Our end-of-year lunch is always combined with a short stroll along the boardwalk from Seaforth to Windmill Beach, via the spectacularly beautiful and penguin-populated Boulders Beach. No matter which way the wind blows, the huge granite boulders which characterise this part of the False Bay coastline provide calm waters for the safest of bathing and shelter from sun and wind. No wonder it is an iconic spot for tourists and locals alike, and yesterday was no exception. The northwesterly wind whipped up the sea beyond the boulders, and wisps of pre-frontal cloud draped the mountains, but hot sun baked down on beachgoers and birds, who seemed to prefer the cooler spots on top of the rocks rather than the beach. The clear waters beckoned, but we were not there to swim – rather, we were there for a preprandial amble, seeking the shade wherever possible and pausing for water breaks more frequently than usual.
Snorkelling lessons were underway in the shallows, while the pros set off with air tanks and underwater cameras to fish for photographs – this area is abundant in brilliantly coloured sea urchins, anemones, small fish and corals. A large shoal of tiddlers swam to and fro along the shoreline, while care had to be taken not to stand on the myriad bluebottles washed up at the high tide line. A quick paddle revealed that the water was warm, probably over 18 degrees, but wetsuits are still worn for comfort in the deeper waters. A sudden gust of wind caught a beach umbrella and turned it inside out, while not 50 metres away we sat sweltering under a tree. The vagaries of the weather!
The turn for home had us ambling eagerly, rather like the horse headed for the stable, and we looked forward to our festive lunch at Fran’s on Jubilee Square. The owner was the chef for many years under previous ownership, and has taken over with great success, offering good value for money, tasty and well-presented food in huge portions, served with efficiency and humour by our waiter, who coped admirably with a table of 25. A number of other large parties were in progress, with no noticeable delays in service. An excellent choice for a quick lunch in Simon’s Town, especially for families.
Our Intrepid Leader and his wife will be leaving to retire in Kwa-Zulu Natal at the end of January, and each walk takes us closer to their departure. We treasure the happy memories and look forward to making a few more still.