Monday, April 30, 2007

Spearfishing Update & Salty Diver - Club Meet

Hey guys,
 
Well the long week end has been great, some diving and even some guys getting waves.
I almost did not dive on Friday, but a mate needed help skippering his boat. So in a flash I was out at sea, we had to change the temperature recorder off Sheffield beach. The water was not great about 4 -5m vis, but we were out there and in our kit so we jumped to try our luck. The first spot had loads of Tassles and Bronzies, but other than that was a bit quiet.
 
I had my 9 year old son Braiden with me and he was keen to get in so we moved onto a shallow point. It was almost time to go, when I spotted a good sized Rock Salmon. I normally send Braidy down on the fish, but they are usually very skittish. When I got to the bottom in about 4m of water I noticed the Rock Salmon saw not alone and had a shoal of small Dagga with it. It was a tough choice 4-5kg Rock salmon or a 6-7kg Dagga. I took the Dagga!
 
I hit the surface and told Braiden to go down and I watched him line up and just miss a good sized Dagga. After sorting out my line on my reelgun I dived down on a ledge only a few meters from where we saw the Dagga. The ledge turned out to have a huge cave underneath it jam packed with Dagga. I got another one, and Braiden tried but at 5m down and a couple meters into the cave I think it was a bit past his ability. 
 
The disappointment in his eyes as the tears welled up "I cant get a fish" Hopefully we can change all that up in Mozambique next week ..... smiles!
 
Diving from boat you can take 5 Dagga with only one large one. We could have taken more fish, but 3 was enough. My mate went into the cave, saw the fish holed up and felt sorry for them. He has only been diving for about a year, and has not had spent years struggling to get an elusive Dagga. I have never seen them like this and took the opportunity with both hands.
 
Tomorrow (Tuesday) looks like a bomb of a day for a dive with loads of good water around and moderate winds. I have not heard of too many fish coming out other than the odd Snoek or Cuta.
 
Very important!!!
 
This Friday is Salty's Club meet. It will be at my place in Ballito. I am going to trying to get some of the 'home' footage from some of the guys recent dive trips ..... should be a good watch!
Till then have fun and shoot loads of fish.
 
Spot Ya
 
Coatesman

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Salty Diver

Hey guys just a reminder that our Club Meet this month is on Wednesday in Durban ......
 
And we heard that the Wahoo boys are having the premier of a new Spearo DvD .. and it is supposed to be the bomb!!
So we are going to go and gate crash their jol!!! And bring some Salty flavour to their club. I know Chris West has organised a braai and the whole 9 yards so it should be an absolute blast.
 
For the North coast guys meet me at the Bp Ballito at 6:30 and we will go from there. The rest of you we will see you at Wahoo Club House. Please wear a Salties Shirt of some sort it will be good to fly our colours!!!
 
If you have any questions ... just drop me a line
 
Coatesman

Salty Diver - Fwd: Underwater Club fundraiser - 14 April 2007

Hey guys,
 
Here is a fun comp / fundraiser going down with the Varsity guys. (See mail below)
 
Coatesman

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Caroline Reid <reidc1@ukzn.ac.za>
Date: Apr 10, 2007 8:56 AM
Subject: Underwater Club fundraiser - 14 April 2007
To: saltydiver@gmail.com, divefac@iafrica.com

 
Hi Rob and Chris

I just wanted to thank you both for the invaluable advice you gave me on Sat, and just having the chance to chat with people in the know to calm my nerves a little! Here's the information about the competition and party we are having on Sat, 14 April. Please spread the news and I hope to see you both there :)

Caroline
Scuba Officer
UKZN Underwater Club

-------- Original Message --------

Hey all

We are having a crayfishing/spearfishing competition as well as a club party on Sat 14 April. The purpose of this is to raise funds for the club but more importantly to bring all underwater enthusiasts together for a fun and festive occasion.

