINE SUBMERGE Magazine (ISSN 1819-7558) is financially and editorially independent. It is enhanced with the support of and contributions from the diving community and other role-players in and around the industry, but is not affiliated in any way to these bodies. SUBMERGE Magazine strives to foster an awareness of various diving aspects and encourages the growth of a safe and enjoyable pastime. SUBMERGE Magazine is published six times a year by SUBMERGE Publishers, an independent organisation owned by its partners. PUBLISHER SUBMERGE Publishers, Box 12271, Centurion, 0046 Tel: 082 745 9216 Fax: 086 684 4891 • Website: COPYRIGHT Copyright 2007 © All copyright for material published in this magazine belongs to SUBMERGE Publishers and/or the individual contributors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Text extracts of not more than 50 words may be used for quotation purposes, without prior consent, but the author, the magazine name and the date of publication must be duly acknowledged. EDITORIAL AND SUBMISSIONS The submission of articles and photographs is welcome, and the publisher reserves the right to publish or not to publish any submissions received. All materials received will be subject to editing and alteration as per the publisher's discretion, and the author thereby consents that the publisher may publish the material in any other media as deemed necessary. Please ensure that all material is sent to submissions@submerge. Images should be of high quality resolution (300DPI) and be accompanied by a caption, the name of the photographer and if possible, the camera used. The publisher, while exercising all reasonable care, cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage. Unless requested and priorly arranged, material submitted will not be returned. PLAGIARISM As to the best of SUBMERGE Publishers’ knowledge, contributors have not plagiarised material submitted. Although the utmost is done to avoid such occurrences, SUBMERGE Publishers cannot be held responsible for the contributors’ and/or writers' indulgence in plagiarism. CONTENT The views and opinions expressed in the magazine are solely those of the author/ contributor. Events, activities, advice and recommendations are to be executed with the utmost of caution, and with the proper instruction and equipment. Although the accuracy and integrity of information is strived for, the publisher and the relevant parties cannot be held responsible for any misfortune, discomfort or inconvenience, in any form whatsoever, that may arise from published information. E & OE.


S UBMERGE • June/July 2007


inter has arrived! Yay! Some of you may agree with my “yay”, and some of you may not…

My message is: don’t stop diving this winter! Even though it is slightly chilly (OK, OK, sometimes very frosty), there are wonderful diving events happening, like the PE Dive Fest. Yes, it’s quite cool and the Eastern Cape’s water is notorious for being a few degrees cooler than in the north, but you won’t regret it. Read more about diving in PE in our Destination Focus on page 34. The sardine run is something else to look forward to! Last year, the sardines hardly made an appearance off our shores, but this year we’re holding thumbs that they come in the famous great shoals that have made them a wonder. If the sardine run is something that you’ve never experienced before, check out Adam Cruise’s article Sardine Run: The Greatest Shoal on Earth on page 38, and get a taste of what it’s all about! So, put on those extra skins, vests and hoodies and perhaps even your gloves, and get ready for a great winter diving season. Hope to see you diving this winter!



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Your letters


What’s up in the diving community


Institution news


Tales from Andries Burger


Diving in PE


Soft coral


From suppliers

COMFY DIVER 55 Buddy awareness ASK SURGE 55 Wetsuits?


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Your ultimate diving guide



Breathe anything but air Decompression theory: The History Part 1

Let’s talk about sex

Hockey: Fast, furious and fun!

WORRIED ABOUT WRASSE 10 Are wrasse in danger? Fiona Ayerst investigates...


Fish ID books

Deep stops concepts and concerns





EVENTS 26 Dinner of hope 46 Barra Lodge Bash

The uncovering of the March 2007 wave that struck the KZN coastline



Shoot ’em Scubadoku








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A great shoal

The Maori

Bali secrets Part 2




April/May 2007 • S U BM E RG E





Here is your chance to be heard (or to be read for that matter)! Submit your letters to SUBMERGE at and the best letter writer wins a prize compliments of Bright Weights! Sponsored by: BRIGHT WEIGHTS DIVE MAT & TOWEL SET

Colin Ogden is the winner of this edition’s Bright Weights Dive Mat and Towel Set. Congrats Colin!

Hey Guys I just wanted to compliment you on a great magazine! My husband and I have only been exposed to the whole diving scene over the past month via a good friend, and have subsequently signed up to do the Open Water 1 Diving course. We had our first session last night and were given the October/November 2006 issue of Submerge, which I’ve read cover to cover. I loved all the articles and for someone who is new at diving I found everything so informative and really exciting! Thanks so much.

TIGER SHARKS AT SODWANA BAY It was the day before Christmas 2006 at Sodwana Bay, and we had finished our dive charters, each boat had only had one launch, and conditions were great. We then decided to have a staff dive on Gotham Reef and invited an instructor friend from Germany (Jens Muller) and a staff member from Scubapro (Chris) to join me with my sons (Darren and Glyn). This reef is at 40m and often gives us sightings of Tiger, Zambezi and Hammerhead sharks. Visibility was excellent and we all descended to the depths with excited anticipation. Time on the bottom is short at this depth, but the dive was superb. On our ascent I was feeling disappointed. No sharks! We completed our first safety stop at 15m, and then it happened. As we started our ascent to our next planned safety stop I was staring into the water around me hoping for a visit from one of our beautiful predators when I heard Glyn mumbling something rather excitedly (talking under water is not easy). I spun around and there she was, a beautiful 3 to 4m Tiger shark. She did not visit for long and just moved in to satisfy her curiosity about these bubble blowers invading her domain, but as we surfaced we all had that euphoric feeling of having joined one of the most beautiful graceful creatures in her environment. As we got to the surface our dive boat had been joined by my partner John Dercksen who was out fishing in his little boat Matambu. He gave us the sad news that he had just come across a Tiger shark killed by the long liners, floating upside down with the buoy and hook still attached to it. He had removed the buoy, but could not get the hook out. We went on a sad search for this poor animal, and the photos attached are what we found. This beautiful male Tiger shark had evidently been swimming for a long period of time with the long-line buoy attached to the hook in its mouth. With the resultant drag from the buoy, it was unable to swim, unable to hunt, and unable to survive. In a last ditched attempt at survival, the shark ejected its stomach to try and rid itself of this foreign object, but to no avail. It was an incredible feeling of total sadness and remorse at what humans are doing to our fellow beings on this planet. One moment we were sharing a beautiful moment with a graceful female Tiger shark, and then within half an hour we were presented with the results of man’s greedy senseless slaughter of this male shark, almost exactly the same size as the one we had just been admiring. I must admit we were all very close to tears. The most concerning issue is that we were in a national park, a north easterly wind was blowing, with a gentle current flowing towards the south. The Marine reserve extends to Kosi Bay about 100km north. The murdered shark’s stripes were still absolutely vivid, and we could only assume that his death had occurred just hours before we found him. Was the long liner operating inside the marine reserve? We must stop this senseless slaughter of our fellow inhabitants of our planet. We must start at home and get our Marine and Coastal management to withdraw the licences they have issued for shark long liners, and in fact get them to withdraw all South African long line licences!

Michelle Van Staden, Centurion

Colin Ogden - Photo by Glyn Ogden

This set is a “must-have” item. All divers need a decent size ground sheet to gear up on and a good size towel to dry off with. The set consists of a high grade PVC ground sheet and a top quality SABS 100% cotton bath sheet, which are both branded with the EVOLVE diver. The towel and mat are both 1500mm X 1000mm, big enough for the largest divers. No more sand in your booties or regulators anymore! The set rolls up neatly and is secured by webbing straps and marine grade stainless steel sliders. (No Velcro!) Gear up in style with only the best from Bright Weights. Suggested retail R299.00 including VAT. Available from leading dive stores or call 021 788 9343.

Winner of the April/May 2007 edition, Craig de Kock, receives his Mat and Towel Set.

Dearest Editor I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you a well deserved pat on the back! I’d never seen your magazine before today, when I noticed it on the shelf at my local news agent. As I’m someone who loves the world under the waves and anything related to it, I had to grab it. Let me tell you that I am pleasantly surprised. Your magazine is a pleasure to read. It seems to have articles on all the hottest topics on people’s minds, and therefore makes for very good discussions. I took particular interest in the article on shark feeding. As a regular diver on Aliwal Shoal off Umkomaas, I’ve spoken to a few divers that have had bad experiences because of the chumming and so-called ”shark diving” that takes place very close to the Shoal. The sharks get used to being fed and have come to expect it. When it doesn’t materialise, they seem to get a bit upset and cause concern for innocent divers who happen to be in the vicinity and have reportedly been ”bumped” by the sharks. However, even with this in mind, I absolutely agree that education is the most important thing we can give to others. If it takes an exercise like feeding these fish (in a somewhat controlled environment) to show their real beauty – go for it. However, I also think that in addition you need to have measures and rules in place that are supported by the local communities and/or government. Again, well done to all involved in this magazine. I will definitely be a regular reader. Elly Wood, Durban


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TURTLES GALORE AT ROCKTAIL BAY Divers and guests staying at Wilderness Safaris’ Rocktail Bay Lodge, situated along the extreme north-east coastline of South Africa and in the Maputaland Coastal Forest, have enjoyed remarkable Leatherback and Loggerhead turtle sightings during the 2006/2007 season. Each year, these turtles complete their breeding cycle and emerge from the Indian Ocean to lay their eggs on this stretch of coastline. This summer’s season, which concluded mid-March, was one of the best ever. Hundreds of turtles were spotted and tagged for a continuous research project, which the lodge is integrally involved with. Visit for further information.

DIVE AT FIVE NEWS Two rivers in flood, harbour mouth pollution, hurricanes, storm surf, equinox high tides... not the best of starts to the Durban dive season. The discharge in the water has meant that the inshore reefs have been no-go areas for the Durban diving community over the last few weeks. However, No 1 has again been our saving grace, with committed divers enduring some low viz, but rewarding dives at the outer anchorage reefs. The poor diving conditions and cancelled launches have given Dive at Five the opportunity to focus on its clothing range, which up until a couple of weeks ago, was only to be found in Durban and Scottburgh. I travelled up to Gauteng in order to show the dive wear to some of the inland dive shops, and I am happy to report that you can now purchase Dive at Five T-shirts for ladies and guys at Twin Palms, Calypso and Prestige Dive Schools. Thank-you to these dive schools for their support! Winter is fast approaching and we are now starting to look forward to good viz, calm seas, migrating whales, Raggies and other sharks, signalling the start of the Durban diving season!

THE ANNUAL SOUTHERN MOZAMBIQUE UNDERWATER COMPETITION Scubapics have organised the annual underwater photography competition to be held at Ponta Malongane, Southern Mozambique from 3–7 October 2007. The competition is open to all underwater photographers from beginner to advanced level. There are categories for digital and video. Amateurs, novices and advanced photographers are welcome to enter. Any photographer with a digital camera and housing can enter this competition. Visit the website at for competition rules, entry forms, accommodation and more information.

VILANKULO update: Cyclone Favio On 22 February 2007 Cyclone Favio passed through the town of Vilankulo, leaving a great deal of damage in its wake. The central market and some of the shops in the town were destroyed, many of the lodges suffered structural damage and trees were uprooted. Just over a month has passed, and already Vilankulo is getting back on its feet. Nearly all the lodges (except the luxury island lodges which were hit the hardest) are operational, although not to full capacity. Rebuilding has begun in earnest, and the market and shops are able to cater to all needs. The town was never cut off, so there was no shortage of fuel, clean water, fruit and vegetables or red meat. It is also fantastic news that Favio does not seem to have done any damage to the reefs. They were dived two weeks after the event and all coral looked to be intact. So please do not dismiss Vilankulo from your holiday destination list. The sun is still shining, the sand is still white and the reefs are still teeming with life for you to enjoy. Vicky Page, Odyssea Dive

History made at Wondergat On the weekend of 27-28 January 2007, history was made at Wondergat. It all started with a social visit to Normalair Underwater Club (NUC) and WITS Underwater Club (WUC) by some divers from False Bay Underwater Club (FBUC) in Cape Town in October 2006. Since NUC usually go to Wondergat in the third weekend of January, it was suggested that some divers from FBUC join them. Very soon WUC joined in, and before long people from Bellville Underwater Club, Alternative Dive Group, Potchefstroom, and West Wits Sub-Aqua Club joined in and offered their help with the arrangements. The goodwill between clubs was amazing with tents, food, equipment and lifts to and from the airport all taken care of. The belated, fancydress Christmas party on the Saturday night was a very big hit! There was both some fun and some serious diving done on open circuit and rebreathers. Every kind of dive was catered for, from deep dives to night dives to exploring the back of the cave. Many new friendships were formed, and plans are in the pipeline for another big club get-together in Cape Town in 2008. Monty Guest Chairman, False Bay Underwater Club

Dive the Oyster Festival with Hippo Dive Campus in July This is the first year that scuba diving will form part of the Oyster Festival! The three main diving events will be a night dive (6 July 2007), a treasure hunt (8 July 2007) and the main event, “A day of diving” (Sat 14 July 2007). We will be hosting this event on Thesen Island, where we’ll have introductory talks on diving and gear, and will have equipment on display and to try out. Don’t miss out!


