Newsletter - 04/01/2001

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The Loggerhead

The Official newsletter for The African Diving Experience
Volume 2 Date: 05/01/2001

We hope you enjoy the 2nd issue of our monthly newsletter.

First of I have to apologize for the strange e-mails that have come through to all of our list members. We seem to have experienced some errors on our e-mail server and we hope to have solved that problem by the time you receive this newsletter. If we caused you any inconvenience through this error we greatly apologize and will try not to let another mistake like that slip through.

Willem du PreezWe hope you enjoy the 2nd issue of our monthly newsletter.Index:

<1) What's new and what's to come in the near future on
<2) Shark of the month - African Angelshark
<3) Equipment Specials in SA
<4) Book Review - Safe Diving - a medical handbook for scuba divers
<5) Events in the Southern African diving scene
<6) Equipment discussion
<7) Websites of the month
<8) Helpful diving hints - warm water hypothermia

1. What's new and what's to come in the near future on

We have great plans for 2001 and will be working hard to make the African Diving Experience more user friendly, with all the information you would want. We will start off by finishing our Sodwana Bay feature and adding a section on diving in Hermanus. We will also get the 2001 tide table on our site so that you can plan your vacations ahead. And that is just the tip of the ice burg.

We would like everyone's involvement to get all necessary information on diving in southern Africa to help everyone get the information they need to plan their diving adventures. If you would like to make a contribution in anyway, even if it is just an idea to make the site better, please e-mail me at the following address:

2. Shark of the month - African Angelshark
Class: Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous fish)
Sub class: Elasmobranchii (Sharks and rays)
Order: Squantiniformes
Family: Squantinidae (Angelsharks)
Genus: Squantina africana (African Angelshark)

Unlike sandsharks and guitarfishes, angelsharks have free pectoral fins. At least 12 species occur world-wide with the African angelshark the only one living in our region. The African angelshark is an unusual bottom living shark which prefers muddy regions and depths ranging from the surf zone to depths of 500m. It has distinctive white spots on the brownish colour visible on the upper side. Lengths of up to 108 cm are reached and pups are born at 30 cm. 7-10 pups are born per litter. Their diet consists of slow swimming fishes, octopus and squid.


Source: Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986) p103, Sharks and rays of Southern Africa p8

3. Equipment Specials for January in South Africa

For more information contact Richard at or your local dive shop.

4. Book Review - Safe Diving - A Medical Handbook for Scuba Divers

The book was written by Allan Kayle a well known face on the medical side of scuba diving. It starts of by briefly looking at the history of diving then moves on to discuss the possible medical issues which could accur while being on a diving vacation. It covers diving related illnesses as well as physical requirements for diving. The book also has a section on marine animal bites and stings and very important common infections that might accur in scuba divers. Altitude, Naui, Therapeutic and the US Navy tables can be found inside. A handy divers accident report as well as a neurological assessment has been added in case an accident does accur.

5. Events in the Southern African diving scene

We are not aware of any events in January so contact your nearest dive club to find out how they are starting of the new year. If you would like to inform us of events around the country please e-mail us at:

6. Equipment discussion - Which to choose open or closed heel fins?
The choice between these two different types of fins is mostly a personal one where you have to decide on which is the most comfortable and which suits your needs the best. We have however briefly compared the two types to help you in choosing the best for your needs.


Closed Heel

Open Heel


Depends on the quality but start of fairly cheap

Usually more expensive than closed heel fins


Depends on the quality and blade size of the fin

Usually the blades are bigger than closed heel fins because of the bigger foot pocket

Cost of breakage:

If the foot pocket tears both fins must be replaced

If foot strap breaks only strap has to be replaced

Accessories needed:

None needed

 Usually used with booties or socks

Multiple uses:

Can be used for diving, spear fishing and snorkelling

The booties creates more drag when snorkelling making it a bit harder when snorkelling without a wetsuit


They supply no protection when the fins have been taken of.

When used with the booties the booties protect your feet against cuts and bruises while on the boat or walking over rocks.

7. Websites of the month
The following sites was our choice for websites of the month:

Diver Magazine (
This is the website for Diver Magazine. There are loads of articles with something for everyone, even the budding free diver. Links to other diving related pages can also be found.

Africam (
Go and have a look at the raggies by looking at the shark cam. This underwater webcam is situated at Cathedral on Aliwal shoal. The best time of day to visit this site is at 6 am. The sun has just come up and the divers have not yet disturbed these magnificent predators.

Divebuddy directory (
This is a site run by one person and you can find a dive buddy all over the world with their e-mails and website url's. You have to submit your name and details before it will be listed here.

8. Helpful diving hints - Warm water hypothermia

Even the warmest water is at temperatures lower than the human body. Water of 28 oC will still rob the body of its natural heat of about 36oC. Though your skin doesn't feel cold and you don't get the shivers, you can still suffer from the fatigue and mental dullness of the initial stages of hypothermia. This condition puts you at increased risk of diving accidents. Here is some tips for combating heat loss.

1 Cover your head as the head accounts for up to 40% of total heat loss. Lightweight head covers are available for tropical environments
2 Make sure your wetsuit fits perfectly all over because air pockets will fill with water, that gets pumped throughout.
3 You need food for energy to produce heat through metabolism.
4 Move as little as possible to minimize water flow over your body. This will also have a positive effect on your air consumption. Try to stay shallow where suit compression doesn't take away insulation.
5 A neoprene wetsuit 's insulation comes from tiny gas bubbles in the rubber that compress over time. The better the quality of neoprene, the longer the gas bubbles last.

Adapted from Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine

Enjoy 2001 and dive till you drop!!!!!!
New Years greetings
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

Updated on: 06/03/2003