Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Maidstone Rock
The dive sites Maidstone Rock Maidstone Reef and Ammo Reef are offshore rocky reefs in the Seaforth area of Simon's Town on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required. The site is entirely inside the Boulders Restricted Zone.
"Maidstone Rock"is the name given the to the reef on the SA Navy charts. The deeper but more extensive reef to the east is known as Maidstone Reef, and the scattered outcrops around the two are generally referred to as the Maidstone Rocks.
Ammo Reef is the compact reef further to the east. Several large naval gun shells have been seen on the reef.
Maximum depth is about 21m on the sand at Maistone Rock, and the top of the highest pinnacle is about 7m at low tide. Maximum depth at Maidstone Reef is about 25m on the sand, and the highest point is about 10m deep. Ammo Reef is about 17m on top, and the surrounding sand is about 27m deep.
Maidstone Rock is the highest of a group of rocks in the area.
The reef includes a row of scattered granite pinnacles of various heights on a flat fine sand bottom, and a large contiguous section of reef of about 226m east to west by 113m north to south, rising about 15m from the sand at the highest point, but mostly somewhat lower. Across the sand bottom about 100m further east, a substantial outcrop known as Ammo reef rises from 27m on the sand to 17m on top, with several parallel cracks running roughly east-west.
Geology: Late Pre-cambrian granite from the Peninsula pluton.
The site is exposed to wind and waves from the south east, so should be dived in weaterly winds or a calm. The site is reasonably protected from south westerly swells, but long period swells from the south west will cause strong surge.
The site should usually be at it's best in winter but there may also be occasional opportunities at other times of the year.
Access to this site is by boat, It is about 4.4km from the Miller's Point slipway.
Typical of the outer reefs in this area, but not many sea fans. Different rocks have different characters with different dominant invertebrates. Mauve sea cucumbers, striped anemones, strawberry anemones, black brittle stars and common feather stars are abundant. Large numbers of large whelks with egg masses have been seen. Fish may include Roman and small shoals of Hottentot.
Macro or wide angle lenses are most suited to the site and the visibility to be expected.
No particular routes are known. Work your way along the line of pinnacle as suits you best.
No site specific hazards are known.
No special skills required. Ability to deploy a DSMB recommended.
No special equipment required. A DSMB is recommended to inform the boat of where you will be surfacing.