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Difference between revisions of "Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Highfields"

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Revision as of 13:47, 9 March 2011

The dive site Highfields is an offshore historical wreck in the Table Bay area on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Contents

Understand

Sonar scan of the wreck of the Highfields

The Highfields was a British four-masted steel barque of 2 280 tons, built in 1892 by Richardson Duck & Co, Stockton, and commanded by Capt E.R. Dunham. The vessel was lost on 14 August 1902 after a voyage from Cardiff to Table Bay with a cargo of coal. She hit the SS Kaiser and sank quickly with the loss of nineteen lives.

Position

  • S33°53.1317’ E 18° 25.8300’ (Bow)
  • S33°53.1417’ E 18° 25.0800’ (Stern)
  • She is just south-west of the No1 channel entrance buoy.

This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.


Name

The name "Highfields" is the name of the shipwreck at this site.

Depth

Maximum depth is about 24m. and the top of the wreckage is about ??m.


Topography

The wreck lies in 24m and is fairly intact but is up-side down so it is mostly hull plating that is visible, Around the sides there are a few places where one can see into or under the hull, and her huge anchors lie just off the bow.


Conditions

Get in

This site is only accessed by boat as it is quite far offshore and at the edge of the shipping lane at the entry to Cape Town harbour. Take care to remain outside of the shipping lane.

The site is about 2.2km from the Oceana Power Boat Club slipway

See

Marine life

Photography

Suggested Routes

Stay safe

Hazards

Diving the Highfields is especially tricky as she lies only a few meters north of the entrance channel to the harbour. One needs to inform Cape Town port control of the dive and then devise an ascent system that prevents divers drifting south into the channel on ascent and while on the surface. A shot line placed on the bow (furthest point away from the channel) with its buoy attached to a second line to an anchor placed about 100m further north has proved workable. Another way is for divers to tie a sacrificial ascent line to the wreck which they hold onto during ascent and on the surface. They then let go of the line once the dive boat gets to them.

Skills

Equipment

DSMB is strongly recommended so that the boat can monitor your position if you must ascend away from the shotline. Jersey upline (disposable, biodegradable line for ascent) recommended to prevent drift if ascending away from shotline.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Table Bay


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