Monday, March 31, 2008

The Ice Tower

This 4 storey tall structure on the edge of the harbour is an ice making plant, which

provides ice for the chokka fishing boats. When the chokka is caught at sea, it is processed and packaged right there, and the packages stored in refrigerated holds until they return to Port.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Historic Monument

The lighthouse at Seal Point was built in 1878, and has been declared a National Monument. The brass plaque you see on the gatepost is placed on all buildings with this status.
The honour brings with it responsibilities for those who own or administer a national monument, to maintain and preserve it in its original condition. No alterations may be made without specific permission from the Heritage Board, who will make very sure that any changes do not intefere with the historic nature of the place. (Sadly in many places, like Port Elizabeth, this is being ignored, and wonderful heritage sites are being lost as businesses have no problem paying a paltry fine for demolishing a building on a site that will bring a fat profit from a new development.)
But the good news is that there are many others, like this one, which are lovingly cared for and open to the public, so that an interest in the heritage of our nation can be passed on from generation to generation.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Port on a quiet day

It was quiet on Easter morning at Port St Francis with many boats in the harbour for the long weekend. Looking out over St Francis Bay the Cockscomb Mountain is visible in the distance - it dominates the skyline for many miles from all directions.

Friday, March 28, 2008


The National Sea Rescue Institute is active all along our coastline, and consists mainly of volunteers, who train hard and give up a lot of their free time to rescue people in distress on the sea. They do an amazing job, because they not only have to keep up professional standards as far as sea rescue skills and equipment goes, but have to use a lot of time and energy in raising funds to keep the whole thing going. This is the NSRI station at the Port, and from here the rescue boats are launched to go and help those in difficulties. Hats off to all of you!!!!

Looking through the windows of the boathouse, you can see the rescue craft Spirit of St Francis ready for action, and if you really look carefully, also a reflection of yours truly with camera!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Reflections again

The full moon was on its way down as the sun was rising across the bay, on Easter monday. There was not a breath of wind, and the rim flow swimming pool at the Port Hotel was like glass , which gave a great opportunity for this shot.......

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Shark Point again

Over Easter we took our 3 year old grandson to St Francis for a night. The little guy was fascinated by all the boats so we chartered a power boat to go down to Shark point.

The top picture shows the warning beacon on the point, erected there after it had claimed a few wrecks, including this one of the yacht Genesis.

And at the end of the point, in the distance you can see the Seal Point Lighthouse peeping over the rocks . Unfortunately the sea was pretty rough so it was not safe to venture round the point into the bay at Cape St Francis.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Lighthouse tours and Gift shop

Yesterday we showed you the coffee shop near the lighthouse, where the proceeds go towards Penguin Rehab. Other ways that the enterprising group of people who help preserve our marine life raise funds are through tours of the lighthouse...........

here you see Andelo waiting to sign up the next group... note the two metre thick walls behind him.

....and the gift shop, which has a wide range of penguin and lighthouse related goods on sale. One of the helpers is Marie, who was a good sport about having her photo taken for the blog!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter at Ajubatus

This morning we had breakfast at the Lighthouse. The little restaurant there has been set up to raise funds for the penguin rescue centre next door. Our grandson is enjoying reading the little booklet of laminated photos attached to the salt and pepper holder, with pictures of various seabirds that have been rescued here recently. Next to it is a tin for donations of coins, also to be used for penguin rescue. In the background behind the waitress, the sign on the blackboard reads Happy Easter from all at Ajubatus, and shows a penguin popping out of an egg.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Friendly Mongoose

Not quite St Francis.... on our way here today we stopped off in nearby Jeffreys Bay, and went to the world famous Supertubes Beach (home of the perfect wave as far as surfers are concerned!)
In the carpark we came across these two friendly mongooses..... mongi..... mongeese... we saw a mongoose, and then we saw another mongoose! They were surprisingly friendly and willing to pose, usually they are shy creatures and you get brief glimpses of them streaking into the bush.
Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On a quiet day at the Port St Francis marina even the sea gulls chill out and take in the view

Friday, March 21, 2008

Primary Colours

A cheerful picture to wish you all a very Happy Easter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Inside the Port Hole

A while ago we featured the exterior of the Port Hole with its unusual design, and promised to show you inside the restaurant sometime. Well here it is, this view is along the side, looking towards the pub, and through the windows you see all along the extreme right, is a great view looking down on the Harbour and beyond that, the bay. On a clear day you can see beyond Jeffreys Bay.