Competition:
Entry is R100 and includes a free t-shirt, entry to the after party and one lucky draw entry.  The competition will run from sunrise to sunset on 14 April. You need to pre-register by Thursday 12 April at the UKZN Underwater Club (on Thursday nights) or at the Lizzard factory shop, Stamford Hill Road. For further info contact Scott McNeill on 079 493 9078.
Categories and prizes include:
Crayfishing:
Heaviest Crayfish – 30% discount on a Lizzard wetsuit
Heaviest Crayfish Bag - Divetek Frameless Mask
Smallest legal crayfish - CD give aways
Spearfishing:
Heaviest fish - Rob Allen spear gun
Most Species - Rob Allen spear gun
Sealed weight - CD give aways

Party:
There will be a club party and prize giving at the Underwater Club from 5:30 pm. For those not entered into the competition, tickets are only R60 and include one lucky draw entry (you can purchase extra entries for the draw for R30 to increase your chances of winning!). There will be lost of amazing lucky draw prizes including a 5 dive package at Aliwal Dive Centre, a flight around Durban, free entrance to Panama Room and R200 drinks voucher and much, much more! For your entertainment there will be a jacuzzi, DJ's, a fish braai, loads of cheap drinks and a replay of the rugby on big screens. You can buy your tickets at the Underwater Club (Thursday nights) or at the Lizzard Factory shop.  For more information contact me on 0833035995 or reidc1@ukzn.ac.za.

Spread the news and tell all your friends - the more the merrier at both events!! Attached please find a poster that you can forward on to anybody you think may be interested!

Caroline

 

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mozambique Corruption

On every trip there are those experiences that are unexpected. On a recent trip to Mozambique this proved to be very true.
I remember driving next to a lake as the sun was setting. I could see about twenty birds along a five meter strip next to the lake. The amazing thing is that there were about five or six different bird species in that little row. What was equally surprising is that although we stayed in a game reserve, the only other animal I saw in a week was a squirrel? I did not even see a monkey! Speaking to a friend about the mystery, he commented that he thought this was the result of hungry (or not so hungry) locals. This may be true. It just seemed really strange to be in a reserve, six hours from the nearest traffic light, in desolate Africa, and not an animal to be seen.
One can only dream about the magnificent wild life that must have roamed the planes and lined the lakes. Oh we did also see a crocodile…I guess they are not so easy to catch and eat!

I certainly was an interesting trip. What was a real experience was the whole "settling of the account" experience. Once we were in our camp, we were approached everyday by "the official" of the camp. It seems that there were a number of hidden expenses. The "official" who introduced himself as "Lazero" , was an interesting chap indeed. The first two times we met him he was battling to stand up straight, and could not hold a conversation. One of his jobs, apparently , was to open the gate so we could access the beach in the morning. On the second night, he approached us and asked to please not hoot for him in the morning, as he would be sleeping. He said he would leave the gate open for us.(which was a piece of string between two sticks). The next morning as we launched our boats, he was asleep next to the gate, conveniently passed out under the shade of some palms.
Here is an important note, and the lesson I learned in this trip. KNOW THE RULES!!! It seemed that this chap was insisting that we pay R70 a day for fishing in his park. He said that it was for the official fishing permit, and that it was a daily permit. Our information, which later proved to be true, it that a fishing liscence is R150 (about), and that was valid for your entire stay in Mozambique. Once we forced that issue, he changed the rule to R70 a day per boat, launching fee. He had some old forms in Portuguese, and kept pointing at various places, saying that theses fees were required. Of coarse we could not read the form, so we could not interpret what it said, and therefore it was difficult to defend ourselves.
There was more fun and games, around our "bill". We were in Mozambique when the massive swell hit about a month ago. When it hit, halve the camp returned home, not wanting to dive In huge seas (most sensible indeed). When they left they settled the bill with Lazero.
The next day there was a knock at my tent, guess who…it was Lazero. He said that he had come to collect the money. "What money" I asked. He told me that my friends had left and they had not paid. He continued to say that I was now responsible for their bill. He wanted me to pay R70 per person per day for fishing. What had happened is that my friends had left the day before, after negotiating with him. It seemed tat all he wanted was a hundred rand from each of them, which they paid. He now wanted a further R670 from me! When I told him that they had paid him, he refuted it. He then took out his phone and stated that he was going to phone the border and have them arrested there. He then pretended to walk up onto the hill where there was some cell phone signal. I must say that at that point, I was a bit worried. Images of sharing a cell with big sweaty African men came to mind. I began to wonder if I would see one of these cells myself. You see I had only brought a few hundred rand pocket money, and would not even be able to buy my way out of the problem (which is what the game is all about!).
I was busy pondering the fate of my fellow fishermen, when I decided to go find Lazero. Surprise, surprise…he was not up the hill, but chilling in his shaded room. I quickly realized that he had not called any one. I wonder if the phone even worked. (The place had no water or electricity, making battery life very difficult!).


