We discovered Drop Zone last year. It was at a time when the swells were hitting the Gordon’s Bay coastline head on, causing the shallower dives to be too surgy to dive.
There had been some reefs we’d wanted to explore further from the coastline, so we took the opportunity to take the boat further afield in the direction of Strand, further than our small reef The Flats, and a little further than another dive site (which is still to be named!).
What we found was astounding – a completely different marine environment than any of the others closer to Gordon’s Bay.
The reef is huge, roundish in shape and extends for about a kilometer in all directions. It is a relatively flat reef, starting at 17m and gently sloping to 26m at the edges. It’s almost as if a huge rock has been dropped there and eroded over time, forming shallow ridges and gullies. There are also strange round craters that look as if bombs have been dropped on the reef (hence the name Drop Zone).
There are also some nice nooks and crannies that play home to pyjama shark, leopard catshark, octopus and fish.
Marine life is very varied, with a huge field of sea fans that reminds me of a forest in winter – lots of branches but no leaves. Apart from the many types of sea fans (which play host to basket stars and our favourite hotlips spider crabs), there are also a lot of soft corals, sponges, false corals, moss creatures, starfish, feather star and growth on the rocks.
We’ve seen bull rays twice here, and have been visited by a leopard catshark on every dive so far. There are also lots of huge octopus, cuttlefish, blennies, big klipvis, hottentot, red roman, kolstert, twotone fingerfin and redfingers. On one of our dives we also came across a huge school of zebras.
The nudibranch findings her are also very spectacular and plentiful, including purple ladies, candy nudibranchs, variable and scribbled, gasflame and silvertip nudibranchs and tan dorid to name just a few.
It’s a fantastic dive site and well worth the visit! Look out for our dive schedules and come join us!