With what was probably the last of the summery weather we’ve been having over the past few weeks, we managed to do two really fantastic dives in Gordon’s Bay yesterday.
Sea conditions were calm and flat with no wind or swells at all. This meant we were able to have a quick, 11km ride out to Steenbras Deep. After a quick kit-up, we made our way down the drop line to the reef. The top 10 metres were a bit green with lots of suspended material, but after 14m the reef opened up below us. Descending onto the reef below, we were treated by cool (13C) water and good visibility of 10 – 15m.
We had a great dive and managed to cover quite a few pinnacles on this huge reef. Because of its distance from Gordon’s Bay, and as it can really only be dived in calm conditions, Steenbras Deep is not dived often and is therefore pristine and unspoilt. We see a lot of interesting marine life here and on this dive we found lots of horned blennies, bull klipvis, shyshark, cuttlefish, white edged nudibranch, candy nudibranch (of which I am still struggling to get a good photo of!) and lots and lots of frilly nudibranchs. There is one pinnacle in particular that is covered with frilly nudibranchs and they’ve been munching their way through all the multicoloured sea fans very happily. They’ve basically decimated all of the multicoloured sea fans here, only leaving behind the “stalks”and lots of frilly nudibranch eggs….
Our second dive was to The Flats, a dive site we discovered in November last year. Again, lovely calm conditions and a very relaxing dive. Because we haven’t had much SE wind for the past 4 weeks (the SE wind causes an upwelling, bringing clear water into the Bay), the surface layer had quite a bit of particles in it and the remnants of some red tide with clear, but the water on the reef was clearer – we had between 5 and 8 m visibility and 11C water.
The reef is quite flat, with shallow ridges and rock outcrops surrounded by a sandy and gravelly floor covered with marine life, including very colourful starfish, sponges, soft corals and loads and loads of nudibranch. The most plentiful nudibranch that you will find here include inkspots, gasflame and variable nudibranchs – they are literally everywhere. You are also almost guaranteed to see basket stars on this dive too. A beautiful dive site and great for macro photographers!
Winter is fast approaching – let’s see how many more dives we can do in Gordon’s Bay… We hope you’ll be joining us!