Protecting South African coastal waters is a group of committed vessel skippers from the Dept. of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). These dedicated law enforcement officials navigate our local coastline by day and night policing poachers, unscrupulous fishermen and smugglers alike. In aligning to new maritime safety requirements and practices, DAFF selected Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna to provide its officials the quality accredited Short Range Certificate (SRC) Course to obtain SAMSA DSC/VHF Radio Licenses. Three days of training including drilling down Mayday, Pan-Pan and Securite calls; these candidates are now certainly better equipped in their work. For more information on the SRC Course, CLICK HERE!
Sincere thanks go to the hospitality and commitment of the remarkable barmen: Lovemore Tembo, Clive TagariRa and Patrick John of the Knysna Yacht Club who professionally serve their members and our offshore sailing academy students at all hours of the day and night. Southern Yachting Academy gladly sponsored them all to a 5-hr Start Sailing Adventure (Introduction to Sailing) experience last Sunday morning between their busy shifts to learn hands-on for the first time what offshore sailing is all about.
Fun and excitement was had by all including Gladstone Knunzi who is learning to be a boatswain assistant and deck hand at Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna. www.southernyachting.co.za
When I first entered the offices of the Southern Yachting Academy, the very first thing that caught my eye was their elaborately detailed logo. From past to present, it portrays elements which are distinctive to Knysna. It has the family crests of some of Knysna's most historically significant families, including the Thesen's, who left behind a rich boat building legacy; several iconic species for which Knysna has become synonymous, including the Knysna seahorse; an anchor, which represents our storied maritime history; and a champagne bottle, which serves to celebrate all these aspects which we love about Knysna.
Of all these characteristics, it was the boating legacy of yesteryear that Mark Orpen felt compelled to revive when he started the Southern Yachting Academy. Inspired by his love for both Knysna and for yachting, he had a vision to recreate the dynamic maritime flavour of the Knysna's past and he started by seeking out two of the legendary yachts which helped propel South Africa into the sailing spotlight some four decades ago.
In 1971, two Van der Stadt 222 design, 42-foot sailing yachts were built to compete in the first Cape to Rio transatlantic ocean race. The first was the 'Albatross II', which was built in Knysna at the Thesen's Boatbuilding Yard, the second was the 'Mercury', which was built in Bremen, West Germany. These two South African yachting teams sailed neck and neck for much of the race, but it was 'Albatross ll' that eventually took the lead and won the race, putting the Thesen Boatbuilding Yard, and Knysna, on the map. Also participating in the race was 'Voortrekker 1', the original South African flagship in the event, also built in Knysna by the Thesens.
While his dream to find and restore 'Albatross ll' was never realised, he did find and procure 'Mercury', whereafter he spent the next two years restoring it with the help of several skilled boat building artisans. Once this beautiful wooden sloop cutter was fully restored, Mark could properly commence with his second mission, which was to to create a platform for sailing training and adventures and thus promote the culture of sailing in Knysna.
They offer Day Skipper and Coastal Skipper courses, accredited radio telephony and coastal mileage building passages along the Garden Route coastline. Many of the students that have qualified here have gone on to enjoy hugely successful careers in the yachting industry around the world.
And for all those who have always dreamt of taking to the helm - I would highly recommend you begin with their Start Sailing Experience. This is a 5hr hands-on, interactive crewing experience where participants are given the opportunity to sail offshore on the famous Mercury yacht. The activity starts off at the Academy on Thesen Island where you will learn the basic principles of sailing, such as tacking a gybing, tying knots, steering the boat and plotting a course.
After this brief introduction to sailing and under the guidance of one of their very competent skippers, you will then get the chance to implement what you have learnt by being an active crew member. You will sail across the vast expanse of the Knysna Estuary, through the sentinel headlands and out into the big blue. This is a hugely popular activity for both local and international tourists and if all their Tripadvisor comments are anything to go by, then this experience is certainly one to include in your the bucket list!
For more information visit: www.southernyachting.co.za
Compiled by: Lisa Leslie
Southern Yachting Academy students Galen Salgado, Tessa Collins and Conrad Spamer are accompanied by Hannes Steyn and Melinda Long with facilitator Mark Orpen on the SA Sailing Day Skipper Programme in Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa during October '16.
Whilst for some this was ticking an adventure bucket list, for others it was formalising the requisite qualification for an international yachting career. Well done to all of you!
