Just a bit of news on what's happening along the beachfront after the recent Coastal Forum meeting I attended:
Hobie beach has been closed as a public launch site for motorised craft, and it can only be used by commercial operators eg ProDive, or emergency services. The jetski/boat launch area has moved down to the launch site at Kings Beach. The municipality has upgraded an access road down onto the beach, with a parking area on the beach, for this purpose. BUT, before all the regular Fence surfers rub their hands in glee at the prospect of being able to park on the beach (cos there is no gate/boom across the access road).....the road/parking are for launch license disk holders ONLY.
What that means, is if you go park down there without a license, you could get a fine of R2000. That's even more expensive than the underground parking at Walmer Park! Seriously though, the ou's will be doing random spot checks regularly (specially in season) and will stick that very un-kiff pink ticket on your windscreen if you're bust down there. So you gonna be rolling the dice if you decide to risk a park there without a disk.
If you have a boat/jetski & want to apply for a launch license disk, which incurs an annual license fee, then hook past the Beach Office over the road from Humewood to fill in an application form. Even if you have a license, the area is limited to 50 vehicles, so in season you might still not be able to get a spot.
Just a heads up that the grass area above Humewood is not a parking spot - despite us being able to use it when repairs to the boardwalk opposite Barneys were underway. Now that construction work has finished it's back to being a no-go zone. So don't be tempted to park your cabbie up there - cos the pink ticket ou will come get you. There are better ways to waste money.
The Opening of the Season moves from Hobie Beach to Happy Valley this year. Am not too sure where they're going to be launching the fireworks from so they don't burn the valley down, but anyhows. The plan is to eventually get it down to Kings Beach, where there is ample space & parking available. Maybe next year?
A permanent beachfront security presence, with SAPS and metro jointly patrolling on a daily basis, supported by the private security industry through Atlas and ADT, should be starting soon. Thanks to local DA Councillor for Ward 2, Dean Biddulph, for getting this off the ground. Here's hoping that it will help curtail the recent spate of break-ins to vehicles at Pipe and Fence especially.
And keep your beach clean peeps. Not hard to bend down and pick up a piece of trash when you're walking back after your surf. Cos hey, if a World Champ can do it, then so the you! If everyone just picked up even one piece of litter after each surf we'd have such clean beaches. It costs you nothing. Make the effort!
Mick Fanning calls is "Cleaning the Office".....