Saturday, December 25, 2010

Cape Point Paddle cancelled

Sorry to blog so late but the weather forecast for Cape Point is too windy for a safe paddle in the area. 12 meters per second is forecast but we all know it will be more.
We will reschedule for a date in January. Merry Xmas all.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Weather for the week ahead

This is the Windfinder forecast for the next week here in False Bay. As I write the forecast is for 14 metres per second and the Roman Rock station is reading 15 metres per second. Last night it blew at 20 metres per second (forecast was 13) which is 40 knots / 74kph.

Those that may be up for a downwind run from Millers to Simons Town at the Wednesday evening paddle contact the shop to make arrangements.

There is a movie here of one of the downwind paddles.

The Cape Doctor rules.

Friday, November 19, 2010

NSRI donation

Margaret hands over a cheque for R4000.00 to Darren Zimmerman of the NSRI, money which was raised by the entry fees for the Kayak race series over the last Winter. Thank you to all the paddlers who participated in the races.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Race results

Derek Goldman

Geoff Hart 01:00:49
Ryno Lamont 01:01:05
Basil Thomas 01:02:11
Alain Jaques 01:02:41
Mark Webb 01:03:24
Paul Weber 01:05:19
Andrew Kennedy 01:30:49


Kevin Kruger 01:03:16
Wayne Webster 01:11:09
Raymond Wagner 01:13:36
Ian Till 01:14:00
John Laurence 01:15:30
Mike McNair 01:26:49

Silke Carstensen 01:03:51
Barbara Calothi 01:14:00
Viv van der Heyden 01:26:49
Karen 01:30:49

Tim Elliot & Penny01:10:52

Full results and pictures on the web site here

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kayak Race Sunday 7th November


Verily do the gods smite us with high winds. It was gale force and we did cancel. The surfski boys and girls went ahead with their race in Fish Hoek but this is what they said "In quite the most extreme wind conditions ever experienced since the start of local surfski series racing in 1998 Dawid Mocke posted his maiden victory in the 2010 Discovery Sunglass Hut Surfski series, mastering the gale force winds and overcoming a strong field to clinch the title..." 

We will try again for next Sunday the 7th. Sigh.

Yes it's gonna be windy but not a gale so far, so we are ON! We should be reasonably sheltered in Simon's Bay. See you tomorrow.

The forecast is looking pretty windy but unless it's a howling gale we will be going ahead with the race anyway. If it is very windy we will obviously do the more sheltered course from the beach through the yacht club.
This will be the last race of the season.

Whoever is in charge of the weather would appear to be a surfskier and not a paddler. Our last two Sunday's have been horrendous weatherwise and yesterday would have been our race day except the surfskiers were at the beach for the opening race of their season - and it was just glorious.
Surfskiers would actually say the weather was against them as they hate flat calm days so perhaps the weather god just does not like paddlers of any kind! Anyway next Sunday looks to be pretty windy so we are setting the race for 31st October. Fingers are crossed, toes are cramped.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kayak Race - Sunday 10th October - POSTPONED AGAIN

FRI: Not gonna happens guys and girls. Race is postponed until further notice.

THU: It's not getting any better - I will make a decision on Friday and post it here. If we postpone the race will take place on the 24th or 31st Oct

WED: It's not the best forecast we've ever seen is it!? However if the front is delayed by a few hours then the weather should be fine and the race will go ahead so watch this space please.

RACE DAY - Sunday 10th October 10am

Long Beach (behind Simon's Town railway station)
Registration from 9am R30 per paddler
Race Start 10am (on the water start)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kayak Race - Sunday 3rd October

The forecast is  the same as today and it's terrible over here. 

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Race video

Geoff Tinker made a video of the 3rd race of the season and you can see it here

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday Race

David drops the flag and gets the race under way
It was a lovely calm day for a race albeit with a light headwind most of the way and some biggish chop at the lighthouse and Roman Rock

Full results and and more pictures on the Race Page

Derek Goldman, Basil Thomas, Geoff Hart, Ryno Lamont , Mark Webb, Matthew McCambridge, Mark Munro, Paul Whitmill, Kevin Kruger, John Laurence, Ian Till, Sean Burr

Women: Silke Carstensen, Tracey Fincham

Jean Tresfon, Paul Jenkins, Kevin Brunette,Mike Van Wieringen, Bernard Haupt

Emile Kruger & Adrian, Ian Lints, Barbara Calothi, Alistair Hendricks, Christo van Schalkwyk, Wayne Coram, Sandy Mclea, Bart  Mclea

Monday, August 16, 2010

Whale encounter experience

Anne relaxing with no idea what's in store for her
What an incredible experience...think I'll be buzzing for the next 2 weeks.

