What’s happening at Port St Francis?

Port St Francis, one of a few privately owned Ports in South Africa, is situated in St Francis Bay, adjacent to the beautiful tranquil village and surfing mecca Cape St Francis in a region known as the Kouga.

 

Close encounter with southern rights in the bay

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Close encounter with southern rights in the bay

Early in August a group of tourists on Look Sharp, one of St Francis Whale Watching’s boats, experienced a very close encounter with three southern right whales in our Bay.  Local photographer Martin Barbour was on another boat ready to take these lovely photographs. At the moment there are at least 7 southern right whales in the Bay.  If you want to experience the same, contact Tim Christy of St Francis Whale Watching (the only whale watching boat permit holder in the area) on 082 569 3750 or safarisa@atlantic.co.za. Tim offers trips in the bay at a special rate of R475 per person till the end of...

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Clay target shooting with a pinch of salt

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Clay target shooting with a pinch of salt

The new craze, clay target shooting at sea, is on offer in our Bay from Tim Christy’s St Francis Safaris Safaris.  The sport of clay target shooting is an Olympic sport requiring reflex and skill, and even more difficult practised at sea. “We purchased a fantastic mobile machine and launched this great new sport about a month ago in a safe, environment friendly area,” says Tim.  “This exciting event is a great option for the non-golfer at about the same price.” If you want to take Tim up for this challenge, contact him on 082 569...

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The Whales are here!

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The Whales are here!

The winter visitors have arrived and those who would like to experience a close encounter with southern right whales, dolphins and other marine animals, should contact Tim Christy from St Francis Whale Watching, the only boat based permit holder in the Kouga. Tim offers trips in the bay at a special rates  from time to time – contact him on safarisa@lantic.co.za or on 082 569 3750. Images:  Warren Manser location Shark Point CALF HEAD CALF HEAD CALF HEAD PROFILE SPOUT CALF TUMMY MOTHER &CALF MOTHER &CALF RIVER MOUTH TAIL WHALES WHALES...

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Safety tips from the NSRI

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Safety tips from the NSRI

To all boaters and paddlers – a few pointers from the NSRI Head Office:  Launching your craft in fine weather could see you fighting through a major storm only hours later and we therefore urge anyone making use of the sea or inland waters to check out weather forecasts before launching.  Please take all the necessary safety precautions into account in order to be prepared for the worse if weather conditions change adversely or if you land up, unexpectedly, in a dire emergency situation. Also prepare yourself and your crew for an emergency.  Don’t try to handle an emergency situation for the first time only in a real emergency! Anyone launching any kind of craft to go to sea or on inland waters should keep safety at the top of your mind.  Always: Always let a responsible person know your time of departure, the route you plan to travel and your estimated return time and stick to your route and plans. Make sure the responsible person has an action plan well versed to contact the NSRI if you do not return as scheduled. Check that your craft and equipment are in good working order and carry the correct safety approvals and certifications. Make sure your craft has your name and a land based contact number and your details stenciled on the craft. Have your nearest NSRI emergency phone number stored in your phone (St Francis Bay:  082 990 5969 or visit www.nsri.org.za for more numbers).  Other vital national emergency phone numbers are 10177 (from any phone) and 112 (from a cellphone). Plan for an emergency before launching onto water so that if you land up in a life threatening situation the steps you take to ensure your survival are well rehearsed. Life-Jackets are the safety belts when you are on water and should be worn at all times. Have your communications devices, a cell-phone or VHF radio, with fully charged batteries stored in watertight plastic sleeves. Carry red distress flares, a signaling mirror or CD disc, a referees whistle, a waterproof torch and wear the correct brightly colored gear and a hat and sunscreen and keep yourselves well hydrated. Safety and ensuring your survival when the odds, or the weather, unexpectedly turn against you begins before you leave home. We have gone so far as to recommending to boaters and paddlers to practice by jumping into a swimming pool with all their gear and practice using their safety equipment as it is no good familiarizing yourself with your safety equipment for the first time in a real emergency. Source:  NSRI, Craig...

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Experiencing the Sardine Run

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Experiencing the Sardine Run

It is time for the annual Sardine Run in KwaZulu Natal, an event not to be missed by some St Francis families.  For almost 40 years the Christies from St Francis Bay have been part of a phenomenon that brings filmcrews and tourists from over the world to experience. “In the beginning our family was reliant on the Sardine Run as a much needed income for our family business.  It was hard work that we enjoyed with my dad, Don.  For us it became a tradition, something we enjoy with our sons now,” says Marc Christy.  The three Christy brothers, Marc, Greg and Tim, together with Kevin Bremner from St Francis Bay and Mike Gradwell from Humansdorp, all ex-Natalians, are the only Sardine Run permit holders outside the province out of the total of 25.  “We all work and stay together, something that gives us an advantage to get to the fish first.”  says Marc. “Each year is different, we never know what to expect and it makes it difficult to plan.  In the old days we had “spotters” to track the sardines, but nowadays the fishermen uses aeroplanes.  We don’t, as it is a very expensive excersize and there is not much money in the Run.  We are happy if we break even, and it is still a privilege to be part of it.” The permit allows you to drive on the beaches with 4×4’s to launch rubber ducks.  “In the old days we had rowing boats to take out the nets.  We employ about 35 men for the month to help us to net.”   Netting from the shore is the only form of catching the sardines on the KwaZulu Natal coast, as the current is too strong to trawl.  A rubber duck goes out with the net which is tied to the shore, and when the school comes in they release the net to catch the sardines.  “Then it is chaos, which we try our best to control.  The people on the beach get the spilover from the net, and sometimes it becomes a bit of a fight!” The majority of the sardines are sold to the Indian community, who prepares it in many ways.  Deep fried, stews, curried, on an open fire.  It is very popular “and very healthy, with the oil and vitamin E content,” says Marc. The very first net of the Run gets the best price, and after that the first of the day.  “If you get the first net, then at least you have a break even situation.  When the price drops to R10 a basket, we know it is time to go home!”  The run lasts for almost a month, starting around the second week of June each...

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