Cruise along the Bay on a catamaran

2018-08-08 06:01
: This is the life! Fernandes and Emily van Zyl (4) relax on the net at the front of the boat, taking in the incredible view of the Bay.PHotoS: tanya van zyl

: This is the life! Fernandes and Emily van Zyl (4) relax on the net at the front of the boat, taking in the incredible view of the Bay.PHotoS: tanya van zyl

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“I’M so incited (excited) Mamma!” was all my little four-year-old, Emily, could say before we boarded the catamaran of Stampede Cruises, which was anchored in front of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.

Climbing into the boat itself is a challenge, and if you are not careful, your belongings might end up in the water, as was the case with two ladies on the boat. The one lost her sunglasses as she got on the boat and the other lost her cellphone when she got off the net at the front of the catamaran.

We received a warm welcome from our hosts, Rod Lochhead and his wife, Sherry, and Robbie Francis, who took the time to show Emily a book that illustrates the different types of dolphin and whale species. They also took us for a closer look at some penguins that were busy diving for fish. This was a highlight for us, as we have only ever seen penguins in an aquarium or on television!

Rod bought the catamaran in 2002, but Stampede Cruises was started as Rod’s retirement project in 2015.

“I retired three years ago and decided to do marine eco tours on the boat. Primarily we do trips to the islands in the morning and we also do the harbour tours,” Rod explained.

Their rates are also very competitive.

“We’ve priced ourselves competitively for local people – not just the wealthy, visiting tourists. Our rates are geared towards accommodating the local tourists,” he said.

Stampede offers relaxed comfort on board the spacious catamaran, either seated on the sheltered bridge-deck saloon or upfront on the trampoline (net). It is ideally suited for small parties of up to 12 people. Their chartered tours around Algoa Bay are relaxed and fun with a touch of adventure, exploration and discovery.

“From the islands to the sea life, our Bay has something for all,” Rod said.

Cruises on offer:

They have various cruises on offer, as well as customised options for those looking to create their own unique experience.

Oyster Cruise

It departs early evenings from the Algoa Bay Yacht Club. Exiting the harbour they take a slow cruise to the Zwembesi Oyster Farm and then conduct a brief boat tour of the oyster farm.

Duration: about one and a half hours

Nearby Islands Cruise

From the harbour to St Croix, Jahleel and Brenton Islands. See the largest existing colony of threatened African penguins.

Duration: about four hours

Waterfront Cruise

From the harbour to Cape Recife. It is a scenic, calm beach front cruise.

Duration: about two hours

What you need to know

  • You need to book in advance. Go to their website at www.stampedecruises.co.za or email info@stampedecruises.co.za.
  • Remember to bring a jacket, sunglasses, sunscreen and your camera.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and soft soled shoes – it gets windy (and cold) and dresses and high heels don’t work!
  • The cruise is weather permitting – refunds will be issued should the cruise be cancelled due to bad weather.
  • A snack and drink is provided on board, but you can take along your own drinks or food.

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