Ship wrecks (and other old wrecks) on the rocks near Sandy Bay, Cape Town

Following on from my last blog in which I described what is possible with just one hour to spend on Table Mountain I intend today to present a day of activities that are all possible in, or near, Llandudno. This will be a full day which for me typically stretches from sunrise to sunset. RISKKO and I will not be allowed the luxury of motorised transport so no cable cars this week – we will be doing everything on foot.

The day starts with a sunrise trek over the hill from our roof-top pad on Sunset Rocks to the beach at Llandudno. On this day I was lucky because the tide was out much further than usual. Let me introduce you to a couple of secret beaches next to, but hidden from, the main beach at Llandudno. These beaches are normally out of reach when the tide is in because they are behind some very large rocks. Clearly you could swim from the big beach, but keep in mind that even when the air temperature reaches 30 degrees C the sea is still very cold. It is not for fun that the surfers all dress up head to toe in rubber!

Llandudno's hidden beaches This one can be reached through a narrow gap in the rocks but only when the tide is out
Llandudno’s hidden beaches This one can be reached through a narrow gap in the rocks but only when the tide is out
The larger of Llandudno's hidden beaches again only accessible when the tide is out. Notice the total lack of footprints!
The larger of Llandudno’s hidden beaches again only accessible when the tide is out. Notice the total lack of footprints!
Around Llandudno's hidden beaches are some overhanging rocks providing nice shaded bathing spots for cute little animals
Around Llandudno’s hidden beaches are some overhanging rocks providing nice shaded bathing spots for cute little animals
 Here is a panoramic view taken from the larger of Llandudno's hidden beach at low tide with the sun just rising over the 12 Apostles Mountain in the background (click on the picture to see a high resolution version)
Here is a panoramic view taken from the larger of Llandudno’s hidden beaches at low tide with the sun just rising over the 12 Apostles Mountain in the background (click on the picture to see a high-resolution version)

After exploring the hidden beaches to the left of Llandudno’s main beach you can stroll over to the other side in the direction of the Llandudno rocks.

Sunrise view of Llandudno beach, Cape Town, before most of the locals wake up. This is the best time of day for a peaceful stroll on the beach
Sunrise view of Llandudno beach, Cape Town, before most of the locals wake up. This is the best time of day for a peaceful stroll on the beach
Sunrise view of Llandudno beach looking out towards the outcrop of rocks. Notice the only footprints visible are those of a little dog: as usual RISKKO was racing ahead chasing the local birds!
Sunrise view of Llandudno beach looking out towards the outcrop of rocks. Notice the only footprints visible are those of a little dog: as usual RISKKO was racing ahead chasing the local birds!
View of 12 Apostles Mountain from Llanduno Beach before the sun rise: tranquility and beauty - undisturbed by people
View of 12 Apostles Mountain from Llandudno Beach before the sun rise: tranquility and beauty – undisturbed by people
RISKKO's favourite bathing spot on Llanduno Beach, South Africa
RISKKO’s favourite bathing spot on Llandudno Beach, South Africa
 RISKKO loves sitting in the shade and watching the pretty bitches strolling by. With a view like this who needs a luxury villa?
RISKKO loves sitting in the shade and watching the pretty bitches strolling by. With a view like this who needs a luxury villa?
As we leave Llanduno Beach even the weeds look beautiful. What a glorious morning for Morning Glory
As we leave Llandudno Beach even the weeds look beautiful. What a glorious morning for Morning Glory

After leaving Llandudno beach the journey took me over the hill in the direction of Sunset Rocks and Sandy Bay. As often happens RISKKO and I met a couple of attractive birds on the way.

From Llanduno we take the mountain road to Sandy Bay via Sunset Rocks and come across two local birds checking out the action on the beach
From Llandudno we take the mountain road to Sandy Bay via Sunset Rocks and come across two local birds checking out the action on the beach
As we reach the crest of the hill we cast one last fleeting glance at Llanduno Beach. It is still deserted but the sun will soon do its magic
As we reach the crest of the hill we cast one last fleeting glance at Llandudno Beach. It is still deserted but the sun will soon do its magic

Approaching Sunset Rocks a boat full of divers was anchored at the rocks. Although you can not see it above the water anymore there is an interesting underwater wreck next to the rocks. If you would like to find out more or would like to visit the wreck there is more information available at the site here. The website shows some interesting pictures of the colorful underwater attractions. I include below some pictures provided by a friend which were taken at the time of the wreck before the vessel was broken up by the waves.

Over the other side of the mountain road we see the familiar sight of home and Sunset Rocks. The early morning diving boat has arrived with enthusiastic ship wreck tourists in their diving gear.
Over the other side of the mountain road we see the familiar sight of home and Sunset Rocks. The early morning diving boat has arrived with enthusiastic ship wreck tourists in their diving gear.
July 28th 1977 the MV Romelia was being towed from Greece to a scrap yard in Asia when it ran aground on Sunset Rocks during a storm (picture courtesy of Ian Mcpherson)
July 28th 1977 the MV Romelia was being towed from Greece to a scrap yard in Asia when it ran aground on Sunset Rocks during a storm (picture courtesy of Ian Mcpherson)
After running aground on July 28th, 1977 the wreck of MV Romelia broke up next to Sunset Rocks. It is no longer visible above the sea surface but a popular destination for diving trips (Picture courtesy of Ian McPherson)
After running aground on July 28th, 1977 the wreck of MV Romelia broke up next to Sunset Rocks. It is no longer visible above the sea surface but a popular destination for diving trips (Picture courtesy of Ian McPherson)

After popping back to the pad above Sunset Rocks for a quick breakfast it was time to head off to discover more ship wrecks, all of which can be reached on foot. This time I went in the opposite direction towards Sandy Bay beach. After about 10 minutes I arrived at RISKKO’s favourite ‘baby’ ship wreck.

