After the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand in 2011, I turned to the next item on my ‘Bucket List’, namely sailing my 40ft Sun Odyssey Jeanneau yacht to all of the Marinas on the West and East Coast of South Africa.
My yacht, named “Alkistis” (which means in Greek “Starred, name in lights”), arrived in Luderitz, Namibia, after 11 000 nautical miles and two Atlantic crossings with its relocation crew in October 2011.
Then the great challenge began on 5th November 2012, when Alkistis and I began our African Marina Hopping Adventure!
It began with the trip from Luderitz to Saldana/Langebaan, and then on to Cape Town, where we moored her for all of November 2011, and from there we sailed her between Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town Harbour and Hout Bay.
I then moved her to Simon’s Town for the first half of December, from where we sailed the False Bay waters.
The seafaring tradition
As marinas go, the Royal Cape Yacht Club, Hout Bay ,and Simon’s Town were great. They expressed the long sea faring tradition that the Cape has bestowed on its foreigners visiting her shores such as the Dutch traders. I became a member of all three marinas, got the T-shirt, and had drinks at each of the Harbour Clubs.
I most enjoyed sailing between Royal Cape Yacht Club and Hout Bay, seeing the cliffs of Clifton and Camps Bay, and then enjoying fine dining in exquisite seafood restaurants in Hout Bay, seafood on Mariners Wharf, and after, Christo my Skipper took Alkistis back to Cape Town.
The rest of my family joined me in Cape Town for the first 18 days of December, so after enjoying the False Bay waters, I decided to set up base at Simon’s Town Marina. It was a fine day to depart from Hout Bay, sailing 12 hours around Cape Point, drinking in the fantastic scenery and cliffs, and watching dolphins at play.
Simon’s Town, home of the South African Navy
Sailing into Simons Town really gives you the Naval Port feeling as there are a number of frigates, submarines, and battleships to be seen since it’s the home of the SA Navy. As a town, it’s a quaint village and depends on the harbour for its attractions, and the shops are really “village” themed of old Colonial.
It was a bit of a trek driving back and forth between Simon’s Town and the V&A Waterfront, but with a family of 12 (kids included), there is no better place to base oneself than in the V&A Waterfront Village, and dine there at all the fine restaurants with its kaleidoscope of foods.
My favourite restaurant was the fish restaurant which took over from the old Fish and Chips take away. Five-star fine dining of fresh fish and Sushi. It was also a great hangout for PIMMS!