Like everything else in life – Whale Watching requires patience!
Eleven of us set out from Cape Town mid-morning on Friday 11th September in unsuitable weather conditions. There was an icy wind blowing, but this did not deter the passengers on the coach bound for De Kelders, which is situated in Walker Bay, a short distance from Hermanus.
Once over Sir Lowry’s Pass, a favorite stop is Peregrine Farm Stall and very soon everyone had purchased hot coffee and something to eat. Delicious pies and muffins seemed to be the-order-of-the-day.
We arrived in Hermanus and the bad weather had really set in. There were whales in the bay but only the ‘die-hards’ stood and watched them for a very short while and then sort solace from the wind in the nearest coffee shop for mugs of hot soup!
We arrived in De Kelders earlier than planned and we set about introducing everyone to their habitat for the next two nights. The two houses we had hired were both excellent for whale watching, as they were situated in prime positions overlooking Walker Bay.
Once we had settled in, Brian called the whale boat operator in Gansbaai to find out how things looked for our excursion tomorrow (Saturday). The response wasn’t good as the organiser told us that she was currently calling all booked passengers to inform them that the weather report was not good – high winds and sea swell, and it was too dangerous to take boats out to sea. Not wanting to give up Brian asked about doing the trip on Sunday, but apparently the weather was going to be worse than Saturday.
Here is the first lesson – patience is needed!!
Friday night at 5.30 pm found the 10 of us headed down to the home of Pam and Fritz to watch the most amazing sun set, and a few whales in the alcove in front of the house. Everyone was still hoping that the great sunset augured well for calm weather the next day to allow them to go boat based whale watching.
Dinner at Rosemary’s restaurant in Gansbaai was very good and an excellent time to get-to-know the new people on tour.
First thing on Saturday morning a call was made to the whale boat operator, again. Here follows the second lesson – more patience is needed! We were told that Saturday and Sunday were definitely not possible as far as boat based whale watching goes, but Monday was a possibility.
Oh well, at least we had plan B: Not deterred we all boarded the coach and headed into Yum in Stanford for a delicious breakfast. The favorite seemed to be the croissant waffle, served with honey, mascarpone cheese, fresh strawberries and bacon.
A brief walk around their very small market and we headed to Franskraal. A visit to the Strandveld museum was on the cards and we, once again, got to meet the owner – Oom Jan who has the most fascinating collection of artifacts and shipwreck items of yesteryear.
We then drove through to the “White House” which is the staging point for the boat based whale watching (and shark cage diving) departures. As Brian entered the White House he received a call to say the weather was improving and Monday would be a good day for the trip. Regrettably we travell home on Sunday. Here many wished that we could have stayed until Monday but work and flights for some prevented this! Another lesson in patience.
A lunch stop was made in Gansbaai at a pub with the locals – and here we were taught never to judge a book-by-its-cover! What delicious food was served to us and it certainly filled a gap.
Back to our guest house and a bit of relaxing – with all the rooms facing the sea one can lie on your bed and look for the whales – Delightful.
The sunset was a fizzle tonight but the superb dinner at the Blue Goose with Fritz and others entertaining us with their favorite jokes – amazing how some people have this special talent.
Sunday morning and, once again, we were on-the-road heading to the new Stanford Harvest restaurant just outside of Stanford. Here artist Viv McOnie, who only recently moved from Benoni, has opened the most amazing restaurant. Her art is displayed in the quaint shop within the restaurant. We were treated to a buffet breakfast of note!! The price was out of this world too.
A glass of orange juice (with some added bubbly) / Muesli, yoghurt and fresh fruit salad /Scrambled eggs with bacon, mushrooms, fried tomatoes / Spinach and Camembert frittata / Spicy chicken livers / Delicious pancakes served with cinnamon, honey and preserves
What a decadent way to start the day! After this a short stop at Sievers Punt outside Hermanus where everyone was able to spot a good few whales. (Thanks for the heads up Ivan). At least Lorraine could go back to Durban happy with (hopefully) a few photos to prove she had seen whales.
On the road out of Hermanus we ventured up Rotary way to show our guests magnificent views of the sea and of Hermanus. We made a short coffee stop in Pringle Bay, prior to heading to our stop at Cape Town airport, where a vehicle was waiting to take the Southern Suburbs people home.
Patience is not the ability to wait, BUT the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
Thank you, one-and-all, for sharing a great, fun filled, long weekend with Traveltime – hopefully we can, one day return to the area and do the boat based whale watching in good weather! Perhaps you were able to glean some of the joy of being close to these magnificent creatures from watching the video presentation of our 2014 tour, on our trip home.