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Durban is known for its beach and other sporting activities but many people are not aware that it is possible to make some interesting diving trips out of Durban.
Calypso Dive and Adventures is based on the waterfront at the Ushaka shopping and entertainment complex at The Point. Being right next door to the Ushaka Marine World, they are able to offer discover scuba and bubble maker experiences to children and adults who want to experience what it is like to 'breathe underwater'. Apart from unique access to the aquarium, Calypso access many dive sites off the Durban coast using a semi rigid boat.
Another scuba operation is the DUC - the Durban undersea club, however they are a private club and membership is closed at the moment though if you check with them you may get to join a weekend dive as a guest. The main reef is called 'Blood Reef' and runs approximately parallel to the Bluff which is on the southern side of the city. The reef is named 'Blood reef' because of the cites' whaling history. The whaling station was closed down in the 1970's but while it was open, whale carcasses were brought into the harbor then carried by train to the whaling station situated on the Bluff to be processed. The waste products were then released into the sea bringing shark and other life to the reef.
At one stage Durban had one of the highest concentrations of sharks in the world. The largest great white ever caught was also caught at blood reef. Blood reef has many dive sites ranging from 10 - 22 metres, suiting both the open water and advanced diver. Being sub-tropical waters, the reefs are not as colorful or as prolific as further north at Sodwana Bay, however ledges, overhangs, caves and potholes allow a wide variety of fish and other life to thrive here including some rare fish ilke the tiny 'pineapple fish' that only inhabit a short stretch of this coast line. Eels, rays and turtles can also be found here. Sharks are occasionally seen. Apart from Blood reef there is the further out 'Number one reef' which offers deeper dives to 30m plus and the chance to spot the larger pelagic fish. There are several excellent wrecks off the coast as well. T-Barge, Fontao and Coopers all sit around 27-30m with Coopers rated as one of the best in the area with plenty of life to view. Diving off Durban can be challenging with periods of poor visibility, currents and surge.