Aqua Action in Cape Winter Waters

Generally speaking I am a summer kind of girl…I adore the headiness of sun, sand, sea and mountains. BUT – I also love winter. There is something about the sound of rain falling on the roof, cuddling up around a cozy fireplace, drinking hot chocolate or sipping a fine red wine. I love winter until I get a severe case of cabin fever! If like me, you suffer from either F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out) you may be anxious about visiting Cape Town in winter. Do not despair – symptomatic treatment is available from your Cape Point Route doctor.

Amongst the best treatments for a Cape Winter is getting onto or into the water! If it’s raining you are going to get wet anyway right! And the joy of a Cape Winter means that the waters of False Bay are calmer and more conducive to water sports. On the Atlantic Coastline the seas get bigger which is a delight for surfers.

Shark cage diving:

Photo: Chris Fallows

Photo: Chris Fallows

The movie Jaws portrayed the Great White Shark as an evil killing machine. Despite extensive research these huge primeval creatures are little understood, yet remain a fascinating attraction for human mortals. Experience the grace, power and magic of these creatures on a shark cage diving (or viewing!) trip from Simon’s Town. Best experienced in winter, when the sharks in False Bay have been known to breach in a spectacular display by leaping out of the water for their prey. False Bay is home to the “flying” great white sharks which is a term used for the sharks ability to breach out of the water. The sharks use the breach as a final effort in successful predation and this behavioural trait is seen more regularly at Seal Island than anywhere else on the globe. The shark comes from the deep sea, aims at its prey then propels itself out of the water like a torpedo at the unsuspecting seal. The sight is a spectacle and will get your heart rate up and the adrenalin flowing. This phenomenon is ONLY experienced in winter when the concentration of sharks is higher at Seal Island in False Bay.   If you’re not brave enough to dive with great whites, pop into the Save Our Seas centre in Kalk Bay and find out more about sharks and the marine life of South Africa.  Read More…

Surf’s Up:

Image: Learn to Surf

Image: Learn to Surf

Cape Town is well known for its’ surfing, boasting 40 breaks within an hour of the city centre. Beginners still head for Muizenberg, thrill seekers head for the reefs off Kommetjie and Scarborough and lunatics head for Dungeons off Hout Bay (particularly in winter when there are seriously big waves). Winter is the best time to learn how to surf as the NW winds bring superb conditions to False Bay. Learn 2 Surf in Muizenberg is offering a discount for winter: Buy 4 group lessons and pay R950 per person – that’s a saving of R450 each! Valid from 1 June – 31 July 2012. Book in advance. Read More…

Photo: Jacques Marais

Photo: Jacques Marais

Grab a paddle:
Sea kayaking trips are usually best during the Cape Town winter, when the False Bay waters are calmer. No other aquatic craft can get you closer to the water without being in it, the kayaks are safe and stable and you don’t need previous experience to paddle one. The most popular trip takes you to view the penguins at Boulders Beach – strangely these quirky birds are more wary of sea objects than land based ones. Encounter penguins, whales, seals and dolphins from your safe stable sea craft – and the best part is that no previous experience is necessary! Other popular sea kayaking trips are to Cape Point itself and the Simon’s Town harbour kayak trip. Read More….

Hook, line and Sinker:

Image: Hooked on Africa

Image: Hooked on Africa

Bagging a big game fish is high on the bucket list for many and the Cape waters have some of the richest tuna grounds in the world today. Yellowfin Tuna that our found off our coastline can weigh in at up to 80kg’s and the Longfin Tuna can be 20kgs or more. April- May is high season for tuna and we are hoping for a cracker season- there have already been some good catches of Longfin tuna, which should improve as we head into April when the BIG ones make an appearance.  On the game fishing side there is plenty of yellowtail and skipjack and on light tackle this makes for a great day of fishing. Big Game fishing, Deep Sea fishing, Inshore fishing and Fly fishingare all available options for your fishing charter.  A day out in the deep will be an unforgettable experience as you encounter one of the world’s toughest fighting fish and also experience the diversity of Cape Waters with a chance to see various species of Albatross as well as Orca or Dusky Dolphins which are commonly sighted. From May – September snoek move into our waters in huge quantities. This underrated game fish are caught at depths between 15 – 20 metres and weigh in between 5-7kgs. This is great fishing for novices and experts alike and there is a lot of action when the boat hits a shoal. Read More …

