Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Coral Gardens (Oudekraal)
The Dive site Coral Gardens (Oudekraal) is (comment) in the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula area, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Information is provided which may assist in planning Recreational and Research Scuba diving at this site, and links to photographs of marine organisms that have been found there.
(reasons to dive at this site)
Name "(insert site name here)"
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This is (NOT) in a Marine Protected Area (2009)
(how to get there, boat or shore)
(usual access, and comments).
(Parking area description if applicable: Position of parking, name of road. Description of route from parking to entry point/s) (alternative boat access launch site name and address)
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(comment on facilities: Parking, ablution, security, picnic, other)
The site is exposed to (weather/sea conditions). (conditions which will result in poor diving and/or difficult access). The site is usually at it's best (conditions/season) but there are also occasional opportunities (conditions /season).
This is an area which sometimes has (special circumstances, caused by, resulting in).
Keep a lookout for times when (weather conditions which indicate good diving)
(weather conditions which indicate poor diving conditions)
(weather conditions which may make access difficult, and how to deal with them)
The bottom is generally from (shallow to deep), (exceptions)
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(sector 1 if applicable)
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The site requires fitness and good buoyancy control. There are lots of delicate invertebrates which should not be subjected to a battering by the fins and flapping arms of a diver who can not deal with a bit of surge. There is no particular minimum qualification recommended, but this is a site for the reasonably experienced and skilled diver.
The three small coves are very sheltered and quite shallow, and are suitable for beginners to snorkel, if a bit chilly. They are not recommended as scuba training areas.
(photographic equipment suggestions) The site is excellent for invertebrate photography. Many of the organisms are small, and macro facilities will be useful. On the other hand, wide angle views can be stunning, and when the visibility is good, good scenic views can be taken.
This is a site where choice of suit is important. The water is cold, the dive is moderately deep and requires a fairly long swim, but there is an energetic walk required before you get in. Do not skimp on insulation. If you are fit enough the extra weight needed for a dry suit will be compensated by the warmer dive you will enjoy, specially if the conditions are very calm. Make use of the water available at the parking lot to wet your suit before or just after putting it on.
A light is recommended for looking into the many cracks and overhangs, where the invertebrates are particularly colourful. A compass is useful for swimming back under water, and Nitrox may be advantageous depending on how long and deep you dive. A DSMB may be used if diving from a boat, but is not essential as this is not an area where you can easily get lost, and there is always the option of swimming to shore in an emergency.
(general indication of biodiversity: Fish, Invertebrates, algae)
Views of the site from the shore.