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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/Sterretjies Reef

Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Sterretjies Reef

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The dive site Sterretjies Reef is an offshore rocky reef in the Gordon's Bay area of False Bay, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Understand[edit]

Map of the dive site at Sterretjies Reef in False Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa

This site is far enough offshore to be generally outside the eddy of low visibility that often occurs off Gordon's Bay, but is still reasonably close to the launch sites, and has good biodiversity and more rugged topography than most of the close offshore sites of the area. It is a large area and mostly unexplored.

Position[edit]

  • S34°09.364' E18°45.039' 1 Sterretjies Reef Usual drop point.

The area is indicated on the SAN chart as a shoal area above 20m, with a spot depth of 15m. This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.

Name[edit]

Juvenile basket star Astrocladus euryale on Palmate sea fan at Sterretjies Reef in False Bay, South Africa

The name "Sterretjies Reef" refers to the large number of juvenile basket stars seen there. Sterretjies means little stars in Afrikaans. The site was named by Indigo Divers when they first dived there in 2018.

Depth[edit]

Maximum depth may be as much as 30 m. and the top of the reef is about 15 m.

Get in[edit]

Sterretjies Reef and nearby dive sites

Usual access: boat dive from Gordon's Bay or Harbour Island. The site is about 10 km from Harbour Island, or (distance)km from Gordon's Bay old harbour.

See[edit]

Marine life[edit]

Indigo Divers report that there were lots of fish, large sea fans and sponges. The pinnacles are covered with soft corals, sponges, multi-coloured sea fans and strawberry anemones. Various colour morphs of gas-flame nudibranch, frilly nudibranchs, orange-eyed nudibranchs, crowned nudibranchs, white edged nudibranchs, soft coral nudibranchs and candy nudibranchs. Fish included white seacatfish, blennies and shy sharks. Other invertebrates included walking anemones, spider crabs, sea spiders and octopus.

Photography[edit]

The topography is not particularly photogenic, and visibility is not likely to be exceptional, so macro and general close-up wide-angle photos are likely to produce the best results. Artificial lighting is recommended for better colour and clearer photos.

Suggested routes[edit]

There are no recommended routes. Swim around and explore, or hang out near the shotline and take photos as best suits your style and inclinations at the time.

Stay safe[edit]

Hazards[edit]

No site-specific hazards known.

Skills[edit]

The site is borderline for entry-level certification, as most of the reef is below 18 m depth, and good buoyancy skills are required to avoid damaging the fragile reef life.

Equipment[edit]

No special equipment required, though a light and DSMB are recommended.

Nearby[edit]

Back to Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Reefs

This dive guide to Sterretjies Reef 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.