S UBMERG E • June/July 2007

June/July 2007 • SU BM E RG E




Make the correct choice and start your diving experience and diving career with CMAS-ISA. The First Sport and Technical Diving organisation in the World. Courses range from Entry Level to Technical Diving and Leadership from Dive Master to Instructor Trainer. Be part of the world’s biggest diving organisation CMAS – represented in over 100 countries.

TEC to REC!! Technical diving was introduced, born and developed by IANTD. Although they’ve always had recreational courses in South Africa, IANTD Southern Africa is proud and excited to announce that they are forming a dedicated recreational (sport) diving division. With their professionalism, focus on safety and quality training, the standards that made them one of the leading diving organisations in the world are now more available to the sport diver. IANTD Sport offers: 1. Professional, competent instructors, with world-class knowledge, skills and behaviour. 2. Access to international knowledge and experience, and leaders in the development of scuba diving training and skills. 3. A combination of existing and new exciting courses. 4. The best in scuba diver training. “We serve your needs. We value and respect you as a person, whether you are a dedicated hobbyist or a dive professional.” For divers who want to start a career in diving or instructors interested in a crossover, please contact Pieter at 082 809 2860 or André at 082 650 2294. For more information about IANTD, visit

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In the February/March 2007 edition CMAS-ISA gave an overview of the club system, which might have given the impression that CMAS-ISA does not support dive shops. On the contrary, some dive clubs provide the same services to their members as dive shops provide to their customers. The South African Underwater Union (SAUU) was formed in 1965 (about six years after the establishment of CMAS, which was formed by delegates from Germany, Belgium, Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and the United States of America) and was constituted as a National Federation to receive international recognition for diver training in South Africa. The SAUU was affiliated to CMAS to enable its members to participate in world championships for underwater sport. Since its inception in 1965 until this day, the South African Underwater Sport Federation (the name was changed from the South African Underwater Union to the South African Underwater Sport Federation in 2006) is recognised by the South African Government and SASCOC as the controlling body for all underwater sport in South Africa. The instructor training body that was formed to control instructor training, and to provide the necessary training material for the training of scuba divers, was the South African Underwater College for Instructors (SANCUI). Instructors received dual certification, SAUU Diver and CMAS Diver, as the courses presented were recognised and approved by CMAS. The equipment


Keep excited about diving during the winter with PADI Diving and Non-diving Programmes The winter months pose no challenge in some areas of the world. Diving simply continues throughout the year without interruption. In other areas, however, diving gets tougher when the temperature dips below freezing. If you’re in an area where winter diving becomes challenging, how can you stay involved in your favourite sport without spending the winter in your armchair or in front of the computer or television? Fortunately, there are many options, and you can select from a mixture of activities to stay excited about diving. PADI’s Digital Underwater Photographer Speciality course: This is a great reason to get in the water during the winter months. To earn a Level One certification, divers only need to complete the performance requirements in confined water. Non-diving PADI Speciality courses: The winter is a great time to get into a PADI Equipment Specialist, Enriched Air Diver, Project AWARE or AWARE - Coral Reef Conservation course. These courses don’t require any dives and build divers’ knowledge about the diving world. In addition, they also provide a stepping stone to other speciality courses. Enriched Air Diver: The PADI Enriched Air Diver Speciality can now be taught without the open water dives, and this makes an ideal winter programme. Divers have a real chance to ensure that they understand the theoretical part of the course before learning how to analyse their own nitrox before a dive, and how to log that they have checked out their mix. Emergency First Response courses: There’s no better time to brush up on safety programmes. By taking part in Emergency First Response programmes, such as Primary Care (CPR), Secondary Care (First Aid) and Care for Children, you will be better able to respond to an emergency in your everyday life - not just when you go diving. Seminars, meetings and reviews: The winter season is a great time to attend diving-related seminars, workshops or catch up with friends at dive club meetings. Get warm: It might be cold where you live, but no matter where you are, exotic warm water destinations are just a flight away. There’s no reason to put off a course because it’s cold outside. Many PADI Dive Centres offer warm water escapes in the form of great diving holidays. While getting in the water might be a seasonal activity in your corner of the world, diving isn’t. Look at new options and keep your diving alive by taking part in these fun programmes and activities throughout the year.

of the time was far less sophisticated than the equipment available today. If you’re interested in the old equipment, visit Rikki Schick’s museum in Durban. There were very few CMAS dive schools during the sixties, as at the time nobody saw any potential in starting a scuba diving business and all the equipment was too expensive for individuals to purchase. Clubs were formed and purchased the necessary equipment collectively, and the members contributed by paying membership fees. The members had to decide together what the available funds should be spent on, for example, a boat, a compressor, equipment, or a club house. Some clubs were purely for recreational diving, some included underwater hockey, spearfishing, finswimming or scuba orienteering, sports in which people could pursue Provincial Colours or Springbok Colours. Scuba training could only be done through a club, and instructors were not allowed to train independently. It was only in the eighties that dive schools started to emerge, and dive boats started to operate at the coast. Competition among dive schools and clubs became fierce, and the instructors who did training for their clubs with little or no remuneration began to leave for what were known as commercial training agencies. To prevent the loss of instructors, SANCUI became autonomous in 1997 and changed their name to CMAS-ISA to allow all of its instructors to operate independently. Today, more and more CMAS-ISA instructors are opening scuba diving businesses. CMAS-ISA today is a proud organisation with professionally trained instructors and dive masters, and offers a wide spectrum of training ranging from entry level to technical diving.

SDI Instructor Development Programs R11 470 Instructor Crossover Programs R2 860 Inclusive of IDC/IE, Manuals, Instructor CD’s, USA Registration, and Open water Instructor C-Cards. No hidden costs

Contact SDI Instructor Trainers Dave Kitchen 0827758133 Alan Drake 0823790778 Scuba Diving International Southern Africa Fax +27.11.7846325 9

S U B M E R G E • June/July 2007



WRASSE By Fiona Ayerst


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007



rasse are huge, jade-orange fish with thick fleshy lips, and they are stunning to look at. They seem to peer at divers with curious expressions on their scribbled faces, and their eyes oscillate wildly like those of a chameleon. I got such a surprise in August 2006 when a Napoleon wrasse plunged down to the reef right in front of my camera lens at the Brothers Islands, Red Sea, challenging me to follow it. What an incredible thrill to meet up with this charismatic fish! This was the beginning of 30 minutes of bliss as What an incredible thrill this Napoleon swam back to meet up with this up and around the photographers in my group of charismatic fish! dive buddies. It was like a very large dog waiting to be lavished with attention. It soon seemed that the best plan was to try and ignore it, but it responded by virtually nudging divers for attention. Some divers feed these fish boiled eggs, which they love, and although sceptics may not believe it, wrasse seem to retain a memory. These friendly and hungry fish appear to view humans as a source of a free snack, and it seems that they are capable of playing, responding and remembering. It was due to this interaction that I decided to find out more about this creature, but I was not happy with what my subsequent research revealed. Like other super predators of the ocean, almost everything regarding the natural biology of this species remains poorly understood. Despite the high value of these fish, and the growing demand, very little is known about the Napoleon wrasse. World renowned underwater photographer and naturalist Michael Aw writes about a wrasse called “Nappy” in his awesome book, Celebrate the Sea (publisher OceaNEnvironment - ISBN 1 876 38101 9). This wrasse lived a long time ago at Magician’s Rock off Tioman Island in Malaysia. During These friendly and 1984, when Aw used to dive hungry fish appear there, he saw Napoleons foragto view humans ing alongside Blacktip sharks and Coral trout. Don’t bother as a source of a rushing off to this location, as free snack, and it you will no longer find them seems that they are there. One day in 1985, a local dive instructor found a speared capable of playing, Napoleon barely alive, with the responding and spear still in it. The instructor nursed the Napoleon back to remembering. health on a diet of many fresh eggs, and the fish became enamoured with her. Typical of most Napoleons, this fish was sorely tempted by hard boiled eggs, but if this instructor was on the dive he would ignore the offerings of anyone else and only take from her. The author goes on to relate how the large fish followed the instructor (a lady) endlessly around the reef and if she ignored him, he would nudge her or brush against her for attention. Aw found it most interesting that this fish could distinguish between humans and seemed to remember the ones that had shown them care and affection. Sadly this instructor died in a diving accident in 1989, and Nappy was never seen again. June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E
















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SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


Napoleon wrasse have become geographically extinct at Tioman, and the sharks they used to forage with are extremely rare sightings, according to Aw. He has been diving for over 30 years with thousands of dives in the Indonesian Archipelago, and he states, “There are many reefs like Magician’s Rock strewn over the Asia-PaciďŹ c region, once home to Napoleon wrasse, large groupers and several species of shark. They have all goneâ€?. Like many other large animals, Napoleon wrasse grow slowly and take years to reach maturity, which means that populations take a long time to recover from even low levels of hunting. Its mating system also predisposes the Napoleon wrasse to being heavily ďŹ shed. During each new moon, they congregate to mate at speciďŹ c locations on the reef. The sex life of human beings could be described as dull when compared to that of wrasse. Like lions in the African savannah, each congregation has a super-male who does most of the mating. He stakes out his territory, ďŹ ercely chases off intruding males ďŹ aand mates with the dozens of ffemales that arrive. Like many other large The timing of these spawning animals, Napoleon aaggregations is highly predictable. TThe problem is that if ďŹ shermen wrasse grow slowly llearn the precise timing and locaand take years to reach ttion of these aggregations, then maturity, which means tthey too can lie in wait. They can ccatch many more ďŹ sh in this manthat populations take ner than they would using the n a long time to recover usual painstakingly slow hunting u ttechniques for these otherwise from even low levels of ssolitary ďŹ sh. It is unfortunate that hunting. tthe very friendly and inquisitive nature of the Napoleon may also n make it particularly vulnerable m to over-ďŹ shing. Hunting divers ďŹ nd and capture them by breaking open the reef with crowbars and crushing any corals in the way of retrieving the wrasse. More harmful are the actions of unscrupulous traders who ďŹ nance operations to harvest this ďŹ sh by squirting cyanide into their reef homes, which stuns them and allows for easy capture. In Indonesia, the Philippines and most of the Indo-PaciďŹ c region, in addition to decimating the populations of wrasse, this practice is also destroying the world’s remaining coral reefs. When the divers do this, they poison the surrounding animals and corals. Poisoning the corals soon kills them. With no coral, the numerous ďŹ sh and other animals that rely on the coral reef as a home will soon leave. In some instances, 55 gallon drums of cyanide are simply launched into the reef, turning the area into an aquatic graveyard as the chemical kills corals, invertebrates and non-targeted ďŹ sh indiscriminately. In 1995 nearly two-thirds of the live ďŹ sh that were sold in restaurants in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which amounted to 25 000 tons valued at USD1 billion, were captured with sodium cyanide. The WWF has reported that over 6 000 cyanide divers squirt an estimated 150 000kg of dissolved poison on some 33 million coral heads annually. According to all accounts I have read on the internet, their range is supposed to extend to South Africa and it seems we should be seeing them pretty far south and if not in Sodwana Bay, then very close. Neville Ayliffe of Reefteach, Sodwana conďŹ rmed that he has never seen a Napoleon wrasse at Sodwana Bay, and he hasn’t heard of them ever having been found there. Neville is aware of them being found at Bassas da India. I have also heard reports of them being seen infrequently at Inhaca Island. I have been diving regularly all over Mozambique over the past 10 years, and I have never seen one there either. I have dived in the Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar, all of which are within the range of this ďŹ sh, but I didn’t see one. I saw two at the Brothers Islands last year, and a


Neville Ayliffe of Reefteach, Sodwana confirmed that he has never seen a Napoleon wrasse at Sodwana Bay, and he hasn’t heard of them ever having been found there.

