Big Bay

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BLOUBERGSTRAND has two main beach areas – Big Bay and Small Bay – as well as little Bokkombaai, tucked between two rocky sections of shoreline. Big Bay is the northernmost beach, and as its name implies, it is a large,sweeping bay, ringed by dazzling white sand. The shallows offer safe swimming conditions, with volunteer lifesavers from the local club on duty during peak periods, while the waves and wind are a drawcard for watersport enthusiasts,
including bodyboarders, kitesurfers and jetskiers.Surfers often prefer two spots just north of the bay, called Kamer van 17, after a rocky outcrop at the bay’s entrance, and Horse Trails, close to the racehorse trainer Terence Millard’s former estate. The seemingly endless stretch of sandy beach here is perfect for long walks with the dogs, and at spring low tide people can often be seen doing the ‘white mussel shuffle’ in the shallows, using their feet to feel for the buried bivalves. As with all marine resource use, a permit for shellfish collecting is required from Marine & Coastal Management, and bag limits and minimum size limits apply. Bloubergstrand is famous for its views of Table Mountain, and Robben Island lies directly offshore. Big Bay is normally the end-point for intrepid openwater swimmers who tackle the approximately 7 km swim from the island through bitterly cold, shark-infested waters. The record time for this test of endurance is about 1? hours.Big Bay used to be backed by expansive lawns, dotted with braai sites, but these have recently disappeared beneath new developments offering a mix of residential, retail and commercial property.
Small Bay is right next to Big Bay, separated from it by a sandy spit that is partly submerged at high tide. This beach is particularly safe for children, because a row of large rocks across the mouth of the bay acts as a natural breakwater, reducing the power of the waves. There are a number of parking areas accessed from the maze of streets behind the bay, and a range of restaurants close by, including One Huisie (‘our little house’) in a hitewashed, thatched building that was once a fishermen’s cottage. Built in 1816, it has operated as a restaurant specialising in traditional Cape cuisine since the 1970s.
Beyond Small Bay there is a rocky section of coast known as Kreefgat (‘crayfish hole’), but nowadays its inhabitants are off-limits because the area falls within a rock lobster reserve. A wide pathway following the shoreline is very popular with runners, who can pound the pavement all the way from Small Bay to Dolphin Beach and back.


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