Chokka boats in Port St Francis

Ahhhhh, St Francis Bay. Beaches, canals, luxury homes, a Jack Nicholas designed golf course, laid-back holiday atmosphere, girls in bikinis (I just wanted to put that in), surfer boys, sundowner cruises and lekker seafood. Like any good infomercial and destination, there's always a, "But wait, that's not all..." Located between St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis is one of the only private harbours in South Africa called Port St Francis. The chokka, or squid, industry in the area started…

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The Port Elizabeth harbour wall

The Port Elizabeth harbour achieved "port" status for the first time in 1825, long before a proper harbour even existed.  Back then a harbour master was appointed to regulate and oversee the offloading of ships anchored offshore with goods and people being brought to shore in rowboats.  An official surfboat service was established in 1836 and this was followed by the construction of the first jetty in 1837. It wasn't until 1933 and the construction of the Charl Malan Quay…

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Campanile view – Looking south towards the beachfront

This is the last of the Campanile View trio of posts (There should have been four but it seems I never took a pic out the new big viewing window of the whole harbour).  Unfortunately the south viewing window doesn't open like the north and west windows, probably because the new lift's doors is right by the window.  Looking out the harbour dominates the foreground while the beachfront with all it's recognisable landmarks are visible in the background. 

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The Campanile’s new viewing window

One of the new features of the recently refurbished Campanile is a full-length viewing window on the harbour side of the tower.  The window has caused some ruptions with historic purists but personally I think its a great addition.  The window really gives the best view of the adjacent Port Elizabeth Harbour and all its activities.

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Fresh fish on the PE Harbour

We've never been to the fish shops on the harbour to buy fresh fish but a Saturday or two ago, in search of finding something else to make for dinner than just the usual stuff, we decided to go and have a look.  We landed up in Fisherman Fresh (throw a left as you enter the harbour at the Baakens entrance and follow the signs).  An amazing selection of fresh and frozen fish and other seafoods and so much cheaper…

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Harbour view from Humerail

I had to stop at the Spar in Humerail this morning and stopped to admire the view of the harbour from the parking area.  Some people wouldn't term this as a beautiful view but I like to call it an interesting view.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera so a cell phone photo will have to do.

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The Baakens River Mouth

It's sad to think that the Baakens River mouth was once a big lagoon where passing ships came to collect fresh water for their voyages yet today it's a cement canal under the Settlers Freeway which flows into the PE Harbour.  Some major revamping and restoration needed to give this river mouth any dignity again. 

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Then and Now – Baakens River Bridge

We all know the Baakens River flows through Port Elizabeth and that most of the Baakens Valley is protected green open spaces all the way from Sunridge Park, past the 3rd Avenue Dip, through Walmer and Mill Park to Settlres Park.  It really is a pity that the municipality doesn't look after the well being of the river better and that the open spaces aren't utilised as much as the potential it has, but it's still a very special area.…

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