Scuba diving charter

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Some Wikimedians have requested a Scuba dive after the conference. There are several charter boats operating out of Cape Town, and it should not be difficult to rent gear and book a dive for yourself if you want to. See Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay on Wikivoyage for a fairly adequate guide.

Boat dives

This is the type of boat we will use

There will probably be sufficient interest to charter a boat specially for Wikimaniacs for Monday 23rd July, the day after the closing ceremony or Tuesday, depending on consensus.

The boat

A RIB with capacity for 12 divers has been tentatively booked. It is a very reputable operator, the boat is in good condition with all required licensing and permits, and the skipper is one of the best, with excellent local knowledge. If there are more bookings than the boat can carry, he has contacts for additional boats and skippers.

The dives

The boat dives planned will probably be an offshore rocky reef with depths from shallow to more than 30m, and a wreck dive, probably in the 20 to 35m depth range with a surface interval of about an hour. Whittle Rock and the MFV Princess Elizabeth are possible sites if weather permits, with fall-backs to whatever looks good on the day, if anything. There can be no guarantee that weather will be suitable, but July is normally a good time of the year for Cape Town diving in False Bay.

Boat dive times are usually limited to 1 hour, which is usually enough for most divers. Planned decompression should be avoided or limited to total dive time of 1 hour, and may be inappropriate depending on weather conditions. Nitrox mixes up to 40% are easily available and 32 to 34% is a good mix for the planned dives.

A divemaster (to lead the dives) is not usually provided, but if there is sufficient interest we can arrange for one.

Divers will meet the boat in Simon's Town at the town jetty. Rental equipment will probably be provided by a dive shop in Simon's Town.

Equipment

  • Bring your own dive computer. If you plan on bringing other gear, dry-suit is top of the list.
    • If supplying your own suit, the water temperature will probably be between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius, but could be as low as 10 degrees or as high as about 17 degrees. Most of us Capetonians use either a 7mm {1/4") full wetsuit or a dry suit.
  • Rental regulators are usually adequate. Scuba sets comprising steel back-mount cylinders of 10, 12 or 15 litres, 232 bar, complete with jacket BCD, and regulator with SPG and Octo are standard, and fairly easily available.
  • Rental wetsuits to fit most people are also available, as are masks, fins and weightbelts.
  • If you require bailout, special arrangements can be made. Sidemount can probably be arranged, but the options may be limited - book early. DSMBs are not usually standard rental, but like bailout, they can be arranged with sufficient lead time.

Prices

The cost will depend on a few factors, including numbers, and what dive gear you need to rent.

  • The charges for boat dives would be R400 ZAR (approximately US$ 29.63/€25.36 EUR) per dive with a minimum of 8 divers for a single dive or 5 divers per dive for a double dive
  • Full standard equipment rental is estimated at about R400 ZAR (approximately US$ 29.63/€25.36 EUR) per person per day. Bailout sets, dsmbs etc extra.
  • There will probably be a deposit for booking boat dives and equipment.

Booking

  • If you are interested, add your name, scuba qualifications, experience range, and contact details below.
    • Experience ranges: either your number of logged dives, or a range. Less than 10, 10 to 50, 50 to 250, 250 to 1000, more than 1000. Less than 10 will not qualify for the boat trips, but other arrangements can be made.
  • You can mention any special requirements, preferences etc that might help us make arrangements. Specify if you would prefer a guided dive.
  • Solo divers can either present a card or provide sufficient documentary evidence of solo experience. Solo divers will be expected to carry bailout and a DSMB and reel/spool

Those who do not want their username associated with their real name, please note that you will be required to show certification and to sign a waiver by the shops and boat operators

List of interested parties

For boat dives

Open water certified with less than 10 dives (but interested in diving together!)

New to diving (no open water certification, but interested in learning how to dive)

Shore dives

Shore dives can be arranged quite easily by yourself. Contact one of the dive operators and book. You can either book a guided dive or just the gear and do your own thing.

The Two Oceans Aquarium, where we will be holding some functions, is also available for dives. These can be arranged directly through the Aquarium.

Scuba charter FAQ

Please first read the Wikivoyage guide on Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay for information about local diving.

Boat Dive plan for Monday

Doc James, Benjamin Mako Hill, Tbayer (WMF); Is everyone OK with launch time of 10:00, and meeting at the dive shop in Simon's Town at 09:00 to hire gear? A little earlier at the shop would do no harm. Launching a little later ia also possible, but not too late as James has a flight Tuesday, and should preferably be out of the water by about 14:00. Pbsouthwood (talk) 14:05, 21 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Works for me. I understand this means we should aim at taking a cab or Uber from the hotel around 8am. Regards, Tbayer (WMF) (talk) 15:56, 21 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That should work. I have personally never driven from City bowl to Simon's Town at that time on a Monday, but guess it should be a reasonable time allowance. If you are a little early, no problem. A little late, we work around it. Cheers, Pbsouthwood (talk) 19:15, 21 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sounds good. My wife and I will meet you at the entrance to the hotel at 8 am. Doc James (talk) 14:38, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Equipment rental

I have arranged for Gareth Collins at Cape Town Dive Centre in Simon's Town to be ready for us Monday morning at 09:00 to fit gear. The shop is at 122 Main street Simon's Town. Their phone number is 084 290 1157. They should have everything you need. I will ask the skipper to bring 4 cylinders of 12 litres and 4 of 15 litres since no-one has specified a preference. These are all steel cylinders, and are a little heavier than an aluminium 80, with quite a bit more gas.Pbsouthwood (talk) 04:57, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]