Inside the restaurant the decor reflects the fact that this is a busy fishing port, and that thay specialise in seafood. The windows on this side overlook Otters Landing and Shark Point, looking south to the open sea.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How's this for wall art?!

This was another possible contender for this month's theme day.... This is the side wall of the Adjubatus marine rehabilitation centre where we showed you the King Penguin recently. Clever way to draw attention away from a really ugly building, and educate visitors at the same time!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Village

For many years St Francis was a holiday resort, with only a handful of permanent residents. If they needed anything, the closest shops were in Humansdorp, 25 km away. Slowly little businesses started to open to meet their needs, a cafe, a hardware, and in the last decade it has suddenly grown into a self sustaining community with many permanent residents, earning a living with businesses which serve the rest of the community.
This is the main shopping centre in the village. It used to stand alone next to the golf course, but is now surrounded by more and more development and everywhere you look, you seem to see more complexes going up. There is now a wide choice of places to eat out, as well as shops catering for most needs, even some galleries and interior design places.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another view of the Canals

The other day we told you about the canals. Here is another view. They look so serene in these pix, taken out of season, but at Christmas they are abuzz with boats, canoes, etc and people on the decks of the houses. Although they are very popular and upmarket, I personally find it a bit of a goldfishbowl place, with very little privacy as houses look across the narrow waterways at each other, and boaters gaze in as they go past.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


A water rounded pebble makes a nest in the sand at Cape St Francis.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"the bay" and Santareme

In this shot, you can clearly see the boundary between the thatched houses of St Francis Bay (also known as 'the village') and Santareme, which was developed later, and again given a uniform look, in this case red roofed pseudo Spanish houses with sand coloured walls.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Canals

50 years ago, Leighton and Ann Hulett flew from their home in Natal to Port Elizabeth in Leighton’s old Tiger Moth and travelled to Cape St Francis in an old ex-army jeep. They fell in love with the area with its magnificent stretch of beach, the sheltered bay with its blue waters, rolling dunes and verdant growth. So they bought it. It was the Leightons whose vision to create a village resulted in the uniform style of thatch houses which make the place so picturesque and distinctive. He also had the vision to establish a system of canals between the beach and the mouth of the Kromme river. These are now bordered by luxurious thatched homes, and are considered prime property.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tranquil morning

A tranquil moring at Port St Francis, viewed from the walkway in front of the Port Hotel.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

YAY Poachers Arrested

On our last two visits to the Port, we have been up before sunrise to take photos, and on both occasions saw a bunch of divers leave the harbour in two high powered rubber ducks. On the first occasion, I wasn't sure what it was all about, but because they were behaving suspiciously, I took some photos of them. Sure enough, in the newspaper the following day, there was a report about how the Perlemoen (Abalone) poachers had moved to St Francis and were brazenly plunder our coast of these endangered shellfish.
In Asia they are considered to be aphrodisiacs, and some twisted apologies for human beings feel nothing about bringing a species to extinction for a few moments of personal pleasure, so they pay ludicrous prices for the illegal shellfish. This means that there is enough money in poaching them to make it seem worthwhile to risk being imprisoned.
Again on our last visit we saw them, and this time were sure what we were seeing, so we took photos os they left the port, and also of their cars and trailers in the car park.
I am delighted to say that some of them were arrested yesterday, and the two rubber ducks, trailers and diving gear siezed. We are meeting the Marine Task Force tomorrow to give them copies of our photos. I really hope they throw the book at these selfish and greedy characters and send a message to others that the quick bucks they are making are not worth it!
You can read more on our personal blogs here and here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

private beach

At the Port, the coastline is rocky, and the Port complex has huge rocks and dolosse as a breakwater. At the junction of these two is a small private beach, for use by those within the Port area. It is a nice place to chill on a hot day.

Monday, March 10, 2008

sunrise and fishing boat

Since we featured this morning's sunrise in PE today, we thought we might as well start the week off with a sunrise in St Francis too, taken the Saturday before last, from Otters landing.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Shark Point

When you stroll along the path from the Port, past Otters Landing you will get to Shark Point, which is one of the two promontories off Cape St Francis. The other is Seal Point where the lighthouse is situated. The area around Shark Point has been preserved as a nature reserve, which means that no development can take place there.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Early morning stroll

Footprints left by the couple who can be seen in the distance, out on an early morning stroll on the Cape St Francis beach. When you get there early enough you can have the whole beach to yourself, well almost - you may have to share it with some sea gulls or oyster catchers.

