Look out for the local seals!
(work in progress)
One of the delights of visiting the Cape Town area is the high probability (which, if you visit the V&A Waterfront, rises to a virtual certainty) of seeing seals.
Cape fur seals are common all the way around the peninsula coastline and up the West Coast - in fact, Robben Island is named after them (derived from the original name given to the island by Dutch sailors). They are most often to be found basking on rocks or hanging around harbour areas, seeking out an easy meal, as in the case of this one, who was patrolling up and down in the Kalk Bay harbour, waiting from scraps discarded by the fishermen.
A genuine fishing harbour on False Bay
(work in progress)
Kalk Bay (Kalkbaai in Afrikaans) is the only genuine fishing harbour left along the False Bay coastline of the peninsula, and is a rewarding place to amble around and enjoy its unpretentious ambience.
The harbour itself is the hub of activity and is a colourful spot. There is a restaurant on the breakwater, and it's a nice place to have a drink and bite to eat, especially if the weather is good.
For those who don't have their own transport, Kalk Bay is easily accessed by Metro Rail that links the village (it's really too small to be called a town) to central Cape Town and Muizenberg in the north and Fish Hoek and Simon's Town to the south: the rail station is only a short walk from the harbour. In fact, at the time of writing (May 2012), this was probably the most hassle free way to get to Kalk Bay, as the main road through town is currently the subject of major roadworks that have already been going for over a year and look set to continue for months to come. As a result, parking in town - which has always been problematic, especially in high season - is even scarcer than it was previously.
The decline of the False Bay fishing fleets due to diminishing catches has been one of the catalysts for the establishment of the penguin colony at The Boulders in Simon's Town just down the coast.
Kalk Bay, like most places along the False Bay coast (possibly except Muizenberg) has a a grandstand view of the whales that come to calve in the shallow, relatively sheltered waters. Between July and November, the huge, gentle Southern Right Whales come to within a few metres of the shoreline all along the False Bay and Cape Atlantic coast to give birth. A month either side and you may be lucky to see an early whale or a straggler, but at other times careful observation and patience might well be rewarded by the sight of dolphins of porpoises.