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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Phil’s Bay

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The dive site Phil's Bay is a shoreline rocky reef in the Gordon's Bay area on the east side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Understand[edit]

Position[edit]

S34°11.199’ E018°49.133’ (anchorage)

This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.

Name[edit]

The name "Phil's Bay" is of unknown origin.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 14m.

Visibility[edit]

Visibility on a good day is likely to be 5 to 6m, and is quite likely to be less. On a very good day it may be as much as 10m.

Topography[edit]

Sand bottom at about 14m, then moderate relief reef of sandstone rocks and ridges with sandy gaps running more or less parallel to shoreline. Gets more rugged closer to shore, and remains deep quite close inshore.

Geology: Ordovician sandstones of the Table Mountain formation, and a sand bottom.

Conditions[edit]

Best after south easter, but swell must be low.

The site is exposed to swell and wind from the south west and to a lesser extent north west, so should be dived when the sout west component of the swell is low, and is likely to be good in or after south easterly winds. The site is usually at it's best in summer but there are also occasional opportunities in other seasons.


Get in[edit]

Boat dive from Gordon’s Bay or Harbour Island.

The site is about 5.0km from Gordon's Bay old harbour, or 5.4km from Harbour Island

See[edit][add listing]

Marine life[edit]

Rocks overgrown with the usual red bait in the shallower areas and feather stars in deeper places. Sponges and sea fans brighten up the scene, and a variety of smaller critters are there to be found.


Photography[edit]

Macro photography is most likely to produce good results.

Routes[edit]

No particular route recommended. There may be a slight current, so plan your dive to surface where you can get back to the boat.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

No site specific hazards reported.

Skills[edit]

No special skills required. Suitable for night dives if conditions are appropriate.

Equipment[edit]

No special equipment recommended.

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