Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Difference between revisions of "Diving in Port Elizabeth"

From Wikitravel
Diving in South Africa : Diving in Port Elizabeth
Jump to: navigation, search
(Get service)
(Fix)
(21 intermediate revisions by 2 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 
{{traveltopic}}
 
{{traveltopic}}
  
This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters around Port Elizabeth, whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.  
+
This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters around [[Port Elizabeth]], whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.  
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
 
===General Topography===
 
===General Topography===
 +
Port Elizabeth is situated on the west side of Algoa Bay, which is a wide indentation on the South African east coast, some 683 km east of the Cape of Good Hope. The bay is bounded in the west by Cape Recife and in the east by Cape Padrone, and much of the shoreline is sandy beaches.  The greter metropolitan area extends some distance to the west of Cape Recife, and this rocky part of the coastline includes a number of the most popular dive sites.
 +
 
===Climate, Weather and Sea conditions===
 
===Climate, Weather and Sea conditions===
 +
"The Windy City" has a subtropical climate with light rain throughout the year. The area lies between the winter rainfall, Mediterranean climate zones of the Western Cape and the summer rainfall regions of eastern South Africa. The proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect on the climate, so winters are cool but mild and summers are warm but considerably less humid and hot than more northerly parts of South Africa's east coast. Jan Max: 25 °C, Min: 18 °C; Jul Max: 20 °C, Min: 9 °C
 +
 
===The Marine Ecology===
 
===The Marine Ecology===
 +
Port Elizabeth is within the warm temperate Agulhas bioregion, which extends from Cape Point to the Mbashe River. It is some 360km from Mbashe mouth and 660km from Cape Point, so is somewhat towards the warmer side of the region. Upwelling on the south coast of South Africa is largely driven by the Agulhas current and the continental shelf. This form of upwelling forces cold deep water up onto the continental shelf, but not necessarily above the thermocline. In the region east of the Agulhas bank, wind enhanced upwelling, occurring mainly in summer, augments the current driven upwelling bringing the colder deeper waters to the surface. This enhances biological productivity by supply of nutrients to the euphotic zone (where plants have sufficient light to flourish) which fuels phytoplankton production, and rocky shores that are supplied with the nutrient rich water support rich algal biomass. The annual chokka spawning takes place largely in this region.
  
 
===Equipment===
 
===Equipment===
 +
 +
No special equipment is required for most of the sites. Wet or semi-dry suits will be adequate for most divers most of the time, though for those who wish to do multiple dives of longer duration, or are sensitive to the cold, a dry suit is recommended.
 +
If you intend to dive autonomously, rather than follow thr divemaster, a DSMB (Delayed/deployable Surface Marker Buoy) and reel or spool is recommended, so the boat will know where you are surfacing, particularly if there is a current running. This will also help alert other vessels of your proximity to the surface so they can avoid you in time.
 +
 +
Nitrox is available at some filling stations, but your choice of mix may be limited.
  
 
==Respect==
 
==Respect==
Line 16: Line 26:
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Police. </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Police. </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Ambulance service </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Ambulance service </listing>
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Sea rescue </listing>
+
* <listing name="National Sea Rescue Institute. Station ?" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Sea rescue </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Recompression chamber </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> Recompression chamber </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> DAN hotline </listing>
 
* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> DAN hotline </listing>
Line 29: Line 39:
 
*Ocean Divers International
 
*Ocean Divers International
 
*Prodive
 
*Prodive
 +
*Mike's Dive Shop
 
===Rent===
 
===Rent===
 
<!-- List of operstors. schools or shops which will rent out equipment if you are not diving with them, no details-->
 
<!-- List of operstors. schools or shops which will rent out equipment if you are not diving with them, no details-->
Line 34: Line 45:
 
*Prodive
 
*Prodive
 
===Do===
 
===Do===
<!--List of dive operatore that arrange dives: Shore dives with divemaster, Boat dives with or without divemaster, Liveaboards. -->
+
'''Annual Noordhoek Wildside Dive Festival'''
 +
 
