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Revision as of 12:08, 14 July 2012 by Pbsouthwood (Talk | contribs)

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Peter Southwood

Diving from Blue Flash DSC04951.JPG

Batsata maze cave.jpg Photographer's reef detail.png MV Princess Elizabeth general arrangement plan.png

en This user is a native speaker of English.
af-2 Hierdie persoon kan bydraes maak met gemiddelde Afrikaans.
27 This user has traveled to 27 countries.

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Since March 2011 I have had access to unpublished data from the SA Council for Geoscience which did a sidescan sonar survey and fascies interpretation of parts of False Bay and the Atlantic seaboard of the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.

Contact me by leaving me a message on my talk page (preferred), or via email, if necessary.

Winter diving season appears to be back. False Bay sites will be updated again. Lots to do, with the festival coming up!


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Resident of Somerset West, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa.


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.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about these topics and I will try to provide a useful answer.


Current projects

The first and main project: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay

I would also like to extend the range of dive sites to other parts of the country, preferably with collaboration from divers who live in the areas.

Dive sites with star potential: — to be upgraded at about 1 site per season (summer/winter)

Other projects

  • 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.

More or less finished and maintenance projects

Star sites and articles

  1. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle has reached star status as of 3/12/2009. See archived discussions
  2. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point has reached star status as of 24/09/2010. See archived discussions
  3. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Photographer's Reef has reached Star status as of 12/11/2010. See archived discussions
  4. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay has reached star status as of 28/11/2010. archived discussions
  5. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Percy's Hole has reached star status as of 30/05/2010. See archived discussions
  6. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/MV Aster has reached star status as of 29/08/2011. See archived discussions

Other articles




Planned projects

  • 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.

Dream projects

  • 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 [1](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.
  • Reef classification.
  • 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.






Dive sites of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay

Sub-region maps

Dive site maps - Atlantic Seaboard

Dive site maps - West False Bay

Dive site maps - Offshore

Dive site maps - East False Bay

Dive site maps - Inland

Dive site route maps

Dive site maps of other regions

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