Friday, March 7, 2008

This is greek to us.............

Sometimes the sign writers can be very creative. This one was spotted on the way to the canals at St Francis Bay.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


The morning sun on the pathway leading from Otters Landing to the Port St Francis complex. This path runs all the way to Shark Point and if you carry on around the pennisular you eventually get to Seal Point at Cape St Francis.
The shrub in the foreground gives off an aromatic in rainy weather and features in the foreground of the earlier sunrise post.

Close up of the flowers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Resident penguin

The resident penguin at Port St Francis is anything but cooperative when it comes to being photographed. It was extremely busy on Sunday afternoon, chasing fish and zipping though the water like a high speed submarine. These photos are the result of following this bird around for about an hour.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sunrise at Otters Landing

Yesterday we mentioned Otters Landing , between the Port and Shark Point. There is a path that runs through the indigenous bush along the coast, below the houses and above the rocks. It is a wonderful place to be at sunrise, it gives you a grandstand view as the sun comes up over the sea. We were there this weekend, and woke up in time to go for a walk just before the sun popped up. The first thing we saw was a couple of dolphins cruising past, what a brilliant way to start our weekend! Sadly it was still too dark for a fast enough shutter speed. But as usual, there is no shortage of sunrise photos!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Otters Landing

To the south of the Port, towards Shark Point, is a series of houses perched on the rocks overlooking the bay, with panoramic views of the village and the coast back towards Jeffreys bay. It is called Otters Landing, and all the homes are in a similar style. It is a great place to hike along the rocks to the point, or to fish, or watch the waves, and it is quite common to see Cape Clawless Otters around there at night, and dolphins and whales cruising past during the day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Seal Point

Seal Point, Cape St Francis seen from the lookout point, with the lighthouse in the background. The area is characterised by a wide sweaping beach in the bay and a rocky shoreline on the "wild side". The area off the point is a popular surfing spot, but it is not without its hazards, as many an unwary surfer has found out, when connecting with the rock aptly known as "full stop".

Saturday, March 1, 2008

March 2008 Theme Day: Graffiti or street mural

Bruces is a surf shop in the Village, named after a well known surf spot nearby. This used to be their wall, but although they have moved to another shop the mural remains. It was done by Reuel, (pronounced similar to full) who we first met when he was just starting out as a young guy in Jeffreys Bay, airbrushing designs onto surfboards. He has now become a very successful airbrush artist, often doing huge canvasses of nudes in monotones, and also African wildlife.

