Tag Archives: clifton

Clifton sunset surfer

Clifton sunset surfer
I'm quite out of my depth, but I can only guess that that's a longboard. Would I be right?

Anyway, the haze that you see there is from the cold ocean air moving in over the land. The water temperature at the time was only 12°C - which I'm guessing is why that wetsuitless mad surfer person decided to come in to shore.

In case you're wondering, I know it was 12°C because my friend and I (he with his thermometer-watch) hit the waves for all of 4 minutes. It was very unpleasant. Cold-sandy water, with plenty of seaweed constantly wrapping around our legs.

Everybody says Clifton's a great place to enjoy the view, play in the sand, and relax on the beach - but for swimming, she was certainly not made. Now, this is mostly the case, but I have to say that if you catch the tides just right, Clifton's water can actually be reasonably warm... even approaching a swimmable 19°C! ;)

2014’s Moonstruck at Clifton 4th Beach

Moonstruck at Clifton 4th Beach
Each year around Valentine's Day one of our local radio stations, CapeTalk, hosts a huge beach party on Clifton 4th Beach, in aid of our much-loved National Sea Rescue Institute.

A stage gets erected, a band is appointed, and people flock to the beach with picnic baskets, bikinis, boardshorts and boomerangs (only kidding, Cape Town isn't in Australia). This year CapeTalk, and Discovery (this year's sponsor), invited The Solid Gold Session band to let their mix of 60s, 70s, and 80s hits spill out over the families and friends gathered on the beach.

I couldn't make it before 9pm, and really only arrived once the official party had stopped - but, just in time to see the full moon start to peak over Lion's Head. See the photos below. Isn't it pretty? Don't you wish you'd been there? :)

Clifton by candlelight

Clifton by candlelight
During our warm summer months people come out to Clifton 4th beach to enjoy the golden sunsets, fine white sand, and windless conditions. Soon after dark the beach comes alight with the orange-yellow glow of candles, creating this, the perfect close to a hot summer day.

The temperature tends to fall reasonably quickly as the sun sets and the cool ocean air moves in over the beach, and it's the strangest feeling to leave the beach and the refreshing 19°C air and walk up the many steps to the parking areas to be met with the preceding day's oven-hot air.

If you are visiting Cape Town at this time of the year - pack a picnic dinner, add a few candles, grab a sweater, and head on down to Clifton 4th beach at about 18h30. Feel free to thank me later. ;)

Bikinis, beaches, and books

Bikinis, beaches, and books
Clifton 4th, where I took this photo, is one of the most idyllic beaches on our coast. I say "one of the", but that's only to be nice to other beaches. :)

The thing that Kerry-Anne likes most about the beach isn't the sand, or sea water - hell no, she actually doesn't enjoy those much at all. But, hand her a book and an iPad together with a couple of G and Ts, and she can sit on the beach for hours.

We're both working next week, but I'm going to make a plan to leave work a little early (perhaps on Tuesday), pack in a drink or two, our iPads, and head over to one of Clifton's 4 beaches, or perhaps even Camps Bay if the wind isn't blowing. It's gonna be awesome!

A killer speed boat

A killer speed boat
I don't have sea-legs. While this scene looks like an idyllic way to spend a late afternoon, for me bobbing up and down on the water any kind of vessel is a terrible idea. However, I guess this is why some smart folks out there invented little white tablets that counteract motion-sickness. I don't go out on water without taking one of those tablets, ever. :)

Beaches, models, and photographers

Beaches, models, and photographers
Clifton's beach is one of the favoured spots for pro, and amateur, photoshoots. I enjoyed a light picnic while watching my favourite series (on my iPad) and keeping an eye on the tail-end of this evening shoot. Several photographers, models, makeup artists, and other assistants were congregated on this section of 4th beach, racing against the setting sun for a few more awesome twilight shots.

This was a great way to spend the evening. :)

Warm water at Clifton

Warm water at Clifton
Most people don't venture into the waters at Clifton - it's normally far too cold for comfortable bathing. However, for the past week or so, the water has been surprisingly warm... so much so that I actually ventured in without feeling an immediate desire to return to the warm dry beach.

Doggies at the beach

Doggies on the beach
It's a pity for dogs and dog-owners that beaches like the blue-flag ones at Clifton and Llandudno have had restrictions imposed that permit dogs on the beach only between 18h00 and 09h00 in the summer months, and then, only if the dogs are on leashes.

Dogs love to run free on the beaches, chasing balls and crashing though waves, but the reality is that there have been incidents where innocent kids have been attacked and where people who are desperately afraid of dogs have been traumatised. Since law enforcement officers aren't able to tell the difference between a dangerous animal and a friendly puppy, and since people who are afraid of dogs couldn't care if the dogs would never attack them, it makes sense to compromise in the way the City has.

