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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Glencairn Barge

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The dive site Glencairn Barge or Cement Barge is an offshore recent wreck on a rocky reef in the Glencairn area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Aerial photo of the dive sites at Quarry and Cement Barge
Map of the dive site at the barge wreck in False Bay at Glencain, near Simon's Town

Position[edit]

  • S34°09.395’ E018°26.477’ 1 Glencairn barge wreck (approximate), About 500 m bearing 115°magnetic from Quarry entry point

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

Name[edit]

Wreckage of the Cement Barge

The name "Cement Barge" is derived from the wreck of a small barge at this site, said to have been used to transport cement, but more probably used to convey rock from the quarry to Simon's Town. The alternative name "Glencairn Barge" refers to the suburb Glencairn, off which it lies.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 14 m and the top of the wreckage is about 12 m.

Topography[edit]

Low sandstone reef with sandy patches. The wreck lies on the edge of the sand.

Geology: Sandstone reef probably of the Peninsula formation or possibly the underlying Graafwater formation.

Conditions[edit]

Best dived in a low swell. This is more important for shore entries, when an onshore wind will make entry and exit tricky, and an offshore wind could make the trip back very tiring if done on the surface.

The site is usually at it's best in winter but there are also occasional opportunities in other seasons.

Facilities[edit]

Paved off-road parking at the whale lookout is usually adequate.

Get in[edit]

Glencairn Barge wreck

Boat dive or shore dive with a long swim. Access and entry/exit for shore dive as for Quarry.

The site is about 4.0 km from Simon's Town jetty, or 8.8 km from Miller's Point slipway.

See[edit]

Marine life[edit]

Reef life is predominantly feather stars and sea cucumbers, with significant presence of large sea squirts. A moderate range of fish may be seen, largely cryptic species, like Klipfish and Redfingers.

Features[edit]

Small wreck of a steel barge. The hull is intact and lies upright on a sandy patch between the reefs. Two holds are open to access from above and the overhead around the sides is trivial.

Photography[edit]

Routes[edit]

  1. Shore dive: Swim out on the surface using a GPS to find the position. Dive and find the wreck, then work your way back to the shore using compass navigation. Allow enough air for a 500 m swim on the return. The water shelves gradually toward the shore and there should be no danger of requiring decompression
  2. Boat dive: Put down a shot-line or anchor at the wreck There are few useful landmarks on the reefs, so it is easy to lose the wreck if you move away from it, so a live-boat dive is convenient for the divers.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

Entry and exit may be difficult in an onshore wind, and the return swim could be tiring in an offshore wind. This area may be on the summer cruise route of the local Great White shark population, but this is hypothetical at this stage.

Skills[edit]

No special skills required on boat dives. Good fitness and ability to navigate with a compass are required for shore dives.

Equipment[edit]

A compass is essential for shore dives to navigate back under water. A deployable SMB is convenient when doing a boat dive. On night dives a light on the shot line will help divers find their way back if they move away from the wreck and can’t find it again.

Nearby[edit]

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Fish Hoek and Glencairn

This dive guide to Glencairn Barge is a usable article. It has information on location and equipment as well as some complete entries on what to see. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.