Posted by Amanda on 18 Jul 2011 | No Comments
It was such a perfect Winter’s Day yesterday that my husband and I decided to have breakfast at the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, part of the Table Mountain National Park. This has to be one of the most spectacular locations in the Cape, if not the World, as it sits high on the cliff with uninterrupted views of False Bay.
Sitting here at breakfast reminded me of how lucky we are to live in such an incredible part of the world that is only 15 minutes from our doorstep. We watched a couple of men fishing from their Kayak’s below and saw many other boats out enjoying the calm waters and sunshine. It was also a day for Scuba Diving in Simon’s Town as we must have past at least 50-60 divers along the road to Cape Point putting on their diving gear getting ready for the perfect diving day.
We were then lucky enough to see 2 Southern Right Whales swimming past us at the Restaurant and then just before we left another 4 whales (2 more sets of 2) came by. All of these were between 100-500 metres from the shore line.
At the beginning of the Whale Season you only see a few Whales here and there but it is not until you see a few more in the same day that you can say the ‘Whales have arrived’ !! We are especially fortunate at Simon’s Town Guest House as our Guest Rooms have panoramic views over False Bay and when the Whales come to visit us in Glencairn Beach or are swimming from Simon’s Town across to Fish Hoek, the Guests have the pleasure of watching them from their rooms.
This video link is a video I took whilst my Mum was visiting from Australia. We were walking along the rocks in front of our Guest House, nearby the train line when we had the pleasure of witnessing this majestic Whale breach 6 times in a row. It was definitely a moment my Mum and I will never forget, as you can hear by our excitement in the video footage.
Now I know how to upload video’s I will keep you posted with more action in and around Simon’s Town for your enjoyment. Don’t forget to click on the link to watch the Whale breaching :)
Permalink: Southern Right Whale Breaching outside Simon’s Town Guest House
Posted by: Amanda
Date: 18 Jul 2011
We have been so fortunate this year to have had the most wonderful guests at Simon’s Town Guest House and Christmas Day was no exception.
We decided to treat our guests to a few added extra’s on Chrismas morning along with the usual satisfying breakfast. I got up early to wrap some tinsel decorations around the house and put a unique Christmas tree in the Dining Room (unique as in it is a dead tree branch that blew into our backyard one day that I thought would look awesome as a table decoration).
Our Guests were treated to some very tasty chocolate brownies, shortbread and smoked salmon, mushroom, cheese and chive omelettes (or any other fillings they fancied). For a bit of extra fun we placed colourful Christmas Crackers (Bon-Bons) at their tables and they were given a locally made beaded Christmas Tree decoration as a small gift from us… either an Angel or a Reindeer. Oh… and we can’t forget the Christmas Carols and my Santa hat as an added bonus :)
We had guests from the U.S.A, France and our first ever guests from Finland who all really enjoyed the special attention they received and of course… wearing their Bon Bon party hats! I might have had to encourage them a little :)
Now Christmas 2011 is still 51 weeks away but I am already starting to plan for a special one.
This Sunday the 31st of October, 2010 will be the annual Noordhoek Country Fair. We went last year for the first time and were pleasantly surprised with the organisation and efforts that had gone into making it such a fun event. There were tonnes of stalls presenting local artists talents, live music, animal rides, food stalls and lots more. We spent almost half a day there as the weather was superb and there was just so much to see and do.
A friend of mine is a member of the ‘Toad Nuts’ (Noordhoek’s unpaid Toad Savers) and mentioned they will be having a stand there to make more people aware of the endangered ‘Western Leopard Toad’ and how we can help protect it.
We will definitely be going again this year to support the good work the local people of Noordhoek are doing to raise awareness for local environment and conservation issues.
I will update you with some pics after the event.
Cost: R20 Adults, R5 Child
Opening Times: 9.00am to 5.00pm
Venue: Noordhoek Common
For more information you can contact 021 789 2072
Seems we have a butternut thief in the neighbourhood. His Modus Operandi is to enter your house through an open window or door and take whatever food is in sight….
This naughty Baboon, stole the butternut from a neighbours kitchen and then sat on our back fence attempting to eat it. To his disgust, our dogs wouldn’t leave him alone so he ventured onto the roof of the neighbours house where he could enjoy his butternut in peace.
You will be happy to know that our rescue boys (dogs), Lucky and Rusty have settled nicely into our beautiful new home, Simonstown Guesthouse. Even they enjoy the views from the deck and love to sunbake on the hot tiles.
Not only are there the Southern Right Whales to watch but there also dophins, big schools of fish, flocks of birds, kite surfing on a windy day at Glencairn Beach, or just regular surfing or swimming. They also love to watch other dogs being walked on the beach or children playing in the sand. Lucky in particular is mesmorised by any activity at the beach or on False bay.
We went for our usual walk last night along the coastal train track beside the Glencairn Railway Station, heading towards Simonstown. The sun had disappered behind the mountains so we were left with a beautiful pink sky over False Bay. Not a sole was around and I felt like I was in my own piece of heaven as we heading towards the glowing lights of Simonstown and a full moon rising.
We walked peacefully along the shores in silence, breathing in the fresh air until I was suddenly jolted back into reality by a Southern Right Whale breaching right beside us only one hundred metres or less from the shore. It scared the life out of me as I hadn’t seen the whales swimming. Our silence turned into excitement and me repeatedly saying ‘WOW’. It breached one last time but I was not fast fast enough to capture it on my cell phone.
