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Posted on: Thursday, 25 February 2010

Musselling at Scarborough

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Fresh Mussells

Fresh Mussells

I would be perfectly happy spending an afternoon a weekend kicking back on the couch; watching the Isidingo omnibus or reading the latest Fair Lady.  My husband on the other hand thinks its complete sacrilege to waste a beautiful, sunny summers day (and let’s face it, there are a lot of those during the Western Cape summer!) being that lazy and so we find ourselves, most Sundays at Scarborough beach picking mussels off the rocks.

And I must say, I’ve come to quite enjoy our little outings …

The first thing to do is to check the tides timetable; it would defeat the purpose of your journey to arrive, as a friend did, to find it was Leap Tide and the water was up to the level of the car park … not a lot of musselling to be done when that happens!  So, plan ahead and check the tides so you arrive when its low tide.

Musselling at Scarborough

I must be honest and say that the wind has been blowing a gale on a number of our visits but I then take cover, with my Boxer pup Milly, in the nook of a group of rocks and enjoy the view of the sea and beach while my husband, the rock raider, gathers fresh mussels for dinner!

When I have ventured out from beneath my rock shelter though, the musselling has been simple!  No need for thick gloves on this coastline – the mussels are easy to remove from the rocks and some of them are even lying loose at the bottom of shallow rock pools … remember though to only pick the ones that are closed.

You will also need a license (available for a nominal fee from any post office) and this will allow the license holder to pick 30 mussels per day. (Note: It is illegal to pick mussels without a licence!).  You also need to adhere to the size of mussel that can be taken from the rocks and a size chart should be available when you purchase your license.

The drive to Scarborough is so scenic – especially if it is a windy day as there are always windsurfers and kiteboarders out riding the waves – quite a spectacle.

Musselling at Scarborough

Once home you will need to clean your mussels and then cook them whichever way you choose – but you couldn’t get a fresher plate of mussels than that … from rock pool to dinner table in less than a few hours!

Musselling at Scarborough really has become one of my favourite weekend activities and I hope you enjoy musselling (or sitting in the shelter of a rock!) as much as I do.

Useful Scarborough Links:
Scarborough Attractions
Scarborough Accommodation
Things to Do in Cape Town
Cape Town Attractions
South Africa’s Attractions

Helen Rushton


After living in London and travelling the world for many years and more recently living in the Mother City, I now reside on a tranquil sugar cane farm in Kearsney; an area steeped in the history of South Africa’s sugar industry. During the summer months I get involved with the community by assisting the local primary school with swimming lessons at our country club. Some of my favourite things are reading or picking freshly grown vegetables and Iceland poppies in our garden. Milly, my boxer loves her walks to the river that runs through our farm and sometimes, Sandy the cat I hand reared, joins us for a stroll!

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