Still everyday he came to the camp and deliberated with us, this would go on for 30min to an hour.
On about day five he came to us and announced that he was going home, and introduced us to two other "officials". A young man and a lady. He said that he was leaving them in charge, and after trying for a while to extract a few hundred rand out of us (to no avail), he left. I seemed to us that he was raising funds for his trip home.
When he left he told these officials that we owed money. This resulted in many more deliberations. Finally a tour came through the camp. There were Portuguese speaking South Africans who helped us sort out the bill. They could read the documentation, and refuted the claims that the "officials" were making.
All in all the "officials were trying to get us to pay about R3000, and our actual bill was R750. (about R250 each for the three of us).

I tried to have the, "don't you want people to come back here", and "if you loose this job, you'll have nothing" talks with them, but they clearly pretended to not understand what I was talking about. This seemed to be the technique they adopted, as soon as you were winning the deliberations.

Talking to others in the camp, it seems that these "officials" operate the same almost every where in the country. At border posts, at road blocks and at camp sites. It takes some serious "Africa smarts" to not become a victim. Thanks to my two mates, Hein and Kevin, who were not nearly as gullible and trusting as I was, I did not become a victim. Thanks guys!

The moral of the story, know your stuff.
Always get a receipt for everything you do.
Know the conversion rate.
Speak to others before you go and get the rates, and the rules.
Don't give money to every "official" who demands it.

The most headway we had was when we said we wanted to see it in writing, and that we wanted an official receipt. No receipt, no pay!!! This worked well. Receipts should be in official receipt books with official print and stamps in them.

Other than all this mess, the trip was great. There were a few times on the trip I swore I would not return, all this nonsense has the potential to seriously ruin the mood of a trip. In the end the beauty of the land, it's remoteness and quality of fish will have me back. This time a lot wiser. Watch out "officials"!

 Wayne Duncan

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Salty Diver

Hey Guys,

Well it is miff all round and there looks like there is little hope of any diving this week!! we are are due a west on Friday so maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Saturday.

Just a heads up - Club meet has been moved.

It would have fallen on Friday the public holiday and there are a number of guys all going away. So we have moved it to Wednesday the 11th and will hold the meeting in Durban.
At the last meeting I did some training .. I know that there would have been very little opportunity to work on some of the techniques, but some feed back would be good. I am thinking of doing another training sesh so it should be good.

Anyway hope we get some water before the next meet and we can swap some stories.

