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Destination Blue Ocean Dive Resort @ Aliwal Shoal
Full dive gear and permit included
1 x Reef or Wreck Dive
R 1900 per person min 4 pax
Join us on a diving adventure as we head down to the town of Umkomass to Blue Ocean Dive Resort to get ready for your Scuba diving experience on the Aliwal Shoal. The dive will be choosen on the morning at Dive briefing and could be either a reef or wreck dive suitable for Open Water Divers. Diving at Aliwal Shoal is an exciting experience. Rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, it has a great reputation to live up to. Aliwal Shoal should not be confused with resort diving, as conditions are demanding – sometimes bumpy launches, swells and currents. This adds to the sense of adventure. The shoal lies 4 – 5 kms out to sea, so all divers are transported to the shoal on boats.
The Sardine Run occurs between late May, June and July along the East coast of South Africa when millions of sardines migrate up the East coast of South Africa from the Cape. Their sheer numbers create a feeding frenzy along the coastline in what is one of the largest marine events in the world. This has been dubbed “The Greatest Shoal On Earth” by the Kwazulu-Natal Tourist Board.
Initially the sardines spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank through spring and early summer. Most of the fish stay in the cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean and end up along the West coast of Africa.
It is thought that the run on the East coast, containing millions of individual sardines, occurs when a current of cold water heads north from the Agulhas Bank up to Mozambique where it then leaves the coast line and goes further East out into the Indian Ocean.
In terms of biomass, researchers estimate the sardine run could rival East Africa’s great wildebeest migration. However, little is known of the phenomenon. It is believed that the water temperature has to drop below 21°C in order for the migration to take place.
The shoals are often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 meters deep and are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface.
Sardines group together when they are threatened. This instinctual behaviour is a defense mechanism as individuals are more likely to be eaten than large groups. These bait balls can be 10-20 metres in diameter and extend to a depth of 10 meters. The bait balls are short lived and seldom last longer than 10 minutes.
It is thought that dolphins (estimated as being up to 18,000 in number, mostly the common dolphin but also the bottlenose dolphin) are largely responsible for rounding up the sardines into bait balls. Once the sardines are rounded up, sharks (primarily the bronze whaler, but also dusky shark, blacktip shark and zambezi shark), game fish (like shad or elf, king mackerel, various kingfish species, garrick, geelbek, sail fish and eastern little tuna) whales (brydes whale & hump backs) and birds (like the Cape gannet, cormorants, terns and gulls) take advantage of the opportunity.
The Cape Fur Seal follows the shoals up the Eastern Cape coastline as far as Port St Johns.
As the sardines move North, their behaviour based on the water temperature is less predictable but can sometimes reach as far as Durban before heading out to sea to continue their annual migration.
Have you ever wanted to Surf? To ride the waves of the ocean? To experience the ultimate free mans Art? If the answer is yes, then Endless Summer Surfing lessons are for you! Come and enjoy the morning on the beach as we teach you the basics of Surfing. Our three hour programme will have you up and riding and at the same time teach you valuable information about our wonderful Indian Ocean.
You will have 2 x 1hour lessons and a chance to practice by yourself under the watchful eye of the instructor.
Depart 7:00 am
Returns 12:00 pm
Price R 1000.00 pp – Surfboard hire and instructor included.