For what it's worth, I took this photo after 18h00, so these friendly four-leggeds were allowed on the beach, but since they weren't on a leash I believe the owners were in fact breaking the law - perhaps unbeknownst to them.

Which is your favourite beach?

Misty morning on Clifton 2nd Beach
Clifton is truly my favourite beach in Cape Town. Truth be told, its fine white sand, large round boulders, lack of kelp, absence of wind, and beautiful scenery make it my favourite of all the beaches I've ever visited.

Leave a comment and share the location of your favourite beach. Include a link to a photo and/or a Google map, as well as a short description of why it's your favourite. If you've been unfortunate enough to never have set foot on a beach - leave a comment also, we'll commiserate your great misfortune! :)

A ship stranded on Clifton beach

A ship stranded on Clifton beach
Yesterday morning Cape Town woke up to dense fog, and a Japanese fishing trawler perched on Clifton beach. The NSRI report tells the story in some detail, so forgive if I don't repeat what they've already said. :)

I visited Clifton 2nd beach at about 4pm yesterday afternoon to see a large tug stationed a couple of hundred meters from the ship with one (or two, I think) cables connecting it to the Japanese trawler. A smaller tug was making regular trips to the large tug, and a small rubber boat was used between the tiny tug and trawler. I'm guessing they were dropping off supplies and equipment.

High tide was due at 21h00 yesterday evening, at which time the large tug was due to give an almighty tug (pun and all, yes) and hopefully free the vessel from the beach before its structure gave way to the relentless battle between ocean currents and fixed land. I'm not yet sure if the rescue team managed to free the ship - I'm sure we'll hear how the operation fared once the sun comes up in the morning. I am holding both thumbs fairly tightly though.

Click here to see our full gallery of photos from Clifton 2nd beach.

Red sky at night, sailor’s delight

Red sky at night, sailor's delight
The ocean that you see here is the one that stretches out before the beaches of Clifton, and the road is Kloof Road. This photo was shot from the same location as yesterday's photo of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay.

We really do have beautiful sunsets in Winter.

Oystercatcher Way

Oystercatcher Way
Oystercatchers are birds that (to me) look much like a cross between a sea gull and a turtle dove. They're generally completely black, or black on top and white underneath - a little like a camouflaged combat aircraft!

This particular path is a long, narrow, winding set of stairs that lead down to Cape Town's trendy Clifton 4th beach... a buzz of a place in summer but on this clear-yet-cool autumn day, practically deserted.

After descending the many steps to the clean white sand, I decided to leave my shoes in a particular spot in order to collect them on my return. Unfortunately, on my return, they had mysteriously grown legs and walked off. I first though that someone had stolen them, but then later realised that since I'd wandered out of sight, it's completely plausible that someone in need of shoes found them and assumed that the owner had abandoned them... the beach was after all pretty deserted!

I needed new shoes anyway. :)

The best beach in Cape Town

Clifton 4th beach

I think by now you probably know that we're quite fond of the beaches along the Atlantic Seaboard (Camps Bay, Clifton, Llandudno). Our favourite of these is definitely Clifton 4th Beach. I don't think I need to say any more really - just take a look at the photo. Doesn't it look idyllic?

After the sun has set

Dusk at Clifton 4th beach

We went down to Clifton 4th Beach this evening with a few friends. I wanted to do something to mark the one-year anniversary of my brother's death, but I wanted it to be happy and special, rather than sad and melancholy. So we took a picnic and spent a couple of hours watching the sky change colour after the sun had set.

The weather was sublime, and I even went for a swim (on my own, since no-one else had brought their costumes) just before it got completely dark. This is an experience I can totally recommend - if you live in Cape Town, you should do this at least once in your life.

It turned out to be a truly beautiful evening, spent with people I love - which is just what I'd wanted.

Girls, lifeguards and blue flags

Girls and lifeguards on Clifton beach

If you've been following this blog it will be no surprise to you which beach is being featured today. Clifton 4th beach, obviously. :)

The guy and girl sitting on the unusually high chairs are lifeguards watching over bathers. We watched for some time as about 10 people practised their lifesaving skills by dragging a "victim" from the ocean; and unlike my brief description here, watching this mock-rescue was actually fairly entertaining.

Clifton 4th is classified as a Blue Flag beach, meaning that it complies with certain quality requirements set forward by the Foundation for Environmental Education.

In this case "quality" doesn't refer to how beautiful the people on the beach are (though if it did, Clifton would retain its status, no doubt). Instead it refers to a number of criteria in the following categories:

  • Bather environmental education and information
  • Water quality
  • Environmental management
  • Safety and services

You can read the full list of measurement criteria on the Blue Flag website.