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The Dolphins of False Bay



We have had incredible common dolphin sightings since I arrived back in False Bay for my second season with Apex Shark Expeditions and I can’t stop smiling at the moments both crew and guests alike have shared during these times. I can honestly say I have never seen anything quite so spectacular and magical as the pods of dolphins that have joined us over the past two months at sea. In my previous trips to Seal Island I have been fortunate enough to meet these beautiful creatures on a number of occasions but it is fair to say that this year they have utterly won my heart, which says a lot for a self-confessed sharkaholic.

During our trips we have seen pods of dolphins ranging in size from 200 to over 3000 individuals and each pod is unique in its formation, its movement and the individuals it contains. We have seen dolphins with missing dorsal fins, with partial dorsal fins and dolphins ranging from fully grown adults right down to the smallest juveniles one can imagine. I particularly enjoy watching the young dolphins by their mothers’ side as they swim past our boat. These youngsters lack the sand coloured markings of the adults and are, quite frankly, very cute with their grey bodies and perfectly formed features in miniature. The pods themselves can be tightly packed like sardines in a tin or spread across the bay as far as our eyes can see from top deck. One particular pod of 2000 dolphin that we saw recently was formed as a beautiful crescent shape across the bay and travelled south in search of bait fish. The sunlight upon this arc of dolphins was stunning and the white water that followed them glowed golden in the early morning.

It is sights such as those that have left our guests and I speechless and dewy eyed at times. Dolphins are such mythical creatures and are well known for their intelligence and healing abilities. It is very humbling to stand in silence on a boat whilst surrounded by thousands of dolphins calling gently to one another and it is a shared experience that I treasure every single day. My pulse races whenever I hear our skipper let us know there are dolphins on the horizon and we are going to visit them.

Kathryn dolphins

It is not only the presence of the dolphins that have left this impression upon us but also the other wildlife we see alongside them. On many occasions we see Cape Gannets with the dolphins and admire them wheeling overhead in search of a fish supper below. The adult gannets are smartly dressed in their white and golden plumage and follow the dolphins as they search for bait fish. If the dolphins corral the fish into a bait ball, the gannets dive from great heights to obtain a meal. It is breathtaking watching them dive with such precision and with their pointed wings folded elegantly behind them at the last second. I am somewhat of a fan of the juvenile gannets if truth be told. The young gannets are grey and spotty in their plumage and they often fly close to the boat at eye level. I can’t help but smile at their friendly nature and their piercing blue eyes as they investigate what is going on around them.

As for the bait balls we have seen, words fail me at this point. The noise of thousands of gannets diving, thousands of dolphins churning the water and millions of sardines swirling below the surface is a sensory overload. The sardines leap from the water in a silver flurry when the dolphins herd them tightly into a ball and leave a sparkling wake of fish scales behind them. When I witnessed my first bait ball this year I could do no more than just stand back in amazement at the magnificence of nature and listen. I turned towards the guest on top deck beside me and he just shook his head with tears in his eyes and admitted it was one of the most emotional experiences of his life. It really was a dream come true and a moment he will never forget.

To find out more about False Bay, visit

Kathryn has a Masters in Environmental Biology and is a PADI scuba diving instructor. Her passion lies with raising awareness of and conserving the sharks within our oceans and also writing about her experiences under and on the water. She is currently a wildlife guide and crew member for Apex Shark Expeditions in South Africa.


The Diver Medic introduces new DEMR course



The Diver Medic has developed a course suitable for every diver, or even surface support officer out there. The course will instil confidence and understanding of the subject your instructor may not have had the knowledge and skills to teach you unless they were DEMR trained themselves.

The Diver Medic DEMR Course – Diving Emergency Medical Responder Course is approved and written by Chantelle Newman – The Diver Medic Course Director and Founder.

The main objective is to ensure divers get the right treatment in the event of an accident or diving emergency, whether inland or in a remote location.

The Diver Medic is Agency neutral and their mission is to support all Agencies in the quest for better medical training and safety for all divers.

Is this course for you?

This qualification is for people who have a specific responsibility at work, or in voluntary and community activities to provide pre-hospital care to patients requiring emergency care/treatment.

For example, Liveaboard crew, Skippers, Captains, Dive Boat Crew, Dive Schools, Instructors, DiveMasters, Course Directors, CoastGuard, RNLI, Police Divers, Public Safety Divers, Tenders, Scientific Divers, Military Divers, Recreation, Technical, Cave, CCR Divers, Freediver, Surface support staff, Freediver competition crew, Lifeguards, ThemePark Divers, Aquarium staff, Explorers, Nurses, Doctors, EMS and more.!

Entry Requirements

Learners must be at least 18 years old on the first day of training. CPR and AED certified, basic understanding of First Aid Training


If you are interested in becoming a TDM Diving Emergency Medical Responder Instructor you can apply to The Diver Medic by emailing with your resume and an introductory letter explaining why you should be considered you as an Instructors.

For more information visit

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Veronica Cowley, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Veronica’s film – Worse things Happen at Sea – can be seen here:

Sixth and final in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.

For more information please visit:

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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