Monday, November 26, 2007

Seaforth Race Pictures

Click on the pictures to view them a little larger. Top pair: Carnage at the yacht club bridge.
Bottom pair: The start and Kim lets the faster skis go past

Monday, November 19, 2007

Seaforth Race Report

Sadly our talented blogger Paul did not compete this year so it is left to me to paint a small and considerably less amusing picture of the event.
Last year all us kayakers raced in the short course but this year I, stupidly, decided to brave the long course as it was advertised as only 14km. As our kayak races are usually 10km I reckoned the extra 4 would not be too bad. Well actually the two lap long course was just under 18kms which made the "short course" nearly nine!
As you can see from the results us asterisk-marked kayakers did OK. I'm told Kim would have done even better had she not decided to go off-piste for a while right at the end. Big applause to (I think his name is) Etienne who none of us knew, and looked like he'd only recently taken up the sport, for participating. Hopefully one of the short coursers will be moved to type up a little report for me to add to the blog?
The long course? It started like a whirlwind and I reckon I was halfway or lower down the field by the time we rounded a pretty choppy Ark Rock where at least two guys went swimming who were caught out by the big rebound waves. They get back onto these surfski things pretty quick though. Got some very good surfing down to the wreck - wind was probably 30-40kph - and then saved some energy on the tow of the ski in front until the jungle jim at the navy but lost him at the turn towards the yacht harbour. Through the yachts and up to the bullnose in the sheltered waters and then into the wind and waves back to Ark Rock to begin lap two. The wind had picked up as well so it was a tough upwind haul, but turning downwind back to the wreck made for some really good surfing. I even overtook the ski in front of me on this section, although he caught me up towards the end and eventually beat me. Boy was I knackered for the last upwind section to the finish at Seaforth which could not come soon enough. For the record I was 71st out of 81 paddlers in a time of 1 hour 55 mins. The bastard winner did it in 1.21
But enough of me, how was your Sunday?

Friday, November 16, 2007

South Easter's back...

...with a vengeance. Looks like it's just been waiting out there for the nasty cold north/westerlies we've been having to weaken and it's taking over for the next seven or more days. If it's not too strong on Wednesday it may be the perfect time to do as Paul suggests and paddle lappa-side for a change.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Atlantic/Hout Bay paddle suggestion

What about we do one of our Wednesday Paddles on the Atlantic Side?
What about Hout Bay or Mouilee Point? We could join the Kazkazi Bunch. They start at 17h30.
We did Hout Bay once or twice last year and it was good. We can have supper at the Yacht Club afterwards
What is the consensus?

Paddlers presents a brand new paddle

Paddlers Kayak Shop is proud to bring you the latest and best in paddling technology - invented here in the fairest cape. Click here to check it out.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Australia to New Zealand the hard way

Yesterday two intrepid paddlers set off in a double kayak (well they call it a kayak) to paddle from Australia to New Zealand. Follow their exploits here. Their kayak looks somewhat more, er, boatlike than the normal kayak used by Andrew McAuley who sadly died at sea on the same crossing a mere 95 kilometres short of his landing in New Zealand.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Final Kayak Race, Paddlers Parade, Polo Match.

Resuts at Paddlers web site
The final race of the season is this Sunday, the 14th October, at 9.30am from Long Beach Simon's Town as usual and the weather forecast looks good. The race will begin promptly so come early to register or to watch the fun. After the race we are encouraging everyone who paddles to come along and take part in the Paddlers Parade; watch the Kayak High Rollers; Kayak Polo match; Rescue and Recovery Demonstrations and, of course, the ever popular and free Kayak try-outs. The Whales are waiting for us - including the albino mother and child. Bring a picnic and Margaret will organise the sunshine, so bring your friends and family, paddlers and non-paddlers alike, for a fun morning out.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Caption Competition

Most Spaniards look after their boats quite well - there is always the odd exception however. Post your funny comment here (or email it and I'll put it up for you)

Chris said...
Yet another argument for topical Viagra.

Guido said...
Aagh! Not the South Easter AGAIN

Chris said...
Prijon's rubber kayak range was selling well, but I couldn't shake the feeling of unease when paddling our new double.

