Tag Archives: boat

Marine Protected Areas

The Andromeda
The Andromeda is a commercial fishing vessel, moored in a slightly unusual spot, close to the aquarium. My guess is that fish are scarce and the crew have taken to visiting the aquarium to fill their quota. But, that's only a guess.

South Africa has a fairly long coastline of 2798km, so isn't it astounding that about 20% of our coastal areas have been declared MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) - stretches of cost where commercial fishing has been banned?

One day, but not right now, I'll go to the effort of tracing all the areas on a proper map, but for now, here's a link to a page on our government's Marine and Coastal Management website - it contains a terribly-formatted list of all areas marked as MPAs. Sorry. :)

Jet ski ban around Cape Town?

Jet Ski
I've read in a few places that the use of jet skis around the Cape Peninsula has been banned. One source mentioned that they're not allowed to be used for commercial purposes and I'm now unsure if the ban is only on commercial usage since I recently saw this jet ski in Table Bay.

Do you perhaps know more about this? Please leave a comment if you do!

The sun sets on summer : 6#6

The sun sets on summer
Isn't this scene just idyllic? Imagine sitting on the deck of a yacht, sipping a cocktail, and listening to the gentle lapping of the calm Atlantic ocean against the side of the boat. At times like these it's difficult to understand why the Cape was called the Cape of Storms.

If you missed the previous 5 photos in this series, click here to jump to the beginning. :)

The sun sets on summer : 5#6

The sun sets on summer
As I explained in my first post of this series of photos, I'm a little behind on daily photos and trying as hard as I can to catch up. I'm posting this photo for this past Tuesday when it was unthinkable that Cape Town would ever see the warmth of summer again until the end of the year.

And there Cape Town surprises us all with a beautifully warm weekend filled with plenty of sun and warmth ideal for visiting the beach. Don't worry though, next week will see winter returning with all her chilly force. Brace yourself Cape Town - and remember to think of this weekend when you're freezing your toes blue towards the end of the coming week. :)

The sun sets on summer : 3#6

Sun sets on summer (and a pirate boat)
The boat that you see in the distance is the Jolly Roger - the pirate ship that parents sometimes hire out for kiddie parties.

Wouldn't it be awesome to hire the boat for an adult pirate party - at around this time of day?

In case you missed my previous post, I'm publishing a few photos of the sun setting on what could have been the last warm day until summer arrives at the end of the year. See the previous photo in the series here.

Life guards at Big Bay

Life Guards at Big Bay
The guys in the boat are presumably from the Big Bay Life Saving Club, located about 100m to the left of where I took this photo (close to all the restaurants at Eden on the Bay). I presumed that they may have been warning the surfers of some unseen danger - perhaps a shark. The only confusing part was that the surfers looked far too calm - leading me to wonder exactly what the life savers were doing!

While visiting their website I came across an interesting article on rip currents, how they work, how to identify them, and (more importantly) how to escape them. I've always heard that in the event of being caught in a rip current that you shouldn't try to fight against it, but rather swim along the shore until you escape it. Read the article, take a look at the pictures, and familiarise yourself with the technique - it could save your life. :)

Dismantling a shipwreck off Blouberg beach

Dismantling a shipwreck
In September last year I posted a photo of this Turkish bulk carrier that had ran aground off Blouberg beach. The ship ran aground in June last year and by today's photo I guess you can see that she's still there!

I'm sure you can see that progress has been made in taking her apart, but still there's an awful amount of metal that's yet to be removed. Isn't it weird how easy it's for a ship to sail across the water and how difficult it is to remove it once run aground? I'm sure if it were possible that the ship would have been towed to Table Bay harbour for dismantling. :-/

Supply boats

Boats at the pier
Doesn't the couple approaching the boat in the photo give you some perspective of how large the vessel is?

If I'm not mistaken, this boat is very similar to the Gubert Tide, a vessel that I was once asked to take photos of while passing by Table Bay. Perhaps it's obvious from the design of it's stern, but this type of boat is often used to carry supplies between harbours and oil rigs. I guess in some way they're the bakkies (pronounced buck-keys) of the ocean. :)

The Queen Mary 2 and a slightly dingy harbour

Queen Mary 2

I debated with myself about whether or not to post this photo - it's not the most appealing side of Table Bay harbour, and I do have other prettier photos of the beautiful Queen Mary 2, that you may prefer to see.