This was our first kayaking trip to Cape Point. It was so nice to be with a group who knew the area and conditions well. We would never have ventured there on our own.

Anyway the scenery was spectacular. When we got to the point, the wind had picked up a bit and the swells were bigger than we'd ever experienced before. I think Derek could see that we were a bit apprehensive and suggested we turn back and head towards the more sheltered area and wait for them.

Drew and I were cruising along, talking about how incredible it would be to see a whale. He said he thought we were too close to the cliffs. Anyway he went on ahead of me a bit. We were moving quite quickly when all of a sudden this rock appeared out of the water a couple of meters in front of me. (as I write this my heart is racing again!!!) Then I realized that it was a whale - huge, must have be 10 meters across - covered in barnacles. I started back paddling but couldn't stop and ended up on top of him. He sank down a bit then came out of the water, right under my seat. I must have been lifted about half a meter out of the
water. Then he just sank down and there was this huge wave all around me. Oh my God!!!

This all happened so quickly. I just remember wanting to scream to Drew, but thinking that the noise may upset the whale! I only screamed once he had gone under again. Drew turned round to see this wave and white water all around me. How I stayed in my kayak, I really don't know. And then I started shaking. I could not believe what had just happened.

The whole afternoon, I kept reliving that experience...just could not believe it! We cracked open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate life. I think this is one of those experiences that will stay with me forever.

This is why we've moved down to the Cape!!!

What it probably did not look like

Cape Point Paddle report

14 paddlers - around half of whom had never paddled this route - set off at 10am for the point on a cool and blustery morning. The forecast was for mild northerlies swinging to the south - perfect for the return journey. Swells were large and choppy at the point but more than half the group braved it and paddled round the point before turning for "home" at Buffels.

Mark, Silke, Andre and myself split off and paddled back to Simon's Town get some extra mileage - 31km to be precise - under our belts. Got back at 3pm, pretty damn tired. The wind did not play ball and only swung south after 5pm so we paddled all the way back into a westerly headwind of 15 to 20kph but it was still great fun.

The big moment however, and I only heard about this the next day because I had left the group, was one of the paddlers got raised out of the water by a surfacing Southern Right! She was fine and we are hoping she will write up her experience for the blog.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pictures of evening paddle

Last night was so nice I thought I'd post some pictures for those who failed to turn up! Click on the picture for enlarged version.

Cape Point this Sunday 15th

The forecast for this Sunday is pretty good so it's time to go to Cape
Point for our regular paddle.
Meet outside the Paddlers shop at 9am to car pool up and sort out
If the weather turns too nasty for Cape Point we will just do the local
paddle or perhaps a Millers downwind. The normal paddle from Berthas will
still take place for those who are not ready for the Point.
Remember your Wild Card or R75 cash

Monday, July 19, 2010

Third Kayak Race - Sunday 25th July 2010

Finally a beautiful winters morning on race day bringing out our largest field of the season. The good weather allowed for the scenic course of following the coast along the beach to the Paddlers Bouy, out to the lighthouse and back to the beach to finish. Basil just pipped Mark at the line in a tight finale.

Jean took the surfski race in another tight finish and Silke continues her domination of the female category.

Thanks to Naish for demoing stand up paddling to us and once again to Oasis Water in Lakeside for the after race drinks.

Full results and more pictures on the Race Page

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Second Kayak Race - Sunday 27th June 2010

Well it was touch and go whether to cancel at around 7am this morning - it still looked fairly gnarly out there but the wind was obviously moderating and we decided to trust the winfinder forecast of the lull and it proved accurate. As the wind was slightly easterly the long course set off to Ark Rock, turned to the lighthouse, rounding it anti clockwise, and set off back to the beach, a distance of 7.2km. The short course returned after rounding Ark rock. The wind may have dropped but the swell had not - it was pretty big out there and it was an extremely challenging course. The huge waves at the lighthouse took their toll on the surfskiers who tested the water temperature a few times but the sea kayakers in their more stable craft all stayed dry. Derek led the way out but was passed by Geoff at the lighthouse and they diced all the way back with Derek only prevailing on the last few hundred meters. Mark moved up on the rankings by beating Basil for the first time.