 +
The Noordhoek Dive Festival is held every June at the Noordhoek dive and boating club on Marine drive, which has a slipway a short distance to the east of Cape Recife, just outside of Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, towards Schoenmakerskop.
 +
 
 +
Divers from all over South Africa gather for a three-day festival of Scuba diving. Several boats make strictly scheduled launches several times per day depending on conditions, and dives are generally limited to 30 minutes to allow schedules to be kept.
 +
 
 +
Dive operators and other sponsors from Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas support this festival of diving which was started in 1999 and has grown to be the best known and probably largest event of its kind in South Africa.  The organisors and crew are all unpaid volunteers, and the takings go to charities: deposits are not refundable.
 +
 
 +
The festival is well organised, but can be disrupted by adverse weather conditions.
 +
 
 +
Features offered include:
 +
*Dives on about 9 different dive sites with maximum depths from 10 to 26 meters.
 +
*Colourful reefs with hard and soft coral and a wide range of other organisms.
 +
*On site tank refills, basic equipment hire, shuttle service from parking area...and secure parking.
 +
*Online booking and payment.
 +
*Stalls with leading brands of dive gear for sale.
 +
*Refreshment stalls and bar facilities.
 +
*Ablution facilities with showers.
 +
*Lucky draws and prizes every day (your dive booking tickets go into the draw).
 +
*On site entertainment sideshows. Details vary from year to year, but have included powerlifting displays, rescue competitions, aerobatic displays and the like.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''The rest of the year'''
 +
<!--List of dive operators that arrange dives: Shore dives with divemaster, Boat dives with or without divemaster, Liveaboards. -->
 
*Ocean Divers International
 
*Ocean Divers International
 
*Prodive
 
*Prodive
*Wildside diving
+
*Wildside diving
 +
 
 
===Fix===
 
===Fix===
 
<!--Shops or agencies which will service or repair diving equipment on their premises, if none exist, then agents who will arrange for the service. Specify.-->
 
<!--Shops or agencies which will service or repair diving equipment on their premises, if none exist, then agents who will arrange for the service. Specify.-->
 +
*Mike's Dive Shop &mdash; Cylinder service, inspection and testing. Importer and agent for some brands of Scuba equipment.
 
*Prodive &mdash; Cylinder service, inspection and testing.
 
*Prodive &mdash; Cylinder service, inspection and testing.
 +
 
===Service details===
 
===Service details===
 
<!--Contact listings of all the services-->
 
<!--Contact listings of all the services-->
 
<!--* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>-->
 
<!--* <listing name="" alt="" directions="" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""></listing>-->
 +
* <listing name="Mike's Dive Shop" alt="" directions="" address="63 Western Road, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)41 585 3367" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Retail dive equipment, Importer and agent for several brands, Cylinder testing, Air fills.</listing>
 
* <listing name="Ocean Divers International" alt="ODI" directions="" address="10 Albert Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)41 581 5121" email="dive@odipe.co.za" fax="" url="http://www.odipe.co.za/" hours="Tu-F 9:00AM-5:00PM, Sa-Su 7:00AM-2:00PM" price=""></listing>Dive charters, Equipment sales (rental?), Air fills, SSI diver training (Open Water Diver to Instructor)
 
* <listing name="Ocean Divers International" alt="ODI" directions="" address="10 Albert Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)41 581 5121" email="dive@odipe.co.za" fax="" url="http://www.odipe.co.za/" hours="Tu-F 9:00AM-5:00PM, Sa-Su 7:00AM-2:00PM" price=""></listing>Dive charters, Equipment sales (rental?), Air fills, SSI diver training (Open Water Diver to Instructor)
 
* <listing name="Prodive" alt="" directions="" address="189 Main Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)41 581 1144" email="dive@prodive.co.za" fax="+27 (0)41581 1144" url="http://www.prodive.co.za/" hours="M-F 8:00AM-5:30PM, Sa 9:00AM-3:00PM" price=""></listing>Dive charters, Equipment rental and sale, Air and Nitrox 32% fills, Cylinder servicing, PADI diver training (Open Water to Instructor)
 
