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Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/P87

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The dive site P87 is an offshore recent wreck in the Glencairn area on the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Map of the dive site at the wreck of the P87

Wreckage of a small wooden naval patrol boat on a sand bottom.

Position[edit]

  • S34°09.570’ E018°26.420’ 1 P87 wreck Bearings: ¼ nm south-south-west of the Quarry Barge

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

Name[edit]

The name "P87" is derived from the name of the vessel.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 16 m.

Visibility[edit]

Visibility will usually be much like other sites north of Simon's Town. A large or long period swell will pick up the fine bottom sand, but the swell is usually much reduced in this area.

Topography[edit]

A small amount of low profile wreckage, mostly hull planking with frames and a few loose pieces. Mostly buried or partly buried in the fine sand of the area. To the north there are a few scattered outcrops of hard sedimentary rock. These are low and very blocky, and at first sight look unnatural, due to flat surfaces and straight edges, but they are rock and sound like rock when hammered with a loose stone.

Geology: Hard sandstones of the Peninsula formation surrounded by fine flat silica sand.

Conditions[edit]

The site is exposed to south easterly winds and waves, so should be dived in winter, when there is less south easterly wind, and is often good in normal winter westerlies. The site is reasonably protected from southwesterly swell.

Get in[edit]

Boat access only. The site is theoretically within swimming distance from the shore for a strong swimmer, but without a GPS there is little chance of finding the wrecksge.

The site is about 3.7 km from Simon's Town jetty, or 8.5 km from Miller's Point slipway.

See[edit]

Marine life[edit]

The wreckage is very low and flat and may often be covered or partly covered by sand, which would explain why the wool planking is mostly bare. Samll amounts of local sessile reef life lives on the higher parts and particularly on the low rocky outcrops to the north, but in comparison with most reef and wrecks in the region it is barren. Some of the wood looked as if it was normally buried, but may have been cleared for use as nesting sites by Steentjies, a local fish which lays its eggs on a bare surface which the male keeps clean during the breeding season.

Features[edit]

Wreckage at the P87
Detail of the P87 wreckage

Low profile wooden wreckage, mostly concentrated over a small area, and without much sea life.

Photography[edit]

There is very little that most photographers would want to record.

Suggested Routes[edit]

Probably best done as an double dive along with the Glencairn Barge wreck. In ten to fifteen minutes you could comprehensively visit this site. Use a shotline to mark the position, and descend and ascend at the shotline.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

No known site specific hazards. There is a remote possibility of seeing a Great White shark.

Skills[edit]

No special skills required or recommended. The site is suitable for entry level divers

Equipment[edit]

No additional equipment recommended

Nearby[edit]

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

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