Captain’s B-Log

Living in a town as beautiful as our little haven, comes with great responsibility. Its important that we know how to preserve our marine life and that comes from understanding what and where our Marine Protected Area (MPA) includes. Let’s Keep Knysna protected!

Goukamma was proclaimed an MPA in the 1990’s, which is just 10 Km west of Knysna. It consists of an approximate 15 Km of coastline, which extends right from Buffalo Bay to the Platblank area, and about 1 nautical mile out to sea (about 1.85km).

We are lucky enough to accommodate the breeding ground for the rare and protected African Black Oyster Catcher, which depend on us to keep the area preserved and healthy. We also have sea turtles such as the loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback. There are various species of fish, birds and sea mammals too. All of which deserve a clean and protected home.

The Goukamma MPA is protected by the CapeNature initiative, which works to ensure a sustainable and equitable supply of the provinces natural water resources. They have various projects and programmes that work towards keeping our home clean and protected. There are 2 other MPAs in the Garden Route area. These being Tsitsikamma MPA and Robberg MPA – feel free to check out more about them and how you can help by clicking here

Conserve. Explore. Experience.

Keep Knysna protected!

Goukamma Nature Reserve – Keeping Knysna Protected!

The Winter chills are around… However, sailing in Winter has its benefits and many skippers prefer it.

The stress and concern that a good majority of skippers feel with crowded water ways and other umm… (drivers?) can be unpleasant. Overseas holiday berthing can be stressful too. Whether it’s the local harbour masters rushing you to park, ending up rafted on the inside with 3 yachts outside and needing to leave at 6am or, worse still, being rafted on the outside and having wake at 3am to let someone out, it can be stressful… Yikes!

Winter sailing, on the other hand, can be a real joy. Wherever you go. Here in Knysna we enjoy a quieter lagoon, pretty much to ourselves and students (need we go on?), less people- less audience to watch you perform maneuvers, crisp blue skies and the sunsets Africa is known for, thermal and waterproof layers of clothing if needed and the warmth of the Knysna Yacht Club fire at the end of the days awesome training. The wind is usually brisk but refreshing and relatively constant throughout the day. Starting a little later than usual can always be discussed with the skipper if the mornings are really really cold. You would end slightly later but really get to en joy the sunset.

Sailing Knysna in Winter

Sacrificial Anodes:

For the Greater Good

Corrosion is one of the biggest enemies of a boat and its machinery, and that’s why it’s important to have sufficient protection against it, that’s where sacrificial anodes are used… for the greater good. 

Sacrificial anodes work by oxidizing more quickly than the metal it is protecting, being consumed completely before the other metal reacts with the electrolytes. Three metals that can be used are zinc, aluminum, and magnesium. 

There are sacrificial anodes in various different parts of the boat, such as the hull, propeller and on your engine to protect your heat exchanger. 

Over time the sacrificial anode will start to perish as a result of taking up all the corrosion that would have otherwise affected your boat, and thus they need to be changed at regular intervals.  Pictured here is a sacrificial anode from the heat exchanger after its been well worn away, compared to a new one. We replaced this anode when we did our annual engine service.

The size of a sailboat can play a significant part in its capabilities. Generally, if you want a cabin with living space, you’ll need to go above 20-feet. For standing headroom, you’ll want to search for a yacht 25-feet and up. If you plan on taking extended blue water voyages, you’ll need to be careful when choosing a sailboat size.  With too big a boat, it’ll be very difficult to handle yourself.  Too small and it’ll be uncomfortable.  For single-handed offshore passages, boats between 26 and 35-feet are often appropriate.

Other factors to consider are; marina fees – you will pay more for storage of larger boats, and haul outs – regular boat maintenance is an ongoing cost for boat owners and, like marina fees, the larger the vessel the more expensive it is to haul out and keep maintained.

Savvy Summer Sailing in Knynsa anyone? It gets warm here. Temperatures of high 30’s with humidity are a constant. Humidity can affect sailing, combined with heat it can affect sailors on the water too.

Humidity also affects windspeed. as humidity rises, density decreases. The result is that, for a given wind speed, we sail a little slower due to the air being less dense.

When humidity is high, the rate of evaporation and cooling is much reduced, resulting in it feeling hotter than it is.

Tips for beating the heat on your boat on hot summer days:

  • Mind what you wear: a long sleeve seems illogical but a sweat and UV resistant long can be a life and skin saver. A decent pair of sunglasses are vital for protecting the eyes. Sunscreen and a hat is a no-brainer!
  • Hatch covers: help protect your hatches from ‘crazing’ and extend their life, while also keeping the sun out of your boat.
  • Sunshade: Having a sunshade made for your boat is a fantastic way to keep the heat out of your boat and create shade on your deck.
  • Ventilate inside your boat with a wind scoop.

Be sure to enjoy all that Knysna has to offer but be careful when temperature sore. Happy sailing.

The topic of exactly where you reckon you may be at sea (without the aid of an accurate and reliable GPS of course) may well be more certain than these troubling times. Captain Ben of Southern Yachting Academy provides an explanation of how you estimate circles of uncertainty in navigation.  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (Southern Yachting Academy) to check out this and other short informative videos.

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