Africa | South Africa | KwaZulu-Natal | Durban | Umkomaas – Going under….
Back to Joburg then, to change the contents of my rucksack and get my diving stuff in!
Off to Umkomaas, in Kwazulu Natal, about 50 km south of Durban. A small, bit run-down place on the river called Umkomasie which means so much as ‘place where the big sea cows (=hippos) come to give birth’ in Zulu. All the diving sites here are on the Aliwal Shoal, about 7 kms out to sea.
Meaning that we would launch in big super-ducks (sort of Zodiacs) off the beach and had to brave the sometimes rather big and furious surf to get out there. Great fun and as we used to say, ‘this is what you pay for, the diving is just extra!’…
It also means going out on the boat, seeing dolphins and whales… And then it means diving with Ragged Tooth Sharks! HELP!
But you get used to them and they are amazingly quick and beautiful… you’d almost (I said ALMOST) forget they ARE sharks…
The DM-course was inspiring, with lots of diving, even more theory (boy, was I happy I did physics & chemistry for my A-levels!) and luckily enough a gorgeous dive instructor (as they all should be ;)), a funny and nice fellow student with a nice wife that was courageous enough to play golf with me, a bunch of crazy, but friendly staff on the divecentre, grateful students and the odd ‘backpackerslodge-owner-chasing-anything-on-2-legs-with-breasts’.
Enough ingredients to make my stay memorable, to have some pretty good braais around the pool and at the backpackers and to celebrate my birthday in style: sunny weather, a braai, lots of (maybe too many?? naah, can’t be!) Springboks and even singing and a birthday cake with candles! Thanks everybody!
One advise though: do not attempt to go snorkeling at the Hidden Reef or to go diving on a flat sea after your birthdayparty – you might end up ‘seasick’ 😉