“Then and now” in the Greater St Francis Region

Up until the end of the 1980s St Francis Bay enjoyed a beautiful wide beach even at spring high tides. Note the large area of mobile dunes plunging into the sea along the headland from launching site to the present-day harbour.   At the time of the photo, dune stabilisation was in progress in preparation for the development of Santareme. The hummock dune in the foreground, clothed in an indigenous dune grass (Thinopyrum distichum), is a sign of a healthy beach.

The same scene photographed this year. The beach has now eroded to a narrow strip, passable only at low tide. The hummock dunes, nature’s way of protecting coastal infrastructure, have been replaced by rock revetments. The mobile dunes along the headland have been replaced by houses as far as the eye can see. These dunes used to supply about 80 000 m3 of sand into St Francis Bay each year. Since that sand supply was cut-off, some 8.8 million m3 of sand has been lost from the sea floor of St Francis Bay. The amount of sand that is transported by longshore drift around Cape St Francis (Shark Point) – about 10 000 m3  –  and the amount derived from the remaining bypass dune near the point – also about  10 000 m3  – are inadequate to counter this loss.

View looking southwest from the junction of the boundaries between Cape St Francis Nature Reserve, Cape St Francis Village and St Francis Field (air park). Note the absence of houses east of the Cape St Francis Resort and the dense stands of invasive rooikrans (Acacia cyclops) in what is now the Seal Bay Nature Reserve.

The same scene today, above Duiker Street. The scene is now dominated by the houses of Extension4 of Cape St Francis but the fynbos in the foreground (part of the Cape St Francis Nature Reserve) remains intact and the Seal Bay Nature Reserve is free of alien rooikrans.

St Francis College Head moving on

Outgoing headmaster Warwick Osmond

It is with much sadness that the St Francis College says goodbye to headmaster Warwick Osmond at the end of the year. We caught up with him to chat about his time at St Francis College, and the road ahead.

Warwick Os,ond

It has been a busy time at SFC. It seemed that the small classes made for a quick catch-up post lockdown. Would you agree?
Yes, our small numbers have made it relatively easy to manage under the Covid-19 scenario. We came back to school on the 1st of June. We had a comprehensive Covid-19 protocol for our return to school, and we have been following the procedures every day since then. Having small classes meant that all the pupils could be at school every day. We did not have to implement other strategies such as alternating days or weeks for different learners, as has had to be done at other schools. As a result, our pupils have had uninterrupted schooling since June.

What else is cool about being at a smaller school?
Being at a small school is a reassuring experience for a child. The scale of the campus is not overwhelming, and the amount of activity and noise is unthreatening. Children feel comfortable and at home on our campus. It is also a unique and stimulating environment with chickens and guinea fowls running around and cattle out in the fields. The teachers know all the children’s names and each child becomes known to all the other children. It is a very personal and welcoming environment.

What was the most fun you had as a headmaster of The College?
It was so nice to have interaction with younger children – my previous teaching experience was mainly with high school children. The campus is such a happy place with all the children absolutely loving school and being so eager to please their teachers. There has been a lot of fun in the last two years. Some stand-out events were the play at The Links last year, the inter-house athletics meeting, the swimming galas, the Otter Challenge, the grade 5 camp and the grade 7’s trip to Cape Town.

What will be your lasting impression of your time at the College?
St Francis College is a school with the most beautiful situation. The children have the opportunity to enjoy the natural environment every day. My lasting impression is of a school that is giving children the most amazing start on their education journey. A child will never forget the fun and excitement of their school days at St Francis College.

Quite a lifestyle out here – you rediscovered surfing and got involved in fishing. What else?
I have always been a beach bum at heart. Living here is like having the backyard of my dreams. Getting back on a board and actually having some magic rides has been rejuvenating. I have a favourite fishing spot that I can get to within minutes, and I can spend hours there. I also have a dog who demands his walk every day, and there is no limit on the amount of walking one can do here. We have also met wonderful people and made lasting friendships. It has been a rewarding, albeit short, stay in St Francis.

What lies ahead, apart from a long Christmas holiday?
Well, we will be living in PE. My wife is teaching at Theodor Herzl, and I hope to be in a new position soon too.