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E




SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


To make matters worse, the fish is usually kept half alive until moments before it is eaten. couple in and around Ras Mohammed in the Red Sea. It really would be incredible to see them again at Sodwana. I started wondering about the possibility of introducing them again either there if possible, or more likely, in Mozambique. However, when I read the IUCN reports about the trouble these fish are in and their highly threatened status, I felt that this may never happen and there seems to be very little point in even trying. The Napoleon wrasse is currently “red listed” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). This wrasse is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which means international trade is possible only with valid CITES permits. The CITES Appendix II listing helps supply and consumer countries to ensure that the trade in the species is both legal and sustainable. There are current

meetings going on to decide on the 2007 status, and to date, the current status of this fish is unknown. However, there is no doubt that this species is in big trouble. Last year in the Manado or North Sulawesi area in Indonesia, there were three successful seizures of illegally traded Napoleons. The first seizure took place on 13 January 2006, in the Bunaken National Park when 207 live Humphead wrasse were confiscated by the Bunaken

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



National Park Joint Patrol with the Water Police. The fish had been captured within the park, an important protected area for marine species. A 45-year-old fisherman was caught and charged. This did not deter others. In the second case on 25 January 2006, 450 Humphead wrasse were seized from a fisherman in Likupang, in the North Minahasa district. Again, on 30 June 2006, Indonesian airport authorities seized 36 Napoleons in Manado. The 36 live wrasse were destined for Hong Kong before being seized by the Fisheries Quarantine officers at Manado airport. The carnage continues, and in January 2007 Filipino officials arrested 30 Chinese poachers after their vessel carrying illegally caught fish was seized off the Sulu Sea Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. Tons of live fish, including 1 200 Napoleon wrasse, groupers and Red snappers were found in the hold of the fishing boat. In the Philippines, the collection, possession, transport or trade of the Napoleon wrasse carries a fine of US$2 400 (£1 275) for each fish as well as a prison term of up to 20 years. Indonesia currently has a permit for an annual capture of 8 000 individuals, which are all for export. I don’t have any scientific data on the viability of this number, and unfortunately, it appears that no one does. From sightings, or should I say lack thereof, I simply cannot believe that this number is viable or sustainable. From all accounts I have read, most of the scientists involved in the study of this fish do not believe so either. Indonesia is battling the criminal syndicates that are decimating the region’s biodiversity, but it is a huge region with lots of water and this is no small task. To confront these highly organised smuggling operations, Southeast Asian nations have forged a bold new strategy under the ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement A Network (ASEAN-WEN). Since N As the Napoleon wrasse iits launch in 2005, it is now becomes a rarity, so their tthe world’s largest wildlife law status and exclusivity eenforcement network and is making strides in tackling the m escalate and diners are iillegal wildlife trade cartels prepared to pay even by cutting through red tape, b boosting co-operation, improvb more inflated prices. iing co-ordination and strengtheening political will. TThe wealthier echelons of society in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan have an insatiable appetite for the flesh of the Napoleon. It is popular in this region to advertise one’s wealth, status and prestige by paying upward of US$1 500 to dine on a single fish, or up to US$400 for a set of lips. To make matters worse, the fish is usually kept half alive until moments before it is eaten. A magnificent 40 kilogram specimen can cost as much as US$10 000. The live reef fish market demands two distinct sizes of fish; smaller “plate sized” individuals enough for a single diner, as well as outsized adults that will impress guests at a banquet. It is said that smaller sized individuals, including many juveniles, are preferred over full grown adults because the flesh is said to be more tender, and smaller fish are better suited to the restaurant trade that prefers to serve whole fish. Either way, this is bad news for the wild populations of Napoleons. The smaller fish are juveniles, taken from the wild before they have had a chance to mature sexually. As for the large fish, these are all males and their removal potentially leads to a serious female bias. The species is most typically traded live, and the fish are kept in tiny holding tanks while they wait to be hand selected by diners. This is a further concern for animal rights activists and the “tree-huggers” amongst us. Napoleons aren’t cut out for the high levels of exploitation they are currently exposed to. The sales records also show another very worrying trend. As the Napoleon wrasse becomes a rarity, so their status and exclusivity escalate and diners are prepared to pay even more inflated prices. As prices are driven higher, so is the incentive for fishermen to catch the last remaining fish.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

FEATURE How can you help? I would recommend that you choose your seafood wisely, and if you travel to Asia and Australia do not patronise restaurants that serve Napoleon wrasse and tell them why!

How can you help? I would recommend that you choose your seafood wisely, and if you travel to Asia and Australia do not patronise restaurants that serve Napoleon wrasse and tell them why! You could also take a look at the site for more information on unsustainable seafood in South Africa. If you travel a lot and take photographs, please look at the website before you go. If you see and photograph any Napoleons be sure to take down the GPS co-ordinates, which you can send along with any pictures to this database. Underwater photographers in particular can be very useful in helping this database to grow. Take a look at http://www., as this site is also worth visiting. Time is running out for the Napoleon wrasse, and this friendly ďŹ sh needs your interest and help. S

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



By Jason Boswell

“Roll on, deep and dark blue ocean, roll. Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain. Man marks the earth with ruin, but his control stops with the shore.” - Lord Byron


he wave struck at around 2 o’clock in the morning on Monday 19 March. Waves reaching in excess of seven metres battered the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. Millions of people saw the immediate effects of the massive flow of water – shops were completely flooded, piers were irreparably damaged and houses close to the shore sustained huge damage. What caused these tempestuous conditions, and while the sea was raging violently on the surface, what was going on beneath the waves? The fateful weather conditions were caused by a low-pressure weather system known as a Cut-Off Low (COL). This particular weather pattern has been responsible for some of South Africa’s most extreme weather, including the March 2003 flooding in the Western Cape. COLs give rise to a number of unique conditions which result in huge waves and stormy weather. Under normal conditions, waves do not approach the shore perpendicularly, so some parts of the wave hit the ocean floor before the rest. This slows the wave down and causes it to bend, reducing the energy of the wave. Exactly the same process occurs when light moves through your mask. This “bending” of the waves is known as coastal refraction, and the process saps energy from the waves. The swells generated on 19 March were perpendicular to the coast, and because of this, they lost less energy as they were not seriously affected by the coastal refraction effect. This resulted in powerful, high-energy waves hitting the coast. This was then compounded by an effect known as storm surge, which refers to the rise of water associated with the storm. This includes the high tides. The South African Weather Service, however, said that in this case the effects of the spring tide on 21 March had little to do with the disastrous effects. The main reason for the damage along the coast was storm surge. The high-speed winds created by the COL caused the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea level. The combination of low pressure, which caused the sea-level to rise, along with persistent wind, caused the monumental storm surge flooding problems. While the ocean was wreaking havoc on the surface, the effects underwater were less profound. Francois de Clercq, owner of Ocean Divers in Pretoria, has been diving Sodwana for 17 years and said the most visible effects at Sodwana were the amount of rubbish, which washed up on shore, and the damage to infrastructure close to the beach. Large amounts of floating plastic debris as well as plant material littered the beach, but the Parks Board and the dive operators reacted quickly and mounted a joint clean-up operation to ensure the beach was clean before the Easter weekend. The damage to the toilets close to the beach had not been repaired by Easter weekend, but work was underway. He also said that with the huge amount of sand that was dumped on the beach, it may make it difficult for skippers to find their marks if they are not using GPS. On the actual reef, the main change was sand movement. Many of the previously sand-filled gullies on the reef had been washed clean, revealing broken coral which had been lying under the sand. Most of the broken coral was either damaged or old, which is the result of a natural process - the reef will rejuvenate itself. Further up the coast at Ponta Malongane, Mozambique, a sec-


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

tion of the beach has been eroded away, revealing what seems like limestone rocks. The small bay in front of the bar, which provided shallow water to snorkel in, has been mostly filled with sand. The famous Nascer do Sol bar is still intact, but the guard hut and boom on the beach have been totally washed away. Steve Marsland, owner of Froggie Fever, said that the reefs had not been significantly impacted. He said there was some plant material on the reef, but its existence there is only temporary as it will either be washed away or eventually be incorporated into the reef itself. Crèche and Doodles are still amazing dives and are currently packed with fish life. One possible theory for this is that the recent storm conditions brought nutrients up from deeper water and the fish followed. The diving mecca of Umkomaas suffered the most dramatic damage to its infrastructure. The main damage was done to the beach road, which has been completely washed away. However, from a diving point of view the reef has not suffered badly. Phillip Veldenhuizen, an instructor at The Whaler dive centre, said the rumours that the shoal had been badly damaged are totally unfounded. Some structural damage has occurred in the northern pinnacles areas, but this is minimal damage taking the size of the reef into account. The areas around Raggies Cave, Chunnel as well as North and South Sands, have experienced sand displacement, revealing white rock underneath. This is because nothing has up until now been living on these rocks. However, there already is some algae growth as the reef reclaims this territory. With all the sand displacement occurring on the Shoal a number of new overhangs, gullies and even swim-throughs have opened up. Veldenhuizen said these new structures could be new shelters for a number of juvenile fish. The state of the wreck of the Produce did cause some concern after the stormy weather, and a number of changes have occurred. Structurally speaking, the deck at the stern has collapsed, exposing a number of potential hazards, including cables and wiring. The swim-through in that section of the wreck now no longer exists. With all the sand movement around the wreck, a number of metal plates are now visible between the two sections of the wreck. Sections of the wreck’s metal exterior have become loose and you can easily see their movements in the water’s ebb and flow. Because of the newly created hazards, Veldenhuizen cautioned against any penetrations until the extent of the damage has been ascertained. Divers on the exterior of the wreck are again cautioned to look out for exposed wires and cables. Whilst the March storms were catastrophic on the surface, the impact on South Africa’s most popular dive sites is not more serious than a black eye. They’ve taken a bit of a knock, however no permanent damage has been done, and the visible effects will be short-lived. Reef systems are resilient and are already reclaiming newly exposed areas. Around the Produce, several changes have taken place, but the famous fridge-sized brindle bass are still around and all the sites still offer fantastic diving. Mother Nature did not destroy the reefs, she just did some redecorating. S


Shoot ’em

The official SUBMERGE photo competition

Shoot ’em presents

“ID all the critters” competition

Image by Michael Hindley

Find and name ALL the critters in the image. Send your name, email address, postal address and contact details AND your answer to COMPETITION RULES: The competition closes on 31 July 2007, upon which the winner will be chosen and notified. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prize may not be converted into cash. E&OE.

• • •


Win a 10kg Bright Weights weighting system

Winner from the February/March 2007 edition

Bright Weights voted best for underwater photography: Winner of Palm d’ Or Award. The “Palm d’Or” (Golden Palm Award) for the best new diving product in 1999, at the 26th Festival Mondial (International Underwater Film Festival) in Antibes, Juan les Pins, France.

Jacques van Niekerk wins himself the Bright Weights weighting system for identifying this creature as a Decorator Crab.


S U B M E R G E • June/July 2007

FEATURE Text and images by Claudia Pellarini-Joubert and Leon Joubert




ali Hai’s operation in wonderful creatures Tulamben, a sleepy vilwhich presented excelDuring every dive on the muck slopes, the guides revealed weird and wonderful creatures which presented excellent lage in the north of Bali, lent photo opportunities. photo opportunities. is based at the picturesque Their knowledge of the Scuba Seraya resort with local critters was comMount Agung as its majestic mendable, and under the backdrop. Literally on the doorstep, there h iis a di dive site i that h lleadership d hi off iinstructor Renaud d Wicky, they have learnt to is aptly named “Seraya Secrets”. anticipate the macro photographer’s special needs. There is a theory that the run-off from the mighty volSeraya Secrets is without a doubt a macro enthusiast’s canic explosion of Mount Agung in 1963 had something to dream dive site. Boxer crabs with eggs, pairs of photogenic Harlequin shrimps, Thorny seahorses, Ornate ghost-pipedo with the flow of nutrients that attract some of the rarest critters in the diving world to this black sand coastline. fish, Banded pipefish, Pygmy seahorses, Frogfish, Snake eels, Bobtail squid, Colmans shrimps, Zebra crabs, OranguOnce again, as with our Mola Mola experience, the Bali Hai dive guides certainly got our attention. During every tan crabs, Hairy Squat lobsters, Nudibranchs, Cowries, and Pegasus sea moths were just a few of the critters that we dive on the muck slopes, the guides revealed weird and


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


Frogfish and Squat lobster.

Scuba Seraya resort with Mount Agung as its majestic backdrop.

Seraya Secrets.

Boxer Crab clutching its eggs.

Dive guide reveals Boxer crab, with eggs.

saw frequently on every dive. Many more little secrets of Tulamben are to be found on another of Bali’s bigger secrets; an American WWII wreck, the Liberty, found in Tulamben bay. Throughout the years, the wreck has transformed into an amazing reef - huge gorgonians, sponges and corals, infused with fish, adorn her broken sections and offer sought-after wide angle photo opportunities. It is also an immensely rich site for invertebrate diversity with wonderful macro opportunities.

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E


FEATURE Harlequin shrimp pair. Seraya Secrets is without a doubt a macro enthusiast’s dream dive site.

The beaut beauty of staying at Scuba Seraya in Tulamben is that you can ca beat the day-trippers who w arrive in droves, their sole purpose being to dive s the Liberty. We dived this beautiful beautif wreck each morning at 7am as it’s only on a 10 minute boat trip away from the th resort, and we had it all to ourselves; we happily shared only with the resident turtles, giant barresi racuda and huge hu Bumphead parrotfish! As soon as the day-trippers arrive, clouds of silt tamper with w visibility and make the wreck difficult to photograph.

Colmans shrimp.

Pygmy seahorse.


Pegasus sea moth.

Tiger shrimp. Zebra crab on Fire urchin.

Orangutan crab. The island of Bali is the morning of the earth – beauty emanates from every crevice.

The island of Bali is the morning of the earth – beauty emanates from every crevice. During our trip, we discovered that her riches overflow into the ocean, and divers cannot afford to miss out! S


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


A Bobtail squid which released a puff of ink and began to bury himself frantically with sand until just his large eyes remained.

The gun on the wreck of the Liberty is literally covered in colorful Gorgonians, sponges and corals.

