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The dive site Omega Reef is an offshore rocky reef in the Rocklands Point area on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Map of the dive site at Omega Reef
See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Understand

Position[edit]

  • 1 Northwest pinnacle: S34°12.855' E018°28.435'
  • 2 Central pinnacle: S34°12.887' E018°28.475'
  • 3 Omega North pinnacle: S34°12.839' E018°28.385'

This site is in the controlled zone of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (proclaimed in 2004). A permit is required. The site is off Rocklands point, just north of Millers Point. Omega reef is a relatively large example of the granite outcrops along the lower edge of the inshore slope near the 30 m contour, which are quite common in this part of False Bay between Simon's Town and Smitswinkel Bay.

Name[edit]

The name "Omega Reef" was given because it is directly offshore from Alpha Reef

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 28 m on the sand to the east, and the top of the reef is about 15 m. Average depth of a dive is likely to be about 20 m.

Visibility[edit]

Visibility will be similar to the other reefs in the area. On a good day this may be as much as 15 to 20 m, more commonly between 4 and 10 m. Due to the depth it can be quite dark on the reef.

Topography[edit]

The reef is an outcrop of granite, with the long axis roughly north-west to south-east. It has some areas of high and some areas of low profile. The north-west pinnacle is the shallowest part of the reef, and has the most spectacular topography. The pinnacle is a combination of a large, steep outcrop split by several narrow gullies, and some huge boulders, so there are some overhangs and a swim-through. The adjacent reef to the south is relatively low profile, with scattered small boulders along the sand edge, but the reef drops steeply along most of the eastern side, with a few sand tongues extending up the bigger gullies. There is a second, slightly deeper shallow area about halfway along the reef toward the south-east, which rises to about 15 m,with a large area above 18 m. The southern part is structurally simple, without much in the way of crevices and undercuts, though it is quite steep in places, and the northern part is more extensively broken up by cracks and gullies. The main reef has mostly been mapped, but there are extensive outliers, mostly to the west and northwest, which have not been fully surveyed.

Outliers:

To the northwest there is a cluster of moderately high profile small areas of reef, and a few metres further west, a fairly large expanse of medium to very low profile reef surrounded by sand at between 23 and 25 m. The high point is recorded as 16 m on the SAN charts. Parts of this reef are so low and flat that they may be covered by a thin layer of sand, making the edge very indistinct.

Geology: Pre-Cambrian granite corestone of the Peninsula pluton.

Conditions[edit]

The site is completely exposed to weather and seas from the south and east, and a strong southeasterly wind can build up an uncomfortable chop. The site should preferably be dived in offshore winds, with a short, low westerly swell, and is often good during the passage of a weak cold front. The site is reasonably protected from westerly swells, but if strong westerlies develop it may be safer to move closer inshore. The site is usually at its best in winter but conditions could be good at other times of the year.

Get in[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Boat dives

This site is dived from a boat. It is too far offshore for shore dives.

The site is about 1.8 km from Miller's Point slipway, and 6.1k m from Simon's Town jetty.

See[edit]

Marine life[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#The marine ecology

Reef life is typical of a moderate depth reef in this area. Echinoderms are the dominant invertebrates, and include very high densities of sea cucumbers and feather stars, and large numbers of brittlestars.

Features[edit]

The pinnacles, gullies, and overhangs of the north end and northwest side are the most scenic part of the reef.

Photography[edit]

Most suitable for macro photography, though wide angle can give good results if the water is clear and good strobes are used.

Suggested routes[edit]

No special routes are recommended For your first dive at the site, start at the north pinnacle, swim down the gully to the west and explore the deeper parts of the pinnacle around the north side. Work your way up the pinnacle to get the most on-reef dive time out of your gas.

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Stay safe

Hazards[edit]

No known site-specific hazards.

Skills[edit]

No special skills required. Most of the reef is a bit deep for entry level divers. There is a substantial are above 18 m, but there are more convenient places more suitable for entry level divers nearby.

Equipment[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Equipment

If you plan to surface away from the shotline, a DSMB is recommended. A light will be useful most days to bring up the colours.

Nearby[edit]

Omega Reef and nearby dive sites

Back to the list of Alphabetical list of sites, or dive sites in the Rocklands Point area

Other regional dive sites:

This dive guide to Omega Reef has guide status. It has a variety of good, quality information including location, conditions and equipment, and info on marine life and other sights. Please contribute and help us make it a star!