Tag Archives: harbour

The Harbour and the Lookout Point in Gordon’s Bay (2017-07-29) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 28 APR 2018

It’s not often that I get my brother to come out and visit me here in Gordon’s Bay, but on the odd occasion that I do, it is imperative that the girls and I do something out and about with their ‘favourite uncle’. Luckily, small as it may be, there are more than just one or two pretty things to look at when visiting here in Gordon’s Bay.

On this particular visit of his, we decided to head up for a stroll at the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant Lookout Point, which involves taking a short drive up the mountain overlooking Gordon’s Bay, followed by a walk along a narrow ridge (if you are brave/steady enough) to a clearing that gives you a great view of the treatment plant itself, not to mention an even better view over good old Gordon’s Bay.

A nice addition to the lookout point is the recently installed granite map of False Bay that the local Rotary Club has donated and installed, a great guide to all the major points along this important Cape Town geographical landmark.

Anyway, piggyback rides exhausted, our next stop was back down the mountain and on to the old harbour. (In case you didn’t know, Gordon’s Bay is surprisingly the proud owner of two small harbours!)

Pretty boats in water, what’s not to like? So, two reasonably nice and relaxing sights to see, and one out and about ‘adventure’ with the favourite uncle all done and dusted.

Note: I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t take as many photos as what I normally do when out and about sightseeing, but it probably had something to do with the fact that it annoys Ryan to no end when I constantly whip out the phone whenever I spot something new! ;)

As for the rest of the day, it was probably spent braaing and playing XBOX games – you know as adult brothers tend to do.

Related Link: Gordon’s Bay

A Gourmet Burger and Oscar the Seal at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (2017-05-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 27 APR 2018

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway gives you a free cable car ride for you birthday, and my work gives us the day off on our birthday, meaning that I’m forever trying to go up Table Mountain on my birthday. Sometimes I get this right, but most of the time, thanks to my birthday falling in the middle of bad weather May, the route is closed and I need to come up with something else.

That is precisely what happened last year, and after spending some time walking around Signal Hill, Camps Bay and Sea Point, I headed towards the V&A Waterfront, a place that we visit surprisingly little come to think of it.

As any Cape Town tourist will tell you, the Waterfront does offer a lot of fun things to photograph, and on this particular day I found myself for some or other reason focusing on the hard to miss, gleaming bronze seal statue standing proudly in front of the magnificent Sun International Table Bay Hotel.

Standing adjacent to Jetty 2 and in front of the hotel’s main entrance, “Oscar”, the 2.7 meter high bronze seal statue sculpted and delivered (1997) by South African sculptor Danie De Jager, was commissioned by the hotel group in memory of Oscar the Cape Fur seal (and his fisherman friend – whom Oscar had inherited his name from), the beloved furry figure that called the Table Bay jetty home and whom the opening team had “adopted” during the construction phase of the hotel itself.

For many years Oscar the Seal delighted both Waterfront tourists and locals alike, before sadly dying due to injuries sustained in a boating accident around 2003. However, seeking out a place to bask in the sun, Oscar’s pups continue his legacy of visiting the Table Bay jetty on a daily basis, basically becoming much sought after photographic fodder in the process!

Anyway, Cape Fur seals aside, after a nice photographic stroll around the quieter than what I’m used to area, I decided to stop for a bite to eat, treating myself to one of the delicious gourmet hamburger creations that Gibson’s has become so famous for.

Craft beer in hand, I eagerly tucked into my food, fed the seagulls, watched people zip about, and took in all the sights. Not the worst way to spend lunch hour by one’s self I guess!

(In case you are all wondering where Chantelle was on the day, well she was back home busy frantically baking a cake in front of the camera, appearing as one of the challengers on Via’s – an Afrikaans channel on DSTV – Bak of Brou television show. Apparently this was quite the stressful event!)

One of the reasons I suppose that we don’t as a family visit the V&A Waterfront very often is because it is always so jam packed with people all the time, meaning that I found myself rather enjoying this rare mid-week visit for a change!

Lunch done, photos taken, next up for my birthday walkabout – a visit to the Springbok Experience rugby museum!

Related Link: V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | Gibson’s

Seals, Cannons and Fishing Boats at Hout Bay Harbour (2017-06-24) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 21 APR 2018

Visiting Hout Bay with the girls invariably means one of two things – either we’ll be checking out the bird life of World of Birds, or we’ll be strolling along the old harbour watching all the fishing boats dart in and out, and as you may have surmised base on the photos probably still loading below, this time around it was most definitely for the latter.

