The skipper handed me the fizz-pop as to say “welcome to the club”. It was calm and quite on the sea and warm and when you looked down to the bottom of the ocean you could see all the way down about 15m deep. The rest of the divers started to break through the surface of the water and I could here the “did you see the…’s” as they took their first breath of air.
I jumped back into the water with fins and a mask to free-dive while the rest of the crew handed their scuba gear to the skipper and climbed aboard again. The water was clear and warm.
The resort we stayed at was stellar. Coral Divers was welcoming and very friendly. I went there with my brother and I did my Open Water One course. It ran over 4 days. The first two days we did theory and pool sessions and the third and fourth left me speechless as we did 4 ocean dives. Our instructor, Zibonele, was a passionate young local diver and knew the waters well. I grew up in Natal and we use to come snorkel this coast line many times as a teenager. I have always wanted to have a proper scuba experience, and I don’t think that I could have done it at a better place.
Sodwana is situated in the Maputaland Marine Reserve and the only scuba diving area along the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park (now renamed to Isimangaliso) coastline. Classified as one of the top dive sites in the world this 50 km reef complex boasts around 95 species of hard and soft coral, sponges, other invertebrates and around 1200 fish species. It attracts 35 000 scuba divers every year. Vast 700m deep valleys, submarine canyons, are strewn over a distance of 2 km. It was in one of these that, on 27 November 2000, that the coelacanth was rediscovered.
I will be taking a group of explorers here early next year, so keep an eye out if you want to be a crew member. The only requirement for the trip will be to have a good sense of adventure! Send me an email if you would be keen.
A very big thanks to my brother for making all of this possible!
Our photos and above video were taken with a GoPro and GoPro3 with a red filter.