Posts Tagged ‘lighthouse’
Kleinbaai is a picturesque little village situated on the Eastern side of Gansbaai and is the ideal launching site for the local fishermen to fish in the Dyer Island area. Stories about the Big White Sharks led to the establishment of the now very popular shark-diving expeditions which has resulted in Gansbaai being known as the Great White Shark capital of the world.
Old shark diving cage. Don't think you want to leave your arm hanging out quite like that.
You want to make darn sure you know the rules before you try cage diving if you want to keep all your limbs.
I was lucky enough to go out on one of the boats and I am going to be doing a post about the cage diving at a later date so won’t go into much detail now.
One of the seven shark boats operating out of Kleinbaai most days of the week.
It's not only about sharks and this boat, "The Whale Whisperer" takes people out to view the whales which are also plentiful in the area.
If you are not really into going out to sea there is also a very nice restaurant which overlooks the harbor.
Or you could pop in and buy some souvenirs here and tell all your friends how you went diving with the Great Whites.
I was fortunate that I bumped into my fishing friends, who I had met while at Yzerfontein, and it was through one of them that I got to go out on one of the shark boats and take some photos.
Kleinbaai is not only about the shark and whale watching but there is also a golf course, squash courts, tidal pool for safe swimming and some great hiking trails one of which is along the peninsula of Danger Point which extends about 8 kilometers into the sea.
The rocky Danger Point shore line looking back towards Kleinbaai.
The many reefs and unchartered rocks along the shoreline make it one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships sailing too close inshore. A hidden rock lurks just below the surface off the Point and it was on this rock that the legendary HMS Birkenhead met her doom in 1852. This rock can be seen at low tide just a few kilometers off Danger Point. Seven shipwrecks surround Danger Point and 140 wrecks are dotted along the shores between Danger Point and Cape Infanta.
Danger Point Lighthouse, erected in 1895, which was too late to for the troop ship Birkenhead which floundered on the 26th of February 1852 with only 193 survivors out of the 636 souls on board.
An etching of the Birkenhead floundering off Danger Point.
Birkenhead Memorial at Danger Point Lighthouse.
Display inside the lighthouse.
Artifacts from the Birkenhead.
All in all I found this a very interesting area to explore and in my next post I am going to follow a group who decided to to go shark cage diving with one of the operators, Marine Dynamics, just off nearby Dyer Island.
The first village from Rooi Els on the R44, in the Cape Hangklip area, is Pringle Bay. ( From what I was told Hangklip is not a place but an area and there is Groot Hangklip and Klein Hangklip.)
The villages of Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond share a common history from the ancient heritage of the early Bushmen and Hottentots, to a safe haven for smugglers in the 1800s, whalers in the early part of the 1900s before developing as holiday and retirement villages. There are now quite a lot of people that live and work there permanently (lucky people at that) as shop and restaurant owners, artists and of course estate agents. (I always marvel at the number of estate agents there are in all the small villages that I have been to.) The area is part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which is an internationally acclaimed conservancy because of the incredible variety of plants found here: an estimated 1650 species of mainly fynbos. In 1998 it became the first UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve in Southern Africa.
- Welcome to Pringle Bay.
A copy of an aerial photograph of Pringle Bay. Not sure how long ago it was taken.
- You ether build as close to the sea as you can or up the side of the mountain to experience views like this.
- House with a view. It almost looks suspended from this angle.
If you drive through Pringle Bay and take the dirt road that used to go directly to Betty’s Bay you come to a T junction where the road has now been blocked off. There is a short but bad road that leads down to a spectacular beach. ( I am not kidding about the road as I saw 2 cars get stuck and have to be towed out.)
- End of the road – turn right to the beach.
- Stunning beach. There had been massive seas so there was a lot of kelp on all the beaches.
A short distance away, as one drives back to Pringle Bay, is the Hangklip Lighthouse which is about a 15 minute walk, and the small harbour / launching area for all the various types of recreational boats. The fishing, crayfishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming at Pringle Bay is excellent and I saw many fish and crayfish being brought in on the boats.
- Hangklip Lighthouse which is now 50 years old.
- An old reminder, near the harbour, to always respect the sea.
- Somebody was going to be dining well.
- After a hard days fishing always good to stop in for a cold one at the famous / infamous Hangklip Hotel.
- The beautiful main beach at Pringle Bay. Unfortunately as stated previously there had been massive seas that week and the beach was covered with kelp.
- As you can see there are plenty of shops and restaurants to explore.
- When I did a post for McDougals Bay last year I took a photo of quite a strange looking house and mentioned I had seen something similar in Pringle Bay. Well here it is!
I think Pringle Bay is a great place and would love to have spent more time there and at Betty’s Bay exploring. Unfortunately they, together with Kleinmond, fall under the Overstrand Municipality who have increased prices at the 2 local caravan parks to such an extent that I could not afford to stop over for even one night. At Palmiet Rivier Park and Kleinmond the price of a stand last year was R75 and now this year they have pushed it up to R240 plus you pay an extra R30 for electricity. (R900 pm for a 10 amp plug.) Not only that but they have extended their High Season to now be 1st November to end of April. Most places have December, January and Easter weekend as High Season. Maybe they don’t want campers and caravaners at their parks. Sure looked like it when I went to have a look – a combined total of about 400 sites and 5 people staying there.
