Glentana Beach Walk

Posted on Thu June 27, 2024.

Feel like walking on the wild side? Go down to Glentana Beach for a walk in an Easterly direction towards the wreck of the floating dock.The best time to do this walk is at spring low tide as the sand will be hard and you might not have to scramble over the rocks.Check with the beach restaurant on the accessibility of the wreck.From the beach at Glentana the distance is 4.4km and is an easy walk.Be mindful of the tides as the incoming tide might make the walk more difficult as you might have to do a bit of climbing over rocks.

The wreck has an interesting history which dates back to 1902.Soon after the Anglo Boer War the port of Durban was in need of a dry dock to service the calling ships .A floating dry dock was built in England and was towed to South Africa by the steam ship Baralong.On the route past Mosselbay they were caught in a southwesterly gale and one of the towing cables broke .The captain decided to make for Mosselbay for repairs.The second cable however broke and on 30 October 1902 the dry dock ran aground at Glentana,which was then known as Mount Pleasant.Refloating the vessel was unsuccessful.

The insurance underwriters were Lloyd’s and they planned to repair it with cement.All the equipment and materials had to be carted down the steep cliffside but eventually the damage was found to be to extensive .The equipment and machines on board were salvaged by Mr Parkes of Knysna.In 1903 a walkway was built to enable the movement of equipment to the beach.Steam winches were placed on top of the hill to haul all the wood and machines off the beach.The metal plates  and boilers could not be moved.

In an effort to salvage the boilers Mr Parkes bought a launch called Clara.Clara however ran aground as the swell was to big and a crew member on board was drowned .Mr Parkes decided to have Clara repaired in Knysna and the launch was then hauled up the steep cliff .Mr Parkes finally decided to buy a steam launch called Knysna in a last ditch effort to make some money out of the sale of the boilers.The Knysna suffered engine failure and ran aground on Wilderness beach.

The wreck is in a sheltered little bay so take along your swimming gear .The wreck is also a good spot to look for oysters.

Enjoy the walk  

Thanks to Great Brak Tourism ,Mrs Margaret Parkes,Mrs Vicky Williams and Mrs Lynne Thompson for the research and information.