* <listing name="Prodive" alt="" directions="" address="189 Main Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)41 581 1144" email="dive@prodive.co.za" fax="+27 (0)41581 1144" url="http://www.prodive.co.za/" hours="M-F 8:00AM-5:30PM, Sa 9:00AM-3:00PM" price=""></listing>Dive charters, Equipment rental and sale, Air and Nitrox 32% fills, Cylinder servicing, PADI diver training (Open Water to Instructor)
* <listing name="Wildside diving" alt="" directions="" address="Noordhoek Ski-boat Club, Marine Drive, Port Elizabeth" phone="082 729 8062" email="" fax="" url="http://www.nsbcpe.co.za/" hours="" price=""></listing>Scuba diving club &mdash; They encourage visitors to join in their social events and invite visitors to dive with them.
+
* <listing name="Wildside diving" alt="" directions="" address="Noordhoek Ski-boat Club, Marine Drive, Port Elizabeth" phone="+27 (0)82 729 8062" email="" fax="" url="http://www.nsbcpe.co.za/" hours="" price=""></listing>Scuba diving club &mdash; They encourage visitors to join in their social events and invite visitors to dive with them. Wildside also hosts the annual PE Dive festival, which is supported by most of the local dive operators, and attended by visitors from all over the country.
 
+
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
  
Line 74: Line 111:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
-->
 
-->
 
+
[[Image:Wildside dive sites.png|thumb|400px|Map of the dive sites near Wildside slipway in the Noordhoek area]]-
 
===Avalanche===
 
===Avalanche===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
Line 92: Line 129:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
  
===Riy Banks===
+
===Bell Buoy===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 18 to 40m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 12 to 18m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 101: Line 138:
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
====See====
 
====See====
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Coral and game fish
+
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Colourful soft coral and a rocky bottom
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
Line 109: Line 146:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
  
===MV Pati===
+
===Chelsea North===
 +
 
 +
===Cracker===
 +
 
 +
===Crossroads===
 +
 
 +
===Devil's Reef===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash;
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 7m with pinnacles up to 1m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 126: Line 169:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
  
===Thunderbolt Reef===
+
===The Doddington===
 +
 
 +
===Evan's Peak===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
+
:'''Position:''' &mdash; Close to St. Croix island
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 15 to 30m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 12 to 40m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 135: Line 180:
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
====See====
 
====See====
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Orange and lilac hard coral
+
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash;  
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
Line 143: Line 188:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
  
===Bell Buoy===
+
===The SS Fidela===
 +
 
 +
===Gasmic Gorge===
 +
[[Image:Koester on sponge at Gasmic P6186626.JPG|thumb|A juvenile Koester resting in a sponge at Gasmic]]
 +
[[Image:Basket star on noble coral at Gasmic P6186652.JPG|thumb| A samll basket star and noble corals at Gasmic]]
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
 +
:'''Position:''' &mdash; Approximately S34&deg;03.48' E025&deg;38.79'. At the north side of a rocky reef shown on the SAN charts about 2.3km south of the Noordhoek/Wildside slipway.
 +
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; About 29m on the sand at the base of the reef, about 20m at the top of the reef.
 +
:'''Topography:''' &mdash; High profile reef of sedimentary rock, probably hard quartzitic sandstone of the Ordovician Peninsula formation. Steep sided and fairly narrow gulley referred to as the gorge. Coarse shelly white sand bottom in the gorge.
 +
:'''Conditions:''' &mdash; Surge can be strong in a large or long period swell, though the bottom of the gorge is to some extent protected. Visibility of more than 5m is considered good for this area.
 +
====Get in====
 +
:''Boat dive'' &mdash; Approximately 2.5km boat trip from Noordhoek slipway. Significantly further from other launch sites.
 +
====See====
 +
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Prolific and very colourful invertebrate cover on the reef. High density of sponges and sea fans. Large numbers of basket stars. Also soft corals, noble corals, false corals, Elegant feather stars, colonial ascidians, nudibranchs, Striped anemones, arborescent bryozoans and hydroids. Fish include Fransmadam, shy sharks and Koester
 +
:'''Photography:''' &mdash; A good site for macro photography, and if conditons are good, also for wide angle work.
 +
:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash; The site is quite deep, and the dive can be extended by spending some time on the shallower parts of the reef. However the main attraction is the gorge, which is small but well worth a visit.
 +
 +
====Stay safe====
 +
:'''Hazards:''' &mdash; No site-specific hazards reported. Surge over the top of the reef can be strong.
 +
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills required. Good buoyancy control recommended, to avoid damaging the reef cover.
 +
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 +
 +
===The Haerlem===
 +
====Understand====
 +
Navy vessel sunk in 1987
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 12 to 18m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 21m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 152: Line 220:
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
====See====
 
