Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday stroll...

Wow, what a fantastic spring day.

It seems that the whole of Cape Town was out and about, enjoying the wonderful weather. The body boarders were in the water taking advantage of the waves off the Danger Beach reef.

A whole new take on the Weekend drive. Perhaps they were looking for Whales? The whales had been seen earlier in the morning, breaching, "head standing" and generally showing off for the Tourists.

Down at Dalebrook pools at Kalk Bay there even some brave people having a swim, without a wetsuit! The water
temperature is still only 11deg C,
very cold by South African standards.

This looked like a really fabulous way to spend an afternoon. Just enough of a breeze to sail gently across the Bay.

St James and Danger Beach from Kalk Bay Harbour

The Patrons enjoying lunch at "The Brass Bell" had a grandstand view of the waves crashing against the Kalk Bay pools.

It was too late in the day to see the"Catch of the day" being landed, but, when this boat moved from the outer Harbour wall to the landing jetty, it had a lot of spectators.

People come from all over Cape Town to enjoy the sunshine and good food available in Kalk Bay, from fine dining at one of the many restuarants, to Fish and Chips, eaten outside next to all the action.

These four young men asked us so nicely to take their photo, how could we refuse. Gentlemen, I hope you like it.

A visit to the Ice Cream shop was supposed
to be the last stop, but, the Whales
decided it was show time again.

What a fabulous afternoon, now, back to work...

Thursday, October 16, 2008


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A walk from Sonnekus Guest House to.......

I took a timeout and went for a ramble, over the road and onto the beach in front of the house.

This little sandy strip was used by the early whalers.
They would launch their boats from the beach and row out into False Bay and harpoon the Southern Right Whales. Southern because they swam the southern oceans, and Right because they yielded a lot of blubber and floated after death. The carcasses were then retrieved by bigger Fishing boats, dragged up the beach to be cut up and the blubber rendered down by boiling.

In 1814, the Whaling Station (now Villa Capri) was constructed, and a couple of whalermen's cottages were also built near the station, now Jacob's Ladder. The elevation on the side of the mountain gave an ideal vantage point for whale spotting. In 1850, because of the terrible stench, the local residents of Kalk Bay pressurised the owners to move the St James Factory to Strandfontein.

The Southern Right whales came into False Bay to calve and mate, and because the whalers mainly caught female whales, it was only a matter of time before the industry suffered, due to lack of breeding stock. The last whale caught commercially in Kalk Bay was 1860.

To-day the whales are protected and their numbers are on the increase. The whales usually start arriving in May, but, the best viewing is October to November before they return home to Antarctica in December.

In January 1874, Edith, Emma and Madeline Nicholls who were on holiday in St James, went to the beach to bathe. They were carried out to sea by the backwash. Edith was rescued by the Kalk Bay fishermen who responded to Mr Nicholls call for help, but Emma and Madeline drowned. The beach is now known as Danger Beach..........