Table Bay (named after the Table Mountain) is a natural bay on the Atlantic Ocean overlooked by Cape Town. From 1468, South Africa was a refreshment station for ships travelling between Europe and the East for silks and spices. They would break their long journeys and stop for repairs, food and water. How wonderful it must have been for them to sail into Table Bay and feel safe after months at sea, even though Table Bay has terrible storms as well as horrible gales from both the South-East and North-West which drove many ships ashore.
It is lovely to go out in the bay – looking for whales or sharks, visiting Robben Island or just seeing Cape Town from another angle. But the sea can get very very rough, so if you get seasick, take pills or put on bands in good time before you leave dry land. I am lucky I never get seasick, but the sight of other people being sick makes me heave.
Nowadays the harbour – South Africa’s oldest working harbour – has been developed for mixed use – hotels, apartments, shops (almost 500 shops!), craft markets, entertainment etc, while remaining a working harbour. You can see enormous ships in the dry dock being repaired, huge icebreakers getting ready to head for the Antarctic research stations, fishing boats bringing in fresh fish and large container ships being towed in by tugboats as you do your shopping or have a sundowner or two.
The good news for me is that, for the first time in SEVEN years, I will be travelling to South Africa to see my family in July. We will fly into Cape Town and then drive along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and further into the Eastern Cape to my family.
I absolutely cannot wait. I have been counting down from 94 days and there are now about 38 days to go!
I am hoping to blog along the way, in case any of my readers are interested in following my journey!