====See====
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Colourful soft coral and a rocky bottom
+
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash;  
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
Line 159: Line 227:
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
+
 
===Devil's Reef===
+
===The Inchcape Rock===
 +
 
 +
===MV Kapodistrias===
 +
 
 +
===Mark 4 Safepoint/Mark 4 Wall===
 +
 
 +
===Mark 4 Tables===
 +
 
 +
===Moonie===
 +
 
 +
===MV Pati===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 7m with pinnacles up to 1m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 176: Line 254:
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
+
 
===Evan's Peak===
+
===Phillips Reef===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
:'''Position:''' &mdash; Close to St. Croix island
+
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 12 to 40m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
+
:'''Conditions:''' &mdash; Visibility up to 10m
 
====Get in====
 
====Get in====
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
Line 193: Line 271:
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
+
 
===Haerlem Wreck===
+
===Pinnacles===
 +
 
 +
===Riy Banks===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
Navy vessel sunk in 1987
 
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 21m
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 18 to 40m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
Line 204: Line 283:
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
====See====
 
====See====
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash;  
+
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Coral and game fish
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
Line 212: Line 291:
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
  
===Phillips Reef===
+
===Roman Rock===
 +
 
 +
===Slipway===
 +
 
 +
===Suicide Reef===
 +
 
 +
===Thunderbolt Reef===
 
====Understand====
 
====Understand====
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
 
:'''Position:''' &mdash;  
:'''Depth:''' &mdash;
+
:'''Depth:''' &mdash; 15 to 30m
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
 
:'''Topography:''' &mdash;
:'''Conditions:''' &mdash; Visibility up to 10m
+
<!--:'''Conditions:''' &mdash;-->
 
====Get in====
 
====Get in====
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
:''Boat dive'' &mdash;  
 
====See====
 
====See====
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash;  
+
:'''Marine life:''' &mdash; Orange and lilac hard coral
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Photography:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
 
<!--:'''Suggested Routes:''' &mdash;-->
Line 228: Line 313:
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Skills:''' &mdash; No special skills recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 
:'''Equipment:''' &mdash; No special equipment recommended
 +
  
  
 
{{outline}}
 
{{outline}}
 
{{isPartOf|Diving in South Africa}}
 
{{isPartOf|Diving in South Africa}}

Revision as of 07:53, 5 July 2011

    This article is a travel topic

This article is intended to provide the already qualified Scuba diver with information which will help to plan dives in the waters around Port Elizabeth, whether as a local resident or a visitor. Information is provided without prejudice, and is not guaranteed accurate or complete. Use it at your own risk.

Contents

Understand

General Topography

Port Elizabeth is situated on the west side of Algoa Bay, which is a wide indentation on the South African east coast, some 683 km east of the Cape of Good Hope. The bay is bounded in the west by Cape Recife and in the east by Cape Padrone, and much of the shoreline is sandy beaches. The greter metropolitan area extends some distance to the west of Cape Recife, and this rocky part of the coastline includes a number of the most popular dive sites.