Derek said...
No, no it's not a problem with the boat. It's just a very efficient skeg.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I published a short Report back on the Pengin Festival Below

Patrick's strong but fair comment made me think... There is perhaps a danger that this Blog is a place where only 2 guys get to air their views because they are the only contributors. It is not a personal subjective webspace for Derek or I but really, for want of a better description,a website intended for Cape Town Kayakers. It seems to be that "Soaked" managed by Guido, is a much better place as a discussion forum.

We Paddlers are as a group informal. We are not a club of any sort. Just a bunch of friends who share a common passion.

You will note that Derek, appropriately,offers no subjective comment. Only I do.

Perhaps, I thought, this should be an informative site only. News, Pictures, Links...that sort of thing? Maybe it should be opened up to wider participation so that their is a better variety of material? I am concerned that their is no involvement from the Paddlers on the "other side". Perhaps they feel excluded?

It is not my Blog nor Derek's - it belongs to all Paddlers.

Would you let me know how you feel?

Change is a good thing..


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


For a Festival that, according to Dave, just got organised at the last minute I think it went off pretty well

3 Kayak carrying cars took part (Mark Webb, Paul Weber and Dave Parry Davis).

On Sunday we had 9 Kayaks which took part in the Sea Clean-Up which handed over refuse and our personal donations to a SANCCOB representative - ably assisted by Miss Simonstown. Well done and thanks to those who made the effort to come along. The weather was excellent with a small chop. We finished off with an excellent Lunch at the False Bay Yacht Club.

KISS (Kayakers in Support of our seas) Stickers are available from Dave - more details to follow.

On a more serious note it is perhaps sad that we only managed 9 boats on The Sunday and all but 2 were the from the small core of Sunday Morning False Bay Paddlers. Our participation was publicised in both Kazkazi and Paddlers E Mail Lists. Is it that we all enjoy the sea but couldn't be bothered when something takes place in its benefit? Perhaps someone would comment?

Best regards


Friday, September 14, 2007


Margaret sent Chris and I an email asking if we would like to help co-ordinate the fun event component of the last race of the Winter Series. I think that she was planning on getting together with some of the regulars to brainstorm fun events, but she ran out of time - and is now overseas. I told her that I would `call the group together' and we would come up with some ideas and volunteers to help on the day.

Which is what the 19th Sept get-together at Harbour View in Simonstown is all about.

Margaret has asked for some creative and organizational input to add a fun dimension to the `End of the Winter Series Race Day' on Sunday 14th October.
Put on your thinking caps and lets get together after the Wednesday paddle on 19 September. I have arranged for a big table for paddlers and supporters at Harbour View in Simonstown. In view of the fact that some of us were used to a Wednesday Special, the owner has offered to provide a couple of under R40 meal options. Come with your ideas, and lets thrash out a plan of paddle action. Some possibilities include

· a `technical' display with Eskimo rolling and assisted and unassisted kayak re-entries. (What about assisted "fall outs"? – directed at that Derek Golden Girl who always wins)

· Margaret Smooth as Silk suggested a sprint course with tight corners between buoys. Or an obstacle course of sorts.

· Mark Lion Lager Webb is keen to challenge other Kayakers to a backward race!! (unfair - he paddles like that anyway - ED);

· Other suggestions include “how many people on a kayak?!!”

Do you get the idea? Great! We look forward to your input on Wednesday19th. If you can't make the midweek paddle, then join us afterwards at Harbour View from about 19:00hrs." We don't have to book, but I would like to give John the restaurateur some idea of how many of us will be there. So please contact me.
All the best

Kim Kruyshaar and Chris Gryshaar (written posted and edited by Paul Geenhaar)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SA Navy temporary rules

Towards the end of September a British Navy vessel will be in the Navy harbour for several days. As is usual for visiting ships there will be a high security alert and we have been asked by the navy to keep well away from the navy harbour entrance. When heading from the yacht harbour to the bullnose please take a very wide berth through the moored yachts, keep at least 100 metres from the wall and go wide around the bullnose.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Berg River paddle report - 28 August 2007

We motored up the West Coast last weekend with a group of seven regular Simon’s Town kayakers to explore the Berg River. In the event, we spent seven hours covering exactly 29.4km of the Berg River.

