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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Torch Reef

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The dive site Torch Reef is a small offshore rocky outcrop in the Seaforth area of Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula side of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Map of the dive site Torch Reef.

Position[edit]

S34°11.700’ E018°27.960’

This is a small reef east of Photographer’s reef.

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.

Name[edit]

On one of the first recorded dives at this site a diver lost his torch, and the name stuck.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 30m on the sand east of the rocks. The sand slopes up quite noticeably to the west. The top of the reef is about 20m deep.

Topography[edit]

Granite corestone outcrops on a sloping sand bottom.

Geology: Granite of the late Pre-Cambrian Peninsula pluton

Conditions[edit]

The site is far enough offshore to be exposed to wind from all directions, which can produce an unpleasant choppy sea, and make it difficult for the boat crew to see a diver on the surface. However it is moderately protected from south westerly swell. It is fairly deep so will not be greatly affected by surge unless the swell is long, but may be quite dark because of the depth. The site is usually at it's best in winter but there are also occasional opportunities during the rest of the year. Poor visibility at the surface does not necessarily extend to the bottom.

Get in[edit]

This site is only accessible by boat, It is about 4km from Miller’s Point slipway.

See[edit][add listing]

Reef life at Torch Reef
False coral
Multicoloured sea fan and hydroids

Marine life[edit]

The reef is largely covered by common feather stars, with unusually large numbers of Elegant feather stars. There are also clusters of Mauve, red-chested and a few golden sea cucumbers, sea squirts, sea fans and a few species of brittle star.

Photography[edit]

Macro photography or wide angle with external flash is most likely to produce good results.

Routes[edit]

The reef is small and it should be possible to visit most of it on a dive.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

No site specific hazards have been reported.

Skills[edit]

No special skills required. The depth is beyond the range for entry level qualification.

Equipment[edit]

A light will be useful as the site is deep and may be dark, and in any case will restore colour lost due to depth. A deployable SMB will help the boat find you if you surface away from the shot-line.

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Seaforth to Froggy Pond

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