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The dive site '''Fan Reef''', also known as '''Fantastic Reef''', is a small offshore rocky reef in the Castle Rocks area on the False Bay coast of the [[Cape Peninsula]], near [[Cape Town]] in the [[Western Cape]] province of [[South Africa]].
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The dive site '''Fan Reef''' also known as '''Fantastic Reef''' is a small offshore rocky reef in the Castle Rocks area on the False Bay side of the[[Cape Peninsula]], near [[Cape Town]] in the [[Western Cape]] province of [[South Africa]].
 
  
 +
==Understand==
 +
[[Image:Fan Reef Map.png|400px|thumb|Map of the dive site Fan Reef.]]
 
The site has a large concentration of Gorgonian sea fans
 
The site has a large concentration of Gorgonian sea fans
 
==Get in==
 
[[Image:Map_of_CT_dive_site_Fan_Reef.png|400px|thumb|Map of the dive site Fan Reef.]]
 
===Access===
 
Access to this site is only by boat. The distance from Miller's Point slipway is about 1.8km.
 
  
 
===Position===
 
===Position===
S34°14.165 E18°29.260  
+
S34°14.165' E18°29.260'
  
The site is about half way between Miller's Point and Castle Rocks and is on the 30m depth contour. It is about  1.1 km from the shore directly to the west. North Fan Reef is about 100m to the north of Fan Reef across the sand.
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The site is about half way between Miller's Point and Castle Rocks and is at the 30m depth contour. It is about  1.1 km from the shore directly to the west. North Fan Reef is about 100m to the north of Fan Reef across the sand.
  
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009). A permit is required.
+
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.
 +
The site is entirely inside the Castle Rocks Restricted Zone.
 +
 
 +
[[Image:Palmate_sea_fan_at_North_Fan_Reef_DSC09255.JPG|thumb|A Palmate sea fan at North Fan Reef.]]
  
==Understand==
 
[[Image:Palmate_sea_fan_at_North_Fan_Reef_DSC09255.JPG|thumb|A Palmate sea fan at north Fan Reef.]]
 
 
===Name===
 
===Name===
The reef is named "Fan Reef" for the large numbers of gorgonian sea fans found there. The alternative name '''Fantastic Reef''' is based on the original name.
+
The reef was originally named "Fan Reef" for the large numbers of gorgonian sea fans found there. The alternative name "Fantastic Reef" is based on the original name.
  
 
===Depth===
 
===Depth===
The bottom is at about 30m on the sand to the east of the reef
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The bottom is at about 30m on the sand to the east of the reef at high tide. The top of the pinnacles to the south east is at about 19m deep at low tide
  
 
<!--===Visibility===-->
 
<!--===Visibility===-->
Line 37: Line 26:
  
 
===Topography===
 
===Topography===
'''Fan Reef:''' Small isolated granite corestone reef, Large outcrops, some rocks quite high, some low. Reef area more or less contiguous.
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'''Fan Reef''' is the southernmost sector of the Fan Reef complex, it is a small granite corestone reef of fairly large outcrops, some of which are quite high, and some low. This section of the reef area is more or less contiguous. There is a small cluster of pinnacles in the south eastern part of this sector, which rise from the sand at about 28m to about 19m, but much of the reef is lower, and most of the edge is between 1 and 2m above the sand.
  
'''North Fan Reef:''' Granite reef of outcrops and boulders of about 10m maximum height, and up to about 20m long. Rugged terrain, with lots of gulleys and steep walls and quite a few overhangs. There is a small swimthrough probably on the west side just above the sand.  
+
A short distance away to the north west, across a narrow sand belt, and visible from Fan Reef in good visibility, is a patch of low and fairly broken reef, the North West sector, and further north again is North Fan Reef. Most of this patch appears to be lower than 2m above the sand, and much of it below 1m. The nearest part to Fan Reef is very low , broken and sandy.
 +
 
 +
'''North Fan Reef''' is granite reef of outcrops and boulders of about 10m maximum height, and up to about 20m long. Rugged terrain, with lots of gulleys and steep walls and quite a few overhangs. There is a small swimthrough, probably on the west side, just above the sand.
 +
 
 +
There are other scattered outcrops to the west and south west of the main reefs, the largest of which is to the southeast about 100m away, and a small patch of reef to the far north, quite close to the North Fan Reef sector.
  
