Thursday, January 7, 2010

A baby for Surf Spray

I am so excited about this, I just had to share it with everyone......
Apparently the two little Iphiti Buck who visit our grounds on a daily basis, have a little 'addition to their family'! Visitors have seen them in the grounds with their minute new offspring.
We see the two of them regularly when we're down there, as they frequent the 'forest water-hole' we created on the edge of the central patch of natural coastal-forest, as do the Dassies and the pair of Frankolins which are now also part of the growing Surf Spray 'wild life' family!.......and I can't wait to see the little one!

Sonja (Beach House)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dit is lekker by die see!

Ons is ook gereelde besoekers by SurfSpray langs die Suidkus van KwaZulu Natal. Dis eintlik ‘n ongewone plek want dis sommer op die strand maar selfs in ‘n pragtige natuurlike ‘oerwoud’ waar die kinders veilig is en heerlik kan baljaar!
My klein seuntijie is mal oor die plek en kerm heeltyd ‘ kom ons gaan see toe’! Hy geniet dit so om in die ‘skip-bed’ (dubble-bunk) te slaap en vroeg-vroeg is hy buite op die stoep om sy vis-stok en sak te pak!
Cottage Barry, waar ons altyd bly, is vir hom die wonderlikste plek in die wereld want ons eet altyd buite op die stoep terwyl hy met sy verkykers na die see sit en kyk om te sien of hy die dolfynne kan dophou en die skepe kan sien verby seil.
Ja, ons was ook al by Pannevis in Port Edward, maar ons verkies eintlik Pearl Fisheries in Ramsgate se ‘Hoofstraat’ - hulle vis is nou regtig uit die boonste rakke! Lekker vars, vars, vars!
Ons was voor-verlede jaar daar gedurende die ‘Sardine Run’, en dit was nou regtig ‘n opwindende ervaring! Dis iets wat ‘n mens nooit vergeet nie.
Viva SurfSpray! Viva Cottage Barry!

Alta van Rensburg.

"Arty" decor

My husband and I are down at SurfSpray right now, and I must tell you it's fabulous! This is our first visit here and we're having a wonderful time.
We enjoy our early morning coffee in bed, with the French doors open, gazing at the sea through the palm trees - it reminds me of Mauritius.
We're in Cottage David and would love to know who the owners are.....a top South African designer and a famous singer....? We appreciate their original artworks and their 'arty' decor.
Anne Radloff

Comment : Take a guess on who they are! (Web master)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Things to do around here!

·       Vintage Steam Train (The Banana Express)

·       Banana Farm Tour ( & Coffee Shop)

·       Coffee Farm Tour & Tasting

·       Crocodile Farm & Snake Park

·       Butterfly Sanctuary

·       Eland Game Farm - game drives

·       Observatory Space Museum

·       Port Edward Light House

·       Oribi Gorge

·       Wild Coast Casino

·       Sunset cruises up the mighty Umtamvuna River

·       Xhosa Craft Village

·       Whale- and Dolphin-Watching

·       Lovely Restaurants (from casual to fine dining)

·       Coffee Shops and Tea Gardens all over the place!

·       Stacks of Art Galleries

·       Potteries

·       Craft Shops

·       Shoe Factory (handmade leather shoes)

·       The smallest Desert in the World

·       Modern Shopping Centres

·       Windsong Kites

·       Fishing - Deepsea and Rock

·       Scuba Diving (2 world renowned sights nearby)

·       Learn to Surf! 
Lessons for Beginners and Advanced.

·       Kayaking and Whitewater Rafting

·       Blackwater Tubing and Wild Sliding

·       Abseiling

·       Bungy Jumping

·       The highest Swing in the World!

·       Archery and Climbing

·       Mountain biking

·       Hiking through grasslands and forests

·       Horseriding-on-the-beach

·       Microlight Flights

·       Bowling Greens

·       Great Golf Courses

·       Go fly a Kite - on the beach!

The Sardine Run

The annual great Sardine Run is a natural phenomenon which usually occurs during the months of June and July, when massive schools of sardines migrate from the colder waters around the Cape to the warmer waters of Kwa-zulu Natal to give birth to their offspring. Once they've layed their eggs, they return to the Cape, closely followed by thousands of dolphins, birds, fish of prey, whales and sharks. The ocean awakes and the thrill is simply indescribable.

Common DolphinsIn the olden days it was said that as soon as the Aloes bloom on the South Coast, the Sardines will start running. Funny enough, nobody gave the Sardine Run much notice. The ocean is buzzing with life, yet only the locals used to get drawn into this unbelievable spectacle of Mother Nature. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands of Common Dolphins along the coast hunting the sardines and there are whales everywhere. Cape Gannets (Toelpel auf deutsch) cruise in flocks of several hundreds above the sardines and dive from 20m into the water to catch as many of the silver fish as they can. At the end of a good day, the Gannets are so full that they just sit on the water unable to take off.