Hout Bay is of course a lovely place to visit (though not so much at the moment thanks to all the ongoing unrest and tension following the last major fire that ravaged the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement), with its lush leafy green farmland vibe giving way to the small beach and buzzing harbour district as you head down the mountain – no wonder then that this place is as popular as what it is with both tourists and locals alike!

We actually started our little harbour walkabout with a stop first at the West Fort (or Karbonkelberg) site, where it was rather nice to see that the long neglected antique cannons have finally undergone some much needed, loving renovations. Surprisingly enough though, despite the site’s status as a National Monument, there really is nothing there other than the cannons themselves. A bit of signage would certainly not be amiss!

Next to the cannons, the ever popular “Fish on the Rocks” restaurant was alive and kicking as always, though it was the two busking, colourfully dressed minstrels that stole Jessica and Emily’s attention, with the two of them soon foot tapping and twirling along with the quintessential Capetonian sound/tunes.

Eventually I managed to drag the two of them away, getting our visit to Hout Bay’s working harbour back on track – basically meaning that we gently strolled along the pier, counted coloured boats, and got to watch the Emerald Isle steel-hulled trawler make a surprisingly quick and graceful exit out of the bay. (Truthfully, I rather enjoyed that last part).

Boats aside though, the seals dotted all around were by far the highlight of the walkabout for the girls, while for me it was the neatly dressed skipper with a roll of barbed wire in his hand who took to chatting with us about his restoration of the old SAS Oosterland, a decommissioned SA Naval Ford Class vessel that was built in 1959 for the navy and which then eventually fell into private hands come 1990.

An interesting find indeed.

I am of course joking when I say that a visit to Hout Bay means either the harbour OR the World of Birds though – of course we did World of Birds as well on the day – there is absolutely no way that Jessica would EVER let the opportunity of interacting with squirrel monkeys slip her by! ;)

(In actual fact, this was one of those jam packed outing kind of days – we had already started the morning off with a visit to both Rhodes Memorial and Llandudno beach!)

Related Link: Hout Bay

Fish and Sushi at Harbour Rock in the New Harbour of Hermanus (2017-08-09) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 24 FEB 2018

As is almost always the case, we were in Hermanus to watch whales. We watched whales from the piazza, we watched whales from Fick’s Pool, we watched whales from the cliff path, we… well you get the picture.

Anyway, the point is that after all that whale watching/ambling about, a spot of lunch was required – and so we randomly picked out a new spot for us to try: Harbour Rock.

Designed and built in 1997, the stone, steel and timber Harbour Rock building sits perched atop a cliff overlooking Hermanus’ New Harbour, a premium restaurant known for its wine and more importantly, ever-evolving menu of seafood and grills.

A magnificent view over the harbour and across the bay, competent chefs, an authentic Chinese sushi team, and access to pretty fresh catches, it is no wonder that Harbour Rock is as popular as what it is.

While the girls weren’t particularly enthralled at having to eat at a seafood restaurant (and to be honest, seafood isn’t really my thing either), Chantelle on the other hand was ecstatic, immediately diving deep into a delicious sushi platter

I on the other hand opted for the less exotic fish and chips option, and in terms of drinks, we turned to a delectable bottle of Wolftrap Syrah for the table.

Following our lovely lunch, we next decided to take in some of the sea air with a leisurely stroll out along the harbour wall – a perfect way to stretch one’s legs and give the food a proper chance to settle in my opinion.

This, the girls were a little more pleased with.

In summary: Harbour Rock was a pleasant surprise and definitely worth keeping in mind if you are ever looking for a nice date night venue when in the Hermanus area.

(In other words, I’m rather glad that Chantelle came up with this particular suggestion!)

Bonus: If you would rather just have a drink, then Harbour Rock’s adjoining Gecko Bar is the perfect solution, enjoying the exact same stunning view that comes with the main restaurant experience.

Just follow the motorbikes to find it!

Related Link: Harbour Rock | New Harbour | Hermanus

Fish and Chips from the Sea Gypsy Cafe in Mossel Bay Harbour (2018-01-11) Photo Gallery | Restaurants 25 JAN 2018

I think that it was my folks who originally introduced us to the Sea Gypsy Cafe, one of their favourite spots to tuck into some fish and chips whenever they are down in Mossel Bay (which, given their Pinnacle Point holiday home, is relatively often).

