Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Bakoven Rock
S33°57.555’ E018°22.204’ (Bakoven Rock)
This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.
The site gets the name "Bakoven Rock" from the large rock which has a small dark recess on the inshore side which looks a bit like the door of an old wood-burning baking oven, like a Pizza oven.
Maximum depth on the sand is about 17m
Big granite corestone outcrops and boulders with several overhangs and a few small caves. Bakoven Rock is large and extends a considerable height above the water and is a notable landmark. There is fine sand close in and in the cove, which may be lightly covered with brown deposits on the crests. Further out the sand is coarser, with long parallel wave ridges at about 17m depth to the north. To the west and south is low reef. The jointing in the area is quite widely spaced, and there are also some deep gullies between high ridges running about north-south magnetic. A small cave formed by a boulder fallen into a large gully is to the south west of the big rock. Often some sand bottom is visible between the rocks. Surge can be strong. Spectacular in good visibility. The cove where the rescue boat is launched has a sand beach and shelves quite gradually. There is a fair amount of live kelp in the cove, which suggests a rocky bottom under the sand.
Geology: Granite boulders and bedrock of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton, surrounded by white quartz sand.
Exposed to westerly swells. Best during or after south easterly winds, or at other times when the south westerly swell is low and short. The site is usually at it's best in summer but there are also occasional opportunities during autumn and early winter.
This is an area which sometimes has Sea Rescue boat launching and recovery, and the use of a surface marker buoy is compulsory to prevent divers from being accidentally cut up by the rescue boat.
Parking space is very limited. There is a fresh water shower at the stairs to the beach.
Usually done as a shore dive. Turn off Victoria road Camps Bay just North of the junction with Houghton road. Drive down Beta road, keeping left at the Y junction, Park at right side of road in the demarcated parking area. The paved path to the beach has steps and handrails. It starts at S33°57.643’ E018°22.421’ and ends at the beach. To the right of the bottom of the stairs is a fresh water shower and tap. You can enter and exit at the beach just in front of the concrete ramp for the rescue boat, or at any suitable point of your own choosing along the rocks to either side of the cove. The beach is very sheltered in any conditions that will be diveable.
There are kelp forests in the shallower areas, and a good variety of invertebrate reef life , particularly on the more sheltered vertical and overhanging faces.
The site is good for macro invertebrate photography.
Entry at beach, Swim out on the surface to the Bakoven Rock and dive where you like. If ithe surge is strong it may be more pleasant on the north side.
Cold water, Strong surge and breaking waves over exposed rocks. Sea urchins. Strong offshore winds may develop over a short time. Boat traffic risk, particularly from the rescue boat, which may be called out at any time.
No special skills required. Not recommended for training as there may be boat traffic. Ability to navigate by compass would be useful if an offshore wind picks up during the dive. This should be a good site for night dives, and is also good for snorkelling.
A surface marker buoy is compulsory at this site as it is a launching area for the NSRI station 2 rescue boat, which may need to be deployed at short notice, and they need to know where any divers are in the area. and a light is useful for looking into crevices and overhangs. A compass will help you to find your way back at the end of the dive