If that does not seem very far, then, in mitigation, bear in mind that we only spent about four hours on the water and, being curious creatures, also indulged in a variety of exploratory deviations along the way. The rest of the time was usefully employed in a pub on the river shore, ostensibly waiting for the tide to turn.

The reason we happen to know the exact distance we travelled, is because Silke Carstensen and Patrick Donovan skilfully guided and tracked our journey with their handy GPS toys. It proved to be a worthwhile gadget, considering the many tributaries forking off into dead-end channels, not to mention some cunning mud traps along the way.

We camped in a spot which was notable mainly for its curious names. The caravan park was called Stywe Lyne and is situated in a town called Laaiplek, adjacent to Velddrif and Port Owen. It is 150km from Cape Town and some distance beyond Langebaan, which might help to get a fix on the location, for those who have not been there.

We started our paddle at Velddrif. It’s a busy fishing centre, on the north-eastern shores of the Berg River, roughly 2km from where the river mouth flows into St Helena Bay. Historically, Velddrif was a fording place across the river for the road across the sandveld from Cape Town. It has now become a combined municipality with Laaiplek (the loading place) which once served as a shipping point for wheat. The old fording place has now become the site of a graceful bridge.

This is not a beautiful place, but it has plenty of character. Significantly for kayakers, it is the finishing point of the annual four-day Berg River Canoe Marathon, which was held in July this year and covered 239km down the river from Paarl to Velddrif. It is regarded as the toughest race in the world and a benchmark for endurance paddling, according to winner Hank McGregor.

The surrounding areas are centres of SA’s vast fishing industry. Twelve fish processing factories lie along the 21-kilometre curve between Stompneus Bay and the mouth of the Berg River. The Berg River is a tidal river for many kilometres inland and is navigable throughout the year. Accordingly, our paddle trip required some forward planning to take advantage of the directional flow of the tide in the river. No point in paddling against the stream, we thought.

We passed the Port Owen marina, nestled between Velddrif and Laaiplek, almost immediately on the left. We paddled through the marina and saw some exclusive villas and serious yachts. Inevitably, this environment will attract the yuppie crowds in season. As evidence of that mentality, we were once overtaken in the river by a roaring motor boat with a demonstrative skier in tow who felt inclined to style a curve right next to Silke’s kayak, drenching her in spray. The perpetrators whooped off in childish delight and we fingered them sedately farewell, as is becoming of crusty kayakers.

We stopped for refreshments in Port Owen at Die Vishuisie Restaurant, right on the shore of the river. (See pic). The charming Irish proprietor of Die Vishuisie (something incongruous about that combination) demonstrated a refreshing degree of trust by supplying us (who must have appeared like a bunch of hooligans) with tea, coffee and beers, and then keeping our tab running while we paddled off with a vague promise of returning for lunch.

And so, we set off on a fairly vigorous paddle, to try and build up a decent appetite for lunch. A useful lesson in navigating the Berg River in a kayak is to stick to the centre of the river and avoid venturing too far into the tributaries. The water level tends to drop in these areas and the kayaks become unceremoniously stuck in the mud. Three of our intrepid explorers experienced such a mud-stuck-meander first-hand and reported that it was quite a tiring business having to employ your delicate oar as a pontoon barge pole. It’s not always clear whether you’re pursuing the river or one of its tributaries when facing a fork. Fortunately we didn’t end up in too many dead-end channels, thanks to GPS.

We returned to Die Vishuisie for a good lunch and more refreshments. Here we spotted a humble rowing boat (see pic) quaintly named Hakkelberry Fin. We’d like to think this was a humorous local interpretation of Mark Twain’s classic novel and, by subtle implication, allowed the Berg River to masquerade as the grand Mississippi. Perhaps evidence of some literate culture amongst the locals?

After lunch we made our leisurely way back to Velddrif. As a matter of interest, Velddrif is synonymous with bokkoms, the fishy version of biltong. Bokkoms are dried out harders, a fish found in large schools in the Berg River. Being an ex-Vaalie, I have not savoured the delicacy but locals profess that this traditional sea snack is best served with white wine or bread, apricot jam and black coffee. I’m told there is a gravel road along the shore of the Berg River where locals set up stands during the bokkom season. All along the river road you may then encounter rows of fish suspended on string under stalls of spaansriet, where they become wind dry. I regret to say that we didn’t come across any bokkoms. It is evidently out of season – still too wet out there.