 
'''Geology:'''
 
'''Geology:'''
 
Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian ''Peninsula'' pluton
 
Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian ''Peninsula'' pluton
+
 
 
===Conditions===
 
===Conditions===
 
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. Generally considered a winter dive site but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and spring.  
 
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. Generally considered a winter dive site but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and spring.  
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<!--official SANBI reef type classification or equivalent if available -->
 
<!--official SANBI reef type classification or equivalent if available -->
  
===Facilities===
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==Get in==
 +
Access to this site is only practicable by boat. The distance from Miller's Point slipway is about 1.8km.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
[[Image:Basket_star_on_sea_fan_at_Fan_Reef_DSC08990.JPG|thumb|Basket star on sea fan]]
 
[[Image:Horsefish_and_sunburst_coral_at_Fan_reef_DSC09309.JPG|thumb|Horsefish and sunburst soft coral]]
 
[[Image:Mauve_sea_cucumbers_at_Fan_Reef_DSC08994.JPG|thumb|Mauve sea cucumbers and orange sponge]]
 
[[Image:Sea_cucumbers_at_Fan_reef_DSC09315.JPG|thumb|Sea cucumbers]]
 
[[Image:Shy_sharks_at_fan_reef_DSC09005.JPG|thumb|Shy sharks]]
 
[[Image:Multicolour_sea_fans_at_North_Fan_Reef_DSC09285.JPG|thumb|Multicolour sea fans]]
 
 
===Marine life===
 
===Marine life===
Notable for a variety of sea fans, Sunburst soft corals, striped and strawberry anemones, Basket stars, feather stars, and sea cucumbers, coralline algae,  encrusting sponges, urchins, colonial ascidians and a few species of nudibranch.
+
The site is notable for a variety of gorgonian sea fans, Sunburst soft corals, striped and strawberry anemones, Basket stars, feather stars, sea cucumbers, coralline algae,  encrusting sponges, urchins, colonial ascidians and a few species of nudibranch.
 +
You may also see Horsefish, Barred fingerfins and Shy sharks.
 +
 
 +
<gallery widths="180px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
 +
Image:Basket_star_on_sea_fan_at_Fan_Reef_DSC08990.JPG|Basket star on sea fan
 +
Image:Horsefish_and_sunburst_coral_at_Fan_reef_DSC09309.JPG|Horsefish and sunburst soft coral
 +
Image:Mauve_sea_cucumbers_at_Fan_Reef_DSC08994.JPG|Mauve sea cucumbers and orange sponge]
 +
Image:Sea_cucumbers_at_Fan_reef_DSC09315.JPG|Sea cucumbers
 +
Image:Shy_sharks_at_fan_reef_DSC09005.JPG|Shy sharks
 +
Image:Multicolour_sea_fans_at_North_Fan_Reef_DSC09285.JPG|Multicolour sea fans
 +
</gallery>
  
 
<!--===Features===-->
 
<!--===Features===-->
  
 
===Photography===
 
===Photography===
(photographic equipment suggestions)
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The site is fairly deep. Natural light will usually be poor, so a flash will be necessary. There will usually be enough particulate matter in the water to necessitate an external flash for all except close up work. Macro and wide angle lenses will usually provide good results. Subject size will range from a few millimetres to about a metre.
 +
 
 +
===Routes===
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No routes recommended, the reef is quite small and may be comprehensively visited on a dive. Spend some time on the sand at the edge of the rock, and work your way up to the higher parts, to see the widest variety of sea life.
  