Despite the heavy study load, fun was had by all; esp. navigating the coastal passage Knysna to Mossel Bay (distracted by some fishing, whales broaching, many seals following us, an abundance of birdlife) where both ports were entered at night adding to learning experience.
Visit us at: www.southernyachting.co.za
A fine day sailing in Africa for restaurateur Greg Shuff and his lovely wife Cari Janssen-Shuff as they grind winches, set sails and navigate the Knysna Heads during their honeymoon in South Africa this week. Southern Yachting Academy bid you both safe travels and fair winds as you continue `messing about in boats' at your local yacht club back in Chicago, USA.
Southern Yachting Academy students brave the Knysna Heads, learn to sail along the Southern Cape coastline between the beautiful Buffalo Bay and the castles of Noetzie, and navigate the Knysna estuary where 60,000 m3 of seawater shifts in and out at up to 5kts every 6 hours.
Well done to the Frey family (Henrico, Sanet & Henro) and Jaryd Kynaston-Blake for completing their SAMSA Short Range Certificates and SA Sailing Day Skipper license training last week. Loads of fun, lots of great sailing and many special memories made. We look forward to seeing you all on the water as members of the Knysna Yacht Club during this coming sailing season!
Mental wellness or mental illness? ... You decide!
Dr Roger Mierswinski & Michael Marlow complete their Day Skipper course with Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna. Both of them are off to sail in the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas respectively. To both these officers and gentlemen, fair winds...
Larry Johnson & Christopher Spies get their practical sailing skills honed with Southern Yachting Academy in preparation for the SA Sailing Day Skipper exam. Four days to go guys - keep up the good work!
Dmitry Vladov & Angelique Garrido pursue a new adventure this summer to find their sea legs aboard 34ft vdStadt Serendipity with Southern Yachting Academy in Knysna. A gruelling week with lots of hard work. Well done and happy sailing folks...
Since inception, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is an organization based on public-private partnership and currently has a membership of 193 countries and almost 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions. ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has twelve regional and area offices around the world. Founded on the principle of international cooperation between governments (Member States) and the private sector (Sector Members, Associates and Academia), ITU is the premier global forum through which parties work towards consensus on a wide range of issues affecting the future direction of the ICT industry.
Congratulations to Mark Orpen, John Young, Capt. Ben Torrance & Capt. Paul Messenger as SAMSA registered facilitators for the Short Range Certificate (SRC) at Southern Yachting Academy effective 01 Oct 2015 to 30 Sep 2018. Southern Yachting Academy now offers marine radio courses in Midrand, Gauteng and in Knysna, Western Cape. www.southernyachting.co.za
Please share this with interested mariners and submit enquiries at: http://www.southernyachting.co.za/contact-us.html
`Congratulations to Jamie (smokin') Bacon, Stefan (fixit) de Bruyn , Colin (sandbank) Campbell & Anthony (`map') Campbell for successfully completing the 9-day SA Sailing Day Skipper Course with Southern Yachting Academy this week. Living life and a fun time was had by all sailing in this idyllic setting of Knysna, South Africa.
Southern Yachting Academy facilitators and assessors complete five day GMDSS/LRC marine radio telephony course in preparation for SAMSA accreditation of Southern Yachting Academy. Replacing VHF Radio training, the Short Range Certificate (SRC) Courses start in Knysna October 2015.
Ocean Sailing Academy's 'Hot Ice' arrived in Knysna yesterday with four enthusiastic yachtmaster students and instructor Mark Wannenburg. The 48ft `Hot Ice' stays in Knysna till month end before sailing back to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
Sharpening their yacht handling skills, night entries into Port and logging over 300nm of ocean sailing on the Garden Route; Jonty Andrews & Egmont Sass join John Young & Mark Orpen of Southern Yachting, an established offshore sailing training academy in Knysna.
Maans van Niekerk, Grietjie Jordaan & JP Ribeiro complete their SA Sailing Accredited day skipper course with Knynsa based Southern Yachting Academy over 11-days in April 2015. Departing PE-KNY for mileage; followed by local waters practical training on the Garden Route coastline; with navigation, regulatory & radiotelephony theory training in Knysna.
Built in 1970, first restored in 1986 and a major restoration in 2013, the famous 42ft classic yacht Mercury (SA3), registered in Knysna is operated by Southern Yachting Academy, the local offshore yachting academy. Navigating the Knysna Heads at least 150 times each year, professional sailing training instructors and candidate coastal skippers are seen here handling a particularly difficult entry through the notoriously treacherous Knysna Heads last year. No one up the mast this time sailors!