Climate, Weather and Sea conditions

"The Windy City" has a subtropical climate with light rain throughout the year. The area lies between the winter rainfall, Mediterranean climate zones of the Western Cape and the summer rainfall regions of eastern South Africa. The proximity to the ocean has a moderating effect on the climate, so winters are cool but mild and summers are warm but considerably less humid and hot than more northerly parts of South Africa's east coast. Jan Max: 25 °C, Min: 18 °C; Jul Max: 20 °C, Min: 9 °C

The Marine Ecology

Port Elizabeth is within the warm temperate Agulhas bioregion, which extends from Cape Point to the Mbashe River. It is some 360km from Mbashe mouth and 660km from Cape Point, so is somewhat towards the warmer side of the region. Upwelling on the south coast of South Africa is largely driven by the Agulhas current and the continental shelf. This form of upwelling forces cold deep water up onto the continental shelf, but not necessarily above the thermocline. In the region east of the Agulhas bank, wind enhanced upwelling, occurring mainly in summer, augments the current driven upwelling bringing the colder deeper waters to the surface. This enhances biological productivity by supply of nutrients to the euphotic zone (where plants have sufficient light to flourish) which fuels phytoplankton production, and rocky shores that are supplied with the nutrient rich water support rich algal biomass. The annual chokka spawning takes place largely in this region.

Equipment

No special equipment is required for most of the sites. Wet or semi-dry suits will be adequate for most divers most of the time, though for those who wish to do multiple dives of longer duration, or are sensitive to the cold, a dry suit is recommended. If you intend to dive autonomously, rather than follow thr divemaster, a DSMB (Delayed/deployable Surface Marker Buoy) and reel or spool is recommended, so the boat will know where you are surfacing, particularly if there is a current running. This will also help alert other vessels of your proximity to the surface so they can avoid you in time.

Nitrox is available at some filling stations, but your choice of mix may be limited.

Respect

Get help

Emergency services

  • Police.
  • Ambulance service
  • National Sea Rescue Institute. Station ?. Sea rescue
  • Recompression chamber
  • DAN hotline

Get service

Learn

  • Ocean Divers International
  • Prodive

Buy

  • Ocean Divers International
  • Prodive
  • Mike's Dive Shop

Rent

  • Ocean Divers International
  • Prodive

Do

Annual Noordhoek Wildside Dive Festival

The Noordhoek Dive Festival is held every June at the Noordhoek dive and boating club on Marine drive, which has a slipway a short distance to the east of Cape Recife, just outside of Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, towards Schoenmakerskop.

Divers from all over South Africa gather for a three-day festival of Scuba diving. Several boats make strictly scheduled launches several times per day depending on conditions, and dives are generally limited to 30 minutes to allow schedules to be kept.

Dive operators and other sponsors from Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas support this festival of diving which was started in 1999 and has grown to be the best known and probably largest event of its kind in South Africa. The organisors and crew are all unpaid volunteers, and the takings go to charities: deposits are not refundable.

The festival is well organised, but can be disrupted by adverse weather conditions.

Features offered include:

  • Dives on about 9 different dive sites with maximum depths from 10 to 26 meters.
  • Colourful reefs with hard and soft coral and a wide range of other organisms.
  • On site tank refills, basic equipment hire, shuttle service from parking area...and secure parking.
  • Online booking and payment.
  • Stalls with leading brands of dive gear for sale.
  • Refreshment stalls and bar facilities.
  • Ablution facilities with showers.
  • Lucky draws and prizes every day (your dive booking tickets go into the draw).
  • On site entertainment sideshows. Details vary from year to year, but have included powerlifting displays, rescue competitions, aerobatic displays and the like.


The rest of the year

  • Ocean Divers International
  • Prodive
  • Wildside diving

Fix

  • Mike's Dive Shop — Cylinder service, inspection and testing. Importer and agent for some brands of Scuba equipment.
  • Prodive — Cylinder service, inspection and testing.

