In our quest to show divers the very best, most interesting and exciting reefs on the eastern side of False Bay, we’ve discovered a number of really amazing and different reefs offshore from the Strand.
The first reef we discovered was The Flats, named for its location opposite the flats built along the Strand beachfront. The topography here is also quite flat, with low ridges of rock interspersed with boulders and coarse sand and gravel. Marine life is very interesting and includes many different types of unusual nudibranchs, sea fans of all shapes and sizes, hotlips spider crabs, basket stars, white sea catfish, red roman, shyshark, false lacy corals, sponges of the most incredible purples, greens, pinks, oranges and yellows, pleated toadfish and tubular hydroids. It is a fantastic dive site for macro photographers.
Then, more recently, we ventured further from the shoreline and discovered a huge reef of about 1km in diameter. It starts at 15m and gradually slopes down to 26 metres. This reef has had a number of different names such as Octopus’ Garden due to the huge octopi we see there on every dive; to Drop Zone (due to the craters that look as if bombs were dropped there at some stage). On the way back from a recent dive there, however, it was cheekily re-named Stinky’s Reef after a Bryde’s Whale that paid us a rather smelly visit.
Despite being further from shore, the average depth at Drop Zone (AKA Stinky’s Reef) is only 18m, giving us quite a good bottom time (pardon the pun!). The reef comprises rock which, in some areas, is flat with shallow grooves, in other areas it has circular craters of up to 2m deep, and other areas pinnacles and ridges. In one area there is a field of sea fans which look like they have been planted in rows. Marine life is very interesting – we have seen leopard catshark, cuttlefish and huge octopi on every dive here. Fish life is quite plentiful and includes zebras, kolstert, red roman, lots of beautiful big super klipfish, twotone fingerfin, red fingers and horned blennies. On a number of occasions, we have also seen bull rays here. Nudibranchs are also out in full force, with purple ladies, scribbled, white edged, gasflame, indian, variable and silvertip in large numbers. This is a truly magnificent site suitable for divers of all levels.
Scuba diving in the Strand is pristine, interesting and unique and we can’t wait to take you there soon. If you’d like to keep updated with our dive schedules, please subscribe to our newsletter and watch out for our next dive to these beautiful dive sites.