Coatesman

Monday, April 02, 2007

RE: Salty Diver

hey guys

shaun and i are in sodwana from thurs to monday . anyone else going to be there ? if so drop me a mail and we can hook up

sav

Thank You

Mark Savides

KwaZulu Financial Services
tel : 031 3040781
fax : 031 - 3041831
email : sav@mweb.co.za

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 ----- Original Message ------
 From:Chris Coates
 Sent:Monday, April 02, 2007 07:36
 To:Andrew Clarkson andrew@cooteclarkson.co.za; Andrew Henwood andrew@remaxmidlands.co.za; Barry Kruger barrykruger@iafrica.com; Billy yrene@absamail.co.za; Brett Clark brett.clark@unilever.com; Brett Spindler bspindler@telkomsa.net; Bruce long jill.long@gb.co.za; Carol Benecke carolbenecke@mweb.co.za; Chris Edgar chris@nova.co.za; Chris West chriswest1@telkomsa.net; chris@hedcor.co.za chris@hedcor.co.za; Clayton Love clayton@hillshowardzld.co.za; Craig Harper craigharps@yahoo.com; Craig Schutte criagschutte@telkomsa.net; Dale Petersen dale@massivegear.co.za; Darren Aitken darren@nanda.co.za; Glen Paterson chemdrydolphin@mweb.co.za; Graham Warne gbwarne@absamail.co.za; Grant Somers grants@dit.ac.za; Greg & Shannon impexon@telkomsa.net; Greg Booyens impexon@gmail.com; Iain Ewing iain@ewing.co.za; Iain Ewing iain@ewingadams.co.za; James Bieth jamjo@ananzi.co.za; John Little john@spearfishingsa.co.za; John Van Rooyen john.vanrooyen@za.nestle.com; Ken Davidson kennyd1970@yahoo.com; Marcus metheron@telkomsa.net; Mark Griffith griffithm@ukzn.ac.za; Mark savides sav@mweb.co.za; Martin Donnelly martind@sivest.co.za; Martinus tinusv@lantic.net; Mich Coates mishygirl@gmail.com; Michael Cook mjcook@mweb.co.za; Morne Muller morne.muller@seesos.co.za; Paul Rados inkosea@webmail.co.za; Paxman Barry ( Lee & Scott ) saltyseadog@iinet.net.au; Rhyno Linde rhyno.linde@spar.co.za; Robin Lavery robin@senqu.co.za; Rory O'Connor ruar@global.co.za; Ryan Watkins ryan.watkins@wavehouse.co.za; salty blog saltydiver.mail@blogger.com; Sean Burns sean.burns@spar.co.za; Shane Breed freedivers@iafrica.com; Shaun Ried shaun@pdib.co.za; Skipper markpattrick1@hotmail.com; Steve Fitzjohn stevegf@mweb.co.za; Steven amawimpy@yahoo.com; Steven Kewley skewley@cisco.com; Sven Sven.Arro@wspgroup.co.za; Tony Benecke tbenecke@mweb.co.za; Tony Benecke tonybenecke@hotmail.com; Wayne And Jennifer jennifer_jean@discoverymail.co.za; Wire Khaya - Clinton wirekhaya@telkomsa.net;
 Subject:Salty Diver

Hey Guys,

Well it is miff all round and there looks like there is little hope of any diving this week!! we are are due a west on Friday so maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Saturday.

Just a heads up - Club meet has been moved.

It would have fallen on Friday the public holiday and there are a number of guys all going away. So we have moved it to Wednesday the 11th and will hold the meeting in Durban.
At the last meeting I did some training .. I know that there would have been very little opportunity to work on some of the techniques, but some feed back would be good. I am thinking of doing another training sesh so it should be good.

Anyway hope we get some water before the next meet and we can swap some stories.

Coatesman

Salty Diver

Hey Guys,

Well it is miff all round and there looks like there is little hope of any diving this week!! we are are due a west on Friday so maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Saturday.

Just a heads up - Club meet has been moved.

It would have fallen on Friday the public holiday and there are a number of guys all going away. So we have moved it to Wednesday the 11th and will hold the meeting in Durban.
At the last meeting I did some training .. I know that there would have been very little opportunity to work on some of the techniques, but some feed back would be good. I am thinking of doing another training sesh so it should be good.

Anyway hope we get some water before the next meet and we can swap some stories.

Coatesman