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Africa > Southern Africa > South Africa > Diving in South Africa > Diving the west coast of South Africa > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay > Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Simon's Town Jetty

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Simon's Town Jetty

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The dive site Simon's Town Jetty is a shoreline structure on a sandy bottom in the Simon's Bay area of False Bay in Cape Town in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Simon's Town jetty looking north, showing the parking area

This is not a popular dive site, but it is a popular loading and unloading area for dive charters, and the water is suitable for testing equipment and buoyancy before a boat dive. Access at high tide is easy, using the concrete stairways on either side of the end of the jetty. or if the tide is too low one can walk out on the sand near the parking area.

Position[edit]

The jetty is a structure comprising a concrete deck supported by concrete pillars. The seaward end is wider than the inshore part and has mooring facilities for small vessels on both sides and the end, and a staircase on each side giving access to boats at all tides. These stairs can be used to get out of the water if the tide is high enough, and are often slippery as they are periodically overgrown by seaweeds. There is a life-size bronze statue of a navy standby diver at the end of the jetty. It is remarkably accurate in most details of equipment, but a few important items of the harness are omitted. See if you can spot the errors.

This site is in the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area since 2004. A permit is required.

Name[edit]

Simon's Town Jetty from the east

The name is a simple description of the structure at the site.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth is about 3 m. (Average depth of a dive is likely to be about 2m.

Visibility[edit]

Visibility is variable, but usually more than 3m. It is often possible to see the bottom while standing on the jetty.

Topography[edit]

The shoreline to the immediate west is bordered by boulder riprap and lumps of concrete which form a breakwater at the end of the tarred parking area. Further to the west is a masonry wall at the edge of the Naval training unit SAS Simonsberg. To the southeast is a small sand beach and the slipway and hard of the False Bay Yacht Club. Further east and north are marina pontoon moorings of the yacht club, and to the north west, the yacht club anchorage.

Geology: Sand bottom, with occasional granite boulders and outcrops of the Peninsula pluton in the vicinity.

Conditions[edit]

very well protected in most sea conditions. It is exposed to north westerly winds, but the fetch is small. The site is reasonably protected from most waves, and is a safe harbour for small vessels in almost any weather, and at all times of the year.

Facilities[edit]

There are several quite reasonable restaurants adjacent to the parking area, and a toilet. The keys are held by the Salty Seadog restaurant, which may not be open when you need it. Another set of toilets can be found on the first floor of the building in which Bertha's restaurant is located. Cross the promenade on front of Bertha's, to the stairs at the east side, and enter by the door one flight up. the facilities are down a corridor to the left.

Get in[edit]

Simon's Bay dive sites

Approach from the north along the main road, and turn left into Wharf street. Park at the bottom of the hill at the side of the jetty. It is permissible for one vehicle at a time to drive along the jetty to load and unload. Do not leave the vehicle parked there. It may be clamped or towed. Parking is good and relatively secure, but limited. There is an hourly charge payable to the municipal parking attendants when you leave.

Entry and exit can be at the stairs at the end of the jetty, or from the beach in front of Bertha's It is possible to clamber in and out over the boulders at the edge of the parking area, but this is probably not worth the effort.

See[edit]

There is not much to see. The structure of the jetty supports, some garbage, and a bit of sea life which has made its home on the jetty pilings and breakwater rocks.

Marine life[edit]

Photography[edit]

Suggested routes[edit]

The site is small. Keep clear of boats when they are operating. The best way to do this is to stay underneath the jetty where the boats cannot go.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

Boat traffic can be expected at any time. the jetty is primarily there for boats to tie up alongside to load passengers. At low tide the water may be too shallow to be at safe depth under the boats.

Skills[edit]

Enough common sense to stay clear of boat operations is essential.

Equipment[edit]

No special equipment needed or recommended.

Nearby[edit]

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Simon's Town

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