Pyjama catshark over the reef

Dive sites: Castor Rock

Pyjama catshark over the reef
Pyjama catshark over the reef

Tony had three students who needed to finish their course, so we took them to Castor Rock. This is a large granite reef, a short distance from Long Beach in Simon’s Town where we were fetched by the boat. It’s just on the other side of the spectacular Roman Rock lighthouse.

Rocky crevices at Castor Rock
Rocky crevices at Castor Rock

Like Partridge Point, the Castor Rock area is a large maze of scattered boulders and pinnacles. Different marine life can be seen depending on the depth. This makes for an interesting dive from start to finish, because you can do your safety stop next to a shallow portion of the reef.

Sea cucumbers, urchins, anemones, sea squirts and feather stars
Sea cucumbers, urchins, anemones, sea squirts and feather stars

There are the usual sea cucumbers, urchins, feather stars and sea stars, but this site seems to be a particular haven for handsome striped pyjama sharks and catsharks. We saw six or eight pyjama sharks, some sleeping in crevices and others swimming around. A night light sea jelly greeted us as we started the dive, and bright orange sea fans are abundant.

Silvertip nudibranch
Silvertip nudibranch

The place is also nudibranch paradise – I found silvertip nudibranchs the size of hotdogs, and there were also gas flame nudibranchs in abundance.

Silvertip and gas flame nudibranchs at Castor Rock
Silvertip and gas flame nudibranchs at Castor Rock

The visibility was good, but the water in False Bay is still very green. We’re looking forward to winter diving!

Dean and Marinus at Castor Rock
Dean and Marinus at Castor Rock

Dive date: 2 April 2011

Air temperature: 24 degrees

Water temperature: 14 degrees

Maximum depth: 21.1 metres

Visibility: 10 metres

Dive duration: 30 minutes

Profusion of life at Castor Rock
Profusion of life at Castor Rock

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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