Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

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

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(Equipment)
(add images)
Line 56: Line 56:
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
<!--[[Image:(photo of typical marine organism from site)|thumb|(caption)]]-->
+
[[Image:Typical life on the exposed parts of the reef at the Romelia PC193996.JPG|thumb|The exposed flatter deeper areas are usually sparsely populated]]
 +
[[Image:Red bait zone at the Romelia PC194029.JPG|thumb|The red bait zone is mostly above 8m depth]]
 +
[[Image:Reef life on a sheltered area at the Romelia PC194017.JPG|thumb|Reef like is more colourful in sheltered areas]]
 +
[[Image:Three colurs of soft corals at the Romelia PC194025.JPG|thumb|Three colours of soft corals]]
 +
 
 
===Marine life===
 
===Marine life===
 
Shallow rocks have the usual red-bait zone, with lots of sandy anemones and striped anemones. There is a band of Black mussels in the intertidal zone round the rocks. The Kelp is largely Ecklonia in the shallower areas, with Laminaria deeper. The wreckage is heavily grown with algae on the top, Deeper flat rocks have large groups  of urchins and grey cucumbers. In deeper water there are walls and overhangs with more colourful sponge and coral growth, but not as much as some other sites on this coast.
 
Shallow rocks have the usual red-bait zone, with lots of sandy anemones and striped anemones. There is a band of Black mussels in the intertidal zone round the rocks. The Kelp is largely Ecklonia in the shallower areas, with Laminaria deeper. The wreckage is heavily grown with algae on the top, Deeper flat rocks have large groups  of urchins and grey cucumbers. In deeper water there are walls and overhangs with more colourful sponge and coral growth, but not as much as some other sites on this coast.
  
<!--[[Image:(photo of typical feature from site)|thumb|(caption)]]-->
+
[[Image:Base of the mast of the Romelia PC193980.JPG|thumb|The mast section was faired and there is a ladder on the blunt side]]
 +
[[Image:Mooring winch of the Romelia wreck PC193936.JPG|thumb|A mooring winch hanging under the inverted section of foredeck]]
 +
[[Image:Under the inverted foredeck of the Romelia PC193938.JPG|thumb|There is a cavern-like swimthrough under the inverted foredeck]]
 +
[[Image:Much of the wreckage of the Romelia is very broken up PC193966.JPG|thumb|Much of the wreckage is very broken up]]
 
===Features===
 
===Features===
Very broken up wreckage of a large oil tanker.
+
Very broken up wreckage of a large oil tanker. There is a section of the bow deck which has inverted and wedged between some large boulders just offshore of the last ecxposed rock. This still has some large mooring winches, bollards and fairleads attached, and is an interesting place to visit. Most of the structure of the vessel is so broken up as to be almost unrecognisable, but there is a substantial section of faired mast near the bow wreckage, which may have been a foremast.
  
 
===Photography===
 
===Photography===

Revision as of 06:12, 20 December 2010

The dive site MV Romelia or Sunset Rocks is an inshore rocky reef with recent wreck in the Llandudno area on the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Contents

Understand

Position

S34°00.700’ E018°19.860’ (approximately)


North side of Sunset Rocks, Llandudno.

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is within the Karbonkelberg restricted zone.

Name

The tankers ""MV Romelia" and "MV Antipolis" were under tow by the tug Kiyo Maru no.2 from Greece to scrap merchants in the Far East. On July 28th 1977 during a north westerly gale the tow cable to the Antipolis snagged on the sea bed. In the ensuing confusion the cables broke and the two ships were driven aground by the wind. The Antipolis ran aground at Oudekraal, and the Romelia at Sunset Rocks, Llandudno, where its back was broken by the heavy surf and the ship split in two. Later the bow section sank, leaving the stern mostly above sea level on the rocks. Over the years the stern section has also broken up and is no longer visible.

Depth

Maximum depth is about 24m, but mostly quite a bit shallower


The line of Sunset Rocks reef seen from the shore. The Romelia lies just to the right of these rocks.

