Shipwrecks, Picnics and Music

As many are aware, the street names in Cape St Francis are taken from ships than have met demise along the Tsitsikama coastline over the years through storms, dangerous currents, fog, and human error through the ages. Local Cape St Francis resident, Dave Bowman recently created a graphic presentation that charts most, if not all of these shipwrecks on a map of the coastline. Included in his display are interesting photographs and memorabilia recovered from the wrecks by several collectors.

Shipwrecks of the Tsitsikama coastline

Dave introduced his display to a small group off invited guests at the newly opened rum distillery and cheesery ONE330 last week. The display will remain on show at ONE33 until mid-January. So pop along to ONE33, have a taste of some rather unique craft rums produced by Rodney Milford and a taste of a selection of cheeses produced by his wife Gerda.

Dave, along with Pieter de Jong who was brought up along this ‘shipwreck’ coast related some interesting tales of the wrecks including the salvaging of HMS Osprey that was dynamited apparently to recover copper from its hull. Also present was wreck diver Craig Briggs who recounted recovering copper and zinc ingots as well as a brick with an interesting history. The brick manufactured in Glasgow was part of the ballast used on one of the wrecks that Craig recovered on a salvage dive. More itersting though is that is would appear it is is one of only two in existence, well on land anyway, with the brick being in a museum Bredasdorp.

After chatting with Dave after the event, SFT has decided to do a series of articles on the Shipwrecks of the Tsitsikama coast next year consulting with others knowledgeable on the subject.

Another good reason to visit ONE33 is in an event, the Summer Picnic Concert, being held at the distillery on Sunday 29th December. Performing at the concert are sisters Alexandra-May and Isabella Jane who some may remember from a concert at Cape St Francis Resort a year or so back when they rocked the audience with their modern country music. Isabella=Jane sadly won’t be performing her entertaining ventriloquism this time around, or maybe we can persuade her differently, but whether she does or not, these two lasses who have both performed internationally and are a must watch event.

Tickets are available at Kouga Print at R150 a person (a giveaway price to hear these lassies sing) and apart from the music the picnic will be offering all sorts of added attractions. Craft rum, gin and beer will be available and picnic baskets will be on sale. For the kids there will be kiddies food stalls. All proceeds go to St Francis Animal Rescue so that they can continue the amazing work they.

So come along, visit the shipwreck display and then listen to some outstanding music enjoying a day outdoors at ONE33.

ONE33 is situated at the corner of the R330 and Oyster Bay Road

Efforts to raise funds for a cycle trail off to a good start

Efforts to raise funds for a cycle trail off to a good start

Wikipedia describes the growing sport of  MTB rather well. ‘Mountain biking is a sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross countrytrail ridingall mountain (also referred to as “Enduro”), downhillfreeride and dirt jumping.

Cycling in general must be one of the fastest growing recreational activities in most developed countries. As concern for personal fitness grows so does the cycling fraternity for it is a pastime that can be shared by the whole family, individually or with a crowd of fellow cyclists on recreational rides or in competition.

Away from the traffic and irritated motorists, off road cycling is the choice most motorists would prefer to encourage, especially when it comes to kids riding on the R330 between St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis.

A short sample track was built around the lighthouse some time ago and certainly was welcomed by dog walkers avoiding unnecessary confrontation between bike and dog. This track was added to in November thanks to efforts by Greg West and Nolans for the gravel, and Custom Bikes for building the track.

To accommodate this growing pastime / sport St Francis needs more cycle tracks and the local cycling club has been researching options over the past few years.   The plan is to raise R50 000 and build a further 5km, principally around Cape St Francis. To make this possible the club needs funds and are encouraging anyone who enjoys riding away from the traffic enjoying the nature, to assist by contributing to the fund raising efforts.

Any contribution will be welcomed and can be paid into the club’s bank account (details at bottom of this post) or to make it even easier, by Snapscan, when you see one of the six signs demarcating the start of dedicated cycle tracks around Cape St Francis.  Interested trail bikers are also encouraged to join the club (subs are R300 a year)

Riders gather every Thursday evening at 5.30pm for rides starting at Quaysyde in Sea Glades following a 23km course around the lighthouse, including about 5km off-road and ending back at Quatsyde. These popular rides have been held for several years and all are welcome to join in. The plan for 2020 is to have something different on the first Thursday of each month, with drinks afterwards. One idea is 3km laps past Quaysyde, more sociable and easier for slower cyclists.

Sunday club rides are also planned for 2020, one each quarter, within the St Francis area or within an hour’s drive.

And for the competitive enthusiast,  you are encouraged to join several  St Francis cyclists who enter events around the province and other provinces around South Africa.  Nothing like some good camaraderie!

And would it be great to add a St Francis Bay MTB Challenge as part of the Calamarie Festival inSeptember as a way of resurrecting the St Francis Bay MTB Challenge that was held earlier in the decade.

