Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Boat Rock
The dive site Boat Rock or Bakoven Rock is is an inshore rocky reef in the Miller's Point area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
The rock is large and conspicuous and easily recognised. It is just offshore and south of Miller's Point.
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is probably entirely outside the Castle Rocks Restricted Zone, but it is possible that the southern parts of the reef associated wth this site may be within the restricted zone.
On the charts this site is marked as "Bakoven Rock", which can cause confusion with Bakoven Rock on the other side of the Cape Peninsula on the Atlantic coast near Camp’s Bay. Divers commonly refer to it as "Boat Rock", but there is also a small point called Boat Rock nearby on the charts, which is just north of Partridge Point.
Maximum depth is about 22m on the sand to the east. The main rock breaks the surface at all tides.
South west side: Coarse shelly sand bottom at about 14m with big granite boulders and reef. High relief, lot of small holes under rocks, mostly too small to swim through.
South east and east side: Large boulders on rocky outcrop with sand bottom. Overhangs and gullies.
Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton
The site is moderately protected from south westerly swell. South east chop may make it unpleasant on the surface, but it may be quiet below the wave base, however a strong south easter or one that blows for a long time will push up a swell that will make it unpleasant all the way down. Generally considered a winter dive site but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and spring.
Adequate parking at the Miller’s Point slipway parking lot. There were rather insalubrious toilet facilities at the side of the path to the point, but they may have been closed as there are better facilities at the slipway.
Usually considered a boat dive, but may be dived from a shore entry at the end of Miller’s point. It is approximately 30 minutes surface swim to rock, 30 minutes back. Use a SMB as there is a lot of boat traffic in the area, or better still, swim back on the bottom if your nitrogen loading allows.
Kelp in the shallower areas, and a good variety of invertebrates and fish can be seen. Keep watch for scallops on the sand.
Good site for photography. (photographic equipment suggestions)
No particular route recommended.
Boat traffic may be heavy. Great white sharks have been seen in this area.
No special skills required. The site is occasionally used for night dives.
A light will be useful for looking into crevices and to restore colour at depth. A compass will help keep track of where you are on a boat dive and is essential on a shore dive if you wish to return under water. A DSMB is useful on a boat dive, and an SMB of some kind is strongly recommended on a shore dive to warn boats of your position when crossing the boating lane.