Jun 8, 2011
Port Alfred Diving
Scuba diving has never been a very popular undertaking with the local Port Alfred community, but this is rapidly changing as word spreads of the area’s remarkably clear water and fantastic dive spots. Both locals and visitors to our little neck of the woods are quickly discovering that Port Alfred offers some very unique diving experiences, with the seabeds off our shores being famous for their soft coral and assortment of shipwrecks.
During the summer months, when rain causes sediment to wash out of the Kowie River and into the sea, the visibility can be poor for days or even weeks. But when the conditions are good, they’re superb. Westerly winds tend to clear the water of sediment, as does a light easterly, but if a strong easterly is up it’s advisable to hang your goggles up for another day…
This means that the ideal season for diving is during the autumn and winter, generally March to August… Visibility is usual around 6-10 metres but can be as good as 22 metres when the stars align. During these ideal times, seasoned divers have claimed the Port Alfred area as one of the best dive spots in the world. The water temperature is generally in the 12-18° C range, but can get as warm as 25° C. The best part is that when the water does get this warm (usually in January) the conditions and visibility are usually ideal for diving…
Most dive boats launch out of the Kowie River mouth, although it is also possible to launch an inflatable from Kleinemonde Beach. One of the most popular dive spots is Fountain Rocks, a reef to the southeast of Port Alfred that enjoys a plenty of fish life, as well as ragged-tooth sharks and rays.
Other popular spots include Riet Point, a colourful reef which lies three kilometres off Port Alfred, and Sharks Gully, which has a large ragged-tooth shark population and consists of lots of gullies and caves. Janssens’s Rocks is a broken reef pock-marked with potholes and scarred by gullies, and consisting of an abundance of soft corals and sponges. Fish Tanks is renowned for its juvenile ragged-tooth sharks, while Eden is a deep dive recommended only for advanced divers. The most popular wreck in the area is The Briseis which sank in 1859 and lies at a depth of about 12 metres.
Common fish species include Musslecracker, Yellowbelly rockod, Geelbek, Spotted grunter, Zebra, Roman, Cape knifejaw, Cob, Twotone fingerfin, Blackspotted electric ray, Catsharks and Ragged-tooth sharks. If Lady Luck is on your side you may even spot some Southern Right and Humpback whales. A lot of sponges like Cup sponges, hydroids and Giant fanworms can also be seen.
So if you’re a diving enthusiast looking for a new experience, the Port Alfred area has a wide range of alternatives to keep you entertained during your stay at Green Fountain Farm Resort.