Diving MFV Orotava & SAS Pietermaritzburg in False Bay

l was hoping to upload this video before New Year’s Eve but my internet connetion was faltering and is still not perfect. But at least I manage to upload it to my YouTube channel Ad Astra – Jean Dar early this morning. It includes some of my footage from the two wrecks in False Bay, the MFV Orotava and the historical SAS Pietermaritzburg. All my diving in False Bay was arranged through Pisces Divers in Simon’s Town.

From 1958 to 1983, MFV Oratava and her crew of up to twenty-four worked as a fishing trawler along South Africa’s coast. In 1983, after years of deterioration, the fishing vessel was finally donated to the False Bay Conservation Society. An impressive fifty meters long and nine meters wide, this wreck is in fairly good condition and lies on the sandy seabed at thirty four meters. The highest point, the funnel, is at a little more than twenty two meters, and the gunwales are at some twenty five to twenty seven meters. I had two dives on the MFV Orotava.


The SAS Pietermaritzburg was first commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS
Pelorus in 1943, and took part in the D-day invasion of Normandy in
World War II as the lead ship sweeping mines to make way for the
invasion fleet. She was sold in 1947 to the South African Navy and
renamed HMSAS Pietermaritzburg. In 1994 she was scuttled to make an
artificial reef at Miller’s Point near Simon’s Town. The wreck settled
upright on the sand at a maximum depth of twenty two metres, but has begun to
collapse and the interior is much less accessible than it used to be. I had three dives on the historical SAS Pietermaritzburg.

With only six days to my next trip, the “7 weeks in Latin America” project, only a few items are still to be purchased and I’ll also look into vaccines and medication for the trip. Updates from the “7 weeks in Latin America” project will of course be posted here at Ad Astra, as the project unfolds.