Sunshine Coast Tourism
The 6th Wonder of our world

Eastern Cape, South Africa

Diving

Diving

The shores of Port Alfred are host to the most unique diving in the Eastern Cape. We are famous for our soft coral, the numerous wrecks that dot our shores and unbeknown to many, the incredible "Lunar landing" which is where crayfish in their hundreds live and breed. This sport, which is so special, has not yet been discovered by most people in Port Alfred. Facilities for overnight stays, lessons for the unschooled and for those wanting complete packages, please telephone tourism.

Although days, or sometimes even weeks, of poor diving conditions may persist, particularly during the summer rainy season, this relatively unexplored part of the coast offers superb diving when conditions are good. The westerly winds clean the water, as does a light easterly wind, while a strong easterly dirties it. Warm Berg winds flatten the water but bring in cold water because of up welling, and fog often presents problems. The western ocean currents clean the water and the opposite holds true for the eastern currents.

 

The best season for diving here is during the winter months (late March to late August), with the two best months being June and July. The average visibility (in diveable conditions) is around 6-10m (20-33ft), but it can be up to 20m (66ft) on exceptional days. The water temperature ranges from 12-18°C (54-65°F) but can reach 25°C (77°F) occasionally in January, in which case it is usually very clean as well.
Fountain Rocks is an extensive reef to the southeast of the Kowie River mouth. Most launches are through the Kowie River mouth, which can be very dangerous in big seas, so it is sometimes not possible to dive because you cannot launch a boat. It is possible to launch an inflatable off Kleinemonde Beach though, about an hour's drive up the coast. Fish life is varied and big fish are particularly plentiful with many spotted ragged-tooth sharks and rays occurring in certain areas.

Riet Point Location: In the east of the Kowie River mouth, about three kilometres offshore. Access: By boat from Port Alfred. It is best to take two tanks and perhaps combine a shallow dive here with a deeper one on the Kilbrennan. Conditions: Because the pinnacle comes up to about 6m (20ft), care must be taken when anchoring as the sea can pick up and tip a shallowly anchored boat. Average depth: 10m (33ft) Maximum depth: 22m (70ft) This is an exceptionally colourful and prolific reef. Soft corals in many colours are abundant and, at greater depths, huge sponges dominate the reef. Because of the tricky anchoring, local fishermen avoid this spot and consequently big reef fish abound.

Janssen's Rock Location: Northeast of Fountain Rocks. Average depth: 8m (25ft) Maximum depth: 18m (60ft) This site consists of a broken reef with four distinct pinnacles rising to a few metres below the surface, gulleys and a flat reef. The potholes are colourful with abundant sponges and soft coral growth. There is a tunnel approximately 8m (25ft) long running through the rock at a depth of about 5m (30ft) and raggies are often found in here. The tunnel is wide enough for four divers to swim through side by side with ease, a practice which is not recommended when the raggies are in residence.

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