Going to St Francis Bay for the holidays this year? First time? Second? Third? Here are eleven things you should know.
- Jet skis. Just don’t. They’re not even allowed on the Kromme River, because those mean little engines suck up all the ecological goodies. You may traverse (that means drive out of the river at a snail’s pace) but you may not perform any tricks. (Namely Alien Circles and Top Gun Buzz-Pasts) FYI: Jet skis are only cool when towing in Shane Dorian at Jaws. Or plucking Fanno from shark infested seas. Other than that, not cool.
- The Spar. Need groceries? Go in early, go in low, go in with your shoulder. All the stuff that Richie McCaw does around the breakdown? That’s how you get groceries in St Francis between Xmas and New Year.
- The Bottle Store. Don’t go there on New Years Eve. Remember at the World Cup the Irish sang “Shoulder to Shoulder, we’ll answer Ireland’s call”? Well, the St Francis Bottle store on New Years Eve takes shoulder to shoulder to the next level.
- Boats. Just Plain Boats. If you drive your bazillion horsepower ski boat as if the estuary were a dam, you’ll know shame like you have never known it before. There are channels. There are sandbanks. There are rocks. They are organic. They shift with the tides. (Not the rocks. They are THERE, they are dark and you won’t see them. But your propeller will feel them.) I have seen people catapulted out of boats when they hit the rocks. Go at a reasonable speed and take note of the buoys.
- Boats in Combination with Wind Craft. So it’s simple really. The wind craft has right of way. Right of way is indirectly proportional to power. Give way to the RIGHT (also known as starboard). So if you see a kite surfer coming, don’t do The Terrible Thing that this guy did to my brother.
- Boats in Combination with Paddle Craft. Just as simple. Surfskis, SUP’s, canoes, they all have right of way. Even in the St Francis canals. And I’m talking to you, the guy who rode his rubber duck over the back of my surfski .
- Fishing boats and wind craft. Fishing boats are stationary so they have right of way. Which sounds weird I know because *crash* but their right of way applies to the fishing lines too, so don’t take out their fishing lines with your Hobie Cat rudder. Firstly, it’s not nice and secondly there is a hook at the end that could hurt you. CAVEAT: Around New Year their is a yacht race in the river. Its a once a year event of three hours. Not a good time to fish. Because sometimes the required upwind tack to the buoy will take out your fishing line. #sorrynotsorry
- Restaurants. Take a book. Maybe a tome like Pillars of the Earth or Shantaram. It needs to be nice and long because you don’t want to run out of chapters while you wait for your food. Except, of course, if you go to the lovely Lighthouse Restaurant at the St Francis Links . This is my favourite restaurant in the whole wide world. It has a view over the links, down to the sea, over the Kromme, to the wind farms beyond. Try their Easy Mondays and their fabulous Curry Wednesdays . I also recommend the Margaritas, because there is a real Texan in the house.
- Your feet. They are in trouble if you are anywhere on the Humansdorp side of the Kromme River. You will need many pedicures to remove the black mud. In fact, start while you are still there, also at The Links . The Aqua Spa is good value for money, has beautiful ambience and the treatments never disappoint.
- The Surf. Sometimes it’s big. Sometimes it’s really big. It can be a dangerous coastline, there have been many shipwrecks in the area. Know your limits. Learn how to recognize a rip current, and how to get out if you get caught. The guys at NSRI Station 21 do a great job. Don’t give them too much overtime. Rather send money. You can do that HERE
- The New Years Water fight in the canals. Just No. *sigh* But if you MUST, then please do it without balloons. They are an environmental hazard . Let’s allow the dolphins to live another day.
Here is the events calendar for November and December. Be safe. Have fun. See you in the water.