Unfortunately, due to the size of the Queen Mary 2, this is one of the few places that she's able to dock. The pier at the Table Bay hotel is in a far nicer area, but the world's largest ocean liner is simply too big and is thus forced to dock at this unsightly commercial pier.

Rumour has it that Cape Town's preparing to extend the harbour and build a proper terminal specifically for passenger ships. I'm not sure where they're going to build this alleged terminal, but I'd imagine that it would be closer to the V&A Waterfront than this pier which is way over in the unsightly commercial section.

Click here to see my small album of Queen Mary 2 photos.

Collier Jetty, grain elevators, and fishing boats

Fishing boats at the V&A Waterfront
In January 2009 I posted a night photo of these fishing boats moored at Collier Jetty.

The water that you see in the bottom half of this photo is that of the Victoria Basin - the basin that stretches out alongside the V&A Waterfront shopping mall. The Collier Jetty, on the far end of the basin, is (as you can see) currently used as a spot to moor colourful fishing boats.

According to an industrial heritage white paper that I found, Cape Town harbour's elevator complex (the metal structure extending the length of the jetty) had been used by the Farmer's Co-operative since 1987 to load grain for export. I'm not sure whether or not it's till in use by the FC since the article mentions that due to the increased length and draught of ships they were no longer able to use it (for exports).

Don't you just love how the fishing boats are painted in similar fashion to the colourful houses of Bo-Kaap?

Crossing the waters

Crossing the waters
While watching this pirate ship replica I was struck by the craziness of a handful of men (in the 16 hundreds) boarding a small sail boat like this one and heading off from Europe to sail around the tip of Africa. I'm not sure that the rough seas, frequently poor rations, and the damp working and living conditions would have enticed me into exploring the world.

Perhaps we're too used to the comforts of large cruise liners or huge jet airplanes. Perhaps we've all (although, perhaps not all) become too accustomed to modern living. Do you think we've become too soft; too breakable?

Atlantic Adventures – a flippin’ fast boat ride

A very fast boat
In Sydney Kerry-Anne and I went on a similar trip to this one offered by Atlantic Adventures. I can still remember slowly motoring back to the harbour listening to Down Under (by the Aussie band Men at Work) at top volume after the ride on the deathly fast and highly maneuverable jet boat.

I'm not sure if this boat is quite as maneuverable the one in Sydney, but from the photos on their site, it sure looks like a hell of a lot of fun. I also noticed that they offer a combo trip that consists of a boat ride and helicopter flip! If you're into adrenaline-releasing experiences then I think this experience could be just for you.

Clifton 4th Beach

Clifton 4th Beach
Thanks for your comments on my previous photo Deems, Nicola and Dawn. You're all correct - the beach is one of Clifton's 4 beaches and Dawn was 100% right in naming it as Clifton 4th - my favourite.

There was no wind to speak of; the air was cool, but the sun was warm. Bobbing around on a boat just of the beach was an amazing feeling. Even though we weren't on a luxury yacht, I guess that's the best way to describe the feeling. Imagine yourself in this very spot on the deck of a luxury yacht, enjoying the sun, drinking cocktails and snacking on delightful treats. Grand hey?

This was such great fun - and if you're okay with being out on a boat, I'd suggest this to be of the things you have to do when visiting Cape Town. It was simply beautiful.

Remember to take motion sickness tablets before jumping on board. As a particular colleague of mine discovered , feeling ill on the water really does ruin the experience.

Pirate-ship attacks in Table Bay!

Pirate-ship attacks
I'm not sure what the name of the unfortunate vessel on the right is, but approaching her on the left is the fiercest pirate ship that sails the waters of the Cape of Good Hope - the Jolly Roger!

Although I may have exaggerated a little calling it "fierce", I'm not pulling your leg - Jolly Roger is a pirate boat with a pirate crew and is generally seen sailing young land lubbers out into Table Bay for adventurous birthday parties or similarly celebratory occasions. The little trip costs anywhere between R50 and R200 per person, depending on the time of day, the package that you purchase, and the size of your shoe. (Hint: People wearing kids shoes pay a whole lot less than those wearing adult-size shoes.)

Between the plundering of defenseless ships in Table Bay you'll find the murderously cruel crew with the moored Jolly Roger at the V&A Waterfront's quay 5 - close to Sevruga and just outside of the V&A Shopping mall. Visit this pirate map to find the gap where the Jolly Roger should be moored. (I guess it was out plundering when the satellite made it's turn over the Waterfront!)

Sunset at the docks

Sunset at the docks
Just after entering the Waterfront, as you pass the Wheel of Excellence, you arrive at a large roundabout. Directly over the roundabout is this dock yard.

The V&A Waterfront is built directly alongside Table Bay harbour - Cape Town's fully functional commercial harbour. I guess this is part of the attraction and what makes the Waterfront so darn attractive. In one basin you'll see sleek yachts, in the next small run-down fishing vessels and in the next large cargo ships.

One often finds old ships in desperate need of attention in this particular dock yard. You'll often see large scaffolding surrounding the vessels with workmen clambering all over with large sanders, grinders and welding machines. It's actually quite interesting to watch them work as you make your way along the footpath to the Clock Tower and the rest of the V&A Waterfront.

We must take a boat ride!

Waterfront boats
It's a shame that us Capetonians leave the pleasures of boat rides into Table Bay to those visiting our city. We should really take time from our day-to-day lives to enjoy these pleasures that tourists more often get to enjoy.

I think we'll soon have to take a clear winter-morning trip out into the bay and then, perhaps in February next year, enjoy a warm sunset trip over to Clifton 4th beach. Take another look at the photo - doesn't that just sound perfect?

Sunset over Table Bay

Table Bay
One of the beautiful things to do in Cape Town is to walk along the Sea Point promenade while the sun sets over Table Bay. However, this day, the air was cold, a bone-rattling offshore breeze blew right through our warm tops, and I was wishing for someone to have had the wisdom to open a take-away coffee shop on the promenade.

Alas, it's not so, I don't know of a single takeaway coffee shop in the area! Do you?

Gone fishing

Fishing boat
If you're a keen fisherman, you may be excited to find out that in Cape Town you can not only fish off various beaches or from recreational fishing boats - but you can also do some fresh-water fishing for Bass and Carp, or even try your hand at fly fishing.

Visit this page on southafrica.info for a list of South African fishing-related links. If you're planning on being in the Cape Town area, take note of the links under the heading for our province, the Western Cape.

Morning harbour

Table Bay harbour
Do something good, for yourself. Visit Table Bay harbour (at the V&A Waterfront) on a clear day, early in the morning, as the sun is rising - at least once. It's one of the most beautiful and peaceful experiences you'll have while visiting Cape Town.

Click here for a map to where I took this photo.

Charter a boat in beautiful luxury

A beautiful boat

Of all the things that you could do in Cape Town, chartering a yacht must be one of the most luxurious experiences. I guess something even more luxurious would be to charter a yacht overnight and invite a few friends for a party while moored off Clifton 4th beach.

I'm not sure of the name of the vessel in this photo, but while trying to find out, I discovered that the large boat in the photo in this previous post appears to be the Princess Emma, one of the most luxurious charters available at the Cape Town Waterfront.

Given the overnight rate of approximately R40 000, I assume that it would most often be companies that would charter the vessel to either treat their employees (most likely the directors ;) ), or to impress prospective clients. Nevertheless, if you have a mere R40 000 to spend on a night's entertainment, and if you'd like to be super-popular with your friends, this sure is the way to go. :D

Bumper boats!

Tug boats in the Table Bay harbour
I've always been the biggest fan of bumper cars - it's such a pity that most funfairs don't allow people over the age of 10 or so to play on them, though. Maybe they'll let me have a go on these cool bumper boats instead?

The Enseleni (at the back) was built in Durban in 2001 and has a bollard pull of 50 tons, while the Pinotage (just in front of the Enseleni) was built way back in 1980 and has a bollard pull of 43 tons. Bollard pull is basically an indication of how strong a tug is and how much force it can exert on another vessel (although my research tells me that it is a little more complicated than that).

So just remember, if you ever get invited to play bumper boats, make sure you get the boat with the greatest bollard pull.

A flag of convenience

Marshall Islands flag
Although this vessel is flying the flag of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the chance that it actually originates from there is pretty slim indeed. According to the CIA Factbook, 990 of the 1049 merchant ships registered in the Marshall Islands are foreign-owned, and therefore flying what is termed a flag of convenience. There could be a number of reasons for this - tax avoidance, circumvention of tricky local regulations, or even the avoidance of political boycotts. I was a bit young to notice, but apparently many South African vessels were registered elsewhere during the apartheid years,  in order to avoid the unpleasant consequences of international sanctions and boycotts.

Of course, being a girl, I'd probably just pick the flag that best matched my pretty ship's colour scheme, and get the vessel registered in that country. Which is probably why Paul won't let me have a sailing ship.

Silversea’s Silver Wind

Silversea's Silver Wind
The closest I've come to going aboard a cruise ship was watching Titanic in 1997. It's definitely on my long-term to-do list, but I'm generally of the opinion that if I'm going to go on a cruise, I might as well make it worthwhile - these little 3-day "cruises to nowhere" don't really get me excited. A three-week cruise to Italy, on the other hand... ah, now that seems like a good way to pass the time.

The ship pictured here is the Silver Wind, the second-oldest of the fleet belonging to Silversea Cruises. If you feel like escaping reality for a few minutes, you can create your own virtual voyage aboard the Silver Wind.

The Argo Sea|mester training vessel

Argo, a training yacht belonging to Seamester Global
This is Argo, a yacht belonging to Seamester Global. Seamester, based in the USA, offers experiential nautical training - students spend a semester at sea, learning a wide range of skills and visiting places that they would otherwise probably only read about. Can you imagine what an amazing experience this must be? What a way to discover the world! If I had a child leaving school and considering taking a gap year, I think this would be high on my list of suggestions to them.

You can follow the activities of the students on board the Argo, by reading their regular blog posts and listening to their audio updates here.

The Cape Grace Hotel and the yacht basin

Yachts and Boats

The Cape Grace Hotel (the brown building) must be one of the best-situated of all the Cape Town hotels. In the morning, people who stay on the other side of the building see the sun rising over the Waterfront and harbour while the group on this side have a view of Table Mountain, Lion's Head and Signal Hill bathed in the wonderfully soft morning light. In the evening, while one group watches the lights of the shops and boats, and feels the vibrancy of the Waterfront, the group on this side of the hotel gets to watch these beautiful yachts bobbing in the basin, with the sky turning red as the sun sets behind the mountain. The Cape Grace must be a beautiful place to stay!

We've never been inside the hotel - and since we live not too far away and it's fairly expensive I doubt we would stay at the hotel. So, please, if you've stayed there, leave a note and let us know how accurate my description above is. :)

The One&Only Hotel’s private yacht

One and Only Hotel ferry
A slight change of pace from the last post... This is the One&Only Hotel's yacht, presumably used mostly for taking guests from the hotel (located alongside the yacht basin) around the corner to the V&A Waterfront's main shopping and dining area.

Of course, you could walk (it's at most a 10-minute walk to the best shops and restaurants), or take a taxi (probably 2 minutes by car), but this is far more genteel, don't you think? And besides, if I were paying around R20,000 a night for my hotel suite, I wouldn't be inclined to expend any more effort than absolutely necessary either. :)

The Atlantic Adventures speedboat

Atlantic Adventures boat
Whenever I see one of these adventure boats in the harbour I'm reminded of our trip to Sydney in 2004, when we took a ride on a jet boat from Darling Harbour. Activity-wise I think it was the highlight of our holiday. Actually, we enjoyed it so much that we went back for another turn a few days later! :D

I'm so curious as to whether the companies in Cape Town, like Atlantic Adventures, offer the same thrilling, adrenalin-filled experience as the ones in Sydney. Have any of you been on one of these boats at the V&A Waterfront, and if so, how was it?

Jazz on water

Yacht basin an the V&A Waterfront

I'm not much of a jazz fan, but I have to admit that the AquaJazz show at the V&A Waterfront's Aqua Festival was pretty good. I took this photo to the right of the stage, a little while before the show - as the light was fading. Isn't the yacht basin just beautiful? It must be awesome to own an apartment that's part of such a beautiful view... even more, it must be awesome to own that huge yacht in the middle of the photo!

The seals that you see on the jetty are interesting creatures. For each show that I've attended they've sat on the jetty talking to each other in their dog-like grunts and barks. The jetty connects to a landing that the performers use to walk to the stage, and often the stage security guys have to spray water on the seals to encourage them to move off the landing so that the performers can make their way to the stage without being pushed into the water by a huge lumbering seal.

It's really entertaining to watch the little dance between the seals and the security people. :D

Edit: I've just published an album for the AquaJazz show here.