Wildflower Chase 2020 St Francis Field

A report by Colleen Smith

Wildflowers St Francis Field

Gladiolus hutonii

The lockdown, because of Covid-19, called into question whether we hold a Wildflower Chase this year or not. Dave Bowmer and I discussed it – there was no spectacular display of the pink and yellow Senecio’s that we had last year and we were not sure what we would be able to show off. The Cape St Francis Resort was not able to host a Wildflower festival and if we did do anything, strict protocols would have to be followed. But wild flowers never disappoint us and we decided to go ahead with a different version of the Wildflower Chase.

With help from Margie Middleton we put together a booklet with a comprehensive but by no means complete list of the flowers, shrubs and trees found on St Francis Field. We made labels for a small selection of them and we invited visitors to accompany us on a self-drive Chase. Posters were put up and an invitation was posted on various social media platforms.

Our next challenge was the weather. We chose 2nd to 4th October for the event and then weather reports predicted strong winds and rain for those days, neither which contribute to enjoyable flower chasing! So we shifted the days to the only two sunny days we could see for the next two weeks and persons who had already booked were phoned about the date change.

In the end, Dave Bowmer, Margie Middleton and Colleen Smith took four groups (22 participants).

The vulnerable Gladiolus hutonii and Pelargonium suburbanum were both out in full splendour, the endangered Satyrium princeps or red orchids were just coming into bloom and the near threatened Moreae australis were all open in the mid-day sun. Hosts of other varieties of flowers also gave a great showing and a highlight of the trip was the garden belonging to one of the homeowners on the ridge overlooking Cape St Francis.

This garden was planted last year by Dave on a sand dune splattered with builder’s rubble after the house was built. Plants were all indigenous, with the majority being those found in this area. Since then it has had almost no attention but has thrived despite plenty of wind and very little rain. This is a wonderful example what can be achieved and gave inspiration to many of the participants.

Proceeds from entrance fees went to F.O.S.T.E.R.

Wildflower Garden in St Francis Field

Wildflower Garden in St Francis Field

More information on FOSTER visit their website at http://foster.org.za

Friends of St Francis Nature Reserves

 

Manoa Robb Wins Monster Combo Round 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7qwgkpf8WQ&feature=youtu.be

It is a big congratulations to Manoa Robb, the official Round 1 winner of the Monster Combo. Manoa’s efforts see him win a R2000 Pollywog gift voucher and an entry into the final, with a chance to win R20 000 cash and his spot on an international surf trip with Matt Bromley and the Zag and Monster crews. Simone Robb feeling the good vibes too, banking R2k cash for her efforts behind the lens.

Our very first Monster Combo Round 1 Local Hero Award goes to J-Bay’s Cyle Myers for a series of in-the-pocket backhand man-hacks on

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHOJsAaEGmk&feature=youtu.be

The window period for Round 2 begins today and closes 15 November. With only 2 months of competition remaining, don’t let a golden opportunity go a-begging. Grab your camera and drag your mate down the beach, get those combo’s down and send them in.

Here’s how the votes played out in Round 1: 

Zag: 

What a round. So many good entries. At the end of the day, ZZ went with Manoa Robb, chased hard by Dylan Lightfoot and Royden Bryson. Manoa took the win thanks to the punch of his combo and the fluidity between moves. The point of difference being Manoa’s large and lofty full rote straight out the barrel, displaying ingenuity, variety and subtle tweaks with no hacking or flapping in between. A pleasure to watch. 

Special mention to Adin Masencamp, Zoë Steyn, Ducky Staples, Royden Bryson and Faye Zoetmulder!

Monster:

We loved Gavin Roberts back to back man hacks, Royden’s upsidedown into barrel and repeat. Then there was Lightfoot’s absolute annihilation of an inside Supers bowl. Notable mentions need to go to Cyle Meyers for the decimation of the same Super’s car park bowl, Ducky’s threading of barrel into barrel into death float. Then there was Dries Millard’s inspirational story and what it takes for him to catch a wave, and Zoe Steyn’s backhand attack at her local spot. Still, we feel the timing, speed, and flow between a picturesque barrel and tail-high full rotation of Manoa Robb was precisely what the Monster Combo is all about. Therefore it gets our thumbs up. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhrF4VPR3UQ&feature=youtu.be

the Car Park Section. Cyle scoops a brand new custom Channel Islands surfboard and a toasty Billabong steamer wetsuit.

