We were contacted by Jaco & Beancia, who with their son had recently started dinghy sailing in their home country, on Lake Zurich. They were visiting and staying with family in Cape Town for 2 weeks, with a fairly full schedule planned. However, there were several days with nothing arranged and the family of 3 did not want to miss the tremendous opportunity of sailing in both the Southern Ocean as well as up in the awesome mountains of the Western Cape.
Our team of Internationally Accredited Instructors arranged the following tailor-made Sailing Safari.
On the morning of Thurs 27th Oct’16, Jaco, Beancia and 12yr old, Helmut, arrived with their hire car at the scenic “Old Harbour” in Gordons Bay. After introductions over mugs of coffee and tea, we launched 3 of our Topaz dinghies plus Safety Boat. Helmut started with an instructor on board, but very quickly mastered his boat. A gentle northerly breeze ensured great morning bay sailing with pods of dolphins and seals in abundance. We sailed the fleet into Harbour Island and tied up at the waterfront. For details please read “Sailing Options – Gordons Bay”
We had booked lunch at the famous “Berties Moorings” Pub and Restaurant, started by well-known South African sailor Bertie Reed. After a meal at a table overlooking our fleet of boats, we all enjoyed a leisurely sail back across the bay to the Old Harbour. After packing the boats we enjoyed a refreshing cooldrink at the Thirsty Oyster Bar and Restaurant, whilst confirming plans for the next part of their sailing safari – a weekends sailing up in the mountains at Theewaterskloof lake on Sat 5th & Sun 6th Nov’16.
Saturday was a glorious sunny day and Instructors and family met at Theewaterskloof at 09h00. After packing their gear into the waterfront bunkhouse, we all met for coffee and tea in the training room. There was a steady 8kt breeze from the NE, and we were all on the water by 10h00. The steady wind was perfect for Helmut, whose skills had improved substantially and now preferred sailing solo on his own Topaz dinghy. Jaco and Beancia meanwhile, were enjoying themselves sailing one of our Hobie 16 catamarans. Lunch was a picnic under the trees, but unfortunately the breeze died. Plan B for the afternoon was a 40-minute drive to the seaside town of Hermanus, the Whale Watching capital of South Africa. We saw several pods of Southern Right Whales from the cliff edges plus a mother and calf nursing 50 metres off the beach. see https://www.hermanus.co.za/whales
Jaco and Beancia decided on a little shopping at the seaside craft and food market before we drove back to Theewaterskloof for a well-deserved evening meal, with sunset drinks as we watched the intense colours and light across the water. Everyone slept well in the 2-roomed waterfront bunkhouse. (sleeps 12 in large room and 6 in smaller room)
Sunday dawned bright and clear with 8 – 12 knots of SE wind which promised to set in for the day, building in the afternoon to 15 – 18 knots. Absolutely perfect sailing weather. We set off with our fleet to do a full day circumnavigation of all the bays around the lake (a total of 20 nautical miles) The fleet was attended by the Safety Boat with cooler boxes of lunch and refreshment. By now Helmut had progressed to both Main and Jib sails on his Topaz dinghy, whilst Jaco was coming to terms with the powerful Genniker and bowsprit. Beancia was quite content to remain in full control with Main and Jib, allowing her to pick her own time for a swim at one of the many sandy beaches.
We returned to base late afternoon. Jaco, Beancia and Helmut were “over the moon” with their total Sailing Safari experience. Hans kept repeating that he was amazed that both sections of their sailing Safari had cost less than R9,000 for the whole family, and included Tuition, Accommodation, Boats, Safety boats, Life-jackets plus two Accredited Senior Instructors.
The family have already booked their next Sailing Safari, when they return to visit family over Xmas 2017.