Full results and more pictures on the Race Page

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Jellyfish Invasion

You may have spotted the large quantity of jelly fish in the bay and wondered about them - I know I have.

There is an story at Scenic South answering the question and a very interesting general article as well.

Friday, June 04, 2010


Saturday's weather indeed being glorious, my non-paddling husband, Harry, and I headed up Echo Valley in the Kalk Bay mountains returning via the Spes Bona Valley. The sea was looking magnificent – extremely calm and placid (imminently paddleable!) with great swathes of satiated seabirds floating on the water close to shore. We wondered whether the sardines were in the bay, and hoped fervently to see some exciting activity involving dolphins and killer whales. Alas, this was not to be and we had to be content with the “virtual encounter” with the Orcas and multitudes of dolphins in False Bay at present which you too can experience by clicking onto the following page of Kim's and my local community website:

Derek adds:
Here is another report on the same pod with great pictures
Also look at this article from Newfoundland about a whale encounter while paddling

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Paternoster getaway - Postponed

Accommodation either campsite at Titiesbaai or if you like to organise your own, there are many guesthouses in Paternoster or you could contact the Parksboard. Weather can be tricky at that time of the year, so plans might change short-term (change to another destination or cancel). For those wanting to paddle with us, we will organise paddles for the more experienced paddler but paddling is usually also great for less experienced paddlers - just make sure you have a paddling buddy and the necessary safety equipment. Paternoster offers more than just paddling - fishing, hiking, cycling etc are all nice activities for yourself or partners that you which to drag along ;-) If you'd like to join us, please contact Silke Carstensen on and I'll keep you informed. This is an open invitation but please note that paddling, camping etc is at your own risk.

Wednesday Paddle - 5 pictures are worth a 1000 words

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Paddlers Kayak Race Series - Race 1 Results

After the most glorious windless Saturday, race day greeted us with a howling south-easter which reduced the number of contestants. The route was changed from the advertised one to a number of laps via a rectangular course from the beach to the yacht club and back. The high winds made for a challenging and technical race with much of it side-on winds of 40kph and more.

Short Course - 2 laps - 4km

Christo van Schalkwyk 00:38:23
Margaret Tierney 00:41:18
Intermediate - 3 laps - 5.3km
David Parry-Davies 00:41:12
John Laurence 00:48:36
Long Course - 4 laps - 7.2km
Derek Goldman 00:48:34
Bernard Haupt 00:48:38
Ryno Lamont 00:50:02
Geoff Hart 00:50:10
Mark Webb 00:50:21
Paul Weber 00:52:44
Tim Elliot 00:53:24
Mark Munro 00:54:03
Silke Carstensen 00:55:53
Paul Whitmill 00:57:17
Andrew Hermann 01:00:03
Ian Till 01:00:49
Barbara Calothi 01:01:16

Some pictures and categorised results will be on the racepage sometime tommorow.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Paddlers Kayak Shop 2010 Kayak Race Series

Winter Race Series Starts This Sunday
Back due to popular demand - the Winter Timed Event! We will be calling it a Race just for shorthand but we all know that it's just a way of getting on the water with a group of friendly paddlers and someone telling you how long it took.
There are two distances, the short course being no longer than a regular Sunday morning paddle i.e. Boulders and back, so it is well within everyone's capability.
As always the emphasis is on meeting other paddlers and having a good time. It's also ideal for those who want to use the event to measure and improve their fitness as every paddler will be given a time.