Matt Bromley:

Dale’s barrel on that first wave was super deep., but it wasn’t a linked-together combo. I was very impressed with Zoe Steyn’s wave, as she had amazing flow with critical surfing. Gav Roberts’ two massive turns to tube were really sick with that clean power. Royden’s was epic, along with Brad Scott’s, Chad du Toit’s, and Dan Thornton. Stevey Sawyer is so smooth. The barrels from Jacko, Dan Redman, and Josh Redman were insane, but not combos.

I think in 2nd is Manoa’s barrel to air. The barrel was really deep, and the transition was beautiful straight into that tail high air. Unfortunately, the wave wasn’t that solid.

The winner for round 1 for me is Dyl Lightfoot’s 3 turn combo. He did 3 mental manoeuvres, with so much speed, and flow, with hardly any hesitation between turns. The turns were hard, on the rail, with lots of spray and then holding that last bottom turn so long into that final, crazy, swooping carve. Loved it.

There were so many mental entries. Very impressed with SA’s surfing from all over the country. And Dries Millard, those two waves were epic. 

Billabong:

Dylan Lightfoot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5BuWccvaww&feature=youtu.be

We’ve already had 39 top quality entries. This year is set to be the busiest and most competitive Monster Combo ever. Onwards to Round 2 and some exciting announcements later this week!

Because it was a tie-break the public vote was decisive, with Manoa Robb edging out Dylan Lightfoot and taking the win purely based on public votes cast.

As for the Local Hero award, the votes were unanimous seeing Cyle ‘the man-mountain’ Myers smash his way and the lip into the pound seat!

Rotarians donate life saving equipment to St Francis community

The Rotary Club of St Francis officially presented a Defibrilator and Holter to the community of St Francis last week. The equipment is to be held at Dr Jean Malan’s medical practice at the St Francis Medical Centre where it will be used to benefit the broader community of St Francis, Sea Vista and the surrounding informal settlements

The donation was made possible through the generosity of a family foundation in the UK which has chosen to fund projects and causes identified and facilitated through the St Francis Rotarians.

Dr Malan is also the attending medical practitioner at the St Francis Clinic in Sea Vista.

Defibrilators are regarded as a basic necessity in most countries and are usually available in all medical facilities, shopping centres, sports clubs, gyms etc. However, the only one available in St Francis until this time is owned by the NSRI, and stored at their base in Port St Francis. Dr Malan has access to this but at great inconvenience to his patient and himself, losing valuable time in a crisis.

Dr Jean Malan explains, “An AED (Defibrillator) is used to save lives directly when someone passes out and then gets shocked to get the heart going again.

A Holter is a simple device to monitor someone’s heart speed and rhythm for up to a week and clips onto a belt that a patient can carry around. It is used on a daily basis because of the information it provides. The one device also supplements the other. Both these devices will benefit the local population tremendously and we are extremely grateful for this donation.  It is literally life saving!”

“We were delighted to be able to facilitate this important donation to our community’s well being, particularly as it coincides with Rotary International Annual Health Day on 15th October,” said Santa Zeiss, Club President.

Rotarians donate a defibrilator to St Francis community

Dr Jean Malan, Dr Anina Ellis, Rotarian Tom Roux, Rotarian Brian Codling, President of Rotary Club of St Francis Santa Zeiss and Sister Caron Rossiter – Photo Lyn Aitken

 

Kouga residents and businesses have been urged to continue using water sparingly.

“Some much-needed rain has fallen in the catchment areas, but not enough to make a significant difference to the dam levels.

“This means we cannot relax yet and must continue doing all we can to save water,” cautioned Kouga Executive Mayor, Horatio Hendricks.

He said the level of the Kouga Dam had increased by almost two percent this month following some rainfall in the Langkloof catchment areas .