Basil Thomas abandoned our group after dark to slum it in Langebaan with his family. In a fit of compassion, he generously donated a handsome snoek for our braai and Liz Webb honeyed it up to perfection. It was a succulent treat and was rapidly devoured, down to the last bone. As a consequence, our pedestrian braaipacks of chicken, chops and wors got relegated to padkos. A most pleasant evening was rounded off by Silke’s fearsome Feuerzangenbowle, a lethal concoction of rum, sugar and wine, which acted as a sure-fire tranquiliser and sleeping pill. When we hit the sack, I was utterly indifferent to the vague base thump of late-night revellers somewhere in the park.

On the way back home the next day, we travelled through Langebaan and popped in to pay homage to Basil’s new pad. We had some coffee at the lagoon and watched the tireless Patrick Donovan paddle to Donkergat and back, doing his signature Eskimo roll of honour at the close. We also saw a spectacular display of flowers along the way back. It’s that time of year on the West Coast. I’m told there are more than 1000 species of flowers out there, and they’re all worth seeing. Hendrik van der Heever

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Kayak Race Sunday 9th

Race 5 results and more pictures can be seen here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Buffels Bay to Simon's Town 17kms - Sunday 2nd September

Some snaps of the trip.
Lower picture is Basil passing a Southern Right on the way in to Smits for a break.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I have read the Article Posted by Mr Loots.

Firstly it appears (to me) that if the writer truly intended to enter into an objective discourse on the relative pros and cons of sit - in versus sit - on sea kayaks then he ought not to have elected to include a direct reference to a product which he manufactures. Instead of promoting an objective discussion he has regretfully debased his contribution. It always seems to me that one who purports to present an objective argument without considering both sides entertains an agenda. As an attorney I am familiar with this concept – after all we always argue from one point of view – our clients. We however do so transparently and not under the guise of objectivity. Had Mr Loots not subsequently tried to defend his position with his purile acceptance of responsibility for the safety of all kayakers he may perhaps have been mistaken for an Attorney and been forgiven for his sins. After all - even I have friends.

That the argument has, in my opinion, some merit, makes the transgression of the writer that much sadder.

As a paddler, admittedly not as experienced as Mr. Loots, I use 2 Kayaks. One is a sit – on – top and one a sit – inside. The first is manufactured by a well known New Zealand outfit and the second by a local manufacturer. The sit-inside is affectionately referred to by my fellow paddlers as “that Tupperware Tub”. The second is revered as a constant threat to all those who harbour any hope of winning in a well known winter Sea Kayak race series. (For some inexplicable reason it has not yet lived up to its reputation).

Both craft deliver substantial enjoyment. The former has no hope that it will ever present its ass to the air except when followed by a six metre following shorebreak by which time one’s own personal safety pales into insignificance next to the untimely demise of bathers and surfers met along the way (a flag is hoisted on the beach when it approaches). However, in seriousness, I have come off it in a fairly strong following South Easter in the open water when its lack of controllability in a sudden broach caused me to… fly off the darn thing, landing some two metres away from it. The palpable lack of control for the more experienced Sea Kayaker is significant. I have experienced a similar deficiency in control in the hybrid version of my all conquering sit - inside. Bottom line - the centre of gravity is too high and you cannot brace the knees sufficiently. I have never paddled the version paddled (peddled) by Mr Loots and so I cannot, in all fairness, say whether these are universal problems. One of my regular paddling mates however uses one and I wonder whether he would express an opinion?

You would also have to have the dexterity of a brick not to be able to climb back on to my Per..(oops) … sit on top. It is truly sublime off a place like Cape Point where it affords one the time and opportunity to admire all the local wildlife.

The sit - inside is a completely different kettle of fish . In large open - sea swells it begins to take on the guise of the infamous s(h)it inside. However having ventured into such places with paddlers in even less stable makes I am convinced that this is more a product of my own incompetence/lack of confidence than that of the boat itself. It is fast, highly controllable and encourages and facilitates improvement in all round paddling skills.

I am however mindful, and this, finally, is my point: that most of us do not practice recovery and mounting techniques, to say nothing of learning to roll, adequately. Those rare and talented creatures who can roll venture confidently into places where most of us only have nightmares about. They are always bloody good paddlers as well. Of my regular group only 2 or 3 can roll properly. Is that a good thing?

