Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point
The dive sites Partridge Point and SealRock Are rocky reefs in the Castle Rocks area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Information is provided which may assist in planning Recreational and Research Scuba diving at this site, and links to photographs of marine organisms that have been found there.
Fish, seals and a wide range of invertebrates can be seen in surroundings which can be spectacular in good conditions.
Names "Patrtidge Point" and "Seal Rock"
The area is marked on maps and charts as Partridge Point, and the Seal Rock is named for the seals often seen basking on it.
S34°15.4’ E018°28.7’ Approximately The last point north of Smitswinkel Bay.
The site knwn as Partridge Point includes the group of big rocks to the south, while Seal Rock is the low rock to the east of the point.
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2009)
Problematic for shore dives due to access through private land, and a long walk down from the road. Usually done as a boat dive from a launch at Miller’s Point slipway. There is good anchorage to South West of the big rock on a sand bottom in about 15m depth. Dives at Seal Rock area are usually done as live-boat dives, particularly if there is much surge.
(comment on facilities: Parking, ablution, security, picnic, other)
Best after a North West wind, but may be good even during an Easterly if it is not too strong and the swell has not built up yet. Surge may be considerable in long period swell even if low.
The site is exposed to south east wind and waves, and is moderately exposed to south westerly swell, particularly long period swell, which bends round the point. The site is usually at it's best in winter but there are also occasional opportunities in autumn and spring.
Maximum depth is about 26m on the sand to the east of Seal Rock, but is nearer 15m at the big rock.
Granite of the Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton.
Flat sand bottom at about 14m at big rock, sloping down to 25m east of Seal Rock, Very large granite boulders and outcrops, some extending above the surface by several metres.
There is a small air trap under an overhang at north east side of big rock at Partridge about 4m down. Deep gullies, big overhangs and some swim-throughs. There is a 14m full depth vertical wall on the south west side of the big rock.
Seal Rock/Deep Partridge
The reef starts at about 25m on fine sand. Deeper reef is not very high, but as you get closer to the shore and shallower, the size of the larger rocks increases. There is a group with an arch swimthrough at the end of a gap and a large low headroom cave at S34°15.331' E018°29.016'. Further inshore the bedrock slopes up gradually for a while with occasional riges and gullies, then at S34°15.327' E018°28.980' there is a pinnacle extending to within about 5m of the surface, which is a convenient place to ascend if the surge is not too strong.
Strong surge in shallow areas and breaking waves over exposed rocks.
No special skills required.
(photographic equipment suggestions)
Marine life (and features)
(general indication of biodiversity: Fish, Invertebrates, algae)
Views of the site from the shore.