Celebrating a Circumnavigation pt. 1

St. Helena Bay

We were hard put to come up with a good way to celebrate our circumnavigation. We wanted it to be memorable, of course, and fun and also within the budget. Most of our cruising friends have already departed South Africa, so a big party didn't make sense. It's a big event for us, long in the realization. Since it's been just we two for all these years, we thought maybe a romantic getaway for two might be an appropriate celebration though neither Jelly nor Nine of Cups would be with us. For most people, getting ON a boat is a vacation. For us, spending time on land is a welcome break once in awhile. So, off we headed, up South Africa's west coast to St. Helena Bay, not so far away.

st helena bay

We got a late start and followed the R27 coast road north out of town. By chance, we stopped in the little Cape Town suburb of Bloubergstrand for lunch at On the Rocks. Situated right on the beach, this restaurant had great curb appeal, as well as a good menu posted at its entry.

on the rocks curb appeal

We  didn't realize that it would also provide superb views of Table Mountain from a totally different perspective. We sat on the patio lingering over lunch, appreciating the day, the view and each other. A good start to a romantic getaway.

view of table mountain south africa

We hugged the coast for awhile then headed across the peninsula across dry, parched land to St. Helena Bay. The little town of St. Helena isn't much … a couple of restaurants, a Spur mini-supermarket, a couple of shops and a very large fish processing plant that emanated such a malodorous stench as we drove by, it could make your eyes water. The Oystercatcher Lodge, a quiet, 4-star B&B, nestled in the beach dunes at Shelly Point in St Helena Bay was our choice for the romantic getaway and we prayed it was a safe distance from the fish factory. It was. Whew! The lodge was accessed through a securely gated, rather ostentatious entrance arch.

oyster catcher lodge st helena bay south africa

A giant-sized Vasco da Gama greeted on the way in.

vasco de gama st helena bay south africa

Our room was lovely with an Atlantic view and a two minute walk to a shell-covered beach. We walked the beach hand-in-hand, then sat on a well-placed bench, all snuggled up against the ocean breeze, watching a superb sunset that lingered, causing the sand and beach scrub to turn shades of pink and orange. Cormorants, gulls and terns worked hard for their dinners.

sunset st helena bay south africa

We took selfies on the beach.

selfie st helena bay south africa

We ventured back to St. Helena Bay to the Alegria Restaurant for dinner, thankfully upwind from the fish factory. The Alegria was a friendly, pleasant place on the ocean with a good menu and an attentive wait staff. It wasn't busy and we enjoyed our dinner at a private table on the outside patio.

David had chilled champagne for our return. We sat and listened to the surf, sipping champers and sharing a chocolate bar under a near full moon. It's only one overnight away before we need to return to Cape Town, but this night, we were celebrating us in style.