Successful 2015 Tuna Challenge

L – R Francois Vorster, Leroy White, John Robson (arm in sling) winner of “TOP BOAT” prize and Ski Boat Club Chairman, Barrie Webb.

L – R Francois Vorster, Leroy White, John Robson (arm in sling) winner of “TOP BOAT” prize and Ski Boat Club Chairman, Barrie Webb.

The 2015 St Francis Bay Tuna Challenge run by the St Francis Bay Ski Boat Club from 7th to 11th was again hugely successful and, as ever, a popular event on the Eastern Cape’s fishing calendar. With 16 boats and 66 anglers, it was always going to be a tough competition and with the weather deciding to play foul with no fishing possible on the Tuesday or Wednesday. Thankfully Thursday saw a break in the weather but with further bad weather forecast for the weekend, competitors had to pull out their ‘best hooks’ to stand a chance of winning the fabulous prizes on offer. As it turned out, Saturday also proved a ‘no go’ day so the catches of Thursday and Friday would dictate the final honours.

One wouldn’t consider fishing a contact sport, although the fish probably don’t see it that way and now, possibly, neither does the skipper of Sahara, John Robson. On Friday Sahara was hit by a large wave, broadside on, that flung John across the cabin against the opposite bulkhead, tearing the ligaments from his collarbone and shoulder , and knocking him unconscious. We understand that John is currently recuperating in the Kruger Park, but unfortunately will have to undergo surgery to his shoulder on his return to the Eastern Cape.

Prize giving was held at the Ski Boat’s headquarters at Port St Francis on the evening of Saturday 11th. The first prize up for grabs was for the first fish caught on Thursday and the prize of R3000, sponsored by Lyons Construction and Lyons Glass and Aluminium, went to Francois Ellis on the boat ‘Catari‘. Next on stage, for the first fish caught on Friday with a prize of R1000, sponsored by GeCat Marine went to Leroy White on ‘Sahara’. Whilst there was a prize for the juniors, no fish were weighed in this category so no prize could be awarded.

As the evening progressed, so onto the main prizes of the challenge, TOP BOAT and TOP ANGLER!

TOP BOAT with a fantastic prize of eight return tickets to Chobe in Botswana, valued at R51,600 , sponsored by Airlink Airlines, went to ‘Sahara’, skippered by John Robson, somewhat recovered from his nasty mishap the day before.

And so to the Top Angler prizes with third prize going to Etienne Dreyer on ‘Red Herring’ with a Tuna of 18,2kg who took home R2000 in cash sponsored by Jadsoft Systems as well as Spotlights sponsored by Haywire Electrical.

Hein van Rooyen on ‘Punt Lager’ with a catch of 18.9kg, took home second prize, a Garmin Vibe Camera valued at over R6000 sponsored by Nautitech in Port Elizabeth and a cash prize of R4000 kindly sponsored by the Kennedy Family and John Henrick.

And so let the drums roll for the accolade of TOP ANGLER and a prize valued at R44,500 and sponsored by Suzuki Marine and Bayview Boating – a 15 HP 4-stroke Suzuki outboard motor and Suzamar Rubber Duck…. The winner, Francois Ellis on ‘’ with a Yellowfin of 22.4kg !


Left Kerwin Allen, MD Bayview Boating congratulating Francois Ellis in the Rubber Duck he won for Top Angler

Article by Colin Watt – Photos – Barrie Webb


The weather has been clear for some time but it seems little is being done to fix the hundreds of potholes on our roads.  The hill from the village up to Santareme has become positively dangerous, both up and down, and almost impossible to navigate without either crossing the white line at some point to avoid damaging a tyre. The road is an accident waiting to happen and one wonders if a legal case could be brought against the Municipality if someone were to be injured in a collision caused by a driver swerving to avoid a pothole.

Chatting with a local maintenance guy,  Louis Burger recently, he suggested a great idea which he in fact he has instituted. Very often roads around building site are badly potholed and remain that way long after the contractors have left site. Louis suggestion is that contractors use their excess concrete at the end of each days work to fill the potholes usually caused by the heavy vehicles delivering bricks, sand and equipment to their building sites. Once they have filled the potholes around their building sites they could fill holes near by. Every little bit helps and whilst not a perfect solution at least there would be fewer potholes.

