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Once a year the largest migration on earth – the Sardine Run – occurs along South Africa’s wild East Coast. The mass migration of sardines draws an unprecedented crowd of predators, dolphins, sharks, sea birds and even humpback whales… Overview Continued
If you are considering extending your trip to include some land safaris then we would suggest Kruger National Park. Matt spent 3 days there during our last visit and loved it! You can rent a car and drive up via Mozambique if you fancy a road trip, or if you are a bit strapped for time then flights are an alternative option and leave Mthatha airport daily. Please check with your national embassy regarding entry visas. Most nationalities receive visas upon arrival but the length of visas do vary
“Following thousands of dives all over the world the tend to blend into one blurry mass. Although I do remember all of my dives in South Africa individually and as if it was only yesterday.”
As the weather changes and the marine parks close their doors the Phinisi heads to Southern Thailand to continue the great diving opportunities until the marine parks open their doors again in October. The Phinisi was custom built for divers, with a shaded diving deck, personal set-up and storage areas, as well as nitrox and quality Aqualung equipment available to rent.
Itineraries in Thailand explore the clear blue waters of the Similan & Surin Islands and run from four to ten nights in length. Dive sites include Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and the world-famous Richelieu Rock. The Phinisi also visits the best of the Myanmar dive sites, including Black Rock, High Rock, Tower Rock and Torres Island.
Topside the Phinisi caters to 18 guests in a choice of cabins to suit different budgets. Each cabin features individually controlled AC, ensuite bathrooms with hot water, bath towels, storage space and lockable safety box. Social areas include a sundeck with loungers, indoor and outdoor dining, 42″ flat-screen TV and a library of books, movies and games. All meals are served buffet style and self-service drinks and snacks are available at an additional charge.
The experienced captain, crew and dive guides of The Phinisi are on hand to help make it a memorable trip.
Right place, right time, right people
Working together with Offshore Africa we aim to be on the water for 6 days with 8 night’s accommodation at the beautiful Port St.Johns River Lodge.
Planned dates for this expedition are 18th-26th July 2020. We’ll start in the Port St.Johns River Lodge, on the banks of the Mzimvubu river and ringed by high cliff faces and wilderness. The Lodge is a perfect base for our adventure, with an on-site bar and restaurant (buffet breakfast included, a la carte dinner available), extremely comfortable rooms and lodges, and facilities for divers such as a drying room for personal equipment.
Nomadic Scuba prides itself on selecting the best operators, especially for remote diving destinations. Offshore Africa is the only company to be based in Port St.Johns all year round and is also the only company to provide air support during the Sardine Run.
The Offshore Africa team are THE professionals to dive with during the sardine run; their local knowledge, experience on the water, aerial cover, and hospitality is second to none. The globally recognized ‘Behind the Mask’ team spent a month with Offshore Africa documenting the action along the coastline and loved it. So much so, they are heading back this year for another month with the team.
Don’t just take my word for it
Have a look at what it is all about and have a listen to the opinions of Rob Nettleton & Debbie Smith (Offshore Africa dive operators) in this truly EPIC video produced by the Behind the Mask team during last years visit.
When silence speaks louder than words
We shared something truly magical out on the water, at times we all fell into silence from the sheer wonder of it all, other times we couldn’t help but chuckle when it was someone else’s turn to be lost for words. Fair to say that the explosion of creatures, the organised chaos, witnessing the feeding system of dolphins then sharks then whales punctuated by dive-bombing gannets was both overwhelming and unforgettable.
What’s it like?
It’s epic, it’s crazy, it’s a TV documentary in full HD on steroids!
Reflecting on last year, our initial experience was as follows: we set off in the rubber duck (hard based inflatable boat) and cruised out of the estuary to meet the surf. We donned life jackets, our expert skipper manoeuvred us through the surf, and we tracked along the coastline with 6 hours of discovery ahead of us. Within 20 minutes we were in the water with a superpod of dolphins, to the deafening and incredible sound of their chatter! Whales echoed in the distance and then it happened – through the aqua green water, the spinner dolphins and then a black mass loomed… the humpback whale. That was day one!
Temperature and conditions
Ok, it is cold water. 7mm wet suits are advisable, with a chilly morning to start the temperature increases as the sun comes up so from 10 am onwards its quite comfortable. With a long day on the boat, you often start to daydream of a hot shower and a beer and then just as you start thinking of heading back to the lodge….BOOM, it goes off! Jump in with full dive gear or mask and snorkel – the skipper will advise which is most appropriate and it’s best to listen to him.
We often ditched the tanks for the snorkel, grabbed the camera and fins and slipped in quietly to be greeted (again) by whales and dolphins. The cycle continues, the days are long, the packed lunch, coffee and snacks are always welcome but more importantly, the experience is mind-blowing.