Topography

Big granite corestone outcrops and boulders. The main line of big surface piercing rocks has lower reef to the north, much of it fairly flat, but with occasional high rocks. It slopes out gradually to about level with the end of the big rocks, then gets deeper fairly fast. Wreckage is concentrated along the line of the surface piercing rocks on the north side, in relatively shallow water (mostly 6 to 10m). The wreckage is mostly mangled plate, unrecognisable as to what part of the ship it originated from, with a few odd bits in the deeper area which can be recognised as pipe or catwalk fragments.

Geology: Late Pre-Cambrian granite of the Peninsula pluton.

Conditions

Best in conditions of limited surge, as the wreck is shallow. Generally this means a low and short period south westerly component of swell.

The site is exposed to wind and swell from the south west and north west, but is protected from south easterly wind and waves, so should be dived during or after a period of calm or south easterly wind. The site is usually at it's best in summer but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and early winter.

This is an area which sometimes has upwellings, caused by south easterly winds, resulting in clear cold water rich in nutrients, which after a few days may develop a plankton bloom resulting in poor visibility.


Facilities

Limited roadside parking is available.

Get in

This site is dived from boats and from the shore.

Boat dive: The site is about 11.7km from Hout Bay harbour.

The entry point for the Romelia. The narrow gully is a reasonably convenient access route at most states of the tide, and is fairly easily accessible from the road. Sunset Rocks reef is to the left of the photo.

Shore dive: Turn off Victoria drive [M6] into Llandudno road. The road makes a sharp bend to the right, but drive straight on into Fisherman’s Bend, and follow the signs for Sandy Bay. These will take you into Sunset Avenue, which goes down to the bottom of the mountainside. Park near to the vacant plot at the bottom of Sunset Avenue, just beyond the first house to the left on the bottom stretch of road. Entry and exit are at a gully directly opposite the vacant plot. There are alternative entries and exits but this one is said to be usable in most weather conditions you would be likely to dive.

An alternative access area at Sunset Rocks, to the south of the gully, may be more convenient if the tide is low. Sunset Rocks reef is off to the left of the photo

See

The exposed flatter deeper areas are usually sparsely populated
The red bait zone is mostly above 8m depth
Reef like is more colourful in sheltered areas
Three colours of soft corals

Marine life

Shallow rocks have the usual red-bait zone, with lots of sandy anemones and striped anemones. There is a band of Black mussels in the intertidal zone round the rocks. The Kelp is largely Ecklonia in the shallower areas, with Laminaria deeper. The wreckage is heavily grown with algae on the top, Deeper flat rocks have large groups of urchins and grey cucumbers. In deeper water there are walls and overhangs with more colourful sponge and coral growth, but not as much as some other sites on this coast.

The mast section was faired and there is a ladder on the blunt side
A mooring winch hanging under the inverted section of foredeck
There is a cavern-like swimthrough under the inverted foredeck
Much of the wreckage is very broken up

Features

Very broken up wreckage of a large oil tanker. There is a section of the bow deck which has inverted and wedged between some large boulders just offshore of the last ecxposed rock. This still has some large mooring winches, bollards and fairleads attached, and is an interesting place to visit. Most of the structure of the vessel is so broken up as to be almost unrecognisable, but there is a substantial section of faired mast near the bow wreckage, which may have been a foremast.

Photography

Routes

Swim out on the surface to north of the second big rock, Dive a few metres away from the rock and explore the wreckage as you see fit.

Stay safe

Hazards

Cold water, Strong surge in shallow areas. Ragged, sharp edged wreckage. Sea urchins. Strong offshore winds may develop over a short time.

Skills

No special skills required.

Equipment

A light is useful for looking into the debris, and a compass will help navigate back to shore at the end of the dive, once out of the influence of the huge mass of steel wreckage.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Llandudno

This is a usable article. It touches on all the major areas of the topic. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages