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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Tony’s Reef

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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay : Tony’s Reef
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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Tony’s Reef

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The dive site Tony's Reef is a shoreline rocky reef in the Gordon's Bay area on the east side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Aerial view of the dive site at Tony’s Reef. (Photo CDS&M)


S34°10.565’ E018°49.745’

This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.


The name "Tony's Reef" may refer to a local dive boat skipper who has worked in this area for a long time.


Maximum about 14m on sand bottom.


Visibility in this area is not often better than 5 to 6m. It is likely to be at its best in summer after a few days of south easterly wind and a flat sea.


Fairly rugged reef with medium to large ridges and outcrops sloping down fairly steeply to shelly pebble zone and finally sand bottom. The sand may be in two zones, fine sand inshore with small wave ripples, and further out coarse shelly sand with large ripples. The reef structure is basically east-west ridges and gullies, some of which are very broken up and not easily recognisable. There are some transverse gullies superposed on this basic structure, which run inshore-offshore, some of which have a bottom of clean, well rounded boulders, indicating strong wave action in rough weather.

Geology: Rock is probably sandstone of the Graafwater formation (earliest strata of the Ordovician Table Mountain group). The dip is very steep, nearly vertical, and strike is approximately parallel to the general trend of the coastline in the area, roughly east-west magnetic.


Best when south west swell is short and low. More exposed to south west swell than Pinnacle.

Get in[edit]

Boat dive from Gordon’s Bay or Harbour Island. The site is the west side of a rocky point just east of Troglodyte's Cove and west of Pinnacle. Anchor off shore between the narrow shallow gully that opens out inland to a rocky beach just visible from the sea, and the rocky point to the north east (top right of the photo). There is a large whitish rock high on the mountainside above the road which is used as a landmark, but it is not directly in line with the site. It may be possible to do this as a shore dive, but no path has been found and there is no parking area nearby.

The site is about 3.4km from Gordon's Bay harbour, or 3.9km from Harbour Island

See[edit][add listing]

Marine life[edit]

Marine life is typical of this part of false bay. There are sea fans, encrusting sponges, false corals, and red bait in the shallower areas. Burrowing anemones have been seen at the sandy edge of the reef.


Macro photography is most lokely to produce good results. Al;ternatively you can try wide angle with either natural lighting or external flash to reduce backscatter.


Dive from the boat, check that the anchor is secure and proceed to the reef on compass bearing. There are some good ridges just off the low rocky promontory, and more good reef slightly east of this area. The pebble zone is worth a visit to see the burrowing anemones.

Stay safe[edit]


No site specific hazards recorded.


No special skills required.


No special equipment required. This is a fairly good site for photography, though the visibility is seldom very good, so a light is useful to bring back the colour.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Gordon's Bay

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