In closing May I proffer 2 pearls of wisdom to Mr. Loots:

1) It is, in my respectful opinion, unacceptable that you did not discuss the incident in Struisbaai with the person involved. Had you done so you may have felt compelled to address the issue somewhat differently. The person is a member of my regular paddling group and I have detailed knowledge of the incident. The incident was not near fatal and the fact the she was outside her Kayak at some point had nothing whatsoever to do with her boat.

2) Next time you wish to embark on disengenuious journalism (I assume it is journalism?) – give me a call. I will help you (in my professional capacity of course) to write the article.

Paul Weber


As Sea – Kayakers (which includes we think, Surfskiers (fast and fit Kayakers)) we recognise how much pleasure we get out of Paddling and would like to invite all fellow Paddlers to join in giving something back to the marine environment that we enjoy so much.

Every year, Simonstown holds a “Penguin Festival” with the primary aim of raising funds for environmental causes – particularly SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds)

THE PADDLE: This year, the Festival will be held on 15 – 16 Sept 2007 and we would like to invite all willing Paddlers to participate in and support the festival in the following ways:

1. We meet at Long Beach Simonstown at 09h30 on 16 September 2007 for the usual Simonstown Sunday morning paddle, but, during the paddle we conduct a sea and beach clean-up – collecting all the rubbish we can and then returning to Berthas in a long convoy to deliver the collected rubbish. No loading your Kayaks with rubbish from home!

1.1. The publishers of The Enviropaedia
will receive and weigh all the rubbish and will donate 3 copies of The Enviropaedia (worth R295.00 each) as a prize to the top 3 who have collected the most sea and beach litter.

1.2. At the same time, we will invite SANCCOB to join us – to enable the Paddlers to make a cash donation to SANCCOB as they pass by. In this way – Paddlers will be publicly seen to be both looking after the Marine Environment they use and also making a positive contribution to Marine Life in general

1.3. We are trying to arrange a braai venue for the Paddlers after the Paddle. Details to follow.

2. THE PARADE: We take part in the Parade through Simonstown 10h00 on Saturday 15/09/07. Paddlers will join in driving as part of the parade with our boats on our roof - in support of SANCCOB – We meet at 09h00 in the Navy Dockyard )

3. The Start of a Concept? – Environmentally Conscious Paddlers

3.1. We will even take the concept further by inviting Kayakers to join an informal group of “environmentally responsible kayakers” – Perhaps K.A.K (Kayakers Against Kak - in the sea?) – Note: This is Double Barrel” Dave’s KAK suggestion

3.2. Please post your suggestions for a name on this post (as a comment). We will collect them all and the top 3 suggestions will be automatically entered into a competition currently being run by The Enviropaedia

We deliberately say “Informal Group”– because we are mostly / all ‘free spirits and we do not need to make this a heavy, serious issue – but we could make a very positive contribution whilst having fun – there are no end of possibilities here: KAK paddlers could declare that:
They will help to keep our seas clean (whenever they see litter (Surfskiers) (joke) at sea, they will pick it up (if it is blonde) and deposit appropriately on land;
They will assist any sea life in need of help wherever possible (report injured birds or tangled sailors whales etc );
Hard - core KAK members might be given a 00 code and be licensed to KAK on anyone seen throwing litter into the sea – just joking – the point is, we could actually make this whole thing a bit of fun also

Please advise as many people as possible know about the event.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Here's a point of view

Frosch on the soaked forum pointed to an interesting article out so I'll just link you there where you can link to the article in question. It would be most illuminating to extend the debate so have a read of it and put in your pennies worth.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Enough with the Shark pictures already!

You may have received via email some pictures of sharks in the bay and the implication is that they were taken this week. Every so often someone pulls them out again and starts a little panic. Please be aware that they were taken a couple of years ago from a fishing boat that had actually lured the shark from quite far out by cleaning its catch.

You have probably seen the Orca and kayak video? This has been posted dozens of times on YouTube and if you have not seen it you must - click here . Alarming isn't it? Actually it's a documented fake but so well done that almost everyone who sees it is taken in.

