Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Geldkis Blinder
The dive site Geldkis Blinder is a relatively infrequently dived site in the North Oudekraal area on the Cape Peninsula, 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 "Geldkis Blinder"
The site is just to seaward of the large rock shown on charts and maps as Geldkis, which is also a well known dive site. The highest rock on the reef is a blinder which occasionally breaks the surface at low tide.
A break is usually visible, though at high tide on a good day it may not break. Unfortunately if conditions are at their best, this will be the case. However the site is not difficult to find with a compass. From the gap between Geldkis and Strawberry rocks, swim out about 40m bearing 030° magnetic, and you should be over the reef. In good visibility it will be visible from the surface
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009)
Shore dive: Park at the side of the road on the outside of the bend just north of the Twelve Apostles Hotel. The entry/exit point is Sandy Cove, inshore of the Geldkis rocks. This gives the most direct route to the site which is beyond the group of large granite boulders known as Geldkis about 300m from the entry point at Sandy cove.
Boat Dive: May be from Hout Bay (16km) or Oceana Power Boat Club (13.5km). Probably best done as a live-boat dive as the holding ground is questionable.
None. Security is no better than most roadside parking in this area.
Often good during or after south easterly winds, but strong south easterly winds (offshore) can make it difficult to swim back to shore on the surface. The site is exposed to south westerly swells, and large or long period swell will produce strong surge and usually poor visibility.
The site is usually at it's best during summer but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and early winter.
This is an area which sometimes has upwellings, caused by offshore winds, and resulting in clear cold water, which may be followed by algal bloom (red tide), which will reduce visibility again..
The bottom is generally from 15m to about 20m on the sand
Granite corestone boulders and bedrock of the Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton, surrounded by quartz sand
Geldkis Blinder is a group of large boulders and outcrops which extend to the surface at one place at low tide, where there is usually a break unless the swell is very low. There is occasional sand between the rocks in low areas, and the reef extends down to sand bottom on the seaward side at about 20m. There are numerous lower submerged boulders around the high ones. Some of the boulders are arranged that there are overhangs, and small holes and caves under them. There are also some deep narrow gaps between rocks, and an arch about half way along the northern side. The site is spectacular in good visibility. The blinder extends more or less to the surface from 18m, almost vertically on the north side. This is a huge rock with an low overhang at the bottom.
Cold water, hot sunshine. Strong surge over shallow rocks. Sea urchins. Strong offshore winds may develop over a short time.
No special skills are required for a boat dive, For a shore dive a fair level of fitness is required as there is a long swim to and from the site. Ability to navigate back by compass is recommended, particularly if there is an offshore wind forecast
A good site for macro photography, and opportunities with wide angle if the visibility is good.
A light is recommended for looking into crevices and overhangs, and also because of the loss of colour at depth. A compass is strongly recommended for shore dives and the return should be done underwater if the wind picks up during the dive, so save enough air for the swim. A deployable SMB is suggested for boat dives, and Nitrox will allow maximum dive time after your long swim. It is really only of much value if you expect to dive for longer than 45minutes, in which case a dry suit is also recommended.
Seals often gather on Strawberry Rocks, and some may come over to watch you during the dive. There are kelp forests on top of the shallower rocks, and on the way to the site. Various brown and red algae grow on top of the rocks. Walls exposed to the SW and NW swells are relatively bare compared to overhangs, caves and sheltered areas, some of which are quite colourful and encrusted with a wide range of hydroids, crinoids, black mussels, encrusting sponges, small sea fans, hard and soft corals. The low reef is covered by pink corallines and large numbers of sea urchins.
There are two basic routes depending on whether the dive is from shore or a boat.
Views of the site from the shore.
The rocks at Geldkis seen from the road. The big rocks to the left are Geldkis, the two small rocks to the right are Strawberry Rocks, and the white water behind them is Geldkis Blinder.
Entry/Exit point at Sandy Cove at low tide. The route to Geldkis Blinder is through the gap at centre left, and out through the gap between the barely visible rock in the left background (Geldkis) and the next rock to its right. (Strawberry Rock)