Kalk Bay was first inhabited in the seventeenth century by shipwrecked seamen and deserters who settled there and built houses of mountain stone and thatch.
The earliest recorded visitor was Simon van der Stel, second Governor of the Cape. He travelled to Kalk Bay to seek fish at a cheaper rate for his men stationed at the castle. The lime kiln, from which Kalk Bay derives its name, was used for making lime from shells for the Dutch East India Company.
The fishing was industrialised in 1805 when besides whales and seals, considerable quantities of yellowtail, geelbeck and mackerel were harvested. The harbour was not established until 1918 after many boats had been destroyed by gales which swept them out to sea.
One of the most colourful attractions is the fishing boats returning home with their catches. The fish are off loaded and auctioned then and there. The Cape Coloured fishermen are renowned for their quick witted humour and they may be heard at their best here amongst the crowds as the community bid for the days catch.
Tidal pools provide safe swimming for all bathers and are a long cry from the days when Kalk Bay had different bathing hours for men and women.