Seal Island Boat Trips: Hout Bay

Image: Drumbeat Charters

Image: Drumbeat Charters

Cruises depart regularly from Hout Bay Harbour for Duiker Island (often called Seal Island) which is home to a colony of Cape Fur Seals. These seals are one of 35 different seal species. Duiker Island is not a breeding colony so the majority of the seals are males waiting to reach breeding age (which is between 8 and 12 years depending on their size).  The seals are very entertaining and this is a fantastic excursion for the whole family at just R65 for adults and R25 per child under 14 years. Read More…

Snorkel with Seals:

Photo: Gavin Anderson

Photo: Gavin Anderson

This is one of the most accessible ways to interact with the coastal wildlife. Big eyed seals will play cheerfully with you as you snorkel (in a wetsuit!) and they often imitate your somersaults in the water. They are as curious about you as you are about them. The seals live in huge colonies so the snorkeling with seals either takes place in Hout Bay or at Partridge Point in False Bay depending on the weather conditions. Snorkeling with seals usually takes place at 2pm on a Saturday or Sunday. Duration including boat rides to and back from site is 2- 2.5 hours and costs R450 per person including all equipment. Bookings are essential as the boat needs to be full to launch. Minimum of 6 people. Maximum of 12 people. Contact Pisces Divers for more information. Read More…

Scuba Dive:

Image: Pisces Divers

Image: Pisces Divers

The Coastline of the Cape Point Route is littered with shipwrecks making it a treasure chest for scuba divers. Discover the best of the Cape of Storms by meandering through mysterious kelp forests and coral reefs with sea plants and fish that are only accessible to divers. If you have FOMO why not take a course and get your open water certificate? Winter diving in the Cape is cool –  and not just literally. In fact the sea temperature is often warmer than the air temperature in winter (18C) and the visibility is superb (up to 20 m is common). There is an abundance of reef life – feather stars, nudibranchs, lobster, octopi, starfish, sponges and many species of reef fish and sharks. Whale sightings by divers are possible and Cape Fur Seals are guaranteed to entertain. Prices range from R200 for shore dives to R300 for a boat dive or look for 2-3 full days of diving. Read More…

Cape Point Boat Trip:

Photo: Jacques Marais

Photo: Jacques Marais

Experience the most spectacular view of Cape Point from the water and you’ll understand why Sir Francis Drake described it as “The Fairest Cape in the whole circumference of the world” after this trip which is quite simply spectacular. The cruise offers everything from whales (in season though – which is late winter and spring) to exploring ocean caves and viewing stunning cliff faces. Numerous bird species and dolphins are often sighted on the cruise. The skipper will also regale you with maritime tales from shipwrecks to lighthouses! Read More…

Whale Watching Boat Trips:

Whale Watching Boat Trip

Whale Watching Boat Trip

Southern Right Whales come to our shores each year and these gentle giants of the sea are one of the star attractions of the Cape Point Route in late winter. Southern Right Whales got their name for all the wrong reasons. Whalers named it because it was the “right” whale to kill, it swam slowly, hugged the shoreline, provided a lot of oil and floated when dead, which threatened their existence until International Protection was implemented in 1935. The good news for visitors is that they still swim slowly and hug the coastline making them just right for viewing from anywhere on the Cape Point Route coastline. We do however suggest seeing them from the water on a whale watching boat trip which departs from Simon’s Town harbor. You might be likely to see one breach or snap a picture of a tail or flipper waving at you from right next to the boat.  Read More..

Call Cape Point Route central bookings office for ideas of where to go, what to see, how to get there, where to eat or where to stay. Tel: +27 (0)21 782 9356, Email info@capepointroute.co.za or visit the website www.capepointroute.co.za

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