For some or other unknown reason it has now managed to also wiggle its way into being a bit of an institution for both Chantelle and myself, so much so that we now tend to pop in for a bite to eat almost each and every time that we too find ourselves in the general area!

So anyway, two weeks ago Chantelle and I left the kids behind with her folks in Bellville in order to spend the last bit of our holiday driving up to George, where we would then fork over R7,500 to collect our car that had been forced to stay behind for a week at the Kia/Hyundai Service Center for repairs. (More on that story later, I promise. In essence though, it revolves around old spark plugs and coils, just in case you were wondering.)

With the fixed Accent now back in our possession, Chantelle and I opted to not sleep over in George again, but rather drove our two cars down to Mossel Bay for a change of scenery. After spending a lazy day around the Diaz beach area, we did a bit of a ‘taking in the sights of Mossel Bay’ drive out and about, before heading down towards the harbour for a spot of supper – selecting the aforementioned Sea Gypsy as our restaurant of choice for the evening of course!

Situated on Quay 4 along the harbour wall, the bright blue Sea Gypsy and its gorgeous views of Mossel Bay’s beaches and surrounds is admittedly looking rather tattered these days. (Though to be honest it’s probably always been a little… weathered. It just seems to be getting more and more noticeably so with each and every subsequent visit!)

Anyway, looks/first impressions aside, we grabbed an outdoor seat next to the wall, ordered our food, watched some seagulls, engaged in small talk, witnessed a woman awkwardly trip over the foot of one of the benches, and then finally tucked into some pretty good hake and chips. (The calamari was okay at best).

Still, the views were pretty amazing.

(Also, being in the South Cape I very obviously had a Glenhoff Draught to accompany my meal, because as I’ve now very firmly established for myself, I REALLY do enjoy their brew.)

Seeing as sunset was now upon us, we hopped down the road to The Point, now thankfully devoid of most of the crazy holiday caravan crowd that descends upon Mossel Bay each and every December holiday season.

Thanks to the smokey haze stretched across the sky (from a massive fire in the Albertinia area), the sun looked particularly fiery as it worked its way ever lower, with me managing to capture this particularly cool photo featuring the iconic St. Blaize Lighthouse in the background:

I’m pretty chuffed with it actually.

As for the rest of the evening – we spent that wandering about Hartenbos while listening to a Native American busker doing his thing.

Related Link: Sea Gypsy Cafe

Seals and Fishing Boats at Kalk Bay Harbour (2016-10-16) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 MAR 2017

It is no surprise really that the working fishing harbour of Kalk Bay, itself a small fishing village,  is as big a tourist attraction as what it is. Situated on a beautiful stretch of the False Bay coastline, the small harbour is home to a handful of eateries, sidewalk artists selling their crafts and wares, seals, and of course, most important of all, a host of colourfully painted fishing vessels.

The fishing community is very active, meaning that the harbour itself is always a hive of fishing-related activity, which then acts as a great tourist attraction (because it is interesting to all us non-fishing and probably hard labour averse people), meaning that one gets the feeling that Kalk Bay Harbour is almost always overrun with people!

The informal fish and chips eatery Kalky’s is somewhat of an institution, but in reality, all the little eateries dotted around the harbour are worth checking out, precisely because of the fact that you are guaranteed in getting some very good, very fresh fish served on a plate.

The girls and I were in the Southern Suburbs for a visit last year October, and seizing the opportunity, I decided to take them for their very first visit to Kalk Bay harbour. As I thought they might, the two of them rather enjoyed the experience, marvelling at the boats, the seals, the actual fishing, and the spectacle of watching seagulls and seals fight for fish. (Very entertaining).

(We also stopped in for a bit at the Imperial Yacht Club  on the west shore of Zandvlei to watch some of the sailboats on the water, but that didn’t last too long thanks to some hastening inclement weather!)

In summary then – If you don’t live near the sea, then a visit to Kalk Bay harbour is well worth the drive. The drive itself to get there is great (that whole stretch past Muizenberg and St James is fantastic (the views, not the roadworks-caused traffic), and the harbour itself is a bustling, tourist friendly (but not overly so), visual spectacle – with the promise of good fish and chips thrown in for good measure!

Bonus tip: don’t do it tomorrow though. Sunday is the Cape Town Cycle Tour, and unless you are really big into bikes and the associated traffic thanks to all the closed roads, I would highly recommend skipping the entire Cape Town region just to be safe! ;)

Also, a handy map if you too want to go and watch the colourful fishing boats go about their business one day:

Related Link: Kalk Bay

Yacht watching in the Gordon’s Bay Harbour (2016-11-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 17 NOV 2016

The so-called Old Harbour in Gordon’s Bay (where the South African Naval Training College is situated) is always a nice sightseeing spot, thanks to the large number of yachts moored there.

