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 Post subject: Tsitsikamma: ACTIVITIES
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:03 pm 
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Storms River mouth's beauty goes much further than the magnificent scenery. The bay creates the perfect shore dive!
Rock reefs form a bay providing many dive opportunities within the Tsitsikamma National Park. The area is protected from all forms of exploitation resulting in abundant fish and invertebrate life.
A unique river dive in the Storms River Mouth provides for the ultimate shore dive experience with frequent shark sightings. Most of the fish species are endemic to the South Eastern Cape - that is they occur nowhere else in the world!
Easy access to the sea, bright reefs and fishes provide the perfect opportunity for underwater photographers.
This is a naturalist's dream - over 50 different fish species occur in this small bay alone... and Raggertooth and smooth-hound sharks are frequently seen. Other residents of the bay include: red roman, mussel cracker, black tail, zebra, juvenile, poenskop, steepies, sand sharks and eagle rays.
In addition to this a wide variety of colourful sponges, ascidians, sea urchins and anemones are found. For the more adventurous, dives with up to 30 smooth hound sharks can occur.
SCUBA FACILITIES
Scuba Courses - NAUI Accredited Dive Instructor
Full Equipment Rental
Tank Fills
Guided Dives
SNORKELING
Magnificent snorkeling opportunities exist within the bay.
All the equipment can be rented and trained guides are available.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:05 pm 
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The Tsitsikamma is a National Park known not only for its forests, but also for its marine reserve. Its rocky shore is home to a vast array of plants and animals which can provide many hours of fascination, whether exploring the inter-tidal zone or tidal pools.
The more adventurous, can do snorkelling and scuba diving excursions from the Dive Hut at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, and experience the weightless, silent world beneath the turquoise waters of the sea.
Only divers who possess a valid SAUU (South African Underwater Union) Certificate or recognised equivalent will be permitted to dive the Scuba Trail.
Complete kits are available for hire, and are checked by the dive master, who then ensures that each diver tests the apparatus as well.
He leads the way on the scuba trail, into clear waters, over sandy gullies and rocky reefs, which run parallel to the shore. Along the way, divers stop off at suitable spots to marvel at the soft corals, bright purple, orange, red and yellow sponges, and nudi (branch- like coral).
Reef fish are especially plentiful as they are protected in the reserve, and one is able to admire their electric colouring as they dart to and fro, or ferret about in search of a tasty morsel. One fish to note is the Cape Doric, endemic to the Eastern Cape.
The divers make their leisurely way to the deepest section of the trail, which is about twelve to thirteen metres deep, then turn back about a quarter of the way to the wall. They cross a sandy area with soft corals, where sole, sand sharks, brown eagle rays, and smooth hound sharks are likely to be lurking.

Old anchors and other bits and pieces from old wrecks add interest. The remains of the old buoy that was once used for the famous little coaster Clara to lash onto, can still be seen. She used to tie up at Storms River, when it was used as a port, and collect logs and railway sleepers for transporting to Port Elizabeth.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:08 pm 
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For the divers a bit more info:

Reef: The Scuba Trail

This site isn't really a diving destination and should be seen as a bonus to visiting the park.

The rocks on the trail are covered with invertebrate life, sponges and star fish. Dogfish and galjoen is often spotted.

Depth:
Avg: 6 m Max: 10 m
Conditions:
Normally rough and visibility is rarely better than 10m.
Temperature: 16°C
Likely Aquatic Encounters:
Gas Flame Nudibranch

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2005 8:00 am 
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Jakkalsbessie wrote:
Only divers who possess a valid SAUU (South African Underwater Union) Certificate or recognised equivalent will be permitted to dive the Scuba Trail.

Along the way, divers stop off at suitable spots to marvel at the soft corals, bright purple, orange, red and yellow sponges, and nudi (branch- like coral).

They cross a sandy area with soft corals, where sole, sand sharks, brown eagle rays, and smooth hound sharks are likely to be lurking.


Hi Jakkalsbessie,
1. SAUU no longer issues certificates, this is now done by CMAS-ISA. Most certificates issued recently in SA are by PADI, which has become the de facto standard, whatever one may think of their standards.
2. In the second quoted paragraph are you referring to nudibranchs?
3. What kind of soft coral lives on a sand substrate?
Cheers,
Peter


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 Post subject: Tsitsikamma Diving
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:15 pm 
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The diving at Tsitsikamma can be very rewarding. There's always fish to be seen, but try and look carefully at the rocks and seaweed on the bottom. Many stunning invertebrates hide from the casual observer through camouflage.
Also take a peep under the rock ledges. One often finds a cuttlefish or two waiting in the shadows.
go through the Coraline algae on the rocks. Tsitsi has some divine Wrasses living amongst the weed. They look just like the seaweed.
A night dive, under ideal conditions can also deliver a once in a lifetime experience.
Be careful though, the sea can get rather moody in that bay and one has to keep on your toes. Particularly exiting after the dive. Slipways are not called that name for nothing.
There are also some very colourful soft corals and anemones on the rock walls.They are really showy when the water is a little green. They feed on the suspended soup.

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