Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Die Perd
S34°02.282' E018°34.324' (approximate)
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is within the Karbonkelberg restricted area.
The name "Die Perd" is the name for this rock on the SA Navy charts of the area. It translates to "The Horse", and is probably a reference to the shape of the visible part of the rock which from some angles looks a bit like the back of a horse.
Maximum depth is about 25m, and the top of the pinnacle is above the water. Average depth on a dive is likely to be about 15m.
Visibility is likely to be much like the other reefs in this area. Usually better than 5m if divable, and possibly as good as 20m after an upwelling.
The site is centred on a large ridge of granite which extends above the surface and gives the site its name. Low granite corestone reef in deep areas, with large boulders and outcrops and deep gullies in the shallower places. There are some minor swimthroughs and overhangs. The relief is more rugged and intereting in the north of the site where there are some very nice walls in the 10 to 15m depth range.
Geology: Late Pre-Cambrian granite corestones of the Peninsula pluton.
The site is exposed to westerly swells and wind, and also, though the fetch is short, to south easterly winds and wind chop. The wind chop will not usually affect the diver when underwater, bur can make recovery by the boat relatively difficult, particularly if there is wind driven spray. South westerly swell will significantly affect diving due to surge conditions, as the site includes quite shallow areas. The site is usually at it's best in summer but there may also be occasional opportunities during autumn and early winter. Note that in summer the south east wind may pick up from a calm morning to strong or even gale force by afternoon. This is reasonably predictable and the weather forecast should be consulted.
This is an area which sometimes has upwellings, caused by the south easterly wind, resulting in cold, clear water, sometimes followed by a plankton bloom, which reduces the visibility again.
Keep a lookout for times when the forecast is for low short south westerly swell and light winds, as this will indicate a reasonable chance of good conditions.
Access to the site is only possible by boat. the site is not very far from the shore, but there are no roads to this area.
The site is about 7.2km from Hout Bay harbour.
Not much variety in deeper areas, but some very nice walls in the 10 to 15m range. Hard corals, sea fans, lots of sponges, hydroids, bryozoans, starfish etc. Some large areas of urchins. The silver and Gas flame nudibranchs are fairly common. Kelp grows on top of the rocks, and there are lots of frilly red seaweeds. Red bait covers the tops of the reef in shallower areas.
Macro photography is most likely toproduce satisfactory results, as there are lots of subjects, while the topography is not particulatly spectacular.
No specific routes recommended, but spend most of your time above 15m as there is more to see.
Cold water, strong surge.
No special skills required.
No special equipment required, dry suit recommended.