For information on guided trips to Bali, go to: June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



Dive instruction – my passion! By Andries Burger


ello again colleagues colleagues. What a training fr frenzy! It’s as if this season has just gone crazy, with everyone suddenly wanting to learn how to dive. Scuba diving in South Africa really seems to be on a massive growth path. Even freelancers like me seem to be busy all the time. I can’t remember if I’ve had a non-diving related weekend in the last three months. Weekend in and weekend out, I get into my gear and introduce new and excited students to the diving lifestyle. Everything else seems to fall by the wayside. Regular friendship groups get narrowed down to the people I interact with as part of my diving. Weekends flow into weekdays and everything becomes a haze of work… dive… work… dive. Inevitably, one day I asked myself: why am I doing this? Why do I put myself through this? I’m missing out on so much. My friends go away for a weekend in the bush, but I do a course. My friends go out partying, but I have to lecture. I cancel appointments on short notice due to a course that needs to be changed, or an unexpected dive weekend at the coast. People close to me feel like they play second fiddle in my life, and rightly so, Has my love of diving evolved into an addiction? Is this a positive or negative thing? How did this happen? I suppose I can trace it back to the day I instructed my first course. The incredible satisfaction of changing someone’s perspective on life in one or two weeks was like a drug. I truly believe that genuine satisfaction and self worth are only experienced when your actions have an impact on people’s lives. Since that day, I’ve never looked back. I wanted to experience that satisfaction more and more. As a result I’ve sacrificed a lot of other things in my life, many of which I’m probably not even aware of. When a passion runs this deep, it becomes all-consuming. Do I lead an unbalanced lifestyle? I don’t know, and frankly I don’t care. In my experience, diving is a balanced lifestyle in itself anyway. From my perspective, the fact that diving instruction is the only thing that I want to do is the best thing that could have happened to me. Everyone needs to have something that makes them tick – diving instruction is mine. I have a passion! Do you? We are all blessed to be in this business. If some of you are reading this article, wondering why you slogged away during this season, sometimes longing for the odd weekend off, but still you can’t wait to get below the surface, just know that you are not alone! We will continue to feel the urge to submerge, and it will never go away. S


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007



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April/May 2007 • S UBM E RG E







iggle out of your wetsuitss and fl flip ip o off yo ourr fi fin ns again, it’s time for the 20 007 Di Dinn nner nn er of Hope p ! pe The Scubapro Firefish Din nne nerr of Hopee iss a for o ma mall yet fun charity dinner aimed specificcal a lyy aatt the th he divin ng g community. Divers from around the country get tog community together to share a night of fun and, in the process, raise funds for those less fortunate. Last year’s event was probably the e most impressive diving event ever with over 500 divers dresssed to the nines and out to have a good time. This year sees the venue change to a closer, cosier venue with a perm manently installed professional sound system and stage, an on-site kitchen and bar and a far warmer, more intimatee vibe! Divers can expect an excellent thrree-course meal, live entertainment and the opportunity to bid on amazing items to raise money for The Starfish Foun ndation and Ikholwa (Hope for our children), both of which are non-profit organisations, whose aim is to create hope for children that have been affected by or infected with HIV/AIDS.

LLaast year’s ’s di d nn ner rai aise ise sed d R8 R 7 60 00, all of wh w ic ich h wa as ussed to o heelp pay fo for fo ood od, d hou ussing, g, tra ansspo p rt rt, scho hool olin lin ng a an nd unifor orms or ms forr 2000 0 ch chililildr d en n. The aiim is is to raaise even morre this iss yea ear! Join us for a night of divvin ing and dining, throw on your glad ragss and nd let’s paint the tow wn. n! 10 July 200 07 Barrnyard Th heatre – 4-W Ways R30 00 per he ead includ ding a threecou urse mea al DRESS: Forrmal BOOKINGS: At your favourite dive shop! Cash bar available. DAT TE: VENU UE: TICKET T:

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SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

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Lost-Diver Tracking and Location System Seasafe f has been developed over a period of five years in response to a growing international demand for a PERSONAL “selfcontained” and “stand-alone” tracking and location system. Seasafe has been designed to supplement and complement existing tracking and location technologies. Seasafe has addressed very specific issues such as; ■ Tracking accuracy ■ Time taken to respond ■ Signal transmission ranges ■ Transmitter battery life once activated The ultimate benefit of the Seasafe system is the ability to react immediately to critical or non-critical emergencies at vessel Seasafe Personal level without Transmitter invoking or waiting for National or International Search & Rescue authority response. Often marine activities take place outside of traditional National and International Search & Rescue Authority boundaries and may be inaccessible to authorities. In the event of an emergency occurring in a remote location, using Seasafe, crews are able to react instantaneously and to effect their own search and rescue. The time taken to respond to an emergency is extremely critical, particularly in cold or sharkinfested waters.

Seasafe Operational Overview Once activated, the Seasafe personal transmitter may continue to transmit for up to seven days. Signal transmission duration is dependent on the condition of the battery and whether the transmitter has previously been activated. The radio frequency signal emitted by the transmitter will be received by any land or water based receivers which are within range. Signal transmission ranges may be affected by a number of conditions including prevailing weather conditions, cloud cover and line-of-sight obstructions. Real-life trials indicate possible transmission ranges of the following order: Water to boat Up to 30km Water to base station Up to 40km with 15m high antenna From water to aircraft at 1500m Up to 100km

Seasafe receiver tracking transmitter signal with directional hand-held antenna.

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Seasafe receiver with vessel dash-mount bracket.

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June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



CLICK CLIQUE ‘before’ and ‘after’… By Claudia Pellarini-Joubert and Leon Joubert

“before...” E

very diver nowadays wants to take pictures underwater and with u sso much variety on the market, newbie underm water photographers w aare spoilt for choice. Monochromatic blue/green. The easy part is the purchase of your funky new underwater cameera system, but after tthat, everything seems tto go downhill fast. Looking through yyour shots after your dives, you don’t see any d ccolour, all you see is a Over-exposed/back-scatter. “bluey-greenish” tinge tto everything. Most of yyour shots are out of ffocus, some are overeexposed, others have a sstrange circle of light in tthe foreground which sseems to evade the subject entirely; and oddly je Strobe issues. enough there always seems to have been a se snowstorm underwater, sn which you honestly w cannot ever remember ca seeing! se Paging through the glossy dive magazines g and gazing wondrously an at the colourful underFocus issues. water photographs on show, you scratch your head in bewilderment. You blame the camera: what if you had bought the more expensive model? What if you had signed up for that workshop? What if… If any of the above images look even vaguely familiar to you, it’s ok; relax, breathe - there is no


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

“after...” need to give up, just get help from the experts! During all of the underwater photography workshops that we have presented during our trips, the “before” images are consistently problematic, as in the above examples (and to make you feel better, we Nikon D50, double YS110 strobes have found that this is a Sea&Sea housing worldwide phenomenon Image by Grant Dugtig. and not limited to South African divers)! But after intensive coaching and hands-on practical tips and tricks underwater, the images begin to change dramatically after just a few dives with the professionals. Compare the “before” and the “after” images taken by some beginners. As you can see, there is no need for over-the-top expensive camera gear. Canon 350D, double DS125 Even the simplest point and strobes. Ikelite housing, shoot camera can deliver Image by Rudi van Eeden. results once you know how to use it effectively underwater. Now there should be no more “what ifs…”. You know what to do. Take a workshop, and discover another side to your underwater photography! S

Best Flashes, Claudia and Leon Sea&Sea 8000G, double YS 27 strobes Image by Sebastien Merdjani.

Sea&Sea 750G, YS27 strobe Image by Venessa De Wet.

Fuji S10, YS27 strobe Image by Charles Scalliet.

Sony Cybershot, YS27 strobe Image by Kerry Nel.


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By Don Shirley


anything but air N

itrox and Trimix have both been much debated. An old chestnut. Here the interesting question: been deep on trimix - what should you breathe on the way back up during a dive? The answer is anything but air! T set the To sscene: Nitrox is a “shallow gas”, the deeper you go, d tthe thinner Nittrox becomes. You end up Y with air, and w tthe resulting narcosis. Trimix n aallows you to control the narcosis by replacing some of the nitrogen Graph 1 in shallower recreational ranges and in the deeper ranges reducing the oxygen and nitrogen, by adding Helium. So now what happens when you come back up after having done a deep dive, for example, say to 100m? You have to change gasses somewhere, but what would you change to? You need to balance optimal decompression times with decompression illness and Isobaric Counter Diffusion (ICD) risks. Have a look at the graphs. TThey show the eeffects in terms of bars of preso sure against the gasses breathed g aat the various depths. Look at d the way the gas partial pressures p ju ump; you are breathing that b at the switch. The greater the jump, the more likely DCS/ Graph 2 ICD problems become! Look at the classical approach in Graph 1. The jump is large - and the differential difference between the gas pressures is huge! In Graph 2, still staying in the classical mode, the diver is using EAN50 - here once again, the effect is drastic. In Graph 3, our Open Circuit diver is now more in line with


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

Graph 3 moderate thinking and is using a deep Trimix switch as a travel and a Trimix 50/20 (50% O2, 20% Helium) for deco. Here, the jumps are much better. Graph 4 represents a closed circuit rebreather. Here you see there are no jumps, the oxygen is constant and the other inert gasses are slowly squeezed out – an absolutely beautiful curve! Of course, the CCR diver needs to carry off-board OC gasses in case the rebreather fails. The OC gas also needs to be selected carefully so that there are no jumps.

Graph 4 The longest dive here was dive 1 (Graph 1) - the classic run at 165 minutes for a 20 minute bottom time. The others were all in the region of 146 minutes for the same time. Gas choice gets increasingly important with greater depths and longer bottom times, and complacency should always be avoided. The one effect not demonstrated in the graphs is the effect of switching from Trimix to air at depth. Don’t even think about it - it’s asking for trouble. The switch jump is off the scale. Which profile would you want to dive? The answer: Breathe anything but air, during the dive or on the way back up. S


SeaCrit ID Collection By Neville Ayliffe Images by David Holloway, Neville Ayliffe and Juan Perreira


Pomacanthidae The most common Emperor angelfish, Pomacanthus imperator, is surely one of the most beautiful fish on the reef. Note the prominent spine on the gill.

So you saw a fish or two... but what in the world were they? And what do they get up to in the ocean realm? Get up to scratch with your Fish ID skills with Neville Ayliffe and this SUBMERGE SeaCrit ID collectable item!

The diet of angelfish varies according to species, but Emperors prefer usually inedible sponges, which they eat using their bristle-like teeth.


ngelfish are amongst the most beautiful of the reef fish. The species names of angelfish include Emperor, Royal and Regal, crowning them as some of the most majestic as well. They are close relatives of the butterflyfish, and bear a strong resemblance to them with their compressed disc shapes, single long continuous dorsal and anal fins, and small mouths with bristle-like teeth. Angelfish are larger, more luminously coloured and importantly, all have strong backward-facing spines on their lower gill covers. S

They are extremely territorial, as indicated by their bright colouration. They can often be seen “pacing the fence line”, spines extended. They also emit a clearly audible drumming noise.

The juveniles have distinctly different colouration, a blue/black body with beautiful white markings forming a complete circle near the tail. This possibly allows the fiercely competitive adult to tolerate the youngster in his territory. Having a much smaller mouth and a different food source, the youngster is not competition to the adult until adolescence, when its pattern starts changing. It is then promptly chased away by the adult.

Compliments of:

June/July 2007 • S U BM E RG E



The juvenile is also strikingly different, with semicircular white markings and a coloured tail fin.

The juvenile Old woman, common in rock pools, is similar to the Semicircle juvenile, but with straighter lines and a clear tail. The Old Woman, Pomacanthus rhomboides (formerly striatus), is not as brightly coloured. They are very common above deeper coral reefs, where they feed on plankton in mid-water. They can often be seen playing in divers’ bubbles or even nibbling bubbles from divers’ hair.

The Tiger angelfish, Apolemichthys kingi, is named after Dennis King, who first discovered and photographed it as recently as 1984. This fish is endemic to Southern Africa and was recently spotted in Madagascar, and is generally found on deeper reefs.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

The beautiful Royal or Regal angelfish, Pygoplites diacanthus, is a shy fish which darts in and out of holes and frustrates photographers. Note the double spine on the gill.


The Semicircle angelfish, Pomacanthus semicirculatus, is one of the largest angelfish. It is solitary and easily approached.


The Threespot angelfish, Apolemichthys trimaculatus, is striking with blue lips and a bright yellow body. They are often seen with a parasitic fishlouse or isopod attached to the anal fin.

Hybrids often occur between species within the same genus. This is a hybrid between a Tiger and Threespot angelfish, sporting colours and markings of both.

The Jumping Bean, Centropyge acanthops, is the smallest of our angels, only reaching 8cm. This elusive fish can be seen weaving amongst Staghorn branches on shallow reefs.

The Swallowtail angelfish, Genicanthus caudiovittatus, is rare in South African waters and is found on deeper reefs. They feed on plankton above the reef, and are found in small groups comprising a male and a few females. The male is striking with zebra stripes, and the female is pale with black swallowtail markings.

