Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Het Huis te Kraaiestein
The dive site Het Huis te Kraaiestein is a historical shipwreck in the Oudekraal area of the Cape Peninsula, part of 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.
Name "Het huis te Kraaiestein"
Het Huis te Kraaiestein was a Dutch ship of 1,154 tons, built in 1697 at the Zeeland Yard for the Zeeland Chamber of the Dutch East India Company, and commanded by Jan van de Vijver. Wrecked on the rocks in the bay at Oudekraal on the Cape Peninsula on 27 May 1698 in thick mist as they were trying to find the way into Table Bay. The ship was on her maiden voyage outward-bound from Wielingen, which she had left on 1 February 1698, with a cargo of 19 chests of pieces-of-eight (approximately 57 000 pieces). No lives were lost. Three chests of treasure disappeared and the name 'Geldkis' (money-chest) appears on maps of the area.
S33°58.85’ E018°21.70’ Just to the north east of the entry area at Sandy Cove.
This is in a Marine Protected Area (2009)
This is almost always dived as a shore entry dive, as the access is easy, and the distance from the entry point is not very far.
Parking is at the side of the road on the outside of the bend on the City side of the Twelve Apostles Hotel. The path starts near the signpost and after a steep descent curves round to the north between some trees and a granite boulder. It continues north-eastwards and then splits in several directions. The first branch is to the left to the entry for Justin’s Caves, The second continues more or less straight down a slope to a shallow gully between big boulders. There is an old piece of rail and small boulders in this north west entry point. The third branch is to the right, uphill slightly and through between some bushes, then down over the rocks to a shallow sandy gully, with a small beach at low tide. This south-east (closer to the road) entry point has a sand bottom with large granite boulders on both sides. The boulder on the right is convenient resting place for fins, camera etc when making final preparations for entry. The access at both these points is very protected and safe in almost any conditions you would consider diving.
(comment on facilities: Parking, ablution, security, picnic, other)
This is an area well sheltered from the south west swell, but as it is shallow, there is usually some surge. The site is usually at it's best in summer, and is diveable in strong southeasterly winds but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and early winter.
Keep a lookout for times when the swell is low and short period. The site is not worth diving if there is white water around the rocks.
The sand bottom is at about 10m.
Granite corestone boulders of the Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton, and fine quartz and shell sand
(general site topography)
(sector 1 if applicable)
(site specific hazard list: Access, sea conditions, weather conditions, other)
(any special skills required, suitability for novices. snorkelling)
(fitness level for shore entry)
(suitability for night dives, other special dives)
(photographic equipment suggestions)
(general indication of biodiversity: Fish, Invertebrates, algae)
Views of the site from the shore.