Sodwana in September 2016
This is our Blog on the trip to Sodwana in September 2016
After starting the Open Water Course on the 10th of September
We got straight into it with the lectures and pool sessions that followed, Excited and ready to take on the world our students
Sandra, Tiago, Gordon, Robert, Nikita and Marzanna managed to finish all their skills and do well in their exams.
We then departed on the Thursday the 22nd in the early morning and made our way down to the Beautiful Sodwana bay .
Having Mike Elmira (our other instructor) and Natasha Banhidy our intern in training with me for some extra help, the ride down seemed quite pleasant as there was always a joke being cracked or a good laugh being had..:) ☺
Arriving in Sodwana bay that day put huge smiles on our faces as we could feel the warm inviting weather and smell of the clean sea breeze, smooth gentle breeze keeping you fresh from the hot heat.
Houses number 28-29 in the Sodwana bay lodge was our accommodation for the weekend and couldn’t ask for more as the houses we stayed in were perfect…lush green forest all around us and great wildlife to, as duiker and some nyala buck walk around the houses giving a little bit of both worlds.
As everyone arrived that afternoon and settled into their accommodation with a small nap or two (lol) we then made our way to the lighthouse restaurant for some good dinner and dive planning.
With everyone being so excited and ready to dive the next day it seemed impossible to go to bed, all feeling like little kids waiting to open their gifts the next day.
Good food and full stomachs we headed back to our accommodation and called it a day.
DAY (1)Friday 23nd Sept
We awakened that Friday morning with the sounds of everyone chatting and having a cup of coffee with some classic Ouma Rusks ☺.
Making our way down to the beach we encountered some of the local wildlife crossing the road, some Cattle or in these parts called the (sand buffalo).
Walking onto the beach and feeling the sand between our toes gave us the surreal sense of happiness and extremely huge smiles, needless to say just being by the ocean is a plus for inland living folk haha..
Getting straight into it we started kitting up and going over our checks, making sure everything was good and ready… fins, weight belts, mask, wetsuit , 232bar in our cylinders ready to go..
A good informative briefing by Dominique our Divemaster and a run through of what was the plan on this first dive to the site “Pinnacles”.
With us being split up into 2 groups, The first group (Mike B, Tash, Gordon, Sandra, Tiago, Paulo and Terry) went out for their dive and EXCITED FOR THE WONDERS DOWN UNDER!! There was rumours of a manta ray being spotted in the area , (As I say- Positive thoughts leads to positive outcome) the first group came across this majestic creature on their descent and what a sight it was!!
A oceanic manta ray had popped in on the shallow reefs for a little visit and clean and what better then a Beautiful manta on your first dive ever! ☺ ☺.
The wonder continued and was followed by 2 white-tip reef sharks that were tucked away under a overhang and wandering turtle.
The dive was then finished off with everyone getting used to the feeling of weightlessness & FLYING THROUGH THE WATER…☺..
Getting back to the beach the 2nd group was overwhelmed with the hype and chatter of what seemed to be the best dive ever…
The group settled down and went for breakfast at the kiosk for their Surface Interval and chatted amongst themselves about what just happened.
Time for group 2 which consists of (Robert, Marzanna, Nikita and Myself) with 2 other casual divers that joined in to dive..
Our dive site, the famous “STRINGER” which never disappoints need I say more to anyone who has dived it ☺.
At a maximum depth of 13m and all of the fish life on it , this made it a playground for divers and easy conditions for the students.
As we got down onto the reef we were met by a friendly potato bass which seems very inquisitive and wanted to be in our GoPro footage.
Finishing off the dive with smiles and happiness, we got onto the boat and made our way back to the beach for some coffee and breakfast.
After a good day of diving and some skills been completed we made our way back to Sodwana Bay Lodge for some relaxing drinks and chats about our day , also recording our dive data and logging our dives.
Day (2) Saturday 24rd Sept
On our second day of diving we were met with some cloudy weather and light drizzles of rain which as a lot of us know makes for a flat ocean and even better conditions, visibility sitting at aprox 25m.
We were amped on getting back into the water and experiencing some more awesome diving, with everyone doing well on the 2 dives that day and finishing off their skills which qualified them officially as Open Water Scuba divers.
We ended off the day by heading up to a local spot called
Ngobosoleni Hill which overlooks a small lake and a bit of the ocean in the distance.
Having done very well with their diving we had some sundowners and fat laughs about what had happened the past 2 days with everyone’s opinion on Sodwana and the amazing dive sites and spectacular sea-life making it a truly great place to dive.
We then all headed back to house 29 for a fantastic braai with salads, some Tuna, and Roberts famous chicken curry…
Sunday morning the 25th of Sept we made our way to beautiful and exciting 9 Mile!!! And on our way, we were surprised by some humpback whales on their way down south.
One of the best dive sites in Sodwana as well as the whole of South Africa..
Dropping down on this magnificent dive site we were surrounded by Amberjack & Trevally coming close up to inspect us, and the sounds of whales in the distance singing to us.
We saw the spectacular Green Tree that is a coral that has grown into the shape of a tree over thousands of years and has its own ecosystem on it, everyone was amazed to how this looks exactly like a tree haha..
With huge coral structures and really interesting topography 9 mile is really a site to end off the weekend with a bang.
We then made our way back to the beach and were yet again surprised with a pod of dolphins just behind backline, jumping in for a quick snorkel with them truly made everything and Sodwana the place to be.! 🙂
Saying our goodbyes to the crew of Da Blue Juice was very difficult as they gave us a weekend we can never forget..
“Thanks to Mich & Digger for their great hospitality and to Dominique Maximillian for the amazing DMing ,and Shane (DM in training)
And Eddy for assisting us on loading all the kit everyday..
Been real and hope to see Sodwana soon again..
Congrats to the students for accomplishing their course ☺☺☺
-Written by Ryan Britz