Sardines and Sea Sickness

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Flag of South Africa  , Eastern Cape,
Saturday, July 2, 2011


Day : 413
Temperature : 21 degrees
Weather : Sunny

It was another early start today. Actually, we slept through our alarm and awoke with a start at 7am. The first thing I did was slap on my sea sickness patch, then we grabbed a cup of tea, threw all of our "stuff" in the jeep and headed down to the launch pad. Sounds like something from NASA doesn't it, but it's the location in town from where the zodiacs are launched. By 7.30am the zodiac was in the water and we were clambering aboard.

I was still feeling rather poorly from my cold which I had picked up after the last day out at sea and so I was the only one who didn't pull on their wet was cold outside, I was already cold, and the last thing I wanted to do was put on a wet wetsuit.

We soon had our life vests on and we were positioned on the zodiac with feet hooked under the straps on the floor....this is done in order to help prevent you getting thrown into the pounding surf when trying to get out over the breakers.  Mikkey our skipper headed out along the river again until we reached the breakers, every one was told to hold tight and out we went. It took several attempts to get out into open sea, The first and second waves were expertly passed but then the next big wave was upon us way too fast, and so Mikkey quickly swung the zodiac around and headed back to safer water, then the procedure would start again. It was more than a little scary, but we all had complete faith in Mikkey who assured us that this was actually a calm day with only 4 metre swell at sea!

We soon spotted the dolphin and gannet activity and headed towards it. We approached slowly so as not to disturb the animals, then every body slipped into the water...except for me, as I was now feels rather queasy....I hadn't put my sea sickness patch on early enough. I knew that I still had at least 5 hours at sea and so I was going to need significant mental strength to get me through. The others, including Kevin, spent time in the water watching the sardines, sharks, dolphins and gannets, and I managed to capture a few photos from above which helped to take my mind of my nausea which was coming and going in waves.

The sardines were moving fast though, and we quickly had to pull everybody aboard and move further on. Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I donned my wet suit and jumped in the water just in time to see the end of a bait ball. By that time the sardines were actually hiding under the snorkellers and the dolphins were attacking out of nowhere getting incredibly close!

As the day went on we saw more humpback whales, minke whales and brydes whales. Kevin got in the water as I stayed on the boat once again....this time he actually managed to get a good glimpse of the whales which was fantastic since last time he didn't get in the water when we had our best encounter. He came back totally exhilarated! The other snorkellers were also going crazy, yelling and whooping with the adrenalin rush of it all!

And so finally another day at sea came to an end....much to the relief of myself who had been feeling terribly queasy for 6 hours.

Tomorrow we head back up to Umkomaas with Lynsey, a Scottish girl who is just as crazy about diving as we are, and who we have now decided to go to Mozambique with. In Umkomaas we will hopefully do some shark diving, and possibly see more sardines...the news is that there is also plenty of activity up there too. All fingers and toes are crossed.

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Eileen on

Ok have finaly caught up with your blogs ( just been too busy having the time of my life at you know ! ) ... such an amazing amazing time you guys are having .... wished we were there in SA !! ... did seriouly look at it but the fact that the aforementioned value me at 0.03p a day and I need to pay for the pesky kids ... just not doable ! :o( ... i think I will enjoy this part of your trip since I looked into SA so much ! ... dont think I would have gone in the water with the whales tho ! ... well done ! ...
Still wished you were home tho ! ..missing you ! yeah even Kev !

PS booked Italy for us... in the mountains .... very nice Villa .. you know me ... bit of a luxury girl .. cant slum it ! just need to try and beautify myself now so i dont look like a complete tramp next to all the Italians !! lol

take care speak soon ! xxxx

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