Thursday, April 24, 2008

North End Wreck Divesites of Port ELizabeth

Some time back I promised to give some tips as to how to find some North End wrecks. These ships sank back in the late 1800's and in a buster easterly gale in 1902. Here we go.

Motivation for diving there: Good fish such as white steenbras, cob, grunter, garrick, musselcracker, poenskop, bronze bream, rockcod, and outsized cuckoo bass. Oh and also springer or skipjack. Then there are east and west coast crayfish too.

It's also great to see the wrecks.

Warning: Poor viz often - by poor I mean muddy - there is mud on the bottom - shoot one big fish and it can stir up thing so much that you cannot see in that area.

Step 1 - Get down to Sidon Street by taking the NorthEnd off ramp then turning right at the first stop street and go under the bridge, turn left then right onto the pavement next to the first building in Sidon Street - normally there are plenty of cars there - all housed enthusiastic fishermen.

Cross the railway line under the high voltage train power lines (keep any graphite rods down to avoid electrocution). Now turn right and head north - about 150 m till you find the wall running next to the sea ends. See pic:

Note the end of the wall - you cannot miss this.

If the water looks good, swim out directly from where teh wall ends - i.e. per[perpendicularly to the side and you will encounter the first wreck about 80 m out - I called it the cracker wreck as it often bore that species. Baardman, or tasslefish occur there too and some cavebass as well. The wreck comes up shallow to about two m from the surface and the depth is about 7 m. She lies parallel to the coast and can be seen causing swirls when a swell runs.

When taking these pics I found an angler and asked him to pose with his catch - he took this garrick about 20 from the side ion live bait and had lost another.

So there you have one wrecks location spelled out - in due course I will post routes to others.

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