I am surveying and mapping the dive sites of Cape Town as a long term project. Wikitravel is how I make this information available to the public on a constantly updated format.
Most of the surveys are done by towing a surface marker buoy on a tight tether along a chosen contour, then after the dive I download the GPS track and transfer it to Inkscape and trace around it to show the shape of the site. A similar process is used for the outlines of reefs and wrecks, and some details are simply measured and sketched on site. On rare occasions the visibility is good enough to use photos and video to provide details.
Since March 2011 I have had access to unpublished data from the SA Council for Geoscience which did a sidescan sonar survey and fascies interpretation of parts of False Bay and the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula for a reef ecology monitoring project. This data lacks detail of depth and can be difficult to interpret with precision, but it is excellent for identifying roughly where all the rocky areas are. However it is limited to places where the sonar fish is not likely to hit rocks, so there is still plenty of reef that has to be identified and mapped in other ways in the close inshore zone, Also it does not give depth profiles. The main value is that it is possible to be reasonably sure that most reef has been identified in these zones.
Most of the boat access sites were mapped from Blue Flash charters boats, as Blue Flash caters largely for a fairly regular clientele of advanced local divers, and is more inclined towards exploring new areas and opening up new sites, and a moderate number from Dive and Adventure and Pisces Diving boats. The owners support this project by allowing me a special rate for boat dives. The shore dives were done under my own power, usually alone, but sometimes with a few buddies who are prepared to swim along with me while I survey.
I would welcome participation from other local divers, but so far I have been unable to persuade any of them to actually go out and survey.
My home turf is the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, in which region I have logged over 1000 dives at a large range of sites, some of which I have mapped.
I am not currently affiliated to any recreational diving certification agency, nor employed by a dive shop or dive charter business.
Developing and standardising structure for continental, national and local level diving guide articles. Producing templates where they may be useful. Editing diving guide articles to get them to fit the current structure, and hopefully not offending too many past contributors to these articles.
Providing help articles on how to create and edit dive guide articles.
Developing Dive Guides for the whole of South Africa with the collaboration of divers in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, to date (July 2010) have had no input from other parts of the country.
Update (October 2010): Some inland sites are now available, and Diving in Durban is based on the work of Bryan Hart of Durban Undersea Club.
Eventually extending this system of Dive Guides and Dive Site descriptions to other parts of the world. This will have to be done as a major collaborative project and will necessarily involve input from hundreds of divers. Today, Cape Town, Tomorrow, ze Vorld! Ahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!.... Should keep me busy indefinitely.
Other interests include
SURG (Southern Underwater Research Group) co-founder.
Engineering, particularly underwater and low-cost solutions
Underwater science, particularly marine invertebrates of my home waters.
Underwater diving, Scuba and Surface supplied, scientific and recreational/technical, since 1983.
Mapping dive sites
Recording biodiversity of the local temperate reefs. FIN and Reef Atlas Project.
Design and development of special purpose equipment for diving and underwater projects (Modular Diving Systems by Southwood Marine, and SURGware)
Voluntary and contract work on scientific and commercial diving projects as diver and diving supervisor.
Education, particularly relating to scientific, commercial and recreational diving. (Commercial diving instructor, ex lecturer at University of Stellenbosch, retired recreational diving instructor)
Writing training material for commercial and recreational diver training.
Providing comments and advice on scientific and commercial diving legislation, codes of practice, operating procedures and training policy in South Africa.