Looking up at the stern of the MFV Princess Elizabeth

Dive sites: SAS Good Hope

Descending onto the SAS Good Hope
Descending onto the SAS Good Hope

We’ve dived the SAS Good Hope several times – it’s one of the most popular wrecks of the five in Smitswinkel Bay. There are some photos here from Tami, Kate’s and my Wreck Specialty course, but it was only on election day (18 May) that I did a dive there that combined spectacular visibility with good light from above. My camera is small, but by trying to keep still I was able to take some longer wide-angle shots that capture the scale of the ship and the state of the wreckage.

The stern of the SAS Good Hope
The stern of the SAS Good Hope
Tony swimming towards the bow
Tony swimming towards the bow

The wreckage of the Good Hope is encrusted with rich invertebrate life, as are the other Smitswinkel Bay wrecks. There are also sometimes great schools of fish that hover above the wreck, illustrating what a rich habitat an artificial reef can be. We found a large smooth horsefish (photo here) and some sleeping pyjama catsharks on deck.

Next to the Good Hope, about 10 metres away with her stern pointing roughly at the middle of the Good Hope, is the MFV Princess Elizabeth, a much smaller fishing trawler. The visibility was so good that I was able to get a couple of pictures of her stern from my vantage point next to the Good Hope.

Dive date: 18 May 2011

Air temperature: 18 degrees

Water temperature: 12 degrees

Maximum depth: 31.7 metres

Visibility: 15 metres

Dive duration: 36 minutes

Tony and Kate ascending
Tony and Kate ascending

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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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