Coffs Harbour Report: November 2009 by Mark Kallman

Weather

Conditions seemed to be improving and as I sat writing the last report on Coffs, it had started raining again. Little did I realize that we would be in for floods again! I read Basie’s report on brown water with a smile on my face. We have a really big river just north of us, the Clarence. How big is big? Those ships that sail into Durban Harbour are able to steam about 50km upriver in the Clarence, so when it floods, the sea turns to poo and it looks like some-one flushed the sea again. The sad thing is that the EAC is pushing down hot clear water but it is so far offshore as to be completely useless for spearos.

Club

The club comp was cancelled and rescheduled for the following weekend and cancelled again because conditions were so pitiful. There were some notable events this month with a great deal of interest for Mike Well’s safety evening. Approximately 85 divers turned up, imagine that in a small South Coast town in Natal. The sad thing that we share with South Africa was that probably only 20% of the divers present were club members. I suppose it is a reflection of the apathy some people show.

Fish

Kingfish (Cape Yellowtail) are always around but there are some amazing fish that are already turning up as a result of the warm current. A Spangled Emperor was taken by a diving buddy, one of the older die-hards got the first mackerel (couta) of the season, a big Jew (kob) has been landed about 26kg and then one of the most surprising, a doggie. The doggie was small, only about 3kg but a sure sign that the warm water is around.

What to expect

I got a really good fish at the start of December but more about that in December’s report and 8 club members have recently completed the AIDA freediving A certificate with Erez Beatus. I thought I was a competent diver and that this course was not going to teach me anything. I could not have been more wrong and firmly believe that the result of the course will be reflected in an increase in my diving success. More about that next month too. Now all I am hoping is that we start to see some of that summer water we have been dreaming about.