===Suggested Routes===
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Boats should not anchor on the reef, and shotlines should be dropped a few metres off the reef on the sand.Divers can move the shot to within sight of the reef if they intend to return to it to surface
No routes recommended, the reef is quite small and may be comprehensively visited on a dive.
+
  
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
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===Equipment===
 
===Equipment===
No special equipment required. A DSMB and reel are recommended.
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No special equipment required. A DSMB and reel are recommended in case it is necessary to surface away from the shotline.
  
Back to [[Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay]]
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Back to [[Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Castle Rocks]]
  
 
{{guidetopic}}
 
{{guidetopic}}
 +
{{geo|12.817000|18.487667}}

Latest revision as of 13:13, 4 June 2011

The dive site Fan Reef, also known as Fantastic Reef, is a small offshore rocky reef in the Castle Rocks area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Contents

Understand[edit]

Map of the dive site Fan Reef.

The site has a large concentration of Gorgonian sea fans

Position[edit]

S34°14.165' E18°29.260'

The site is about half way between Miller's Point and Castle Rocks and is at the 30m depth contour. It is about 1.1 km from the shore directly to the west. North Fan Reef is about 100m to the north of Fan Reef across the sand.

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is entirely inside the Castle Rocks Restricted Zone.

A Palmate sea fan at North Fan Reef.

Name[edit]

The reef was originally named "Fan Reef" for the large numbers of gorgonian sea fans found there. The alternative name "Fantastic Reef" is based on the original name.

Depth[edit]

The bottom is at about 30m on the sand to the east of the reef at high tide. The top of the pinnacles to the south east is at about 19m deep at low tide


Topography[edit]

Fan Reef is the southernmost sector of the Fan Reef complex, it is a small granite corestone reef of fairly large outcrops, some of which are quite high, and some low. This section of the reef area is more or less contiguous. There is a small cluster of pinnacles in the south eastern part of this sector, which rise from the sand at about 28m to about 19m, but much of the reef is lower, and most of the edge is between 1 and 2m above the sand.

A short distance away to the north west, across a narrow sand belt, and visible from Fan Reef in good visibility, is a patch of low and fairly broken reef, the North West sector, and further north again is North Fan Reef. Most of this patch appears to be lower than 2m above the sand, and much of it below 1m. The nearest part to Fan Reef is very low , broken and sandy.

North Fan Reef is granite reef of outcrops and boulders of about 10m maximum height, and up to about 20m long. Rugged terrain, with lots of gulleys and steep walls and quite a few overhangs. There is a small swimthrough, probably on the west side, just above the sand.

There are other scattered outcrops to the west and south west of the main reefs, the largest of which is to the southeast about 100m away, and a small patch of reef to the far north, quite close to the North Fan Reef sector.

Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton

Conditions[edit]

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. Generally considered a winter dive site but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and spring.


Get in[edit]

Access to this site is only practicable by boat. The distance from Miller's Point slipway is about 1.8km.

See[edit][add listing]

Marine life[edit]

The site is notable for a variety of gorgonian sea fans, Sunburst soft corals, striped and strawberry anemones, Basket stars, feather stars, sea cucumbers, coralline algae, encrusting sponges, urchins, colonial ascidians and a few species of nudibranch. You may also see Horsefish, Barred fingerfins and Shy sharks.


Photography[edit]

The site is fairly deep. Natural light will usually be poor, so a flash will be necessary. There will usually be enough particulate matter in the water to necessitate an external flash for all except close up work. Macro and wide angle lenses will usually provide good results. Subject size will range from a few millimetres to about a metre.

Routes[edit]

No routes recommended, the reef is quite small and may be comprehensively visited on a dive. Spend some time on the sand at the edge of the rock, and work your way up to the higher parts, to see the widest variety of sea life.

Boats should not anchor on the reef, and shotlines should be dropped a few metres off the reef on the sand.Divers can move the shot to within sight of the reef if they intend to return to it to surface

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

No site specific hazards have been reported.

Skills[edit]

Appropriate certification for the depth is expected. No special skills are required, though bouyancy control and finning skills should be adequate to avoid damage to the sea fans and other sensitive organisms.

Equipment[edit]

No special equipment required. A DSMB and reel are recommended in case it is necessary to surface away from the shotline.

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