Dive Durban Blog English

They say no dive site is ever the same and that certainly rings true for those at Sodwana Bay. I’ve dived the coral reefs of Sodwana numerous times and except for the odd territorial potato bass, you never know what to expect. As our seasoned dive guru Dean Channon of Underwater World points out ad nauseum “just because the last dive group saw a manta ray on 2-mile doesn’t mean you’re likely to see it now”.

Passionate about shark conservation, Grant Smith runs Sharklife (www.sharklife.co.za) from his fascinating ocean centre in Sodwana Bay. To find out more, Debbie Reynolds popped him 10 questions.

Exactly a year after the Dive Durban team explored the wonders of Sodwana Bay, I returned to – hopefully – relive the magical underwater experience. I was not disappointed. While most locals think diving is a summer sport, the KZN East Coast is arguably at its best over the winter months from May to July, before the winds pick up.

Deciding on where to dive the first weekend in September, I realised I’d gone through the entire winter diving season without encountering my favourite Ragged Tooth (raggie) sharks. It was time. A quick call to Dean Channon from Underwater World sealed the deal. We rounded up some of the old crew, including Durban Green Corridor’s “larney” Gary Cullen, and set the dive for a civilised 10am launch from Blue Ocean Dive Resort in Umkomaas.

With hot-off-the-press news of sardines moving down KwaZulu-Natal’s lower south coast it was an excited bunch of divers who arrived at ScubaXcursion Diving in Scottburgh on the morning of July 1. The 45-minute trip down the coast from Durban revealed a spectacularly flat indigo blue sea, a mere whisper of a breeze and sardine fisherman waiting expectantly around every corner. The signs all pointed to this being one of those balmy winter dives that blow you away. And we weren’t disappointed.

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