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Sardine run 1, 2, or 3 day trips?

Discussion in 'South African Divers' started by maforema, May 18, 2014.

  1. maforema

    maforema Angel Fish

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    Hi All,

    In researching the sardine run, all I can find are trips that are 7 & 8+ days. I have 4-5 days to commit to diving, and can't figure what my best option would be.

    THX!

    /Matt
     
  2. widget

    widget Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: South Africa
    711
    55
    28
    The trips are usually long because the sardines obviously move up the coast, so by diving over a 7 day period the boats can follow the shoal for quite a long time launching in various spots up the coast if need be.
    However many of the operators offer day trips out as well, the problem is because you are launching from a fixed site you need to sort of be available when the sardines arrive, so its okay for locals but not ideal for visitors, and of course day trips fill up in an instant. Not sure if its viable, but it is possible.
    Unfortunately thats pretty much the only alternative I am aware of.
     
  3. xyrandomyx

    xyrandomyx Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    433
    118
    0
    I haven't done the sardine run (yet), but I was going to guess at pretty much what widget said. Maybe try contacting one of the ops offering a 7--8 day package and ask if they can arrange a 4--5 day one instead? I'd think it's worth a try, although it may add logistical issues of needing to get to a different starting point or some such thing.

    Also possibly worth noting (not sure of your experience level or fitness) is that I've heard it's fairly physically demanding diving -- needing to get ready and into the water quickly; long hours on a small boat (which won't turn back for one sea sick customer); not necessarily very calm blue/ green water diving; etc. All worth it for the spectacle, I'm sure, but if you're a newer diver, those things might need to be taken into consideration.
     
  4. widget

    widget Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: South Africa
    711
    55
    28
    I have never done it with a modern commercial dive operator, but did it unofficially many times in the past with some local commercial fishing boat operators who "sidelined" taking out divers. It was a real rough and ready affair and you had to endure your gear reeking of dead fish for a few days as everything was stored down in the hold, (fish, gear, bags, anything...) but at the time, thats all there was, so we took it.

    They were also pretty much done on a day basis, but the boats launched all over the place up and down the coastal beach's so they could get to the shoals as quick as possible, because, believe it or not, they move at a fair clip. Although now its a much more civilized and planned affair, the basics remain the same.

    True, conditions can be tough, both on the boat :wink: and sea conditions,... its generally done as a blue dive too (no bottom in sight) so buoyancy control is also important and in the rough conditions often experienced it can play a part, but.......all things told its a great experience if you can do it. I understand the shoals are getting smaller and smaller and staying further and further out to sea....so who knows how long it will continue, so if you get the opportunity its worth doing now.
     
    xyrandomyx likes this.
  5. xyrandomyx

    xyrandomyx Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    433
    118
    0
    Yeah, I'm sure it's well worth it even with the tough-ish conditions. I'm just not sure at all what the OP's experience level is -- it might not be the greatest choice of dive trip for a new-ish, warm-water diver. And on that note, I really must do it some time, before it's gone. Maybe next year. I keep on opting for easy warm-water diving for trips, mostly out of wanting to be lazy when on holiday.
     
  6. maforema

    maforema Angel Fish

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    Thanks much. It seems that most of the operators base out of a specific hotel/lodge, so I don't think the meeting location for 1 day dives would be a hindrance. That being said... I think I am going to sacrifice my time at the national wildlife park to have the full experience of the 7-10 day dive. I figure I'll return for a safari easier later in life than this dive. Some of the photos are just too amazing for me to not make the trip happen.

    The conditions are not an issue for me (jinyx?), but fair point. I don't have tons of experience, but do have an advanced cert and +/- 100 dives.

    THX MUCH
     
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

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    In your 100+ dives, how much experience have you had with heavy and/or rough seas? Bad viz. Diving with sharks? Etc. You do have a computer, yes?
     
  8. xyrandomyx

    xyrandomyx Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    433
    118
    0
    Enjoy! And please come back and post a trip report here afterwards.
     

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