Costa Rica is our dream surf trip destination. But we would take Maldives, Bali, Hawaii, Long Island or even Mauritius if you threw it at us.
But you didn’t, so we gathered our battered Rands and set off for Melkbosstrand instead. We left after work on a Friday, so we missed the traffic. The journey from our home in the South to Melkbos took a stress free and brief (compared to Costa Rica) forty minutes.
(Please note this trip was over 1 May long weekend, pre-Cape Storm)
We found our self catering apartment, 22 Watersedge better than anticipated. It is hard to know from internet photos and I would much rather stay at home than in a dodgy, less than stellar establishment, but Watersedge did not disappoint. The apartment has safe parking for cars and boards, it smells fresh, is clean and modern, and has outstanding views. The beds are comfortable and the kitchen has much more than we needed. (Which was very little as I had no intention of spending much time there.)
We had dinner at die damhuis beach restaurant Rick devoured a hamburger; the baby girl ate calamari and the tween and I had the chicken pie. All were outstanding in taste and generous of portion. (Which was grand because we were all ravenous.)
The next morning we woke to views all the way back to Table Mountain in one direction, and panoramas of Melkbos in the other. The wind was sideshore so we headed back toward Cape Town to look for a place to surf.
For the big fella and other such skilled superheroes without paddles, Derde Steen looked the best bet on the day, but you could choose from a bunch. I would die at any of those spots, either by being smashed in the pounding shorebreak, being blown out to Robben Island or perishing from fear.
Doodles was also an option but Baby Girl and The Tween needed to be safe on their boogie boards and we didn’t rate that shorebreak safe enough for them on their own.
In the end we settled for Big Bay. Ricky was a bit bored, but the boogers had a blast in the foam and I had a few knee high runners. Finally, a couple of mini-lefts came through and the goofy footer rose from his slumber and had some fun.
We had dinner at a Melkbos beachfront restaurant again, this time, Trattoria Maranello which has craft beer on tap, hearty pastas and amazing thin crust pizzas.
The next day we took the teeny wahines to Big Bay and they again had the best time. I went out between Big Bay and Small Bay. (after rescuing a novice SUP renter with a backward paddle stroke) It was so FLAT however, that the big fella was confined to coffee on the beach.
We headed to Melkbos and Rick finally found a decent wave there with some of the local stand up paddlers. It was in walking distance of our apartment so I could take the ladies home and ward off their hanger, while he had a turn in the water.
On our last day the wind switched to onshore and everything was a mess. Lucky for us we live on a peninsula so we drove back South and went to Muizenberg. The waves were clean, but beyond small and the big fella was bleak again. But not for long. He rented an 11.4 Coreban California longboard style SUP from Xpression on the Beach.
He ended up having great fun. I kooked it mostly, as usual, but Muizenberg is the right place for that. Rick says I need to watch cross stepping on YouTube, visualize it so I can do it mentally and then practice n line on the lounge floor while I watch TV. Echoes of this guy
This gal from the Surf Amigas is also pretty helpful if you want to cross step.
But I digress, first I have to learn to set my line.
Anyway, back to the Staycation.
We finished up at Fresch Foods with bagels and coffee and hot chocolate and chai tea. You have to try their Piesang Power (As a bowl or a smoothie. Best after surf hunger buster ever.)
One of the biggest challenges of a family holiday is making sure everyone gets a chance to have fun. Rick could have done with bigger, better waves but we got a chance to do something we both love TOGETHER which is pretty rare when you are raising kids. We could include the girls in all the activities, because they are old enough now, and we toned down the surf spots we chose to be inclusive of them.
I believe that when children see their parents having fun together it is good for their sense of security within the family.
And Watersedge was such a pleasure, we could hang out there in the afternoons and it was close enough to the shore for us to take an evening beach-combing stroll.
You might have read more in the May print issue of Zigzag, which featured an article on Melkbos HERE