Setting up the reef

Building a small artificial reef

I spend more time diving at Long Beach in Simon’s Town than any other dive site. Considered by many as a training site only it is seldom explored. The Wikivoyage site written by Peter Southwood lists some of the many interesting features of Long Beach.

The northern side of Long Beach is considered ”barren” as it has less to explore than the southern side, but each and every item on the sea bed has been colonised and turned into home for something.

There are several octopus holes there, some of them huge and these creatures seem keen to add odd items to the entrance of their holes. I believe it is an effort to draw other marine life to the spot whilst the octopus waits to devour any tasty bits. I have seen glass bottles, sunglasses, beer cans and golf balls lining their homes.

We decided to build something to see what would be drawn to this spot.

Transporting the components of the artificial reef
Transporting the components of the artificial reef

We secured three 2 metre lengths of PVC pipe, a piece of chain and a few wooden bits. Attached to this was a glass coffee jar, a plant pot and a few smaller containers.

Setting up the reef
Setting up the reef

We had attached five different coloured sponges and a coffee tin as well as some plastic bottles secured on a length of wood. We also added an ice tray to see how much silt would collect in the tray, and from which direction.

The reef, set up with a request to divers not to disturb it
The reef, set up with a request to divers not to disturb it

Update on what we found ten days later in a future post!

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Tony

Scuba diver, teacher, gadget man, racing driver, boat skipper, photographer, and collector of stray animals

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