Scuba Diving is thriving in East London
Contrary to popular belief, scuba diving is thriving in East London. The Border Undersea Club was established in 1953, which ranks it as the third oldest dive club in the country.
The clubhouse is situated at the Orient Complex, overlooking the pools and the beach. The club has easy access to the sea, ensuring easy and safe boat launches. A hot shower and a bacon and egg breakfast after a morning dive probably makes the Border Undersea Club one of the best dive club facilities in the country.
The clubhouse is open every Friday evening, offering members the opportunity to meet, have a beer from the licensed bar, enjoy a braai and organise dive planning for the weekend ahead. The clubhouse, with access to the licensed bar, is also available to be hired out for functions at a very competitive rate.
The club has a purpose built 7m dive boat equipped with navigation and safety equipment and is skippered by qualified club members. All dives are led by experienced dive masters who have a sound knowledge of the local reefs.
The club is also home to Spear fishing and Underwater Hockey and over the years has boasted members with provincial and national colours in both disciplines.
The spear fisherman host their annual competition at Hole in the Wall which is attended by divers from all over the country. The catches are strictly managed resulting in a very well supported event.
Due to the number of rivers around East London, the strong wind and swell, diving can be challenging, but when conditions are favourable, divers are fortunate to have access to some world class reefs.
The prime dive site is Three Sisters which is about 600 m off German Bay. Here the reef breaks the surface, rising up from 18m. This reef is composed of fossilized sea sand. It boasts deep undercut gullies and caves and ledges. The overall topography is breath-taking. Fish life is profuse with a large display of colourful sponges and soft corals.
The Fence, off Queensbury Bay, is further out to sea. It is a deeper dive and consequently is not as affected by the swell, as is so with a shallower dive. The depth drops down from 17m to 30m and is characterised by huge ledges and swim-thru’s. The variety of sea life on this dive is amazing and is even home to the rare horse fish.
Nahoon Reef dive site rises from 30m up to 10m. The soft corals are beautiful, and with a torch, the vivid colours are dramatic.
The wreck of the Oranjeland sits in 10m of water off the Kennaway. When visibility permits, the possibility of sighting black or silver Steenbras around the wreck is high. The large shoals of ‘Moonies‘ will circle divers endlessly.
The Orient Short Pier dive is a shore entry dive, usually reserved for training and night dives for students, and despite its proximity to the harbour entrance often holds the promise to see small tropical fish.
The club boasts a number of qualified PADI instructors who frequently run PADI affiliated dive courses from Discover Scuba experiences to any level of scuba training from Open Water Scuba Diver up to Dive master and Assistant Instructor level. Anyone interested in scuba training is encouraged to contact the club and they will be put in touch with an enthusiastic instructor.
Ivan Clarke 082 572 4903
Alan Grimmer 083 282 9138 Jane Fleischman 083 272 1300
Spear fishing / Underwater hockey: Justin Lindsay 083 373 1500