The Wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay

LOCATION: In the middle of Smitswinkel Bay

ACCESS: These wrecks are best reached by boat, launched from Kalk Bay, Miller's Point or Simon's Town. They are situated approximately 4km from Miller's Point. An echo-sounder is essential to locate them and a local skipper or diver may be able to use shore markers to identify which wreck has been picked up on the echo-sounder. This can be tricky as they lie quite close together. 
CONDITIONS: It is usually calm as the bay is sheltered and the depth dampens the effect of even a quite large swell.
AVERAGE DEPTH: 35m
MAXIMUM DEPTH: 40m

Five wrecks were scuttled by the Navy in the early 1970s, to form an artificial reef which has proved to be a success. These wrecks now teem with a variety of fish and other marine life. These wrecks are the SAS Transvaal, SAS Good Hope, Rockeater, Princess Elizabeth and the Oratava. The depth, combined with the ghostly appearance of the upright frigates and dredger, make this a thrilling dive. Because of the depth, it is necessary to take some form of artificial lighting down to the reef to fully appreciate the marvelous colours of the marine life. There is plenty white, red, yellow and mauve soft corals. Sponges, sea-fans and starfish are plentiful, as well as numbers of colourful anemones and nudibranches.

 

THE WRECKS:

SAS Transvaal

SAS Good Hope

Rockeater

Princess Elizabeth

Oratava

 

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