If you're still scared of sharks then these will really blow your mind!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Epic sea kayak beats the surfskiers

Gregg Barton, Olympic champion and co-owner and co-designer of the Epic Kayaks, recently won his third Blackburn Challenge kayak race in a row. He was paddling the new Epic 18. Nothing amazing about that - except that he beat a field of surfskiers!

click here to read about it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Friday 29th Moonlight Paddle

Moonlight Paddle
June Full Moon (a blue moon by the way as we've already had one full moon this month) paddle

See more pictures here

Also see Guido's report on the paddle including the man in the grey suit story.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Full Moon Paddle 30th and 1st

Well I have to say we had the most brilliant paddle on Wednesday - I'd even call it an Epic paddle. For two reasons: it was that fabulous and all seven paddlers on the trip, by sheer coincidence, were in Epics. We headed to the lighthouse and from there surfed the 1ft swells back to Seaforth from where Margaret was followed by a playful jumping seal all the way to Windmill Beach. Complete darkness fell as we began our return to Simon's Town and the best was yet to come as we entered a red tide area and all the way back our way was lit by the most beautiful phosphoresence. We didn't want it to end!

There is a Friday Full Moon Paddle with Coastal Kayak so call them if you want to join in.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cape Point Sunday 27th May

A stunning winter's day paddle in Cape Town. Warm, no wind and flat calm seas at the put-in but big and choppy swells at Cape Point for the 15 paddlers who made the trip. For 5 or 6 of them it was their first time at the Point and they were "stoked" - that's Trish celebrating "losing her virginity". Note on the map of the route we took how it registers the little sidetrack into the cave.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Sundays - May 13th, June 10th, July 22nd, August 19th, September 16th, October 14th

Start time is 9.30am and races will be at either Long Beach Simon's Town or Seaforth Beach - the location will be notified in an email closer to the race date, and on this blog.

This year the single kayak races will be categorised by kayak size which will even the playing (paddling?) field and make it more competitive for those in less speedy craft.
A Category: All kayaks above 4.8m and below 22kg in weight - e.g. Epic 18 and 16ft, Skua, Swift.
B Category: Kayaks between 4m and 5.5m and above 22kg - eg Contour 480 and 450, Malachite, Pelican, Napali, Solo.
C Category: Kayaks below 4m - e.g. Acadia 370.
Doubles: No gender or boat type differentiation

Prizes will be awarded at the end of the season to the winners and runners-up in each category as well as for the most improved paddler. Best 4 results of the 6 races is the likely format.

As usual there will be long and short courses and for those who have only recently taken up the sport may we remind you that our races are more about the fun and camaraderie of paddling rather than the winning. The Olympic spirit of taking part is the most important thing. A separate email will be sent prior to the race with more details concerning rules, registration and courses.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


 he shouted. Pictures are showing at
 Paddlers Web Site

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


It was a very disappointing kayak turnout but the three of us who did - Derek, Paul and Guido - had a great time. There were around 150 entrants on a perfect day. It was cloudy and there was no wind whatsoever so conditions were ideal. We set off down the lagoon toward the sea for a k, turned round a bouy and paddled up lagoon toward the river. Water was low so the portage was almost a kilometer but having a light Epic like I do, it was no real problem. Paul and Guido were in much heavier plastics so my hat is off to them for doing the whole race as well as they did. There were even two dragon boats in the race so imagine what their portage was like! The river passage itself is very calm, with reeds on both sides and the occasional house on the shore. After the race most paddlers went to the Birkinhead brewery for a dop and a braai.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Their are some things one does in this life that you consider deeply before doing , decide against doing and then do them anyway. A recipe for disaster? Sometimes. But then other times something comes along that rescues success from the jaws of disaster. In this instance, simply put, rescue came in the form of a brand new Land Rover with a retractable awning - driven by, you guessed it - that indomitable German.

The weather forasts were for 60% - 80% probability of rain and gale force North Westerly winds between Cape Columbine and some other god -forsaken place South West of Cape Town. I spoke to Mark in the morning who enthusiastically assured me that, according to his dogs and his PC, the cold front was over. He had apparently seen a peice of blue sky over Simonstown.Never believe a statistician.