Kouga Dam levels end of September

“The dam level was at 8,09% at the end of September. This climbed to 9,03% on Monday this week, with further inflow expected.

“While this brings some relief, the level remains dangerously low and is not expected to increase far beyond 10%,” he said.

According to the latest information from Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the level of the Impofu Dam inched up from 18,55% at the end of September to 18,97% this week.

The level of the Churchill Dam increased from 53,08% to 62,92% over the same period and the Loerie Dam from 29,97% to 44,84%.

Kouga Dam

Photo by Jacques van der Merwe: The level of the Kouga Dam has increased slightly over the past week.

Exciting new concept in dining and shopping to open soon in Cape St Francis

Last week a post on a local WhatsApp group lit up when notice of an application for a liquor License appeared on the group. As was to be expected those without knowledge of what the facts are immediately condemned it. It would not have been surprising if those against it were not already hard at work making up placards objecting so they could organise a march on on Councillor Ben Rheeder’s office to show their opposition and let their objections be known.

The applicant wisely called on the same media group to allay the fears of the village by laying out exactly why the license was being applied for and what their exciting new concept is all about. No doubt there will still be some who will object for in every village, town, city you will always get those who resist change thinking only of themselves. 

The owner outlines his business concept to be known as “The Coastal Collective” better than SFT could possibly relate it so read what entrepreneur Ari Kraak and his fiance Faye Zoetmulder  have to say (slightly edited) of this truly exciting venture that is sure to add to the quality of life in Cape St Francis.

The Coastal Collective

The Coastal Collective. 2 Suffolk Lane, Cape St Francis

“Faye and I both grew up in the Eastern Cape and have been part of this community for some time with Faye’s family having owned a house in Seals for 10 years and my family having owned a house in Seals for the past 25 years. We met eight years ago in Seals  and have shared the dream of one day owning a sustainable organic -Cafe / boutique in this amazing town. Well we are about to make our dream a reality and would love you to be a part of our dream.

There are three shops situated behind liquid lines on 2 Suffolk Lane, our MO is to support local, buy organic and recycle as much as we can. We aim to uplift the town, increase value and offer products and food that are of the highest standard.

Without revealing too much the shops will offer the following,

Café – Health juices/ smoothies/ wraps/ saarmies/ Buddha bowls and excellent coffee ( Livingston is a 10year senior barista thats joining us)

Boutique – Clothing, plants, carpets, umbrellas, baby clothes/items, garden items, gifts etc etc etc

Fisheries / Deli – fresh fish (locally sourced) LOCAL CALAMARI only :) Muscles, prawns, crayfish…anything from the sea… As well as fish and chips, calamari and chips and rotisserie chicken and chips  all freshly made on site..

Our trading hours vary between shops

Cafe – 7am-3pm (Season 7am-6pm)

Boutique 9am-4pm (Season 9am- 7pm)

Fisheries/deli – 10am – 6pm (season 10am-8pm)

We have been super busy trying to get ready and open before season, the day is fast approaching. We hope to be open next week and thought it was about time to start sharing some info.

We will have more info on our soft opening in the week, but we would really appreciate if you would spread the word, stop by and have a look or just a chat. We would love your feedback… 

There is still a lot to do to make it perfect but next week hopefully its a go..

We thought it would be amazing to have a beer with your fish and chips, or even a glass of champagne with your fresh oysters and have therefor applied for an ON CONSUMPTION liquor license… part of the application is to hold a meeting with the community to hear their thoughts and answer any questions.

This meeting will take place this Friday the 16th of October at ” the coastal collective” 3pm, i invite you to all join. Please note there are strict COVID 19 protocols in place as there has been a recent spike in the 6312 district.. Wear your masks.

We will be answering questions with Mr Ben Reider the town councillor, We would love all feedback, positive or negative .

Here are a few pics, like mentioned we not finished yet…

Thanks for your time, we hope to get your support, uplift seals and enjoy this beautiful piece of coast.”

We, as we are sure most of the community, wish you well  in this exciting venture.

The Coastal Collective

The Coastal Collective Boutique

The Coastal Collective

The Coastal Collective Cafe & Deli