Sardine BaitballFrom underneath the sharks and dolphins round up a large number of sardines and form what is known as a bait ball. Once the bait ball is formed, the sharks and dolphins swim through and through and through that ball until not one sardine is left. As divers, we first approach the situation carefully and watch from the boat what is going on. Then we slide into the water just on ABC and when a bait ball is formed or a large shoal of sardines approaches, we don equipment and watch the incredible scene from a depth of approximately 5-7m. Then it's back on the boat and off to the next group of sardines. This can go on for hours or even the whole day with a short lunch break in between.

When the Sardine Run starts, it starts just north of Port Elizabeth and moves up the coast pretty quickly. Many operators book up all accommodation along the Wild Coast and sell packages to experience the Sardine Run. As nobody can foresee the exact time of the run, the risk lies with the diving public. They have to book their package which is very expensive due to the remoteness of the area. If there are no sardine activities during the booked time, there is no refund. If and when the Sardine Run happens, it will definitely come past Margate and Shelly Beach and usually go as far as Hibberdene with a few pockets reaching Durban. We've decided that we don't want to join the crowd but stay right where we know the area best.

Our customers do not have to take any risk at all. Our prices stay the same all year round and if there are no sardines, we keep on diving Protea Banks as usual. If however, the sardines run, we do exactly the same as everybody else and are in the midst of the activity. Only then do our Sardine Run rates apply and our customers still have the choice on a day to day basis if they want to participate in the Sardine Run or rather dive the Sandtigers on the Caves of Protea North.

Story supplied by : African Dive Adventures

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Missing South Africa - a letter from a Surf Spray fan

We left our beloved Durbs and moved to Briz in Oz just over a year ago, and still feel extremely homesick from time-to-time. Apart from missing family and friends big-time, we also miss our comfortable home with it's acre of heaven-for-kids garden (compared with our postage stamp of lawn here!) and the village atmosphere of Kloof on the outskirts of Durban. We also miss our weekends and holidays at SurfSpray where we were regulars at The Beach House which, as its name suggests, is right on the beach.

Yes, SurfSpray is great and it was such a nice surprise to come across their Blog this morning! We all loved spending time there, and YES, WE'LL BE BACK THERE IN DECEMBER!!! Can't wait!

Our two daughters, Ruby and Talullah (now 7 and 5) are equally excited. Actually, whenever Ruby has to do an 'oral' at school, it's always about South Africa, often about the happy times we spent at The Beach House, which we sort-of regarded as our 'second home'! To ' illustrate' her orals and make them 'even more interesting' (to quote her), she shows the teacher and her class pictures of us all having fun on the beach, of the two of them playing in those gorgeous coastal-forest grounds or horseriding on the beach at nearby Selsdon Park Estate, etc. And once she even showed a close-up picture of a platter of crayfish we had braaied!....a foodie of note, my young Ruby!

The same applies to little sister 'Lullah, and their favourite meal used to be at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant at Ramsgate, where they would each wolf down a plate of fresh fish plus a few calamari rings & prawns off our plates! And we sometimes went to Pannevis in Port Edward for 'Slingers' (I think they're also known as Red Roman?) and prawns.......and the ' tradition' has continued here in Oz, so we often find ourselves enjoying the same at restaurants here on Sundays.....the old 'Sunday Roast' is a thing of the past, I'm afraid!

The girls and their young cousins used to insist on visiting the Snake Park/Crocodile Farm, so I suppose we'll be dragged off there again in December....... But after being regulars here at the late Steve Erwin's Park, they'll probably find it most disappointing this time around. Erwin's place is really something!

There is just so much here for kids and families to do-&-see together - Brisbane is definitely geared toward 'family life' and kids. It's great. But we still miss home.....

Samantha Clarke,

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sardine Run

After seeing the Sardine Run a few years ago, we decided to try our luck again this time.

The Sardine Run occurs between May and July when millions of sardines spawn in the cool waters of the Agulhas Bank and move northward along the east coast of South Africa. Their sheer numbers (millions) create a feeding frenzy along the coastline. It is compared to the great wildebeest migration. The shoals are often more than 7 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30 meters deep and are clearly visible from spotter planes or from the surface. When you see sardines, you also see the dolphins and the sharks! And of course – lots of people!

Well, we were too early. No sardines, but many people looking for them!

But we still had a great time! Saw whales in the distance. Chilled out on the beach and swam (winter or not - the weather was great!) and had great meals!

Did not venuture into the waters for scuba diving this time, but Roland (Africa Coastal Diver) told us they saw hundreds of Raggies and some Zambis. Next time!

Cottage Barry