Consequently I, on my own, with a Kayak on roof, headed West into the promise of blue sky. The rain chased me all the way to Langebaan where it finally broke with vengeance. As did my Hilux which decided to employ its anti-hijack system outside Saldanha. Fortunately that old Langebaan local, Basil Thomas, was waiting for me up the road and reccomended that we override the system. That worked and we headed up into Vredenburg and Paternoster. Still raining.

After a short inspection of Paternoster the rain stopped and Basil and I arrived in Tietiesbaai to find no other optimistic Kayakers and big seas. Desperate for a cup of cofee/tea, we set up our camping table and other paraphenalia. The rain started again and we huddled in my bakkie neither venturing to ask whether this was all a good idea. Rain Stopped.

Then it arrived. That German and her Landy. I believe it now has a name. Whatever - to us it was beautiful. Or to be more precise that silver tubular structure mounted on its roof was beautiful. Extended it makes for the perfect patio. A place that you can sit under and pretend that camping in TietiesBaai in the rain is fun. With chairs out and tea in hand Barbs arrived followed shortly byMark and Liz then Chris, Kim and kids.

We were soon all under that canopy. It was just bloody nice and sociable.

That night dinner was had at "The Noisy Oyster" (remember Debbie from The Meeting Place). The meal was good but Deb's needs to jack up the size of that Burger (please?)

Derek and Margaret slept in a container next to a foghorn(ask Derek).

We all slept well (except M and D). The paddle on Sunday Morning was early (about 08h00) where we joined Arthur, Tracy and the Kazkazi team. Paternoster beach/bay was calm but their were some big (bigggg...) swells further out and they, combined with a variable offshore wind, made paddling a little unusual for those of us used to a consistent False Bay. Derek and Chris as usual headed for and played in the big stuff. Helps to paddle that well. Conditions were quite different to what we are used to in F Bay and while not dangerous, the way the boat reacts requires, for me at least,a bit more practice.

The paddle was followed by a superb breakfast on the beach cooked by Liz and Basil. The food just came out of nowhere?The rest of us just watched and ate.

Oh - and then there was "Neil"- whose campsite we trespassed on and who brought us crayfish salad while telling me that "julle engelsmanne doesn't know about good neighbourliness"?? Another story...

Once again I am reminded that paddling is a wonderful pastime. Yes boats and water are great.
But the best thing about sea kayaking is the people who do it. So, from me - big heartfelt thanks to Arthur and Tracy and the Kazkazi Club for starting off the trip, Derek and Margaret for pulling together the Paddlers Group and then to Mark, Liz, Barbara, Basil, Kim, Chris and lekker kids and oh yes - dear Silke and her Landy for their company and making it such a cool weekend.

What happended to the rest of you w.........s? You get wet paddling anyway.

All the best


Monday, February 12, 2007

Paternoster Pictures

Hopefully Paul will regale with his written views of the trip when he has a moment. These views will have to suffice for the moment.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Paddle in Paternoster - Sat/Sun 10/11th Feb

So here's the plan. Some people are going up on Friday after work, others (like me) on Saturday afternoon. If the weather is good, meet on the Paternoster beach at 5.30pm Sat afternoon for a paddle. For dinner that evening we have booked The Noisy Oyster restaurant.
Sunday morning we will all meet up again (venue to be decided at dinner) for that days paddle.
Everyone is to make their own accommodation arrangements according to preference. For those wishing to camp there is the Cape Columbine site - Tieties Bay Caravan Park 022 752 2718. We're having trouble getting through on this number but the word is that you don't book anyway, just turn up.
For B&B, self catering etc try
Add your comment here if you will be coming.
Check this blog for last minute updates. Call 082 556 9945 if you're lost.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Regular Friday paddle

Friday afternoon at 4.30pm from Berthas is becoming a semi regular paddle for many people. So if you're available at that time turn up and take a chance or even mention it here on the blog.

Monday Evening regular paddle

Estelle is creating a regular Monday evening paddle at Zandvlei. Meet at the Yacht Club parking, to be on the water 5.30pm. This is a great opportunity for those who are still finding their sea legs to join in with some of the more experienced paddlers. It is also a chance for all of us to build up our paddling fitness, meet new people and spread the word about kayaking.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


The weekend was well worth the trip.

