In 2009 I joined underwater cameraman Falk Eggert and presenter Eleanor Yeld Hutchings to do the stills photos for a shoreline (SABC 1 show about the coastline of SA) shoot in Knynsa lagoon and the SCUBA and snorkelling trail at the Tsitsikamma park. In Knysna searched for, and found, seahorses in the weed but also dozens of sea hares – big knobbly and fronded pink and purple lumps of sea slug.
The underwater trail starting at the Tsitsikamma park offices is a shallow reef that supports a diverse cover of invertebrates and bushy coralline algae that one would normally expect to see in deeper water. This may be a consequence of the commonly poor light levels resulting from poor visibility. There are more sponges and soft corals than one would expect in such a shallow site, and they are quite colourful. There are also a variety of fish typical of this part of the coast, and you will probably see Roman, Blacktail and Fransmadam, but others are possible, and occasionally a fairly large shoal may be seen. Other invertebrates include basket stars, brittle stars, and spiny starfish, Cape sea urchins, Knobbly, False plum, Striped and Violet spotted anemones, sea squirts of a few species, and a variety of colonial ascidians.
There is something about the waters of this area as both Eleanor and I and Falk’s wife found out we were all pregnant within months of these dives!