June/July 2007 • S U BM E RG E



DIVING IN By Michelle van Aardt

Charles Rowe

Charles Rowe

Charles Rowe


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

Michelle v Aardt


he coral reefs in Port Elizabeth burst with colour – reds, oranges, yellows and purples as one meanders through the deep gullies, alongside drop-offs and over pinnacles. The marine life is characterised by colourful soft corals, and the concentration of species is unbelievable. One can often spend a whole dive covering only a very small area because there is so much diversity. Fish life is abundant and game fish are often seen. Algoa Bay is on the migration route of many large mammals, and sightings of Humpback and Southern Right whales, dolphins, seals and Jackass penguins often interrupt boat trips. Sometimes divers are lucky enough to see these species underwater together with turtles, rays and shark species. The gully formation of many of the reefs is an ideal habitat for the docile Ragged-tooth shark and various catsharks, such as the Pyjama and Leopard catshark. Port Elizabeth has a lot to offer all year round, and on a good day it is rated as one of the best diving areas in South Africa. There are two species of hard corals that are sited in Port Elizabeth, namely the Noble coral, which is usually seen at the Wild Side and Riy Banks in deeper water, and the Cup coral. Red and orange seafans are almost always part of the landscape, together with sponges, sea anemones and sea squirts. Because of the seasonal variation and eddy formations of the Agulhas current, numerous tropical fish species in their juvenile form are seen, particularly from January to March. The Batfish in its adult form has been seen at various times of the year on the Haerlem wreck that lies to the south of Bell Buoy Reef. Diving in Port Elizabeth is unique in that the reefs are



widespread and are found both inside and outside Algoa Bay and at Cape Recife. Due to their distribution, the dive sites are affected differently by the weather pattern, resulting in variations in topography, marine life, bottom composition and water conditions (e.g. temperature and visibility). The general rule is that the westerly wind improves water clarity inside the Bay, and the easterly wind improves conditions at Cape Recife. This offers diversity and more opportunities to dive. Bell Buoy, Phillips, Haerlem Wreck and White Sands are the four main dive sites inside the Bay. They have depths ranging from pinnacles at 5m to depths of 20m. The topography comprises characteristic gully formation and the visibility averages between 3 and 6m. In winter, when westerly winds dominate, conditions are generally better and visibility can reach up to 10m. Bell Buoy, also known as Roman Rock, is the most commonly dived site inside the Bay as it covers a large area, is close to shore and is ideally suited for the novice diver. Riy Banks and Evans Peak are sites situated about 20km from Hobie Beach. Riy Banks is an expansive reef situated to the east and reaches depths of between 50 and 60m in places. Evans Peak is located to the south-east of St Croix Island and is unique in that it rises from 40m to a pinnacle at 15m. These sites always offer some exciting diving with their tremendous topography and depth; one is often treated to schools of fish, yellowtail, mussel cracker, turtles, sharks etc. The visibility is generally good at these sites, particularly Riy Banks where 20m visibility is common. Sites on the Wild Side include Thunderbolt, Avalanche,


ELIZABETH Michelle v Aardt

Justin Bean

Pro Dive

Charles Rowe

Patti Wreck, Suicide Reef, Mark Four, Gasmic and many more. The topography at these sites consists of caves, gullies and drop-offs, and the water is somewhat cooler than inside the bay. Good visibility and sightings of game fish are common in this area. One is sometimes lucky enough to spot Horse fish, which have subsequently become the emblem for the Noordhoek diving club, located on the Wild Side. All the dive sites are only accessible by boat and are at depths which require the use of scuba equipment, unless one is an experienced skin diver. There are small isolated reefs that lie off Slipway (Postman’s Reef), Hobie Beach (Devil’s Reef) and areas close to Noordhoek that are accessible from the shore using either scuba or snorkelling equipment. S

DIVING QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: SITE QUALIFICATION INSIDE THE BAY (Bell Buoy, Phillips, Haerlem, White Sands) Open Water OUTSIDE THE BAY (Riy Banks, Evans Peak, St Croix Island) Advanced WILD SIDE Open Water & Advanced BEST TIME OF YEAR TO DIVE Inside the Bay Winter Months – June, July Outside the Bay All year round Wild Side All year round WATER TEMPERATURES Averages between 15° and 17°C with temperature in summer rising to 20°. Thermoclines of between 8° and 10°C can be experienced at the Wild Side at times.

As a PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resort, our reputation speaks for itself. We offer dive courses, EFR as well as skipper courses. We have a fully stocked retail shop to meet the needs of our most discerning divers. In addition, we also have two boats and safari trucks to ferry you to and from your dive site – you arrive and dive... we do the rest! 10 Albert Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Tel: 041 581 5121 Cel: 083 327 7458 Email:

P.E.’s only 5 Star IDC Centre

WILDSIDE DIVERS Wildside divers are a sub-section of the Noordhoek Ski Boat Club in Port Elizabeth. We operate and dive from the open sea side south-east of Algoa Bay. For us, diving is a recreation where friends and colleagues can get together for a dive where we have the flexibility to move from site to site. Email: Website: Tel: 083 409 3582

◗ Diving Courses ◗ Charters & Sales ◗ Travel Offices ◗ Equipment Rental ◗ Airfills & Servicing Now also open in Plettenberg Bay. PE: 189 Main Rd, Walmer PE: Red Windmill, Hobie Beach Tel: 041 581 1141 E-mail: Website:

JJune/July /J l 2007 • S U UBM BM E RG E



SC U BADO KU Scubadoku is based on the popular Sudoku puzzle that has become an all-time favourite throughout the world. It’s easy to learn, doesn’t require you to make any calculations and provides a great variety of logical situations.


How it works Place a number from 1–9 in each empty cell so that each row, each column and each 3x3 block contain all the numbers from 1–9.

So you've successfully completed your Scubadoku puzzle... Now what? Send your completed Scubadoku puzzle and entry form to: SUBMERGE Magazine • Scubadoku Competition PO Box 12271 • Centurion • 0046 OR Scan and email it to:

The he first correct orrect entry ntryy drawn will ill win a pair of Squid Fins! Sponsored by:

COMPETITION RULES 1. The competition closes on 31 July 2007, upon which the winner will be drawn and notified. 2. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 3. The prize may not be exchanged or redeemed for cash. E&OE.

Name & Surname: ________________________________________________________________________ Email: _____________________________________________ Postal Address: __________________________________________________________Code: ___________ Cellphone: ____________________________ Telephone: __________________________


3 6

2 8



7 9


4 Winner of the February/March 2007 Scubadoku is Juliana Crouse. Juliana is now the proud owner of a Tusa Platina Mask. Congrats and happy diving!





SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


1 9






1 4 3 5 8

June/July 2007 • S U BM E RG E



Sardine Run

The Greatest Shoal on Earth By Adam Cruise Images by SEAL Expeditions

t’s an early winter’s morning on the glassy Indian Ocean. The sun is low on the horizon, illuminating the plunging cliffs a mile to the west. The clear sky belies the previous day’s blustery weather. Everywhere Cape gannets and the odd albatross glide by, patiently, almost languidly, with no fixed direction. In the distance a Humpback whale puffs an audible wispy, white spout into the air as it continues its epic migration northwards. To the south, barely visible, the mirrored surface breaks into a series of dark ripples. A form breaks Underwater, the the surface, then another and another – a blue backdrop has pod of dolphins, a thousand-strong, move purposefully towards our boat. The dive been replaced with master directs us to don our snorkelling zillions of tiny silver gear and we slip into the ocean, taking sardines swirling care not to splash. At this level, eyes in and zigzagging like a masks above the water, all we can see are the arched backs of the dolphins. giant tornado. Dropping the mask underwater, the blue realm reveals a breathtaking scene as the collective gasp from half a dozen snorkels testifies. As far down as across, the tremendous size of the pod is apparent. The dolphins have congregated in colossal numbers, all moving together in a specific direction, transfixed on an invisible highway towards their goal. Hardly a dolphin affords us the slightest glance as they continue past us, constantly clicking and swizzeling.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


Here and there the pod is interspersed with the dark, unmistakable shapes of sharks. They too show only a vague interest in us, more intent on maintaining their course with the dolphins. The sharks seem neither part nor apart from the pod, a separate species tolerated, but not accepted. The sharks, it appears, are here for a free ride and continue on in the wake of the pod, leaving us snorkellers alone in the big blue. Back on the boat, the atmosphere has changed. The gannets are now whirling in excited circles, screeching and jostling a few hundred metres ahead. The dolphins have split into platoons and have spread out. Something is about to give and our boat moves cautiously closer. Suddenly, as if responding to a silent starter-gun, the gannets tuck in their wings and begin to plummet from the sky, plunging into the water like rockets. The water boils with activity. Our scuba gear is donned hastily and over we go.

Underwater, the blue backdrop has been replaced with zillions of tiny silver sardines swirling and zigzagging like a giant tornado. The shoal is so big and so tightly knit that we can actually hear the sound of their scales scraping against each other. It sounds and feels like the water is fizzing. All around, controlling and corralling the sardines in an ever tightening ball, the dolphins are working according to a prepared and structured plan, pushing the sardines right up to the surface where they are pelted by a hail of birds from the air. The sharks too, satisfied with the legwork done by the dolphins, join in the melee. It’s a free for all. Dolphins, sharks, gannets and sardines become one confused mass and we humans need to be vigilant. My mind races to the dive master’s briefing – “Keep arms folded, stick together, remain below the bait-ball, you don’t want a hand or a foot to go the way of the hapless sardines”. A shark whizzes past me, sardines oozing out of its jaws. The gannets sound like gunshots as they hit the water. One comes whistling down to six metres. And what is that? A seal! Our eyes barely have time to take in the frantic pace; there is action everywhere. The sardines are taken from every direction, over and over again, until there is nothing left but a blue void decorated by a scatter of silvery glitter. These are the only things left of the sardines – their scales. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the annual sardine run is the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world. Even the East African wildebeest migration pales in comparison. But to most South Africans, the sardine run is a KZN south coast phenomenon where manic hordes of sardine-fever gripped humans scoop up bucket loads of fish in the shallows. In truth, these scenes on the KZN south coast are merely the tail-end of the sardine run, a side-show of the main event, and some years it does not even make the feature list at all. The Humble o sardine (Sardinops sagax) enjoys cool, temperate waters between 12 and 20 C. For 10 months of the year they inhabit the coastal shelf off the southern and western coast of southern Africa, where cold upwellings bring abundant phytoand zooplankton for the sardines to feed on.

FEATURE Either the water is too warm or the sardines are too deep, or sometimes the seas are too rough. Yet the good news is that while the sardines themselves may fail to make an entrance, the show does go on.

But every June and July, the distribution changes dramatically when the cold southern water, pushed by successive climatic fronts, slides up the eastern coast of the country, bringing with it millions of tons of sardines. It is important to note that the sardine phenomenon is nothing more than a cold-water intrusion up the east coast, and not a spawning or feeding migration. This explains the irregularity of the run, especially in KZN. Some years the water is too warm, and therefore, no sardines appear north of Port Edward on the KZN-Eastern Cape border. Other years, depending on the strength of fronts and current reversals, sardines are pushed further than normal, sometimes as far as Durban. The most predominant sightings of the sardine run occur off Waterfall Bluff, just north of Port St Johns on the Eastern Cape’s remote Pondoland Coast. Here the continental shelf narrows and rises steeply, bringing in the cool water which is heavily laden with sardines. The shelf pushes the sardines towards the surface where predators, like the dolphins, can herd them into the famous giant bait-balls. This remote piece of coastline provides the most constant farthest point of the run, and also influences the greatest concentration of sardines. The biggest concern for everyone wanting to witness this

show is that it remains a bit of a hit-and-miss when it comes to viewing the bait-ball spectacle. Often days and weeks go by without the sight of a single sardine. Either the water is too warm or the sardines are too deep, or sometimes the seas are too rough. Yet the good news is that while the sardines themselves may fail to make an entrance, the show does go on. Dolphins, sharks, Cape gannets, albatrosses, the odd seal, Bryde’s whales, penguins and even Orcas are hanging around in eager anticipation, just like the humans. Besides, there is another marine show being played out all the while. Although this show has a slightly smaller cast, it tends to make much more of a splash. The Humpback whale’s annual migration coincides with the sardine run, and as far as scientists can tell, the two occur both coincidentally and mutu-