The clubs committee is made up of Nevil Hulett (Chair), Loraine Maree (Sec), Richard Arderne (Tres), Juan Joubert, Tyrone Kindness, Penny Hulett and the bank account is Standard Bank, Acc #186519508.


The people have spoken – it is a good time to unite

Had Jeremy Corbyn lost the vote with as big a margin as the vote at the SRA (NPC) meeting went last night forget his resigning, he would have left the country and sought refuge in Moscow. But even it was a one sided affair with the vote did going 387 for and three against with two abstentions (unaudited as time of publishing), the meeting was not without drama.

Photo courtesy Liezl Clause – St Francis Links

Following the Chairman’s report, not too sure if he actually concluded his presentation, one of the ‘group of 30’ took centre stage much to the irritation of the assembled crowd, undoubtedly an SRA  partisan gathering. Before proceeding with his long winded argument he categorically stated he had resigned from the CRA and fully supported the SRA. Well?

The basis of what he had to say was mainly legal interpretation of the various resolutions. It is fact that anything legal has two sides, the opposing attorney’s points of view. So raising these issues at a gathering of home owners on holiday after a long challenging year was tantamount to committing verbal suicide and he was heckled accordingly.

The points he raised were all of a technical nature and would have kept the respective sides lawyers in business and Blue Label scotch well into the future. So what if a meeting is held when the majority of the owners are available, or the i’s weren’t dotted and the t’s not crossed? Surely all effort should be aimed at Saving St Francis, not trying to destroy it by nit-picking technicalities of the law.

Possibly the vote count would have been a lot more overwhelming but for a large portion of the partisan crowd leaving the meeting as the gent argued what were important matters only to himself and a handful of his supporters.

One aspect that again came out of the matters raised from the floor is how little some of those who resent what the NPC is doing for the town understand what the SRA is all about. The SRA manifesto is clear enough for even an intelligent Grade 8 pupil to understand so why then are these questions raised not only at meeting but on social media as well? The SRA is not intended to deal with blocked toilets or potholes or similar, that is what the municipality is for. Maybe the Mao  had a point?

But maybe it is not all over just yet and there must be concern that this is now going to go legal. Hopefully common sense will prevail and money that could be spent on helping the cause no spent on defending the cause. Surely with overwhelming support shown at the meeting and in the vote added to the fact it was voted for by a majority in a democratic process.

Surely it is time for the CRA to lick it’s wounds and withdraw the legal action against the Kouga municipality and for both side to bury their hatchets not in each other’s heads but in the interests of unity and work together towards a common cause. It can be done!


Just in from St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group – FIRE DANGER

The Sarah Baartman West Fire Protection Association (SBWFPA) has issued a warning that the Fire Danger Index (FDI) for 17 December 2019 will be orange in the most of the Fire Management Units (FMU). Hankey may reach 40 degrees, Joubertina and Kareedouw 30. St Francis will also experience high temperatures. SBWFPA requests that no fires are made in light of the temperatures and wind conditions. Report any smoke ASAP.

Meeting, meeting and then another meeting 

There are no fewer than three important meetings scheduled for this afternoon including the one everyone in the SRA has been waiting for.

Below is a copy of the day’s events posted on St Francis Property Owners Website

So if you own property in St Francis Bay today  is your day. All  three meetings are being hosted at St Francis Links, certainly the only venue large enough to host what promises tobe a large crowd, certainly for the final meeting. of the day that promises to be an interesting and vibrant affair.

First Meeting

Forward Santareme 2020

Time: 15:00 to 15:40
Venue: St Francis Links

A group of interested property owners will be holding a short public meeting to discuss the enhancement of property values in the area to be called here “SANTAREME” for ease of reference, and includes the area from Harbour Road to the end of Otters Landing .(This embraces Santareme, St Francis on Sea, The port area and Otters Landing.)

Please attend if you are a property owner in the area as some ideas will be proposed including key items like – Security, Cameras, Plot clearing and road repairs as well as a possible Special Rates levy if there is sufficient support for such financing.

Suggestions of other tasks or ideas will be taken from the floor and could include Street lighting, Water born sewerage and others.

Please join the meeting to discuss and contribute your ideas or concerns.

Second Meeting 

St Francis Property Owners Association

Time: 16:00 to 16:40
Venue: St Francis Links

This is the Residents Association Annual General Meeting

Third Meeting

ST Francis Property Owners Non Profit Company AGM

Time: 17:00 to 19:00
Venue: St Francis Links

Notice of the annual general meeting of the SFPO NPC

Please note that only SFPO NPC members or their proxies may attend. Members attending the AGM who wish to vote need to bring with them a copy of a utility bill not older than three months and a copy of their ID document.

Details on the AGM can be read on the St Francis Property Owners Website at

2019 Annual General Meeting