I left Friday evening and joined Basil at his very comfortable weekend house. Dinner (after Drinks at the Yacht club) was at Friday Island where we met up with a Silke and her friend and colleague (Sue). They (the restaurant that is) serve a superb cheese burger with Thai sauce.

Right through the Friday evening and Saturday morning both Grandpa and I weren't sure whether we would take part in the Surfski race, both pleading fatigue. However Silke phoned us at 09h30 Saturday to tell us that she was waiting at the beach and had registered. We would not be shown up by a Land Rover (it broke in MOZ) driving German expat from some strange shrinking island in the middle of nowhere and so we duly reported for duty with the other manne. The organization was, as usual, very good. Having registered with a slightly stressed lady who seemed to have difficulty looking up from her laptop (and who would not give me a race sticker), we proceeded to the beach for pre-race briefing.That is where things started to go wrong for my race. I don't know if it was the fact that there was no loudhailer in a pumping South Easter (apparently there is only one in SA and it was being used at the Duzi. Has Discovery Health exhausted the annual Budget??) but I misunderstood the start procedure.

The nett result was that I was on the wrong side of the Short Course field and had to wait for 1/2 of SA's surfskiers to go past before I could join Bas and the Land Roving Hun. The short story is that into a 40km/h S.E Basil was the Second Boat home. Silke and I had our own race but she eventually beat me at the Island after some really good downwind surfing (@#$^&! Epic). Well done Basil and Silke! I beat a few beginner Surfskiers... Incidentally I tried to be friendly with one of those I beat but she seemed too peeved and wouldn't even look at me (I think that in any event their is a rule that the girls only talk to guys under 15). That counts Bas and I out. Anyway - Thanks again to those superfit surfski Dudes and chicks for counting us in on their great race.Makes us feel very young again.

That afternoon Derek, Margaret and Gary joined us. Derek, Gary and I did a short paddle into the lagoon shortly afterwards. On Saturday evening dinner was at Friday Island. We stayed quite late because The Land Rover lady and her friends had devised a fiendish new way of working out the bill. Ask her. Eventually I pulled out of the dastardly scheme and paid my own bill. Derek, in the meantime and as Derek will, became fixated with the Comet - in particular with the reason why the tail appeared curved. He was not impressed when someone informed him that it was the South Easter.

On Sunday morning we left from Friday Island and paddled up to the main beach where we met up with 3 strange ous. The one didn't even have a life jacket or shirt on (??). Number 2 was paddling a lime green tank like mine (paddle(u)ak?) with flat paddles but worked like like a demon to make sure he remained in contention. Number 3 seemed fairly normal. Sorry dudes - this is a joke. Anyway none of them will probably paddle with us again after this story or after we left them behind at Kraalbaai. They will now buy surfskis. All in all a good 12 - 15km paddle.

The entry into the beach at Friday Island is worth a mention for the challenge. Surfing skills are a recommendation so both Margaret and I were rescued by the NSRI. Not really. Margaret was.
Many thanks to Sir Derek and Lady Margaret for the idea. The weekend was a jol and I wish more of you had joined us. Keep an eye out for the next one away.

best regards

The surfski guys were most impressed by Basil and he was mentioned in their weekly newsletter report on the races.

"The short course of 7km's had 20 paddlers heading straight up to the Oudepos turn can and back down via the back of Schaapen Island. A very notable performance here was by another Langebaaner, Basil Thomas who was not only the oldest paddler in the field but was also paddling a sea-kayak as opposed to the much quicker surski's that everyone else was on, Basil came scond in the short course and raised many an eyebrow with this brilliant performance."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sunday 21st Jan paddle in Langebaan

Paul will shortly be reporting back on the weekend but until then here are some pictures.

The first of our hopefully more regular paddles away from Simon's Town takes place at Langebaan Lagoon. Paddle starts at 10am at Langebaan main beach by Driftwoods restaurant. There is a mixed doubles surfski race at the same time to add to the vibe.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

7th Jan to 13th Jan Paddles

A nice large group of 10 or so paddlers enjoyed some excellent surfing on a fresh south easter on Sunday the 7th. Two new proud Perception owners joined in for their first Sunday group outing - welcome to John and Barry. Wednesday paddle as usual at 5.30 at Berthas. Forecast is for a strong south easter.
And if you're looking for partners for the next few days post your place, date and time here.

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