Sunday: Boat dives from Simon’s Town jetty at 10.00 and 12.00, likely to Roman Rock (suitable for Open Water divers)
The weekend looks good for diving. We’ll be boat diving on Sunday. If you want to join us, you know what to do!
It’s that time of year when turtle hatchlings get caught up in currents that bring them to Western Cape shores, where it’s too cold for them to survive. If you find one on the beach, please keep it dry and warm, and get it to the Two Oceans Aquarium as soon as possible. Read more about what to do on the aquarium blog here, and here.
Sunday and Monday: Boat dives (location to be decided)
Last weekend we did some boating in Table Bay as a support boat for the Robben Island to Big Bay Freedom Swim. The remnants of the swell on Thursday and Friday was enough to give the swimmers a sizeable challenge with strong currents, choppy surface conditions and very cold patches of water.
The swell climbed from under 2 metres to a little over 5 metres this morning. This means diving tomorrow is pretty much out, as is diving on Saturday (thanks also to the Two Oceans Marathon). The swell drops off during the day on Saturday so both Sunday and Monday should deliver some reasonable diving conditions.
It is difficult to say whether Hout Bay or False Bay would be better on Sunday and Monday, but I will make that decision late on Saturday afternoon. I have Open Water and Advanced Open Water students so one day is likely to include a deep dive to more than 18 metres.
If you are keen to dive on Sunday or Monday, let me know and I’ll schedule you in!
Sunday: Boat dives (max depth 18 metres) from Hout Bay
The weekend forecast is pretty much a copy of last weekend, and the one before. Saturday has strong south easterly wind and some swell, and Sunday is almost windless with a swell of less than 2 metres. This all points to Hout Bay as being the best option.
So Hout Bay it is, meeting on Sunday at 8.30 on the slipway. Both dives will be to a maximum depth of 18 metres, so suitable for Open Water divers. Let me know if you want to come diving.
Don’t forget Earth Hour on Saturday, from 8.30-9.30 pm in whatever your local timezone is… Have a candlelight dinner and contemplate how you can be a better steward of the earth’s resources. This year’s focus is climate change. Want to learn more about it? We recommend this book by a team of South African scientists.
The weekend forecast looks mostly like it is going to be a cool – or rather cold – water dive weekend. There is a fair amount of swell on Saturday, too much for my liking. Sunday has less swell and a little less wind. Hout Bay will most likely be the best option as the wind is fairly strong south easterly which is not all that pleasant in False Bay.
The weather for warm, sunny diving is here – almost! As I’m sure you noticed, we had a day or two of temperatures in the high twenties which is my kind of weather. False Bay has been pleasant this week, with some visibility and not much swell to go with the sunny days. It won’t be quite that warm this weekend but conditions will definitely be worth diving.
We will shore dive at Long Beachon Saturday and launch for boat dives from the Simon’s Town jettyon Sunday. Both boat dives will be to a maximum depth of 18 metres as they will be first boat dives for a few students. Sites will be chosen on the day.
Saturday: Shore dives in Simon’s Town (only if forecast south easter does not materialise)
Sunday: Launching at 9.00 am and 11.30 am in Hout Bay or Simon’s Town
There is a good chance that diving could be good on both sides of the peninsula on Sunday. Saturday will be made unpleasant if the strong south easterly winds and predicted swell arrive, so Sunday will be the best choice for diving. (If the weather is good and wind is mild on Saturday, we will shore dive in False Bay.)
False Bay may be good if the swell does not turn as southerly as forecast, or if the south easter doesn’t quite get up to the 40 km/h in the forecast. If the wind does arrive, then Hout Bay should clean up enough for some decent conditions.
We will launch on Sunday at 9.00 am and 11.30 am, destination unknown. We will decide late on Saturday whether we will go to Hout Bay or False Bay on Sunday. Either way both dives will be suitable for Open Water divers, maximum depth 18 metres.
It may seem that given the week-long south easter we are having, it would be a simple matter to decide which side of the peninsula to dive. The picture was taken from Chapmans Peak drive today around lunchtime, and the water is not very clear – there are rocks just below the surface in the little bay below the road, but they are hardly discernible.
The water colour in False Bay is not very different but False Bay does seem to recover faster than the Atlantic coast of the peninsula. Sunday’s forecast is for gale force winds, so Saturday is the only decent diving day, but where?
Depending on tomorrow’s wind direction I will make a call late in the afternoon on whether we will launch in False Bay or out of Hout Bay. Either way it will be for dives at 10.00 am an 12.30 pm. I will have mostly Open Water students so the maximum depth will be 18 metres.
Today we took a load of surfers out to Dungeons. Amongst them were a few first timers at Dungeons and the happy cheers and bear hugs when they caught their first serious Dungeons roller was a sight worth seeing. Dungeons is a spectacular sight so if you haven’t been there do so at least once in your life.
Back to diving… We dived the Atlantic last weekend. Maori Bay was cold and clean-ish. Visibility was around 10 metres but then the temperature was also in the single digits. Die Josie was a lot cleaner and just as cold.
On Sunday we dived in False Bay – doing Search and Recovery for an Advanced course in 2 m visibility makes it a little more realistic!
Well… There is swell and wind in the forecast. The swell was not all that noticeable in False Bay today but was very surf-worthy at Dungeons and Muizenberg today. The wind is forecast at around 30 km/h for both days and for students doing their first boat dives I think it’s not that good an idea. So I have no launches planned for this weekend.
Our obsession with shipwrecks that stick out of the water is well documented. We keep a beady eye on the BOS 400, and while the Seli 1 was visible at Blouberg, Tony and I would take a drive out to visit her every few months. We haven’t been out to see her for well over a year, so I was delighted to find myself at Blouberg recently to get an update on her condition.
Divers from the SA Navy were tasked with detonating explosives on the wreck to break her up, which they did in March 2013. This opened a compartment in the wreck from which oil leaked, necessitating a clean up operation. Finally, the remaining wreckage was cut into smaller pieces to expedite its collapse and dispersion on the sea floor.
Today, the resting place of the Seli 1 is marked by an orange buoy, that is hard to spot from land – let alone in my photographs above. The site has been dived by a group of adventurous locals, and apart from a lengthy surface swim it’s a possibly promising wreck for Open Water divers to dive from shore (these are in short supply in Cape Town – the only others I can think of are the Clan Stuart and the Antipolis, and perhaps the Romelia).
Nautical artifacts – both physical objects and place names – can be observed all over Cape Town. One, which I’ve driven past many, many times without even noticing, can be seen on Hout Bay Main Road just between the Shell Garage and Hout Bay Manor. (If you want the precise location, check out this instagram post, which I geotagged.) The anchors of SS Maori, a steamship that ran aground in 1909 in a bay now named after her, are on display under the auspices of Hout Bay Museum. The wreck of the Maori is a very popular dive site, and is eminently suitable for Open Water and beginner divers owing to the depth at which she lies, and the comforting feeling one has of being close to shore whilst sheltered in Maori Bay.
The bell of SS Maori can be seen inside the Hout Bay Museum. The wreck is over 60 years old, and as Peter Southwood points out on the dive site’s wikivoyage page,
This is a historical wreck and is now protected by legislation. Removing wreckage or artifacts is a criminal offence.