As a born and bred Capetonian, I am no stranger to the sea. My parents sailed, my husband sailed and inevitably I sail too. Most of the time when we strap on a wetsuit and zip up our booties it is with our game face on as we are the competitive type and racing is in our veins. But when I was invited out on a day on the water with the team from Boating World onboard one of their luxury motor yachts I swapped by foul weather gear and energy drinks for a bikini, a glass of champagne and an adventurous spirit of a different kind.
We were on our way to spend the day stand up paddle boarding, sunning ourselves and sipping on fine wines at Clifton Beach. Frequented by tourists and locals alike, especially in the fine summer months, Clifton 4th is a magnet for beach bums and babes. However the small beach can quickly become overcrowded and unpleasant, that is why I was so excited to enjoy it from the ocean side – a luxury few get to experience!
The trip out to Clifton was an adventure in itself – an ocean safari of sorts. We decided to give the engines a good run and blasted down to Robben Island where we were delighted with a sighting of about 50 humpback whales. Along with Southern Right whales and Bryde’s whales, humpback’s can be seen off the South African coastline between July and September when they come to the region to breed and calf. Undeterred by our vessel, the humpbacks lazily wallowed in the ocean, protecting the calves that could occasionally be spotted alongside. Switching off the engine we enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a few moments with the whales before they ducked below the surface and disappeared into the deep blue.
It was then off to Clifton and, while taking in the view of iconic Table Mountain from the waterside, some Heaviside’s dolphins came alongside. Playing in our wake they effortlessly gilded the surf and leaped alongside the boat, causing squeals of delight all round. No sooner had they disappeared than shouts from the boat had everyone in quiet a stir. A big debate ensued with everyone debating if the fin they had seen had been a seal or a shark. Idling alongside the creature, it revealed itself to be none other than a sunfish. These strange fish are commonly seen in Table Bay and never fail to amaze. They have a large flat body and are known to be the heaviest fish in the world.
Gliding into Clifton the smiles were already set firmly in place on our faces and I got chatting to Derrick Levy, owner of Boating World about how one can come to afford such an epic lifestyle. I was impressed to learn that they have come up with an innovative offering where instead of purchasing a yacht outright you can buy shares in a luxury motor boat and they take care of the skippering, maintenance, cleaning, mooring etc. As this information sunk in, I lay back to take in some more sun, wondering if it was time to swap out my racing dreams for a more relaxing seaside affair!