Musselling at Scarborough
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.
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.
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.