Service details

  • Mike's Dive Shop, 63 Western Road, Port Elizabeth, +27 (0)41 585 3367. Retail dive equipment, Importer and agent for several brands, Cylinder testing, Air fills.
  • Ocean Divers International (ODI), 10 Albert Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth, +27 (0)41 581 5121 (), [1]. Tu-F 9:00AM-5:00PM, Sa-Su 7:00AM-2:00PM. Dive charters, Equipment sales (rental?), Air fills, SSI diver training (Open Water Diver to Instructor)
  • Prodive, 189 Main Road, Walmer 6065, Port Elizabeth, +27 (0)41 581 1144 (, fax: +27 (0)41581 1144), [2]. M-F 8:00AM-5:30PM, Sa 9:00AM-3:00PM. Dive charters, Equipment rental and sale, Air and Nitrox 32% fills, Cylinder servicing, PADI diver training (Open Water to Instructor)
  • Wildside diving, Noordhoek Ski-boat Club, Marine Drive, Port Elizabeth, +27 (0)82 729 8062, [3]. Scuba diving club — They encourage visitors to join in their social events and invite visitors to dive with them. Wildside also hosts the annual PE Dive festival, which is supported by most of the local dive operators, and attended by visitors from all over the country.

Get around

Stay safe

Contact

Dive Sites

Map of the dive sites near Wildside slipway in the Noordhoek area
-

Avalanche

Understand

Position:
Depth: — 17 to 26m
Topography: — A large area of rocky reef with a gorge and a sheer wall

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life: — Hard coral, sea fans and brittle stars, Red bait on top of the wall, and Pyjama catsharks

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended. Suitable for advanced divers only due to the depth
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

Bell Buoy

Understand

Position:
Depth: — 12 to 18m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life: — Colourful soft coral and a rocky bottom

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

Chelsea North

Cracker

Crossroads

Devil's Reef

Understand

Position:
Depth: — 7m with pinnacles up to 1m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life:

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

The Doddington

Evan's Peak

Understand

Position: — Close to St. Croix island
Depth: — 12 to 40m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life:

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

The SS Fidela

Gasmic Gorge

A juvenile Koester resting in a sponge at Gasmic
A samll basket star and noble corals at Gasmic

Understand

Position: — Approximately S34°03.48' E025°38.79'. At the north side of a rocky reef shown on the SAN charts about 2.3km south of the Noordhoek/Wildside slipway.
Depth: — About 29m on the sand at the base of the reef, about 20m at the top of the reef.
Topography: — High profile reef of sedimentary rock, probably hard quartzitic sandstone of the Ordovician Peninsula formation. Steep sided and fairly narrow gulley referred to as the gorge. Coarse shelly white sand bottom in the gorge.
Conditions: — Surge can be strong in a large or long period swell, though the bottom of the gorge is to some extent protected. Visibility of more than 5m is considered good for this area.

Get in

Boat dive — Approximately 2.5km boat trip from Noordhoek slipway. Significantly further from other launch sites.

See

Marine life: — Prolific and very colourful invertebrate cover on the reef. High density of sponges and sea fans. Large numbers of basket stars. Also soft corals, noble corals, false corals, Elegant feather stars, colonial ascidians, nudibranchs, Striped anemones, arborescent bryozoans and hydroids. Fish include Fransmadam, shy sharks and Koester
Photography: — A good site for macro photography, and if conditons are good, also for wide angle work.
Suggested Routes: — The site is quite deep, and the dive can be extended by spending some time on the shallower parts of the reef. However the main attraction is the gorge, which is small but well worth a visit.

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported. Surge over the top of the reef can be strong.
Skills: — No special skills required. Good buoyancy control recommended, to avoid damaging the reef cover.
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

The Haerlem

Understand

Navy vessel sunk in 1987

Position:
Depth: — 21m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life:

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

The Inchcape Rock

MV Kapodistrias

Mark 4 Safepoint/Mark 4 Wall

Mark 4 Tables

Moonie

MV Pati

Understand

Position:
Depth:
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life:

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

Phillips Reef

Understand

Position:
Depth:
Topography:
Conditions: — Visibility up to 10m

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life:

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

Pinnacles

Riy Banks

Understand

Position:
Depth: — 18 to 40m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life: — Coral and game fish

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended

Roman Rock

Slipway

Suicide Reef

Thunderbolt Reef

Understand

Position:
Depth: — 15 to 30m
Topography:

Get in

Boat dive

See

Marine life: — Orange and lilac hard coral

Stay safe

Hazards: — No site-specific hazards reported
Skills: — No special skills recommended
Equipment: — No special equipment recommended


This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!




Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages