Talk:Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point

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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)

Nice to see you back mate --Stefan (sertmann) talk 09:08, 11 June 2010 (EDT)
Nice to be mapping sites again. Nice to be noticed too. Cheers guys! Hope you are all well -- Peter (Southwood) Talk 09:23, 13 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 ... :-)



E-mailed report added by Peter (Southwood) Talk 10:42, 5 July 2010 (EDT)

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)

Discussion from Wikitravel:Star nominations

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point

This site has been improved a lot over the last few months. The map is not quite ready, but needs comment. The svg has not yet been uploaded, but that is just a matter of doing it when the map is right. Other than that, I think the article meets most, if not all the criteria, and by nominating it I hope to get suggestions on what more is needed. I look forward to the creative criticism that helped get Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle to star.

Partridge Point is a large dive site compared with Pinnacle, and it is much better known among the local divers, and has been quite popular for years. However, the development of the Wikitravel article seems to have pushed up the number of dive charters advertised for the site this season, and the mapping of the site has opened up new parts of it. Local divers are getting the message and starting to use the guide. I just wish a few of them would start contributing, but with luck this will happen eventually.

Besides that, it has been great fun to map, and see the layout unfold itself gradually as I get the data from the GPS tracks onto Inkscape. Peter (Southwood) Talk 13:25, 16 August 2010 (EDT)

  • Uncertain I already had a close look and in general i like this article. I'm not a diver so i can't comment on the quality of the routing and your hints. The only thing i'm really missing is a map on how to get to this route (some sort of get in section) on the landside. If others say the diving part is good, i would support the article. jan 15:43, 3 September 2010 (EDT)
Although the dive site is close to the shore, it is a boat access dive for several reasons, the most important being that you have to cross private land to get to the shore near enough to swim there, so although there is a dirt track to a house at the point, it has a locked gate and divers may not use it, even if they wanted to (the main road is 100m above the shore at this point - a long steep walk in dive gear with about 30 to 40kg of cylinder and weights). I have done this as a shore dive in about 1984, and would not willingly do so again. Therefore, no point in indicating a path on land, it would only get people into trouble. Cheers, Peter (Southwood) Talk 10:51, 5 September 2010 (EDT)
I have added a sub-article on the launch site (see also below) which should help address the access issue, and have also changed the text to clarify. Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:43, 7 September 2010 (EDT)
  • Support: I like it! Seascapeza 22:32, 5 September 2010 (EDT)
  • having managed to finish my RL deadline early (wonders never cease) some more thoughts on this article: is it perhaps an idea to give a map on how to get to Millers Point slipway? Along with a helpful hint about not to park in the wrong place?
Also, why is Geology not a proper subheading? (it's under 'areas around Partridge Point' which makes it look like it's the Geology of the areas around Partridge Point and not the geology of Partridge)
and why, in the Geology section, is Peninsula in italics?
then, what protocol do you use to determine which animals get capital letters and which don't? for example:
'Hottentot seabream, Roman, Galjoen, Blacktail, Fransmadam and Zebra may be seen here, and also puffadder shy sharks. ' why no caps for sharks?
and here:
'Large shoals of small fish such as Hottentot sea bream and Fransmadam are frequently seen, and smaller groups of larger reef fish such as Roman, John Brown, Two-tone fingerfin and Galjoen. Cryptic species such as klipfish and redfingers are fairly common. '
then: swim-through or swimthrough? you have both.
all I can add is that there are several mentions of parts of the site which have not yet been mapped in detail -- should these mentions stay in or should they be ignored/deleted for now and then added in when the descriptions exist?
Apart from that, I still say Support.
Seascapeza 11:23, 6 September 2010 (EDT)
Hi Seascapeza. Thanks for the useful comments. In approximate order:
Map idea is good, the route map in the main article is not really sufficient on its own, and there are a large number of sites serviced by Miller's Point slipway, so I have started a sub-article for the Miller's Point slipway which can be linked from all of the sites which are accessed from there. All useful advice for the slipway can be at this one place. I guess I will have to do the same for all the other major launch sites eventually. The current map I have there is a placeholder until I get to drawing a better one. What do you think? Any useful comments on the format/template of the launch site article?
Geology has been a minor subsection of topography since the original dive site template was designed and reached consensus. I have moved it to below the leader paragraph of the topography section where it now obviously applies to the whole area. This could be changed, but for consitency would then have to be changed for all the dive sites, and geology is not a major heading.
I use italics to indicate geological formation names, in much the same way they are used with genus and species. It is not a universal convention, but it is a way of indicating that the names dont just refer to a place. Capitals would not help here.
I use capitals for the first word of a common name for a species. This is to indicate that it is a specific name and not a generalised description. Otherwise how would a reader know that a Walking anemone is not just an anemone walking, as an example. Usage is erratic and I have tried to clean up, but may have missed a few. Feel free to correct on sight. For example, klipfish and Redfingers, but Blue-spotted klipfish. I am open to better suggestions.
Swim-through vs swimthrough. Not fussy, have changed all to swim-through for consistancy. If you prefer the other way, go ahead and change them.
Parts not yet mapped: I dont know, do you think it is more useful to the diver to mention that the places are not mapped yet, or just not mention them. Might it encourage the adventurous diver to go out and explore where lack of any comment might imply lack of any interesting things to see?
Finally, as a diver, could you comment on jan's reservations (above) about the usefulness of the diving information? Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:37, 7 September 2010 (EDT)

I have just uploaded the latest versions of all the maps and the svg. The False Bay west side season is drawing to an end, and the article may be as complete as I can get it until next winter, so I will give it another few days until 14 days have elapsed since the last person commented, and unless there are any others who wish to comment in that time, will then upgrade to star. Peter (Southwood) Talk 15:14, 17 September 2010 (EDT)

Promoted to StartopicPeter (Southwood) Talk 16:01, 24 September 2010 (EDT)