8km’s south of where I am staying at the moment, Strandfontein, lies the little fishing village of Doringbaai or as it was originally know Thornbay. Dooringbaai is well know as an area for whale watching. Southern Right whales enter the bay to calve from May to November and can be seen breaching and swimming with their calves in the protected waters. There are also wonderful hiking trails on both sides of the village offering excellent whale viewing opportunities. Unfortunately for the 2 days I was in Dooringbaai there was a massive sea running and no chance of any whale spotting.
There is not really a whole lot to write about Doringbaai so hopefully the photographs and captions will give you an idea of the village.
Central to Dooringbaai is the Light House and Harbour area so I spent quite a lot of time there having fun looking for different things to photograph.
- The harbour and lighthouse.
- The lighthouse was established in 1963.
As mentioned there was a massive sea running while I was there so took these to try and illustrate.
- The noise when the waves smashed into the rocks was like thunder.
- I would hate to have been hit by one of the waves.
- As the wave dissipated it left this fine mist.
- Would not have liked to be on the old jetty.
- How that building was still standing I have no idea.
- In amongst all the mayhem of crashing waves I found this near the lighthouse.
- Staying with the nautical theme is the local sea food restaurant and pub.
As I was wandering around I met up with Peter and Michelle who run the very interesting looking self catering establishment called Thornbay Accommodation. Peter is an ex diamond diver who also ran and managed the local concessions. He and Shirley arrived in the area from Durban about 30 years ago and were first based in a caravan at a place called Die Punt just on the north side of he Olifants River. He knows my friend George from McDougalls Bay and in fact it was in Dooringbaai that George started as a diamond diver. What a small world.
Welcome to Thornbay!!The octopus was created by Lachlan, also an ex diamond diver, from Lamberts Bay.
I had a look round inside and was very impressed with all that was offered to make one’s stay comfortable and enjoyable . Just loved some of the pieces hanging on the wall.
- Anyone for crayfish?
All in all I really enjoyed Dooringbaai even though the weather was not great. As it is only about 350 km’s from Cape Town it would be a great spot to just get away from all the hustle and bustle of of city life and just relax. The area boasts many activities such as swimming, fishing, quad bike and 4×4 trails, wineries and restaurants.
Yesterday (23rd) was not so great on the weather front. The sun was shinning but it was cold and a gale force wind blew the whole day. At one stage I was considering taking down my rally tent as I thought it was going to be ripped off the front of my caravan. That kind of wind makes me slightly depressed so I determined to take a drive into Port Nolloth and have a look around.
Port Nolloth was only given that name in 1855 when it was renamed from Robbe Baai (Seals Bay) by Sir Harry Smith. Prior to that it had also been known Aukwatwas (1779) and also as Gawaap. Copper was found in the Namaqualand area and the first shipment of 1 ton was was made from the harbour in 1850 and so the big rush to the area began. It was only in 1957 that Port Nolloth received municipal status.
I started my walk from the northern end of Port Nolloth and the first thing I saw was a really beautiful beach. There are a few houses overlooking the beach but not as many as I would have thought.
The bay to the north of Port Nolloth.
The coastline round the area is very rugged, as it is all along the West Coast and there have been quite a few big storms in the last year or so. It is known for its foggy weather, has an average rainfall of 20-25mm per annum and the average daytime temperature is a moderate 22ºC and 14ºC at night. As you will see a bit further on those storms caused quite a bit of havoc.
The unique lighthouse which was established in 1909.
The Roman Catholic Church.
Walkway above the beach You can see 2 boats that were washed ashore recently.
One of the entrances to the walkway.
Official opening plaque.
The walkway and beach front development were opened officially on the 8th August 2008.
The old building housing the History Museum
An old rail carriage in font of the museum.
Good place for a bite to eat? Love the Vespa on the roof!!
I have not been out for a slap up meal since I left Cape Town 24 days ago. I think this is where I will go next week some time. One thing this restaurant illustrates is how much bigger in all aspects Port Nolloth is compared to Alexander Bay. There are far more bigger and better shops and the population is also about four times that of Alexander Bay. Most people from the area either come come here or drive all the way to Springbok for their monthly shopping. As I said previously I am amazed by the local Spar Supermarket.
Another popular eating establishment.
The Bio diversity living Museum
You can even take up Karate at the local Do Jo
Lastly, just to show you how violent the storms can be, the boat below was washed up to where it now rests on the 16th of June this year. It has not been stripped down so it looks like they may try and re float her on a really high tide. Looking at how deep she has sunk into the sand it might be just wishful thinking.
The Pafuri out of Cape Town..
So as you can see an interesting walk, especially if one goes into the museums and spends a bit of time there. I hope to do a post on combined visits as there are some fascinating artefacts and things to see. I also popped into the De Beers controlled harbour and had a chat to the manager, Deon Lotter, and will do a short post on marine diamond mining.