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Tucked safely within the harbour’s stout, dolos-lined walls, the yacht marina is also home to the Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club, whilst dotted around on the outside of the harbour you’ll find restaurants in the form of Harbour Lights and The Thirsty Oyster, as well as a small NSRI sea rescue base, and a few other odds and ends come to think of it.

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I was keen for a bit of a morning stretch of the legs, and so coaxed the two girls into joining me for a short walk about the harbour. Naturally, the two were completely terrified of the water, opting to either hold back to the safely of dry land when possible, or alternatively sticking to me like barnacles on a hull.

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Surprisingly, there weren’t too many people on the harbour wall trying their hand at catching fish like is normally the case (though I did spot a couple having a go from the adjacent Bikini Beach).

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The photos that I did end up taking when I managed to pry my hand loose from the tight grip of my two girls every now and then are a little misleading in that the sea appears rather calm – when in fact the reality was that there was a fair bit of swell breaking against the harbour walls! (Which seemed to both delight and terrify Jess and Emily mind you!)

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Anyway, once they finally calmed down enough to enjoy the sights, the girls did eventually agree that they rather liked the short sightseeing outing, and after a bit of time spent yacht watching and keeping an eye out for seals (no luck on that front), we turned back and left the beautiful sanctuary that is the Gordon’s Bay old harbour.

These are the few pictures I managed to grab, a feat considering just how stuck to me both the girls were for the most part!

Also, a map in case you want to check out the boats for yourself the next time you find yourself in my neighbourhood:

Related Link: Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club | Gordon’s Bay | A Little History

Wandering about Kleinmond’s Small Harbour (2016-08-20) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 26 AUG 2016

After enjoying some delicious fish and chips from the nearby Boathouse restaurant in Kleinmond, Chantelle, the girls and I next sauntered down the road to the tiny Kleinmond harbour, to get a better look at this picturesque little spot.

sdr

The Kleinmond harbour was built around 1940 and enjoyed its heyday during the fishing boom of the 1970s, but had fallen into disrepair in the ensuing years. Although never really losing popularity with local fisherman, the harbour is now receiving a new lease on life, as a massive 2014 project saw developers repair the breakwaters, dredge the harbour bowl and upgrade pedestrian access.

A new jetty was installed, while existing harbour walls were all stabilized, and garages equipped for the NSRI and other emergency equipment erected. Oh, and the fish-scaling tables also received an upgrade.

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The result has been a resounding success in turning this new Whale Coast waterfront area into a big tourist attraction for the little coastal town, with the Harbour Road area (as it is now known), becoming quite the little hub of great restaurants and shopping opportunities.

dav

Fishermen we are not, but nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed strolling down the slipway and walking along the jetty, admiring the breathtaking ocean and mountain view while watching some locals attempting to pull in some fish using hand lines.

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Definitely a case of property developers spending money the right way!

Related Link: Harbour Road

Gordon’s Bay: Bikini Beach getting all set for Summer 2015! Travel Attractions 03 NOV 2015

Summer Season 2015 is rushing towards us at breakneck pace, and so pleasingly it’s quite nice to see our little Blue Flag beach in Gordon’s Bay undergoing a bit of a makeover.

IMG_20151102_141656 gordons bay bikini beach bulldozer clean sand

Up until recently, the beach had become a little… unfriendly, in terms of it being very rocky as a changing current flow was slowly but surely taking more and more sand away from the small beach and depositing it in the entrance to the harbour/marina (itself not a very good thing for all the yacht owners with vessels moored there).

I see that’s now all been changed though, with the beach being properly bulldozed (with possibly more sand added?), the result being a once again sandy, pristine little beach, tucked away from the wind and the perfect tanning spot for the hordes of Stellenbosch students (from where this little beach is traditionally rumoured to get its name from).

IMG_20151102_141721 gordons bay bikini beach bulldozer clean sand

Signage is being replaced, things are being fixed and sanded down, and from the look of it, even a new lick of paint is about to be applied to the standing structures.

IMG_20151102_141744 gordons bay bikini beach new signage going up

Awesome.

Looks like everything will be ready and waiting for when the December holidays finally hit our little town! :)

Related Link: Blue Flag: Bikini Beach | Gordon’s Bay