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

ally exclusively from one another. The Humpbacks begin their migration in their summer home off Antarctica and travel over 16 000 kilometres to their breeding and mating grounds between the southern coasts of Mozambique and northern Madagascar. This is the furthest mammal migration on earth, and the whales use the same cool counter-current as the sardines to assist them to move in a northbound direction. In the months of June and July, 5 000 of them pass by Waterfall Bluff. The Humpbacks are curious creatures, and are often seen swimming up to the boats, the snorkellers, divers and even the sardines themselves to take a look. Although they could if they wanted to, the whales have never been seen eating the little sardines. The best thing about the whales is that they have a lot more stage confidence than the sardines. While sitting on a boat out at sea, it becomes a common sight to see the whales breach completely out of the water. On one occasion, a boatload of lucky onlookers enjoyed the sight of the same whale breaching 18 times in as many minutes, before sidling up to the boat and allowing snorkellers to have a close-up look while he rolled over onto his stomach. The whales become so mesmerising that for most, there is a tendency to forget about the sardine run completely. It’s a spectacular curtain raiser that threatens to become the main event. But when the main event does kick off, it is unbeatable. There are pods of dolphins everywhere, the most abundant being the Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis). Although there are several sizable groups of resident Bottlenose dolphins (Turisops truncatus), they tend to be slower and not as agile. The Common dolphins, on the other hand, are the most important predators of the sardine run. Marine biologist Thomas Pechak states that Common dolphins are the most critical factor in shaping the form and movement of the sardines, with 15–20 000 Common dolphins moving northwards with the sardines from the southern Cape. Hunting in such large numbers, along with the intelligence and speed necessary to drive the sardines to the surface and concentrate them in bait-balls, allows sardines to become available to all the other predators as well as themselves. One of the main beneficiaries is the shark. The most prevalent shark species during the sardine run is the Bronze whaler or Copper shark (Carcharhinus bracyurus), but there are others – Dusky’s, Hammerheads and even Great Whites. The sharks’ lack of group intelligence and individual agility to create bait-balls means that they need to rely on the dolphins to set up the dinner table for them. This explains why the dolphin pods are always shadowed by sharks. It also explains why at any given point in the ocean around Waterfall Bluff, divers are almost always joined by Bronze whalers, even when there are no sardines about. They appear in the hope that the dolphins are about to start hunting down sardines and they, like stray dogs, will get to share in the spoils. As with the sharks, the Cape gannets (Morus capensis) also rely on the dolphins, follow-


ing them up from the south and patiently gliding hither and thither waiting for the bait-ball to be herded to the surface before they can dive in. The gannets, in turn, assist us humans in our endeavour to see the bait-ball. The tell-tale signs of gannets massing and swirling over a small concentrated area reveal that the dolphins have attacked, and no time is wasted in getting to the bait-ball. As a rule, the larger the flock of birds concentrating over an area, the bigger and longer the bait-ball will remain. Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus) and African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) move up from Algoa Bay, but although they can hunt as effectively as the dolphins, they are unable to arrive in the substantial numbers necessary to do the work themselves. Seals and penguins lack the longdistance stamina and speed of Common dolphins. Bryde’s (pronounced “brooda”) whales (Balaenotera edeni) The sharks’ lack of are one of the few year-round residents group intelligence of the Wild Coast. They are possibly the most efficient sardine terminators of all. and individual agilThese whales dive when a bait-ball is ity to create baitformed, then silently rush up from the balls means that deep and literally swallow an entire ball of sardines with one gulp. they need to rely In this part of the world, the only on the dolphins to non-predators involved in the sardine run besides the Humpbacks are (for set up the dinner a change) the humans. Most of the table for them. visitors are scuba divers from abroad. Having watched the spectacle on Blue Planet and channels like Discovery and National Geographic, overseas divers are flocking to the Wild Coast to spend some time with the sardines and enjoy some of our country’s most spectacular coastal scenery. Waterfall Bluff in particular is a popular attraction, a sheer cliff many kilometres long, with hanging green fields and plunging waterfalls that rush into the sea. The secluded beaches are dotted with herds of Nguni cattle – bovine-beachcombers against a backdrop of scattered Xhosa huts. This is quintessential rural Africa, an idyllic Eden that has not yet been spoilt. Initially, these are the reasons that made the logistics of hosting top-dollar tourists a bit tricky, since there is little infrastructure to support these activities. No real development, no major towns or international airports, few shops and a lack of tarred roads can make operating the show extremely challenging. The hit-and-miss scenario of the bait-balls was also a concern, as it is generally impossible to predict the timing and movement of the run. However, these days the logistics have been expertly arranged by a select group of tour and dive operators, and in conjunction with local accommodation facilities, they have had the benefit of half a dozen years of practise in hosting international film crews. These days they are more than equipped to put on the show. Microlights go airborne at the break of dawn to spot the shoal’s movements and redirect boats to the area. Boats are big and comfortable, and provide food and beverages on board. The skippers are experienced and knowledgeable, as are the dive masters. Both pride themselves on adherence to strict safety measures, while at the same time ensuring that their guests enjoy an unforgettable experience. South Africans too are slowly waking up to the fact that the sardine run involves much more than the crazed beaching of sardines, and are now beginning to enjoy the fact that every year, South Africa plays host to the greatest shoal on earth. S

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



CORALate – the coral collectable item exclusive to SUBMERGE Magazine

By Professor Michael Schleyer, Oceanographic Research Institute, Durban

CORALS in South Africa


Cladiella kashmani usually has blunter lobes and can form extensive carpets.

Cladiella australis. The same colony is depicted here with its brown polyps fully expanded and at various stages of contraction, showing how it turns a ghostly white. Note the elongated lobes.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007


hile not as common as Sarcophyton, Sinularia We move on to the and Lobophytum, Clalast major member diella is a beautiful soft coral, with polyps which are richly endowed of the soft coral with symbiotic zooxanthellae, givfamily Alcyoniidae ing them a deep chocolate brown colour. In contrast, the underlying that a diver will colony structure is pure white and encounter in devoid of siphonozooids; when the polyps are contracted, the colony our waters; this turns a smooth, snow white. being the genus All species in this genus are soft Cladiella. and fleshy, but have lobes of different sizes. Three are found in South Africa, these being Cladiella australis, in which the colonies are usually fairly small with elongated lobes, Cladiella kashmani, which forms large carpet-like encrustations and has blunt lobes, and Cladiella krempfi, in which the colonies and lobes are small and rounded. Cladiella is a favoured prey of the egg cowrie, Ovula ovum, in which the shell is also pure white except when covered by the snail’s black mantle. The family Nephtheidae comprises soft corals that we have not yet considered, and these have the most difficult names to spell! This belies their true nature, as they are interesting, often brightly coloured and many are armed with protruding skeletal sclerites. The first genus that we will consider, Dendronephthya, has these characteristics and is often called the thistle coral because of its spikiness. It is relatively abundant on our reefs, particularly Aliwal Shoal, and extends into Transkei waters. The trunk is usually pale and, when expanded, the sclerites on the body surface are

CORAL ID visible against the translucent interior. Bright red, pink, yellow, blue or purple polyps are clustered at the ends of the branches, and these are armed with the protruding sclerites. The combined effect makes for an attractive coral that is always conspicuous, if rather prickly. As thistle corals are devoid of symbiotic algae, they are dependent on water-borne food which they capture with their tentacles. They are thus found on reef ledges and pinnacles, mildly turbid with their food which currents carry to them. More nephtheids will be dealt with in future issues. Thus far, we have focused largely on branching forms of our hard corals. Encrusting hard corals cover a substantial proportion of our reefs and thus constitute an important structural component. Those with protruding (exsert) corallites, the cavities that house the individual polyps, are

the most noticeable and include one which is ubiquitous, Echinopora gemmacea. While this is the most abundant of such corals, it may be confused with Echinophyllia aspera, which has larger corallites, or Mycedium elephantotus, in which there is a central corallite with all those around it facing outwards. Immediately north of our border, the genus Echinopora is also represented by Echinopora lamellosa, which grows in whirls of tiered, semi-erect plates, forming gardens of lettuce-like growth. This is a fast-growing coral and appears to get an early foothold on damaged reef, recolonising extensive areas as illustrated. This again binds the reef, providing habitat both for ďŹ sh and for successive colonisation of the reef by a greater diversity of corals. The plates are fragile and break easily, facilitating this process. S

In Cladiella krempďŹ , on the other hand, the colonies are small, almost inconspicuous, as illustrated in the foreground.

Dendronephthya colonies are variable in form and can be globular, erect and without branches, or branched and tree-like. The sclerites that make them thistle-like are conspicuous when the polyps are contracted.

Dendronephthya. The sclerites on the surface of the trunk are clearly visible in the fully expanded colony on the left which has delicately coloured polyps.

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Echinophyllia aspera may be confused with Echinopora gemmacea, but is far less abundant and has bigger corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus is also scarce and has even bigger polyps and, apart from the central polyp that started the colony, these face outwards.

One ďŹ nds Echinopora lamellosa from the Mozambican border northwards, where it may form extensive gardens on previously damaged reefs.


SUBMERGE â&#x20AC;˘ June/July 2007


Echinopora gemmacea is the most abundant encrusting hard coral with protruding corallites on our reefs.

Experience Mozambique’s Manta Coast



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April/May 2007 â&#x20AC;˘ S UBM E RG E



Deep Stops By Dr Frans J. Cronjé, MBChB (Pret), MSc


fter some recent controversy and two studies performed by DAN Southern Africa and DAN Europe, we wanted to provide an overview of some evolving concepts and concerns about ascent rates and stops for recreational diving. First, let’s look at some background information. There aare two broad categories in There are two broad categories in rrecreational diving medicine and recreational diving medicine and rresearch: non bubble-related research: non bubble-related and aand bubble-related issues. DAN bubble-related issues. iis addressing these by means of ttwo, broad-based, international sstudies: Project Dive Exploration (PDE) and Dive Safety Laboratory (DSL) respectively. As far as the bubble-related problems are concerned, we consider the event of decompression and its physical and pathological implications. The only way of describing and predicting such complex processes of gas uptake and elimination in the human body is to generalise and approximate it by means of mathematical formulae or models. However, one must take into account that this inevitably leads to oversimplification, based on theoretical concepts, and that these do not necessarily reflect what is actually going on in the body. Decompression algoD rrithms try to simplify tthe complex inert gas exchange process into e five primary concepts: fi (1) We absorb inert gas at increased ambient pressure. (2) We eliminate inert gas when ambient pressure drops – but at a slower rate. (3) When tissue gas tensions exceed ambient pressure, a state of supersaturation exists. (4) At some point, the supersaturation will result in bubble formation. (5) At some stage, bubbles may cause symptoms or injury.

As most of you know, decompression models contain so-called slow and fast tissues or compartments.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

As most of you know, decompression models contain socalled slow and fast tissues or compartments. This means that some hypothetical areas absorb nitrogen more than others do. Fast tissues are more prone to supersaturation during typical recreational diving. In 1908, John Scott Haldane devised the famous two-toone principle of avoiding decompression injuries. However, over time the two-to-one concept became modified because divers were able to get away with higher supersaturations in fast tissues. This led to ascent rules that permitted much greater supersaturations in fast tissues in particular. So instead of a universal two-to-one So what is the solution to the probratio for all tissue lem? How do we perform bubble-free compartments, diving? ratios of up to four-to-one were considered safe for fast tissues. The dilemma is that this approach has not solved the problem of decompression illness. Approximately 57,6% of decompression illness occurs in divers that did not do anything “wrong”. In simplistic terms, this means that blind compliance with decompression algorithms is not completely effective. Recently, the wisdom of permitting large supersaturations in fast tissues has been questioned again, as these recommendations did not consider the implications of large quantities of gas forming in veins after a dive and the biological effects these may have on divers. Although the presence of these bubbles does not necessarily mean that a diver will get decompression illness, there is an association between the quantity of bubbles and the probability of symptoms. Additionally, venous bubbles may bypass or migrate through the natural bubble barrier – the pulmonary filter or bubble trap – by means of two possible mechanisms. The first is a patent foramen (PFO). Under certain conditions, this one-way valve that exists in about 25% of divers may open to allow the transfer of venous gas bubbles from the right to the left side of the heart, thereby causing arterial gas embolisation. Secondly, up to 15% of divers have ineffective pulmonary bubble traps. This problem is not discovered in a routine medical examination. Instead of divers being screened for PFO, (something that has become a popular trend in some technical diving circles), they should rather avoid dives that lead to high venous gas bubble grades; the same goes for the pulmonary filtration concern – no bubbles, no problems! Many subtle and troublesome symptoms after diving are difficult to explain. There seem to be indirect biochemical and immunological effects related to bubbles. Although these are not decompression illness in the true sense of the word, these changes are not without implications. We know, for instance, that bubbles react with blood components and damage the lining of blood vessels. In turn, this releases agents that promote inflammation. The tiredness that follows particularly deep dives may be due to this phenomenon. These variables and effects may explain why


some people appear to get away with truly aggressive dives while others are affected unexpectedly. So what is the solution to the problem? How do we perform bubblefree diving? The cause and effect of Economical decompression means bubbles can be addressed at three combining pressure and gas levels: gradients in a way that allows the (1) Managing an optimal economy most rapid return to the surface of decompression – getting to the while avoiding excessive venous surface quickly but safely by manipugas bubbles and harmful tissue lating ascent rate and deco/safety supersaturation. stop time combinations. (2) Reducing/avoiding the formation and migration of bubbles. (3) Reducing the body’s biological response to bubbles that aggravate the original problem. This is where the future of decompression research lies. Economical decompression means combining pressure and gas gradients in a way that allows the most rapid return to the surface while avoiding excessive venous gas bubbles and harmful tissue supersaturation. Ironically, it seems that Haldane’s two-to-one concept may have introduced the appropriate solution for a different reason from that which he envisaged. Rather than actually preventing critical supersaturation, Haldane’s observations provide a clue as to the best compromise between the variables of ascent rate and stops in shallow range diving. However, to refine what Haldane found at the extremes of safe decompression, i.e., where failure would probably result in decompression illness, we are now looking inside the depth-time boundarries that we previously assumed were Recent studies by DAN Europe have aalready safe, but not always. From a research point of view, waitconsidered the effects of different ascent rates and stops following two iing for decompression illness creates a practical problem because it is indeed 25m dives and generating Doppler p bubble scores. rrelatively rare. PDE and DSL have aalready accumulated 100 000 dives by some 15 000 divers. Only 41 cases b of decompression illness have been reported. To determine all the parameters for safe diving using the appearance of decompression illness as an outcome measure, we will need some 100 million dives. Even then, we will not have considered every possible combination. So, if we cannot use decompression illness as an indicator of increased risk, what can we use? An alternative is to focus on avoiding VGE in addition to monitoring for decompression illness; this introduces the opportunity to use Doppler. Between 1995 and 2006, DAN Europe has monitored over 39 000 dives. Using diving black boxes and Obstetric Doppler units, we have been able to start unravelling some vital missing clues in the decompression puzzle. Recent studies by DAN Europe have considered the effects of different ascent rates and stops following two 25m dives and generating Doppler bubble scores. Based on the outcome of these and other subsequent studies, the following provisional recommendations can be made:

For dives to 25 metres sea water (MSW), the best strategy appears to be a deep stop at 15 MSW for 2,5 to 5 minutes (1 minute is too short), followed by a shallow stop at 3 to 5 MSW for 3 to 5 minutes – ideally this should be longer than the deep stop. The preferred ascent rate is 10 metres per minute – neither slower nor faster rates appear more effective. In summary, economical decompression is not about how much time you spend decompressing, it is about where you spend your time! S

Compliments of:

STRESS & PANIC WORKSHOP Stress and Panic are major threats to the enjoyment and safety of diving. DAN Southern Africa is hosting a Stress and Panic Prevention Workshop at the Indaba Hotel on 27th September 2007 with international expert Dr David Colvard, MD and our local diving psychologist guru Charles van Wijk. For more information, contact Helia or Sel-Marie at DAN Southern Africa – 0860 242 242 or visit the website

Date: 27 September 2007 Venue: Indaba Hotel & Conference Centre Fourways, JHB Cost: R 500 per person Bookings: Pam African Conferences and Incentives (ACI) Tel: 011 475 2902 Fax: 0866429027 (local) Fax: +27 11 475 0366 (International)


Decompression Theory Part 1:


ost divers just follow their dive tables or dive computer as they were taught. But have you ever wondered where these rules, which we so trustingly follow, come from? In this article, Zaber explores the history and the men in science who discovered decompression illness. Although this article contains more interesting facts and not as many technical issues as usual, these points are necessary to clearly understand modern day decompression theories. Man has been diving for as long as we know. Written records of breath hold diving reach as far back as 3000 BC. In England in 1830, Cochrane invented the high pressure caisson – a method with which water was kept out of tunnels under dams or rivers by increasing the air pressure in the tunnel to more than the water pressure, which allowed workers to work on these tunnels. Shortly afterward with the first use in 1841, the first cases of decompression illness were reported from these caissons. The sickness was termed “the bends” because of the position the victims would assume to try and relieve the pain in their joints. A pioneer in decompression problems was Dr Paul Bert (1833–1886). Bert was initially interested in the problems that low air pressure caused in mountain climbers, and he subsequently became interested in the problems that divers experienced. He reviewed various reports, in particular those by Dr Alphonse Gal, who was the first doctor to actually dive in order to study how the body reacted underwater. Bert studied Gal’s diving experiences as well as reports on divers who were injured or killed. Bert used


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

By Zaber

experimental techniques that would have animal rights activists up in arms in today’s world. He even went so far as to use dogs in his experiments! The first opinion Bert had is that it is not the pressure that affects us, but rather the chemical imbalance caused by the changing proportions of oxygen in the blood. He suggested that a lack of oxygen creates oxygen deprivation, and an abundance of oxygen creates oxygen poisoning. He did, however, prove that pure oxygen under high pressure can be deadly. Today Central Nervous System (CNS) oxygen toxicity is also known as the Paul Bert Effect. The next observation Bert made was the effect of nitrogen under high pressure, which for the first time explained “the bends”. To investigate the causes of decompression illness, Bert exposed 24 dogs to pressure of 7–9 atmospheres (equivalent to about 87.5msw) and decompressed them rapidly in 1 – 4 minutes. The result was that 21 died, three survived and one showed no symptoms. Bert achieved insight accidentally when during one of the experiments a compression chamber burst while at maximum pressure. The dog died instantaneously, and upon investigation Bert found that its heart was full of gas. He also found that dogs who were exposed to similar pressures for moderate periods suffered no ill effects, provided that the pressure was gradually released in 1–1.75 hours. He concluded that the symptoms observed were due to the formation of gas bubbles in the blood and tissues. He also identified nitrogen as the gas which produced the bubbles. He went on to explain that it was the increase in


partial pressure of nitrogen which caused nitrogen to become dissolved in the body’s tissues, and then the subsequent reduction in pressure caused the nitrogen to come out of solution and form bubbles. As a result of this research, Bert concluded that divers and caisson workers need to decompress slowly and at a constant rate, for they must not only allow time for excess nitrogen in the blood to escape, but also to allow nitrogen in the tissues time to pass into the blood. The next person to investigate the subject was Dr John Scott Haldane (1860–1936) who got a British Royal Navy budget to develop tables to reduce the occurrence of “the bends” or “caisson disease”, as it was then widely known to Navy divers. Several occurrences of the disease caused paralysis, and death was frequent. Haldane postulated a theory based on Henry’s law that states, “the amount of gas that will dissolve in a liquid is proportional to the partial pressure of that gas applied”. Haldane’s model stated that for any bit of your body there is a rate that nitrogen, or any other inert gas, builds up, and that the gas dissolves at a rate that is proportional to the difference from the final value and the current value. Thus, the bigger the difference in pressure, the greater the rate of absorption. He based his theory on his observations from experiments on goats, as they are of similar size to humans,

so he too would have been prosecuted for animal cruelty in modern times. He noticed that the goats showed no apparent ill effects after being decompressed from a pressure twice as high. He concluded that the body could tolerate a certain amount of excess gas and defined “Haldane’s Ratio” of two to one – the ratio of pressures where decompression would be safe. This also explains why decompression becomes most important nearest to the surface. Haldane tried to model safe decompression using “half times”. A “half time” is defined as the time that it takes a tissue to absorb half of the gas that it needs to absorb to become saturated at a higher pressure. That means that it takes one half time to become 50% saturated, another half time for half of the remaining gas to get to 75%, etc. Haldane assumed that release of the gas would be the exact opposite from the absorption. This would result in an exponential function which is easy to model, but Haldane also realised that what works for a simple liquid, does not necessarily work for the more complex human body. He suggested that the human body should be divided into five different tissue groups using different half times. These tissue groups would all be exposed simultaneously to the breathing gasses at ambient pressure, but each group would absorb and release the gas at different rates. Using these principles, he published his dive tables for the Royal Navy in 1908 and they were used like that for the next 50 years. The most important part of Haldane’s work was that he identified that the relative pressure differences are important rather than just the absolute depth changes, and that the human body should be divided into different tissue groups. These principles are still relevant today and are used in many modern dive tables. That’s it for this edition. For those who want to jump the gun and do some calculations, Zaber recommends the following link: http://www.deepocean. net/ S

Wholesale to the Public




By Wreckseekers


MAORI 1909

In 1909, the SS Maori met her fate within the sheltered bay off Duiker Point along the western seaboard of the Cape Peninsula.


SUBMERGE â&#x20AC;˘ June/July 2007



reck diving has got to be one of the most exciting aspects of sport diving. The thrill of descending into an unknown wreck or swimming through the darkened overhangs sends adrenalin pumping through your veins. The dangers associated with wreck diving are in turn the basis for our excitement. Imagine the fear of suddenly losing your orientation while enjoying a dive. In a state of panic you kick up the silt, reducing visibility to zero. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trapped, stranded, alone and blinded within the inky clutches of the wreckage. The power of sound now takes over, and all you can hear is doom. In 1909, the SS Maori met her fate within the sheltered bay off Duiker Point along the western seaboard of the Cape Peninsula. The crew of 52 found themselves in a similar predicament to the one mentioned above, and 32 crewmembers lost their lives. The Maori was a British Steam Cargo vessel of 5317 tons built in 1893 by Swan & Hunter of Newcastle. Commanded by Captain G. Nicole, the Moari was on route from London to New Zealand with a mixed cargo of British manufactured goods, including explosives, railway lines,

crockery and water-piping, when she ran into thick mist off Duiker Point. Blinded, she became vulnerable to wrecking. There were 53 lives hanging in the balance as Captain Nicole tried to make a decision. The sounds were terrifying; they could hear the surf crashing onto the shoreline, the

The Maori was a British Steam Cargo vessel of 5317 tons built in 1893 by Swan & Hunter of Newcastle.

Wholesale to the Public April/May 2007 â&#x20AC;˘ S UBM E RG E


wind was relentless and they were lost, disoriented by the fog, blinded by unimaginable fear. The captain tried to head straight out to sea, but the odds were against him and he ran aground, with the stern (back of the ship) firmly embedded on the shore within what is today known as Maori Bay. The crew launched a small boat aiming for Chapman’s Bay, but of the 15 who got aboard only nine made it to safety, and six drowned when she capsized in the surf. Today, the Maori plays host to a myriad of life. Rated as one of the best intact wrecks of her era, she lies with her bow pointing out to sea at a depth starting at 6m and reaching an impressive 21m within her length. The Maori is probably one of the most dived ship wrecks in Cape The Maori is probably Town due to her easy access and one of the most dived sheltered location. Upon leaving ship wrecks in Cape from Hout Bay divers can descend Town due to her easy to her depths with 30 minutes access and sheltered to enjoy the varied life forms location. that now encrust her remains. Although highly worked by salvers for her non-ferrous metal fittings, crockery and other artefacts, the remains of her water chest include thousands of porcelain shards, fragments of figurines, bottle pieces, railway lines and water pipes. The kelp has encroached on her remains, making for a most exciting manmade reef, where crayfish, seals, anemones, starfish and other marine life make their home. There are many overhangs and exciting swim-throughs, one of which is the ship’s reciprocating steam engine, the other the vessel’s keel itself (this should only be attempted with professional, as h a diving ng professional adverse conditions may have altered the integrity of the hull). The Moari will continue to excite divers for generations to come. Because she was wrecked 98 years ago she is protected by the Heritage Act, which prohibits the removal of any artefacts. To dive this fabulous site, wait for summer and then contact any of the Cape Town dive operators. This wreck is suited to all levels of diver training, as long as overhangs are avoided, in which case special training is required. S


SU BMERGE • June/July 2007


Check your buddy out! It can happen in an instant where you or your buddy can start feeling a little bit uncomfortable while on a dive. Although buddy checks are drummed into our heads, especially when we do a course, it is never a bad idea to overview our buddy checking practices and to heighten our buddy awareness. Here are a few things to look out for to help you to refresh your buddy awareness and ensure that by keeping an eye out, a diver in trouble gets help quickly: ❖ Anxiety ❖ Rapid breathing ❖ Failure to respond to signals ❖ Signalling breathing difficulty ❖ Erratic and unco-ordinated movements ❖ Stress caused by swimming against a current ❖ Problems with buoyancy control ❖ Wide, staring eyes ❖ Inactivity Always look out for your buddy! Send your comfy diver tips to

ASK SURGE Dear Surge I have just completed my open water course and have been using a friend of mine’s wetsuit. I want to purchase my own wetsuit but am a bit unsure as to whether it should be ultra tight fitting or a looser fit. How should the perfect wetsuit fit? Sam van Deventer, Edenvale Dear Sam One of the main things to consider when buying a wetsuit is insulation. Water will get in your wetsuit when you dive. The thing is: the tighter the wetsuit, the better it provides insulation by heating the water inside it and keeping you snug and cosy. If you decide to get a looser fitting wetsuit, you stand the chance of it being continuously flushed. This means that you will constantly be getting water in, reducing the suit’s capacity to insulate and you may not be as cosy. At the end of the day, it is your personal choice but in my opinion, the way to go would be a tighter fit (body hugging – not cutting off your circulation) to ensure that snug, more comfortable dive. Cosy diving Surge

Have a question? Ask Surge by emailing

BRAND NEW FROM SUPPLIERS Prowler WR 200m 16L Stainless steel case 316L stainless steel buckle and strap locker MS 5534 Swiss made depth and temperature sensor Rubber dumpers to protect the sensor housing against accidental impact Back-light activation with a wrist tilt (only during dive mode operation) Adjustable LCD auto turn-off timer Digital module provided with six different modes: Time: Current time and second time zone Alarm: Three separate alarms Timer: Count up, count down and repetitive timer Cronograph: with lap times keeping Dive Mode: Two different dive modes - SCUBA DIVE and FREE DIVE. Dive logbook: 50 logged dives

Challenger WR 200m 316L Stainless steel case 316L stainless steel buckle and strap locker MS 5534 Swiss made depth and temperature sensor Rubber dumpers to protect the sensor housing against accidental impacts Back-light activation with a wrist tilt (only during dive mode operation) Ana-digital movement Scren crown Unidirectional turning bezel Adjustable LCD auto turn-off timer Digital module provided with six different modes: Time: Current time and second time zone Alarm: Three separate alarms Timer: Count up, count down and repetitive timer Cronograph: with lap times keeping Dive Mode: Two different dive modes - SCUBA DIVE and FREE DIVE. Dive logbook: 50 logged dives

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Cressi Ocean Eyes Another first for Cressi in the field of masks. Ocean Eyes takes advantage of all the most concepts introduced in advance by the Cressi masks: raked, inverted drop lenses, very small inner volume, extremely good downward vision and fantastic comfort. Furthermore, Ocean Eyes incorporates a brand new quick-release dismantling system for the lenses, which can be replaced with prescription lenses to correct visual defects. You only need a few moments and three simple operations to assemble your tailored prescription lens mask. The adjustment buckles on the strap are attached to the frame with a new part made from flexible elastomer, which prevents the buckles or the actual frame from breaking so you can adjust the strap instantly with just a simple pressure from a finger. This system also prevents the skirt from being deformed, a possibility on models that incorporate the strap buckle in the actual skirt.