Cape Town student to become first female quadriplegic to summit Kilimanjaro

Chaeli Mycroft (20), an ability activist, wheelchair user, student and co-founder of The Chaeli Campaign in Cape Town – Photo from Chaeli Mycroft campaign

Chaeli Mycroft (20), an ability activist, wheelchair user, student and co-founder of The Chaeli Campaign in Cape Town – Photo from Chaeli Mycroft campaign

On 27 August 2015, Chaeli Mycroft (20), an ability activist, wheelchair user, student and co-founder of The Chaeli Campaign in Cape Town, will start her journey to become the first female quadriplegic to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mycroft will be joined by a team of seven climbers who will help her to Kilimanjaro’s summit. The aim of the climb is to raise funds in support of The Chaeli Campaign’s Inclusive Education Programme and The Chaeli Cottage Inclusive Preschool and Enrichment Centre.

The Chaeli Campaign ( promotes and provides mobility and educational needs for disabled children under the age of eighteen years, throughout South Africa.

The highest free-standing mountain in the world

A social science student at the University of Cape Town, Mycroft will attempt to climb the highest free-standing mountain in the world in seven days. If all goes well, the team will summit Kilimanjaro on 3 September 2015.

Mycroft and the climbers’ preparation for the climb was done under the guidance of Carel Verhoef, an East African travel expert at Discover Africa, a Cape Town-based Africa travel agency.

Verhoef is no stranger to summiting Kilimanjaro, having climbed the mountain once a year for the past nine years.

Verhoef and Mycroft will be joined by Adam Schäfer, Taylor Jackson, Sally Grierson, Thembi Chagonda, Anne Henschel and Johanna Gallego.

Messages of support

“You go Chaeli. Another horizon, another peak to reach.” – Helen Zille, Premier of the Western Cape.

“Chaeli’s ambitious goal of becoming the first female quadriplegic to summit Kilimanjaro is yet another example of how this remarkable young woman has chosen to live a full life, despite her disabilities.” – FW De Klerk, former president of South Africa.

“I’m really deeply impressed and amazed with the expedition you’re going on with your team. As an ability activist, you show that no mountain is too high.” – Marc Dullaert, founder of KidsRights Foundation.

“Chaeli, you’re an absolute inspiration. You’re always doing amazing things. Best of luck for your trip. You are awesome.” – Rob van Vuuren, South African comedian.

“You guys rock. Chaeli, you truly are an inspiration!” – Vanessa Haywood Sandes, South African actress.

Follow Chaeli and the climbers’ progress on Kilimanjaro in real-time

Discover Africa has created a website where users can follow Chaeli’s journey to the summit of Kilimanjaro and subscribe to live updates, as the action happens. The website include:

– A video fly-through of the climber’s route
– An interactive Google map which plots the climbers’ planned route up the mountain, together with photos, video and messages
– A profile on each climber, including their role in the team
– A timeline of how Chaeli and the team prepared for the climb
– Information on how you can make a donation to the Chaeli Campaign

Visit the DREAMWORK through TEAMWORK website here:

The Chaeli Campaign

Orchids, Satyrium princeps

Wondering what the little yellow flags under the palm trees lining St Francis Drive are? Well here is the answer!
Orchids, Satyrium princeps – marked with yellow flags on St Francis Drive verge.

Article by Godfried Potgieter

orchidsEvery year we at St Francis are treated to a splendid display of ground Orchids – “Satyrium princeps”. They are still found in various locations in the Village, but this year we are in for a bumper show under the palm trees along the grass verge between the golf course extension and St Francis Drive. In previous years there were only about 30 to 40 plants, but this year there are over one hundred!

After flowering the visible part of the plant dies back and the first sign of it again is in about July. It then produces two large, more or less circular, leaves about 8 to 10 cm in diameter. These leaves are pressed flat on the ground.

Then in about the third week in August, it starts to push up its flower which can reach 70 cm in height. At this stage, until the flowers have been pollinated and the seeds dispersed by the wind, the plant is in danger. The main problem being that they are mown down with the grass when the verge is mowed. This is the reason why the plants have been marked with yellow flags.

The good co-operation received from the municipal officials in the past is the main reason for the large number of plantsthis year. The assistance of the St Francis Bay Golf Club in ensuring that the verge is mowed at the correct times is also greatly appreciated.

orchids2The flowers in a dense raceme are numerous and are rose-pink to carmine – red in colour. These orchids occur fromWilderness to Port Elizabeth and are mainly found at three localities: Goukamma Nature Reserve, Cape Recife and the greater St. Francis area.

Enjoy our special plants as they put on a spectacular display for us all to enjoy.

If you would like to know more about our fantastic indigenous flora in the St. Francis area then come and ramble locally with The Fourcade Botanical Group on the last Friday of every month.

Contact Godfried 083 261 8604 or Caryl 083 529 5410 for details.