Dawn Patrol on Zandvlei

Was on Zandvlei in my Kayak before dawn on Sunday to join four energetic eco-activists for the Zandvlei leg of their Peninsula Paddle from M/Berg Beach to Milnerton along the vleis, rivers and (sadly) mainly canals. Started at the bridge before sunrise - then paddled just as it was getting light along the vlei to the top where the Fish Eagles roost. Early morning orange, pelicans, king fishers and a zillion other water birds made for a wonderful start to the day. Some seagull rowdies hassled the eagles off their roost and I heard them call overhead as I paddled back. On the way, I did a loop through a section of the Marina to see how the water worlders live. There are shallow sections immediately upstream of Main Road Bridge, but I made it through to meet the incoming tide at the weir. Glided over into the sea to land on the beach. Next time I shall take breakfast and stop on the Island to enjoy the birds. 
Kim K.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another magical animal encounter

Winter has settled in but this does not keep us of the water. Yesterday we made the most of the magical days winter has to offer and headed out from Millers Point towards Smitswinkel Bay. This stretch of coastline is very exposed to strong winds and swells so picking the correct day is essential. Paddling along this untouched coastline really allows you to appreciate the area we live in.
We came across a calm little cove were we decided to land for a leg stretch, after reentering the water we were greeted by a furry friend the Cape Clawless Sea Otter. After much contemplation he decided to get up close for a thorough investigation of our kayaks lasting several minutes. Let's remember that this is their area and they do not mind visitors who keep to themselves. Enjoy your Paddle!
Geoff Hart

A whale of a kayak trip

Kayaking in whale season can be a dangerous sport so take care! :) :) :)


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Paddle from Hout Bay to Three Anchor Bay.

Mike's invite to join him on this paddle was pretty last minute, which happens when the weather dictates. Fortunately Simon's Town paddlers are mostly adaptable, so there were plenty of takers.
Margaret, Derek, Mark, Basil, Barbara, Hendrik, William and myself set out on a perfect morning into a dreamy sea without any misgivings.

The trip to Seal Island was effortless and wonderfully scenic. As we approached the perfoming seals, the tour boat Calypso breezed passed, laden with smiling oriental faces. Cameras clicked furiously and suddenly we were big in Japan, although those awesome cliffs and the rising swell soon started to make us feel small and helpless.

Barbara soon took her first of many dunkings as the sea turned into a washing mashine. In the shadow of the cliffs the water looked dark cold and menacing and the mist started to roll in. Barbara's legs soon turned numb with cold which didn't help to improve her balance on her unstable surfski. We were very relieved to be in the comfort of our relatively stable kayaks.

As three of the kayaks started to disapear into the mist ahead of us and couldnt hear our shouts. William realised to his delight that he could legitimately use his whistle, (My ears are still ringing, but it did the trick) and Mike turned back to reasure us that calmer conditions were just around the corner at Sandy Bay and the mist would soon fade.

The eerie fog horn continued to boom out of the white fog ahead and we chose to not turn back but to trust Mike's experience. Barbara battled on gamely but wisely decided to bail out at Llandudno where we stopped for breakfast.
Mike was spot on with his predictions and the rest of the trip was pure pleasure.

Some of the highlights for me was the sight of the wreck of the Boss 400 looming surrealistically out of the mist and the hang gliders drifting off Lions Head. We truly live in an amazing part of the world and although False Bay with its Whales and Dolphins will always be the best place to paddle, there are definitely adventures to be had on the Atlantic side too.

Margot King

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dolphins, again

The huge pod of dolphins that has been gorging itself for weeks on the huge school of fish, which seemingly cannot find its way out of the bay to potential safety, made another appearance during one of my tourists trips. This time it was right in Simon's Bay and they were not feeding so hung around for 15 minutes or so swimming around the kayaks. Luckily my customers had their camera and got some great shots. As usual click on the photo to see a larger view.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cape Point Paddle - Sunday 11th

UPDATE. The wind blew rather stronger than forecast so the trip was changed to a downwind run from Millers Point to Fish Hoek.

The forecast at the moment looks marginal for an enjoyable paddle to Cape Point unless you are fairly experienced. It does however look good for a Buffels back to Simon's Town paddle for the fitter ones. It's the swell that may prove a problem at the launch and if it's a issue there it will certainly it makes for big swells at the Point. So no promises, it's a call we will have to make once we are there.

It is important for us to know who is coming so if you are, please email to let us know.

Meet at Paddlers shop at 8.30am to organise car pooling. Remember your Wild Card, especially as some people may have to go back to Buffels to fetch cars.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bay Crossing - Kim's impressions

We had been talking about paddling across False Bay for a couple of years.  The more we talked and strategized, the more opportunities we missed.  The weather forecast and sea conditions for Sunday 29 March were perfect for a crossing.  “Let’s Just Do It’” someone said.  So we did.

