Cape Town Freediving Clip Of The Week 12:
A-Frame is one of the most popular dive sites along the False Bay side of the peninsula in Cape Town. It’s probably 3rd in terms of popularity with freedivers and scuba divers with only Long Beach and Windmill Beach topping it. A-frame was named after a tripod navigation beacon which once stood at the site, but has been replaced with just a post. Many people think that the site gets its name from the A-shaped entrance of the swim through featured in our clip of the week. Finding the site is easy enough. Drive south along Main road through Simons Town, go past the golf course and then look for Fisherman’s Beach on your left and Valley Rd on your right. Just after Valley Rd you will see rocky outcrops on the seaward side. Find parking on the road and walk down to the ocean along the path between the houses
To get to the swim through in this video, enter the water at the large flat granite rock on the northern side of the dive site. Once in the water and past the kelp, you will almost immediately find yourself in 4-5m of depth with a sandy bottom. Head towards the smaller outcrops (marked on the satellite photo) north of the large white rock. Between the rocky outcrops, you will find the swim through.
There are three openings, but only 2 are comfortable and wide enough to avoid damaging the marine life around them. The third opening exits in rough, breaking water unless it is an exceptionally calm day. In this video clip, Martin enters the swim through via the smaller opening facing towards the shore. It is clearly marked by a large orange sponge. On a side note, Martin is wearing one of our new ‘avatar’ freediving wetsuits. He then swims into the ‘bowl’ and exits out of the large A-shaped opening. The sun can be seen shining on the sand like a large blue spotlight. The maximum depth there is around 7-8m.
Inside the swim though, the marine life is abundant and very colourful. Using a torch to illuminate the darker overhangs is highly recommended, but even the natural light is sufficient to be wowed. You will see a variety of colourful urchins, sponges, anemones, nudibranchs, crinoids, sea fans and even large red roman lurking about. We have found very large blue gas flame nudibranchs on the rocks around A-frame. Most of A-frame lies within the Boulders Restricted zone of the MPA so the fish life tends to be quite healthy and varied.
One of our favourite deep freediving sites is D-frame. D-frame is located almost directly 500m seaward from the northern section of A-frame. This is where the 30m contour is closest to shore along this section of the peninsula. It is quite a swim, but well worth it. We generally take our Adventure Freediver II students out to D-frame if the conditions are good. If you are contemplating enrolling in the Adventure Freediver II course, but feel that you need more practice first, then take a look at our how to hold your breath longer video series.