On the path from Sunset Rocks to Sandy Bay beach we come across RISKKO's favourite 'baby' ship wreck. He likes playing pirates here.
On the path from Sunset Rocks to Sandy Bay beach we come across RISKKO’s favourite ‘baby’ ship wreck. He likes playing pirates here.
Close up of RISKKO's favourite ship wreck between Sunset Rocks and Sandy Bay beach
Close up of RISKKO’s favourite ship wreck between Sunset Rocks and Sandy Bay beach

After another 10 minutes I landed on Sandy Bay beach, where as usual, I was somewhat over-dressed. As they say, you can always recognise an exhibitionist on a nudist beach – he’s the one wearing clothes!

After Sandy Bay beach, I took the path that leads across the back-side of the Karbonkel Mountain. This part of the journey can take over an hour and it is good not to walk around these areas on your own – especially if you have anything worth stealing. This was not far from the place where, about three years ago, I endured three stab wounds and had my camera and phone stolen (strangely, however, the thief left the rosette!).

Eventually you get to a point where the path does not go any further. If you now look down you should be able to see the Oudeschip peninsula. There is a narrow path through the vegetation which leads you down to the peninsula (takes about 20 minutes).

Once you reach the peninsula you can investigate the wreck of the SS Harvest Capella, a fishing vessel which ran aground on the 7th October 1987.

Climbing down to the Oudeschip peninsula (which is an island at high tide) you can inspect at close quarters the remains of the SS Harvest Capella, a fishing vessel that ran aground in a storm on 7th October 1987.
Climbing down to the Oudeschip peninsula (which is an island at high tide) you can inspect at close quarters the remains of the SS Harvest Capella, a fishing vessel that ran aground in a storm on 7th October 1987.

On the other side of the peninsula it is possible to see the wreck of a crane vessel the MV Bos400 which ran ashore in 1994 (27th June). If you are interested in more information about this wreck or about the SS Oakburn which ran aground at the same spot in 1906 this is available from the site here.

Below is a more detailed photograph of this wreck.

A closer view of the crane barge (with helicopter pad) MV Bos 400 which ran aground on 27 June, 1994. This wreck lies on top of the wreck of the SS Oakburn, a British cargo steamer of 3865 tons, which ran aground in fog on 21st May 1906 during a voyage from New York to Sydney.
A closer view of the crane barge (with helicopter pad) MV Bos 400 which ran aground on 27 June, 1994. This wreck lies on top of the wreck of the SS Oakburn, a British cargo steamer of 3865 tons, which ran aground in fog on 21st May 1906 during a voyage from New York to Sydney.

From the Oudeschip peninsula back to the apartment takes about 2-3 hours. The trip provides many fantastic and interesting views but on most days the sunset will add the finishing touches. It is time now for RISKKO and I to move back to the northern hemisphere to earn enough money for our next travels. Needless to say the sun provided a nice farewell for the customary sipping of evening cocktails on the balcony. Next stop – the Alps!

At the end of a warm day discovering ship wrecks in CapeTown how about a nice sunset evening on the balcony?
At the end of a warm day discovering ship wrecks in Cape Town how about a nice sunset evening on the balcony?
Savouring the last evening on my Sunset Rocks balcony for this season. When a destination does what it says on the tin - who needs fireworks?
Savouring the last evening on my Sunset Rocks balcony for this season. When a destination does what it says on the tin – who needs fireworks?

Farewell Sunset Rocks, Farewell Llandudno, Farewell Africa – Chris and RISKKO are off to the Northern Hemisphere to accompany the Spring as it brings much needed warmth to the European Alps.

Chris Duggleby

If you are interested in reading my other health focused articles try the following

Torture In The Shower – Face and Body Soap Allergies – Main Suspect: Pears Transparent Soap

Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

Is Alzheimer’s caused by the Gum Disease Bacterium P. Gingivalis – A Dementia Prevention/Treatment Breakthrough?

Toxic Chemicals in Sex Toys – 18 Vibrators, Cock Rings, Love Balls Tested – Only 3 Get All Clear

My T-shirt Made Me Sick – Textile Allergies – Sinusitis From Your Underwear

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6 thoughts on “Ship wrecks (and other old wrecks) on the rocks near Sandy Bay, Cape Town”

  1. thank you for the pictures of the wreck sites i saw the antopilos and romelia back in 1991 as well as the seafarer as a young child in 1966 – by coincidence that spark a life long interest in ship wrecks that continue to this day – and by a quirk of fate was on both the oceanos and achille lauro prior to both sinking… i was a founder member back in the 80’s of the titanic society jhb branch

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