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E


DOLPHIN DEMEANOUR The female’s genital slit has two smaller slits for her mammary glands

By Angie Gullan

Let’s talk about sex! I

n this issue, the dolphin column elaborates on social behaviour within the subcategory of socio-sexual behaviour. This covers both conceptive and non-conceptive acts including mating, herding, goosing (rostrum to genital), mounting and pectoral stimulation. Years of socio-sexual observations have documented that dolphins spend much time engaged in sexual behaviour that not only benefits the species through conception and extension of the species, but also plays an important role in social bonding amongst pod members. It is therefore not uncommon to see juveniles shoving and poking around in what appear to be lessons in sexual behaviour and communication. Group-on-one sexual behaviour involves older adult males herding and chasing younger males around with erect penises in what looks to be an energetic and powerful show of dominance. Males also mount males in a display of dominance that is often accompanied by head jerking, chasing and biting, which is evident from the number of rake marks usually found on the animals. Male dolphins form complex social bonds with other males that seem to last a lifetime, with bonds possibly being related to bloodline. Resident male bottlenose dolphins


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

in Ponta, elders Rob and Tick who were first identified in 1995, have been part of the same posse for 12 years and are regularly sighted either in the company of other older males or with one of the resident nursery pods. Associations between males and females depend mostly on their reproductive states. Given that gestation lasts for 12 months, mating would occur in and around the calving season, which is generally from September through to March. Goosing (where the rostrum or beak of an individual is close to the genital slit) indicates the inspection of reproductive states and it is often accompanied by echolocation clicks. Having had the privilege of witnessing many socio-sexual acts in the water, I am regularly left with a sense of great respect for females who are often hounded by a number of males at any given time. It has been well documented that males will “capture” a female for a time, keeping her away from her pod and often resulting in a show of intense herding. High pitched screams and shrieks accompany this energetic behaviour as the females assert their disapproval of the situation.


Males vying for a single female.

Twisting bodies and erratic movements.

Twisting bodies and erratic movements make in-water observations difficult, and observers must ensure that they aren’t getting in the way. The Ponta dolphins, although tolerant of human observers, can and do show their annoyance by direct approaches and shows of teeth. Observers must keep a safe distance and refrain from diving down. S

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E


FREE DIVING By Michael Franze


FAST, FURIOUS AND FUN! Images by Daniel Botha, taken at the recent Underwater Hockey National Club Championships held in East London, March 2007.

Underwater hockey is fast, furious and fun. It is played at the bottom of the pool with the air two metres above the playing field. This is the challenge of underwater hockey.


Teams winning the puck only have a split second with which to take the initiative. Hesitation at this critical moment will result in the opposition team tackling the puck-carrier and, at least, slowing down the attack momentum or, at worst, taking possession of the puck. Options open to the attacking side are a fast jinx through the middle (dangerous, but if successful, very effective), cutting a 45º left or right around the opposing team or a consolidation in the middle. Nobody dares go up for a breath at this point, or they risk leaving a massive gap for the opposing team to exploit.


The following images give some impression of how the game is played.



The game starts from each side of the pool, with the players racing the other team to the centre for the puck. The whole team moves forward at the same time, staying in formation to either capitalise on winning the puck and taking the game to the opposition, or immediately forming a defence should the opposition be faster to the strike.


SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

Each player makes their own critical contribution to the game. Game awareness allows players to recognise opportunities and avoid taking on the opposition on their strengths. Skills give players the tools to make the most of these opportunities. Game fitness ensures that players can actually realise the potential of their awareness and skills. The rest of the team need to read what the puckcarrier is doing. Air isn’t the only thing in short supply. Verbal communication is impossible underwater, and so the team relies on a common understanding of what kind of support is required at any given instant.



Players can use their bodies to shield the puck from opposing players – as long as they retain full control of the puck on their stick. Should the player lose control of the puck, this immediately becomes a body block and the game referee will call a foul.


What looks like complete chaos to the novice is actually the dynamic interaction of two finely tuned systems – one in offence mode, the other in defence mode. Players are covering gaps and swimming into gaps, working for possession of the puck, positioning themselves for a quick counter-attack or the unexpected breakaway.


The walls of the pool allow for new opportunities for offence and defence. Offensive benefits include pulling the opposition to one side of the pool where they need to build their defence – this means that the middle is open for a quick change of direction and direct attack at goal. Defenders can use the fact that the range of movement is limited by half – either forward or off the wall.


In the end, once the game awareness, skills and fitness have woven their magic, the objective is to score in the opposition goal. A close game won’t typically produce more than a handful of goals, so the attacking team needs to make sure that each goal opportunity, once created, is actually closed. Defending teams can rapidly turn defence into offence and counter-attack from their own goal area.

Underwater hockey draws on all aspects of sport – individual physical fitness, player skills, team strategy and tactics – in an exhilarating underwater environment. S

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E



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SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

REEF FISHES & CORALS R A Author: Dennis King P Publisher: Struik Publishers Th guide contains information on more than This 200 fish and 32 coral species found along the 20 KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique coasts, Kw with matching photographs to aid quick identificaw tion. Popular dive resorts are situated in this area, tio although many of the fish and corals described occur al along the entire east coast of Africa and elsewhere al in the western Indian Ocean. To assist in identification, outlined drawings of the various fish families tio are provided with page references to the relevant ar species. Each entry provides the common and sp scientific names of the species as well as concise information on physical appearance, habitat, feeding habits and any other interesting characteristics. Photographs illustrating the changing colour patterns of the male/female and/or juvenile/adult phases of fish provide additional information. The book is aimed at the fast-growing community of sport scuba-divers, snorkellers and rock pool enthusiasts, and its laminated, splashproof binding makes it suitable for outdoor use on boats and on the beach.

THE COMMON SEA FISHES Author: Rudy Van der Elst Publisher: Struik Publishers This reprint features the latest regulations regarding catch restrictions and current angling and spearfishing records. The guide includes 324 of the fish most likely to be seen or caught in Southern African waters, from the little coral fish that inhabit the Northern Natal reefs and estuaries to the might of the Black marlin and the Great White sharks. Each species is photographed in full colour to show the characteristic shapes, identifying colouration and markings to best advantage. A full page is devoted to each species description, elements of which include notes on natural history, local and world-wide distribution maps, angling and spearfishing records, as well as catch restrictions.

To order any of the above items, visit Delivery charges apply.

June/July 2007 • S U BM E RG E



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Scuba Scene

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Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔


AHA Dive Centre • • 012 6633870 • • 021 7856994

Iain’s Scuba School

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔




13 • • 012 3465681

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔


Air fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔

Scuba Scene


Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Technical Instructor Training


Diving World

16 • 082 3790778

10 • • 011 4223132 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Charter ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Digital Photography



Froggie Fever

17 • • 012 347 1238

Orca Diving Academy

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Digital Photography

5 • • 021 6719673

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Gear Servicing


Prest-ige Dive School

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Kiteboarding


Hippo Dive Campus

11 • • 011 8234553

6 • 044 3840831 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Wreck Dive


Reef Divers



18 • 072 5708979 Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ SPECIALITY: Bargain Gear Sales

12 • • 012 4609229

SPECIALITY: Rebreather Training

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔

June/July 2007 • S U BM E RG E




2 Dive 4 Scuba Diving & Safaris


Scuba Scene




31 • 2dive4tours& • 082 4885631 • • 012 3681473 • • 011 9582418

Gear Sales ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Flights

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: 5m Pool with underwater cave

SPECIALITY: Training, Travel And Gear Sales MURRAYFIELD


3D Dive


Twobar Scuba


26 • • 012 8037611 • • 011 8031787 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Nitrox

SPECIALITY: Skippers Training

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔

Deep Blue Diving

32 • • 082 7758133


Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Rebreathers and Technical Diving



4 Ways Scuba

21 • • 011 4650902

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Nitrox

Calypso Dive & Adventure Centre



Phoenix Aquatic Club • • 011 4765172

33 • 082 4251763 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Shark Diving

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Photography


Beneath the Blue

22 • • 011 8848430

Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Equipment


Ocean Dreamers • • 012 3312318

Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Professional Training and Personal Attention


Scuba World Int. Oceans

23 • • 082 4581551


Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Master diver



Africa Blue Scuba Courses 34 & Dive Safaris • • 082 5747871 Gear Sales ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔


Scuba Scene

29 • • 011 4766070 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔

SPECIALITY: Shark Courses & Dives DURBAN

Calypso Dive & Adventure Centre

24 • • 012 3652890

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔


Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Instructor Training Facility

SUBMERGE • June/July 2007

2 Dive 4 Scuba

30 • • 083 4596492

Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: Courses & Dive Trips

35 • • 031 3320905


Wetstuff Scuba




Quo Vadis Dive Charters

36 • • 082 4412562 Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔



Adventure Mania • • 0861 SODWANA

SPECIALITY: Underwater Communication



H2o Scuba

44 • • 079 8737794

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔

Bubble Blasters Dive School

50 • 082 2136535

Air Fills ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Boat

Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site✔


Coral Divers



RUSTENBURG • • 033 3456531 Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔

Underwater Adventures POLOKWANE

Fins & Boots


Sea Escapes Dive Camp


Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔

45 • 082 5565546

SPECIALITY: International Tours • • 083 4594222

Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔


SPECIALITY: Executive & Personalised Scuba Training


Aqua Scuba Centre ERMELO

Eco Turtle Diving School

SODWANA BAY 40 • • 035 5716010 Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Underwater Photography Dive Site ✔

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Dive Site ✔



Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ SPECIALITY: All NAUI Specialities


Barra Dive Resorts


IANTD Instructor Development Centre


Dive Nautique

41 • 082 5532834 Air Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Dolphin Viewing

SPECIALITY: Rebreathers – Sales & Training – All Levels & Types – Trimix Fills

Air Fills ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Whaleshark

Aliwal Dive Charters

Barra Reef Divers

Buddy Scuba Diving Adventures


Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔

SPECIALITY: Personalized Training

Lala Manzi Dive Charters



Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔

Air Fills ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Boat Diving

www.divealiwal • • 039 9731345 Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔


Scuba Mozambique

N O R T H W E ST All About Scuba

54 • • +25 8827126640

55 • • 028 3843763



SPECIALITY: Personalised Scuba Training


MIDDELBURG • • 039 9732233

SPECIALITY: PADI 5 Star IDC Instructor Courses

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Technical Training ✔ Dive Site ✔ • • 083 2962525


53 • • 011 3143355 • • 082 650 2279/94


52 • • 084 6574496 • 017 8113952

Sodwana Bay Lodge Scuba Centre

51 • • 014 5333296

49 • • 018 4626242

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ SPECIALITY: Travel

Air Fills ✔ Nitrox Fills ✔ Gear Sales ✔ Service & Repairs ✔ Equipment Hire ✔ Charter ✔

Accommodation ✔ Tour Operator ✔ Scuba Training ✔ Technical Training ✔ Club ✔ Dive Site ✔ SPECIALITY: Mozambique Travel

June/July 2007 • S UBM E RG E


BEYOND BOUNDARIES The dive computer youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been waiting for.

Breaking boundaries with sophisticated technology and intuitive design, UWATEC introduces Galileo Sol, the ultimate graphic dive computer. Galileo Sol goes beyond the conventional with an innovative heart rate monitor for precise decompression calculations and a navigational system including a full-tilt, digital compass with bearing memory. Made for divers of all levels, this user-friendly, interactive computer also boasts an exceptionally large dot matrix display screen with three display options and multiple personalization features.

Galileo Sol by UWATEC. In partnership with Polar - listen to your body.

Scuba Equipment Africa +27 11 444 6563

the napoleon wrasse  

So, put on those extra skins, vests and hoodies and perhaps even your gloves, and get ready for a great winter diving season. WORRIED ABOUT...

the napoleon wrasse  

So, put on those extra skins, vests and hoodies and perhaps even your gloves, and get ready for a great winter diving season. WORRIED ABOUT...