Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Diving in an electric storm

Some years back Mark and I dived down at Bushy Park. We were at a place we call Beards bay and the rain came down in buckets - there was about 100 mm in the space of about 1 hour. While driving the boat I actually collected rainwater direct into a cutoff coldrink bottle and had my fill.
Fish were plentiful and we saw no reason to stay on the boat as the lightning may have preferred the boat to the sea. The roar of the rain on the surface was clearly audible at depth of 12 m and the thunder and lightning did their bit too - we could feel the thunder in close strikes.

Later as the fresh water collected on top of the denser seawater we had reduced viz as the mixing fresh and salt water disturbed the flow of light from the sea floor to our eyes - the differing refractive indices causes that - we see it in the shimmering of a hot road or in a kettle/pot when water is heated. That is the only time I was in a film of fresh water on salt water in the ocean. Kind weird!

That day when we returned to the launch site in a down pour there were no officials waiting to inspect out boat but rather a small flood was coming down to where we had beached it.
We had to abort our usual route home as flooding on the roads directed us home the long way.
Dead tired after a long day at sea I got home and immediately donned my 3 mm shorty suit, picked up the bogey board and leapt into the flooding Baakens river for two rides of about 2-3 km! Due to the wife moaning about driving down to Brickmakers Kloof to retrieve me I went down not too far and walked back through the bushpaths. I soon tired and came home for a dip in the pool and relaxed next to the river in the sun with a cup of coffee - planing my next expedition and of course dive.

That flood cause muddy thermoclines in the bushy park region fro at least three months after the event.

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