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This is a Wikivoyage user page.

This is the current user page of Peter Southwood, who previously edited Wikitravel with the same username, and whose imported user page is archived at User:(WT-en) Pbsouthwood, in the form that it was imported into Wikivoyage, as a historical document and for attribution purposes.

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I am surveying and mapping the dive sites of Cape Town as a long term project. Wikivoyage is how I make this information available to the public on a frequently updated format.

Most of the surveys are done by towing a surface marker buoy on a tight tether along a chosen depth contour, then after the dive I download the GPS track,clean it up a bit, transfer it to Inkscape and trace around it to show the shape of the contour. A similar process is used for the outlines of reefs and wrecks, and some details are simply measured and sketched on site. On rare occasions the visibility is good enough to use photos and video to provide details.

Since March 2011 I have had access to unpublished data from the SA Council for Geoscience which did a sidescan sonar survey and fascies interpretation of parts of False Bay and the Atlantic seaboard of the Cape Peninsula for a reef ecology monitoring project. This data lacks detail of depth and can be difficult to interpret with precision, but it is excellent for identifying roughly where all the rocky areas are. However it is limited to places where the sonar fish is not likely to hit rocks, so there is still plenty of reef that has to be identified and mapped in other ways in the close inshore zone, Also it does not give depth profiles. The main value is that it is possible to be reasonably sure that most reef has been identified in these zones. The Council for Geoscience also does multibeam sonar mapping, much of which is in deeper water than I care to dive, and they tend to avoid the shallow rocky places where some of the best diving is found, because it is a high risk to their expensive and relatively fragile equipment - they don't want to hit uncharted rocks.

Most of the boat access sites were mapped from Blue Flash charters boats, as Blue Flash caters largely for a fairly regular clientele of advanced local divers, and is more inclined towards exploring new areas and opening up new sites, and a moderate number from Dive and Adventure, Pisces Diving and Indigo Diving boats. Blue Flash charters supports this project by allowing me a special rate for boat dives. The shore dives were done under my own power, usually alone, but sometimes with a few buddies who are prepared to swim along with me while I survey. More recebtly I have also surveyed from the RIB Wreckless and the larger dive boat Wreckless II.

I would welcome participation from other local divers, but so far I have been unable to persuade any of them to actually go out and survey.

I was made an admin on Wikivoyage during the migration, and it seems to have stuck. I am available to help with admin type tasks when needed, but tend to concentrate on dive guides and related articles, where this level of access is not needed very often. I also make an effort to keep up with any policy discussions and decisions.

Contact me by leaving me a message on my talk page (preferred), or via email, if necessary. I also spend a lot of time at English Wikipedia with the same user name.

If you are looking for information on surveying dive sites using a GPS towed on a buoy, click here


3 pages in Category:Scuba diving
10 pages in Category:Diving in South Africa.
211 pages in Category:Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay

Merges to do[edit]


Pbsouthwood's Wikimedia accounts:
Commons Wikipedia Wiktionary Wikibooks Wikinews Wikivoyage
Wikisource Wikiquote Wikiversity Wikispecies Meta Foundation

Other South African dive regions[edit]


User pages[edit]

Wikivoyage useful links[edit]


Resident of Somerset West, a suburb of Cape Town, South Africa.


My home turf is the Cape Peninsula and False Bay, in which region I have logged over 2000 dives at a large range of sites, some of which I have mapped. I am not currently affiliated to any recreational diving certification agency, nor employed by a dive shop or dive charter business.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about these topics and I will try to provide a useful answer.


Current projects[edit]

The first and main project: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay[edit]

I would also like to extend the range of dive sites to other parts of the country, preferably with collaboration from divers who live in the areas.

Dive sites with star potential: — to be upgraded at about 1 site per season (summer/winter)

Other projects[edit]

More or less finished and maintenance projects[edit]

Star sites and articles[edit]

  1. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Pinnacle has reached star status as of 3/12/2009. See archived discussions
  2. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Partridge Point has reached star status as of 24/09/2010. See archived discussions
  3. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Photographer's Reef has reached Star status as of 12/11/2010. See archived discussions
  4. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay has reached star status as of 28/11/2010. archived discussions
  5. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Percy's Hole has reached star status as of 30/05/2010. See archived discussions
  6. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/MV Aster has reached star status as of 29/08/2011. See archived discussions
  7. Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay/Whittle Rock has reached star status as of 19/04/2022. See archived discussions

Other articles[edit]


Planned projects[edit]

  • Developing Dive Guides for the whole of South Africa with the collaboration of divers in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, to date (July 2010) have had no input from other parts of the country.
  • Update (October 2010): Some inland sites are now available, and Diving in Durban is based on the work of Bryan Hart of Durban Undersea Club.

Dream projects[edit]

Whittle Rock map timeline
  • Finishing the map of the dive sites at Whittle Rock. The first 50 versions are recorded in the video animation.
  • Eventually extending this system of Dive Guides and Dive Site descriptions to other parts of the world. This will have to be done as a major collaborative project and will necessarily involve input from hundreds of divers. Today, Cape Town, Tomorrow, ze Vorld! Ahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!.... Should keep me busy indefinitely. Update: Looks unlikely. So far I seem to be the only one.

Other interests include[edit]

  • SURG [1](Southern Underwater Research Group) co-founder.
  • Engineering, particularly underwater and low-cost solutions
  • Underwater science, particularly marine invertebrates of my home waters.
  • Underwater diving, Scuba and Surface supplied, scientific and recreational/technical, since 1983.
  • Mapping dive sites
  • Recording biodiversity of the local temperate reefs. FIN and Reef Atlas Project.
  • Recording biodiversty of local and New Zealand reefs for Reef Life Survey
  • Reef classification.
  • Design and development of special purpose equipment for diving and underwater projects (Modular Diving Systems by Southwood Marine, and SURGware)
  • Voluntary and contract work on scientific and commercial diving projects as diver and diving supervisor.
  • Education, particularly relating to scientific, commercial and recreational diving. (Commercial diving instructor, ex lecturer at University of Stellenbosch, retired recreational diving instructor)
  • Writing training material for commercial and recreational diver training.
  • Providing comments and advice on scientific and commercial diving legislation, codes of practice, operating procedures and training policy in South Africa.






Dive sites of the Cape Peninsula and False Bay[edit]

Sub-region maps[edit]

Dive site maps - Atlantic Seaboard[edit]

Dive site maps - West False Bay[edit]

Dive site maps - Offshore[edit]

Dive site maps - East False Bay[edit]

Dive site maps - Inland[edit]

Dive site route maps[edit]

Dive site maps of other regions[edit]

Other maps[edit]


Dive site maps of New Zealand[edit]