The mural really is a reflection of the culture here in St Francis, which, being essentially a seaside holiday resort, is all about sea surf and sun.
Many other cities around the world are participating in this theme day, here are links so you can pop in and visit them too.
Adelaide, Australia by Gordon, Albuquerque (NM), USA by Helen, Aliso Viejo (CA), USA by Rodney, American Fork (UT), USA by Annie, Anderson (SC), USA by Lessie, Arradon, France by Alice, Ashton under Lyne, UK by Pennine, Athens, Greece by Debbie, Auckland, New Zealand by Lachezar, Austin (TX), USA by LB, Bandung, Indonesia by Guntur Purwanto, Baziège, France by PaB, Belgrade, Serbia by BgdPic, Bellefonte (PA), USA by Barb-n-PA, Bicheno, Australia by Greg, Boston (MA), USA by Fenix, Boston (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Boston (MA), USA by Sarah, Whit, & Leyre, Brighton, UK by Harvey, Bucaramanga, Colombia by Fernando, Budapest, Hungary by Zannnie and Zsolt, Budapest, Hungary by Isadora, Buenos Aires, Argentina by Karine, Canterbury, UK by Rose, Cape Town, South Africa by Kerry-Anne, Chandler (AZ), USA by Melindaduff, Chateaubriant, France by Bergson, Cheltenham, UK by Marley, Chicago (IL), USA by U R us, Chicago (IL), USA by b.c., Christchurch, New Zealand by Michelle, Clearwater (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Clearwater Beach (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Cleveland (OH), USA by iBlowfish, Cologne, Germany by April11, Coral Gables (FL), USA by Jnstropic, Detroit (MI), USA by Taittems, Dunedin (FL), USA by Smaridge01, Durban, South Africa by CrazyCow, Evry, France by Olivier, Forks (WA), USA by Corinne, Glasgow, Scotland by Jackie, Greenville (SC), USA by Denton, Grenoble, France by Bleeding Orange, Guelph, Canada by Pat, Helsinki, Finland by Kaa, Hobart, Australia by Greg, Hyde, UK by Gerald, Inverness (IL), USA by Neva, Jackson (MS), USA by Halcyon, Jefferson City (MO), USA by Chinamom2005, Joplin (MO), USA by Victoria, Juneau (AK), USA by Gwyn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Edwin, Kyoto, Japan by Tadamine, Larchmont (NY), USA by Marie-Noyale, Le Guilvinec, France by ds2944, Lisbon, Portugal by Sailor Girl, Lisbon, Portugal by Jsaltao, Lodz, Poland by ritalounge, London, UK by Ham, London, UK by Mo, Mainz, Germany by JB, Maple Ridge, Canada by Susan, Mazatlan, Mexico by Kate, Melbourne, Australia by Mblamo, Melbourne, Australia by John, Memphis (TN), USA by SouthernHeart, Menton, France by Jilly, Mexico, Mexico by Poly, Mexico City, Mexico by Carraol, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Mitch, Minneapolis (MN), USA by Greg, Monte Carlo, Monaco by Jilly, Montréal, Canada by Douber, Moscow, Russia by Irina, Mumbai, India by Kunalbhatia, Mumbai, India by MumbaiIteanu, Naples (FL), USA by Isabella, Nashville (TN), USA by Chris, Nelson, New Zealand by Meg and Ben, New Orleans (LA), USA by steve buser, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK by Cassie & Chris, Niamey, Niger by Dinabee, Norwich, UK by Goddess888, Nottingham, UK by Gail's Man, Ocean Township (NJ), USA by Josy, Paris, France by Eric, Pasadena (CA), USA by Can8ianben, Pasadena (CA), USA by Petrea, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia by Murphy_jay, Pilisvörösvár, Hungary by Elise, Port Angeles (WA), USA by Jelvistar, Port Elizabeth, South Africa by Sam, Port Vila, Vanuatu by Mblamo, Prague, Czech Republic by Honza03, Quincy (MA), USA by Cluelessinboston, Radonvilliers, France by Deslilas, Riga, Latvia by Prokur, Rome, Italy by Giovanni, Rotterdam, Netherlands by Ineke, Saarbrücken, Germany by LadyDemeter, Saint Louis (MO), USA by Strangetastes, Saint Paul (MN), USA by Kate, Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation by Lark, San Antonio (TX), USA by Kramer, San Diego (CA), USA by Felicia, San Diego (CA), USA by Zentmrs, Santa Fe (NM), USA by Randem, Seattle (WA), USA by Kim, Seattle (WA), USA by Chuck, Seguin (TX), USA by Thien, Selma (AL), USA by RamblingRound, Sesimbra, Portugal by Aldeia, Setúbal, Portugal by Maria Elisa, Sharon (CT), USA by Jenny, Silver Spring (MD), USA by John, Singapore, Singapore by Keropok, Sofia, Bulgaria by Antonia, St Francis, South Africa by Sam, Stavanger, Norway by Tanty, Stayton (OR), USA by Celine, Stockholm, Sweden by Stromsjo, Subang Jaya, Malaysia by JC, Sydney, Australia by Sally, Székesfehérvár, Hungary by Teomo, Terre Haute (IN), USA by Zann, Terrell (TX), USA by Bstexas, Terrell (TX), USA by Jim K, The Hague, Netherlands by Lezard, Tokyo, Japan by Tadamine, Torun, Poland by Torun Observer, Toulouse, France by Julia, Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Jazzy, Twin Cities (MN), USA by Slinger, Vienna, Austria by G_mirage2, Wailea (HI), USA by Kuanyin, Wassenaar, Netherlands by Rich, Wellington, New Zealand by Jeremyb, West Paris (ME), USA by crittoria, West Sacramento (CA), USA by Barbara, Weston (FL), USA by WestonDailyPhoto, Wrocław, Poland by Loompi, Yardley (PA), USA by Mrlynn,