Newsletter - 01/04/2001

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The Loggerhead

The Official newsletter for The African Diving Experience
Volume 5 Date: 30/03/2001

We hope you enjoy the April issue of our monthly newsletter.


<1) What's happening on the African Diving Experience
<2) Shark of the month - Puffader Shyshark
<3) Book Review -The Underwater Photography Handbook - Annemarie and Danja Köhler
<4) Tips on how to check a rented cylinder
<5) Travel Tips
<6) Websites of the month
<7) Diving emergencies - Entanglements

1. What's happening on the African Diving Experience

Have a search through our site with our new site level search engine, to find the information you desire even faster.

We have recently added the Hawkfish article by the East Coast Fish-Watch Project to our current Fish-watch section. Be sure to have a look at the rare Longsnout hawkfish. We will also be going down to Aliwal shoal this month and will hopefully be able to gather enough information to ad this diving paradise to our dive site list.

Interrested in a banner exchange? Do contact us at the following

2. Shark of the month - Puffader shyshark
Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous fish)
Sub class: Elasmobranchii (Sharks and rays)
Order: Carcharhiniformes (Ground sharks)
Family: Scyliorhinidae (Cat sharks)
Genus: Haploblepharus edwardsii (Puffadder shyshark)

The Puffader shyshark is most distinctive with its attractively variegated patterns and colours. The Cape and Natal specimens of this shark, differs in colour and habitat. These diffrences might be geographic varients or even two diffrent species. A common shallow water endemic (in dephts of 0 - 130m) with a very sluggish existance. It has a diet of crabs, bottom living fish and squids. Each season, the oviparous female produces two egg cases from which 10cm long pups hatch. Southeastern Cape form: Sandy brown with 7 reddish-brown saddles bordered by black and numerous small, dark brown and white spots between saddles, white below. Natal form: Body cream in colour with darker brown saddles and irregular white spots, white below.

Source: Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986), Sharks and rays of Southern Africa and Fishbase

3. Book Review - The Underwater Photography Handbook - Annemarie and Danja Köhler

This is a very neat and handy book for those of us who want to take up underwater photography. It features such sections as equipment for Still Photography, Exposure and Diving with a camera. It even has a full feature on videography. It has up to date and full color images of the equipment needed and very handy sketches on technique. These two women really know their field. As a bonus there are some magnificent photographs of reef fishes and reef scenes. This is truly a handbook for divers.

4. Tips on how to check a rented cylinder

· Check the valve o-ring. Look closely at the valve for any sign of cracks or broken rubber. When kitted up splash a bit of water on the high-pressure connection to check for any bubbles that might arise from old or broken o-rings.
· Check the valve-to-cylinder seal. If you can see any cracks or see bubbles when the tank is submerged then you should demand a new cylinder.
· Check the date of the last hydro and visual. The visual should be done annually and the hydro once every four years. This will ensure that you dive with a safe cylinder.

Source: Rodales Scuba Diving

5. Travel Tips

Here are some tips, which may help those of you who travel overseas.
· Remember to drink enough water. Those who dive must drink enough as dehydration can be a contributing factor to decompression illness.
· Try to see and meet some of the locals. This will add that extra special dimension to your vacation.
· If you wear glasses take along an extra pair. They may come in useful when youíve lost the other one.
· Always hide a few rand or dollars somewhere other than your wallet or purse. This money may come in handy in an emergency or when your wallet/purse has been stolen.

6. Websites of the month
The following sites are our choice for websites of the month:

This is a South African site featuring information on Great White Sharks. Information on research and other interresting facts can be viewed. Another SA great white shark site to visit is

Interrested in spearfishing? give this site a visit to find out what is happening on the spearfishing scene.

7. Diving emergencies - Entanglements

· Be prepared. Preparedness will minimise your risk of an accident when becoming entangled. A good tip if regularly diving in e.g. kelp is to carry two knifes mounted far apart - say on the ankle and the arm. This will ensure that you can always reach one if needed.
· Stay calm. When realizing you are caught, relax, take a deep breath and try to see what you are caught on. Most of the times you can unwrap if and continue your dive.
· Streamline your gear. Tape away all fin straps, tuck consoles in close to the body and donít take unnecessary gear. This will lessen the chances of becoming entangled.
The main point to remember when becoming entangled is to stay calm.

Source: Ė The Rodales Diving website

A bad day diving is better than a good day at the office.
Willem du Preez and Tjaart de Beer
Web masters for the African Diving Experience

This newsletter was sponsored by:
+ Dpa Training - Computer training at your fingertips.
Special Thanks to the following people and company's for helping us obtain information for our website.
Mseni Lodge and Amoray diving - Sodwana Bay
Reefteach - Sodwana Bay
Ocean Divers Pretoria
Andy Cobb Eco Diving
The East Coast Fish-Watch Project

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Updated on: 06/03/2003