Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/HNMS Bato
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.
"His Netherlands Majesty's Ship Bato" was a Dutch warship of 800 tons and 74 guns. The ship had been used as a floating battery in Simon’s Bay for several years. Set on fire and sunk off Long Beach, Simon's Town, on 8 January 1806, the same day that the Battle of Blaauwberg began. The Batavian Republic forces at the Cape capitulated to the British forces two days later. The wreck has been worked on and cannon from the site stood outside the Simon's Town Post Office.
Maximum depth is about 4m. Average depth is likely to be about 3m.
The wreck lies in shallow water (about 3.5m) The area is fine sand with some low sandstone reef to the South. The wood structure of the wreck has become very overgrown over the years and is not easily recognisable over large areas The wreck lies approximately parallel to the shoreline. The centreline of the debris field is nearly North/South True, from S34°11.012’ E018°25.558’ to S34°10.985’ E018°25.561’, It is about 50m long, 8m wide and it extends over an area of about 400 m2. There is a large mass of corroded iron at S34°11.008’ E018°25.552’, and some copper sheathing at the north end of the wreckage
Protected area, but shallow. Can be dived if the swell is low. Generally best in winter.
The parking lot is tarred and in good condition. There is a fresh water shower, but on occasion the taps have been sawn off. The public toilets are shabby and may not be open.
Parking at the tarred parking lot at Long Beach behind the railway station. There is a walk of about 450m along the beach from the slipway gap to a small brick building. The wreckage of the Bato is visible from the shore on a calm day as a dark patch of weed about 50m offshore.
The wreckage is largely overgrown with kelp and seaweeds, and has shallow water invertebrates, and often a few fish
Historical wooden shipwreck. The wreckage is low and heavily overgrown with seaweed and invertebrates. The wreck is protected by legislation and may not be disturbed.
The water is very shallow, and natural light should allow almost any equipment to be used, but the subject matter is rather limited.
Swim straight out to the wreck on the surface, Dive and explore the wreck, then swim back to shore on compass bearing 330° magnetic.
No known site specific hazards.
No special skills required. Suitable site for novice snorkellers
A light is useful for looking into dark crevices. An extra weight might be useful to keep you under water if your buoyancy is normally neutral at the surface.