Talk:Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point
I have started mapping this site (June 2010), so there will be frequent updates on the map and hopefully new data and photos. Svg map file will be uploaded when development slows down, or when someone asks for it. Anyone wishing to assist please go ahead. The site is large and complex, with a lot of high profile reef, much of which is hardly ever dived so the mapping may take some time. I am starting out by swimming the perimeter of the reef edge where it meets the sand. After that I plan to mark positions of major pinnacles, gulleys, swimthroughs and overhangs, and get a bunch of spot depths. Anyone who has positions of any major features please feel free to either edit them in directly or leave the details here or on my talk page. At a later stage I hope to get sidescan sonar images where the fish can access the area safely, and multibeam bathymetry, as I have contacts who are surveying the area for conservation research, but they can only go where it is safe for the boat. -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 09:06, 11 June 2010 (EDT)
Report by local diver on newly explored section of site:
Pleased edit/cut/paste/hack it as you see fit ....
Grant dropped us at the most recently discovered submerged pinnacle on the Smits side of the Partridge Point reef complex which is just 50 meters or so off the small rock which does break the surface (not sure if it breaks all the time or just on low tides)
We started by just scootering laps around the closest pinnacles and bits of reef just to get an idea of our immediate surroundings. We proceeded south until we reached what seemed like the end of the reef and then we would turn back towards where we came from.
After exploring the swimthroughs, beautiful gulleys and shining our torches into caves & cracks to find big romans, crayfish and other fish hanging around, we headed east along the edge of the reef keeping the reef on our left and the sand on our right.
Every time the opportunity to scooter under an overhang, down a gulley or through a swim through we would do so but we tried to return to the edge of the reef so that we could have a reference of where we were on the reef while exploring as much of the edge as possible.
The reef has quite spectacular structures which results in overhangs and swimthroughs and gulleys filled with life and colour. When one looks up on a day with good viz the reef is silhouetted, the sun filters through the kelp fronds on top of the reef and the schools of fish in midwater makes for stunning underwater scenes.
At one point a large seal joined us on the dive, and on another occasion we were following a pufadder shy shark which was trying to swallow a small octopus. The puffadder shy shark was, in turn, followed by a few other fish hoping to get leftovers and scraps.
There is a stunning almost perfectly vertical wall from about 19 meters on the sand to where the reef breaks the surface on the big rock on the eastern side of the reef. The whole wall is covered in life and really really impressive in good viz.
Since we were already 30 minutes into the dive and we didn't know how long our batteries would last we headed north and then west which effectively brought us around the big rock and heading back to the area where were were dropped off. We didn't quite make it back to where we were dropped off because Pierre was low on air and we had already dived for 45 minutes.
We scootered around the "inside" of the reef near the big rock a bit where we also saw lots of structure, but it was on average shallower and the structure less dramatic than on the outer edge of the reef.
All & all a stunning piece of reef!
I would gladly return to this reef with a twinset full of 50 or 40% nitrox and just carry on scootering till my batteries go flat ... :-)
Alea jacta est
I have been working on this site now for a few months, and though it is by no means exhausted, I think it is ready for scrutiny for upgrading to Star. I need the feedback for the final push, so have nominated for Star. Peter (Southwood) Talk 12:35, 16 August 2010 (EDT)