Instead, I decided to take a couple of pictures of my doggies enjoying their evening walk in one of the most beautiful places of the world – Cairnside, Simonstown.
What an eventful morning!
Whilst enjoying the usual sightings of the Southern Right Whales cruising in the ocean below at Glencairn Beach I was suddenly jolted into reality.
Rusty and Lucky (our rescue dogs) were excitedly barking at something on Bennett Close, the road we live in. As I peered over our balcony I saw a whole troop of Baboons raiding the rubbish bins. There were baboons of all ages eating mostly fruit scraps from the bin and leaving a path of destruction behind them.
I quickly closed all of our windows and doors so they couldn’t get into our house as I have been told they come and help themselves to your fridge and cupboards - clever animals!
Our neighbours had part of the troop sitting on their balcony eating apples whilst they watched from inside and tried to make noises to scare them off. More of the family walked casually up our side wall and sat on our back wall for a while looking for something else to eat. They plucked some yellow flowers from a nearby bush and carried these away with them, looking very sweet and innocent. As destructive as Baboons can be in neighbourhoods how could you not think that a Baboon carrying flowers wasn’t adorable :)
I will share the video footage with you that I took but I just need to resize it first.
Meanwhile I will go back to watching the 5 whales at Glencairn Beach and many more breaching in the middle of False Bay in the distance.
I have been busting at the seams eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Southern Right Whales again in False Bay, Simonstown.
I am super excited to let you know that ‘they’re back’!!!!!
I woke up this morning, opened my curtains and there were 2 Southern Right Whales frolicking in Glencairn Beach… In fact it is almost 3 hours later and they are still within 100 metres of the same location I saw them this morning. Our Simonstown Guesthouse visitors will have the luxury of watching them from the comfort of their room… no doubt they will never want to leave :)
The Southern Right Whale usually migrates to South Africa’s waters between August and November but they seem to be coming earlier and staying later every year. Last year I sighted a pair in front of our house on the 26th of December, 2009.
I secretly like to believe it’s because the whales love Cape Town just as much as we do and they don’t want to leave.. Who would want to leave when Summer is just around the corner??
Anyway friends I am about to go hiking in the neighbouring mountains with my doggies.
It seems that patience is a virtue after all… I was sitting on the balcony at our Simonstown Guesthouse when i noticed 6 whales (3 sets of 2) in False Bay near Glencairn Beach just below us. One of the whales started getting quite frisky and was quite keen to show off its gorgeous white underbelly. This picture was taken from our balcony! I’m afraid this is as close to the winning shot as you will get unless of course you are on a boat!
I promise I have tried to get that winning shot BUT, my excuse is that I have been on holidays visiting my family and friends in Australia for a few weeks.
Prior to me leaving I had seen whales in False Bay every day from Simonstown Guesthouse or from the nearby Glencairn Beach or Railway Station. Some are miles and miles away and some are so close it blows you away.
I had another close encounter just before I went on holidays at the end of September. I thought this was definitely going to be ‘the winning shot’ so off I raced across the railway line again with my camera gear tucked under my arm.
I would estimate the whale was only 30 metres from the edge of the rocks at one point. I sat in awe watching this magnificent creature for a good 15 minutes before I realised I had company, another photographer! He also saw this sighting as the perfect opportunity to capture the beauty of the Southern Right Whale. It is quite rare to ever see the true size of the whale as most of its body is submerged under the water and you usually only see bits and pieces that emerge from time to time.
Right at that moment the whale decided to show us its true size and it was like watching a submarine emerge from the depths of the water. It’s hard to guess how long it was but all I can say is, “it was HUGE”. It was one of those breathtaking moments that left you speechless. The other photographer and I instinctively looked at each other with eyes wide open and a smile from ear to ear. It was obvious we both felt like we had witnessed something truly remarkable as we both shook our heads in disbelief and said, “WOW” at the same time. No photo could ever do this experience justice so you will just have to come and see for yourself some day :)
Posted by Amanda on 24 Aug 2009 | No Comments
I get so excited every year when the Southern Right Whales come into False Bay! You can never get enough of these majestic creatures but to get that ‘winning’ photo is another story. Whale watching is as easy as spotting one of the Big 5 in one of the African Game Parks…. look for the traffic congestion on the side of the road and there you will find the whale.. it’s the lazy way but it works!
I saw the whales from our guesthouse this morning and quickly packed my camera, my very big lense and tripod and ventured down to the rocks alongside Glencairn Railway Station. I must have looked a little crazy with all my camera equipment, climbing over the railway and climbing up rocks to get the best vantage point!
The whales just didn’t want to play today. A mother and her calf just cruised along at a steady pace only 30 metres or so from the waters edge! I begged the whales to breach (jump) or wave with its tail but no such luck.
I wanted to display my proud ‘winning shot’ on the website for you all to see and admire BUT unfortunately we will have to leave that for another day. I promise to get that world class shot for you in the not too distant future! The challenge is on!
Here is the not so winning photo i took today:
Permalink: The Southern Right Whales have arrived in False Bay
Posted by: Amanda
Date: 24 Aug 2009
Categories: Simonstown, whales
Whale season is July - October
20 Bennett Close, Cairnside, Simons Town, 7975
Tel: 021 786 5552
Did you know? Simons Town Accommodation is often misspelt. Here are some variations:
Simons Town Accommodation, Simonstown Accommodation, Simon Accommodation, SimonsTown Accommodation, Simon'sTown Accommodation, Simon's Town Accommodation.