Seven experienced sea-kayakers from the Paddler’s Kayak Shop network of regulars set out early on Sunday morning from Millers to tackle the 33kms to Rooiels.   To be honest, I joined the group for `the t-shirt’.  So that I could say, if anyone asked, that I had paddled across False Bay.  The experience was awesome with perfect conditions and for those of you interested in numbers, we completed the crossing averaging a comfortable 7kms per hour.   It was not at all the long, eventless, open ocean slog that I had expected.  Hardly had we left the slip at Millers when we were surrounded by wheeling Malgas (Cape Gannet ) who eyeballed us almost as if they thought we were a fishing party worth watching.  Our route took us just south of Whittle Rock which seems to have lost its marker buoy, but which we located surrounded by Kalkbay Chuckies.  The crew was busy with their hand lines and not especially interested in us – no doubt in their long years at sea they have seen so many unusual sightings that a handful of sea-kayakers in mid ocean is all in a day’s work.

At about the half way mark with Cape Point looking rather small behind us and Cape Hangklip and the Koggelberg Mountains still a distant smudge half buried in cloud we rafted-up for very welcome coffee and crunchies.   After over two hours at sea there was the inevitable discussion about how to relieve a full bladder while sitting in an unstable craft over 17kms from nearest land.  There were various solutions, most of which were not tested so that for some of us the situation did add to the endurance aspect of long distance paddling.

In our experience, the middle of the bay is not the quiet preserve of deep ocean swells but is full of life.  The variety of seabirds that we could not recognize added to the excitement of being in new territory.  Judging by the birds and the vast assembly of seals, there must be huge shoals of bait fish in the bay at present.  The seals looked satiated and hung together in companionable rafts of raised flippers.  As we paddled past, small groups of seals detached themselves and porpoised playfully after our boats.  The spray kicked up by diving Malgas had us thinking about whales, and sure enough a Bryde’s Whale blew and then surfaced close by.

As we approached the-other-side of False Bay our destination became more real.  We were also, sadly, seeing floating plastic as we approached land. Hangklip lighthouse, which at first looked as if it was standing in the sea, was now visible on its low-lying fringe of land and Rooiels was taking shape – as were the white plumes of breaking waves crashing onto the rocks along the coast.  We know that Rooiels has a safe landing beach and that Derek had recently paddled from Rooiels while escorting swimmers in an across the bay attempt. Ja!  We thought that we had done amazingly well to paddle across False Bay, but that swimmers have swum the same crossing is really impressive.  We followed Derek around the point into Rooiels Bay and saw not only an easy beach exit, but also Liz and Honey our support crew waiting for us.   We had just done it - the plan came together.  There is no t-shirt big enough to say it all, but I shall never be able to look across False Bay again without reliving a part of the wonderful experience. There is nothing False about this Bay – but that’s another story!!

False Bay Crossing

We've talked about doing it for years but getting a willing bunch together on the same day with the weather perfect and on a Sunday is rare but it all came together at short notice this weekend.
Silke Carstensen, Kim Kryshaar, Derek Goldman, Chris Kryshaar, Mark Webb and Margot and William King set off around 7.45am...
...from Millers Point heading to Rooi Els 32.5km away as the Google Earth crow flies.
The forecast light westerly wind, which would have been a tail wind, and the main reason for going this day, never really materialised and for the first half of the crossing we headed into a moderate northerly. While it never blew strong enough to slow you down much it did create a cross chop against the 3m swell opposing it from the south.

By around half way the wind dropped to almost nothing and the swell increased as the barrier effect of the Cape Point peninsula lessened.
It's tough on the back and bum so it helps if you're a bit supple and can lean back this far!
Hangklip slowly - too slowly - gets closer and looms larger. An hour or so from landing another friendly Brydes whale paid a visit to the lucky paddlers, but this time did not stay to play. It passed across our bows, turned around us and from just 15m or so showed its fin, dived and disappeared. (Margaret said there was another whale very close to us as we left but none of us actually saw it!)
One expects the trip to be boring for long stretches but deeper into the bay the wildlife increases and we were often chased by playful seals and the birdlife is magnificent. The beautiful Cape Gannet is plentiful and (we think) Petrel as well. Nothing wrong with the view of the mountains ahead either.
Around 5 hours after leaving we arrive at the small holiday hamlet of Rooi Els to be met by our transport crew (thanks Liz and Honey), Hansa "bombs" in hand.

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

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