Way back before Shark Rock Pier there was the Dr Muesli Pier. It was built by the municipality in it's first foray into pier-building. The year was 1978, and the local Hobie Cat enthusiasts were freaking out cos their beach was disappearing. So the Beach Manger, Wally Stimpson, had a front end loader go out at low tide and drop a whole bunch of 2 ton cement blocks along the beach between Great Bandle flats and 1st Avenue.
The aim was to break up the surf so the Hobie's could launch safely. Of course lotsa peeps thought this was a kak and unsightly idea! A crew of concerned beach goers, spear-headed by Dr Peter Schwartz, formed the an NGO (the Beachfront Protection Group) to oppose it. This group was the forefront runner to what is now the Coastal Environmental Trust.
The Beach Front Protection Group pointed out that no hydrological study had been done and that you couldn't just go chuck stuff in the ocean and not understand the consequences of doing so - these were the days before EIA's! Legal action was threatened if the blocks were not removed.
Knowing Dr Schwartz vehemently opposed the "pier" his friends, local surfers Leon Kilian and Mush Hide, decided to have a bit of fun at his expense. Late one night the pair snuck out onto the blocks and erected a sign saying "The Dr Muesli Pier". Mush had a signage company (Mush Hide Signs) at the time so it was a real proper sign, mounted with a strong steel base and steel metal cables to secure it in the crevices of the blocks.
Dr Schwartz had become known as "Dr Muesli" as carbo-loading was the fad at the time. He was the doctor in charge of the PE to East London surf ski challenge - and had introduced a muesli breakfast each morning before the start of each leg, hence the nickname. It took him a while to figure out who was behind the sign!
Finally after 2 months (and some unofficial signage) the cement blocks were removed and the remnants can now be found at Cape Recife beach.
The Beach office were persistent though, and their next trick was a floating breakwater of old tyres in
the same area . You can only imagine how well that worked - or didn't! The next South Easterly gale
washed up all these tyres on the beach. Back to the drawing board ou's!
The southern beaches were continuing to erode, especially Hobie Beach (which was only stones by this stage). The council finally decided to do a feasibility study, the outcome being the present Shark Rock Pier. You can check out the blog post which covers the whole history of Hobie Beach & Shark Rock Pier here.
All info and images in this article supplied by Peter Schwartz