Ask anyone who lives and works up on the hills above the city centre about the lekker rights that break in the harbour mouth on a decent swell. Plenty of ou's will sit and gaze at the seemingly off-limit peelers just wondering what it would be like to surf them.
Well, back in 2003 longboarder Steve McKechnie did just that.
Steve took action instead of just wondering "what if" and arranged to surf the elusive Harbour Rights. Here's his story:
"It was rather scary as not too much is known about the sharks in the murky waters of the harbour & not to mention the daunting paddle across a big span of water, as the opening of the harbor mouth is further out than meets the eye. Even the jump off the side of the harbour wall to get into the water was something.
Basically I had a meeting with the Harbor Master & we agreed on a code of 3 ring bursts, stop & a ring for smaller vessels & continuous ringing for large Shipping Liners. I was surprised by just how big the fishing boats were when you looked up at them from sea level. Some passing fishermen in a boat yelled "Hey! Kyk hierdie damn duiker, hey wat maak jy ekse!?"
The waves were good, with no close outs, as the continual build up of sand on the far point makes it a fine point/sand bar combo break of note.
What was quite different was the view of North End from the surf line up as one is in the middle of the ocean & surfing in an area far from any coastline.
I would not recommend doing it these days as firstly it is no longer possible due to strict harbor rules, plus the possibility of ear or eye infection (I ended up with eye infection for days) and last but not least the danger of sharks & boats in the immediate area.
It was a once off surf session in really forbidden waters!"
(All above images EP Herald)