Summer is here and in just a few weeks time many of you will be making your way to Knysna for the holiday season. After an eternity of living with the pandemic and the lockdowns I think it is safe to say that we have all had enough and everyone is really looking forward to once again being able to enjoy ourselves. I just hope that we are all doing what we can to avoid another wave of infections – the last thing any of us need is another lockdown over the festive season. Please take care!
The most important purpose of this newsletter is to inform Members that your Committee has decided that the LIBC Annual General Meeting will take place at 17h30 on Monday 20 December 2021. Please note that the venue for the meeting will be the Leisure Isle Country and Bowls Club which we feel is larger and therefore better suited to enable us to maintain social distancing.
BERTH RENTALS AND OTHER MATTERS
As usual many people want to rent berths over the holiday season and currently Clive has let out all the available berths, so if any Member has a berth in the harbour that they are willing to let out over the holiday season please contact Clive Garth-Davis, the Club Manager at 079 378 8252 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
A reminder that the Club will be issuing vehicle identification stickers to Members who wish to bring their vehicles into the Members’ trailer park enclosure. This is done for your benefit in an attempt to reduce congestion caused by non-members entering the area over the holiday period, so please cooperate and display the sticker on your windscreen. Additional stickers will be issued on request in case Members have more than one vehicle.
Also remember that all trailers must be marked with the owner’s name and contact details. LIBC provides these trailer strip stickers free of charge to Members who have trailer parking bays, so please make sure that you have collected your sticker from the office.
Don’t forget to have your boats surveyed, take out the annual SANParks permit, and buy your angling license!
The LIBC premises are looking great!
Margie and her team have been hard at work (as usual!) making sure that the lawns and gardens are as perfect as ever and, really, the Club premises are a joy to behold!
We are currently continuing with the programme of replacement of poles in the harbour which have been damaged by the marine organism, “gribble”. This is an ongoing problem and we have to carry out regular inspections to identify the damaged poles which is quite a difficult task because the damage only occurs to a limited portion of the pole below the low water mark. Hopefully the new poles, which are all H6 treated to SABS standards suitable for continuous immersion in seawater, will last much longer than the previous ones!
We seem to have had an unusually high number of channel marker buoys going missing this year and several have been replaced over the past few months. Thanks to Mark Sofianos, who sourced and donated some new solar powered buoy marker lights, we will be installing new lights on all the buoys in the Steenbok and Ashmead channels as the old ones fail. In the meantime, no sooner had we replaced the buoys which broke free than more disappeared so right now there are two buoys missing in the Ashmead Channel. The work can only be done under favourable weather, tide and water visibility conditions so we are at the mercy of the elements in this regard, but we will make sure everything is shipshape before the season! A huge thank you to Rob Turpin and Alan Griffin for all the work they have done to assist with the retrieval and installation of the buoys. Your help is hugely appreciated by everyone!
A completely new soakaway has been constructed at the wash bay which is a great relief because all our previous attempts to solve the drainage problem at the wash bay proved to be futile. This time we had the work done professionally and hopefully the problems are now a thing of the past. Please note that it is the responsibility of anyone using the wash bay to ensure that nothing but clean water is allowed into the catchpit.
The public toilet block has been completely redecorated, repainted and spruced up and it is kept in absolutely immaculate condition by Margie and the staff, so a huge well done to them for this very necessary task. Please, if any Member finds the toilet building in a bad condition, PLEASE report this to the Office so that we can take action.
We are busy with the replacement of some floodlight fittings which are not working but this is part of a larger project to improve the standard of the outdoor lighting on the premises and right now we do not want to incur wasteful expenditure by installing new fittings which may soon become redundant.
Finally, as always, jetty maintenance is an ongoing task and minor repairs and replacement happens all the time.
Invoices and statements were sent out in October for the 2021/22 subscriptions and levies. Many thanks to the many Members who settled their accounts very promptly and a reminder to everyone who has outstanding money owed to the Club to please make your payments as soon as possible. You are reminded that in terms of the LIBC Constitution, all subscriptions SHALL be paid within two months of due date and the membership of anyone who fails to meet this deadline SHALL be terminated. We will not allow the situation which happened as a result of the chaos caused by Covid to develop again.
In this regard it has been brought to our notice that a number of members have not received their statements and invoices and after investigation we find that in a few instances this may be because the club records are incorrect. LIBC tries to maintain our members’ records as accurately as possible but we can only do so with your assistance. Kindly assist us by notifying the LIBC office, in writing, by email at email@example.com if either your email address or contact cell and telephone numbers change. Better still, next time you are at the Harbour, please pop in to the office and check your details with Clive or Margie in the Register which is kept at the front office. In this way our records will be as up to date as possible, with minimum inconvenience to everyone.
A XMAS PRESENT FOR YOUR GRANDCHILDREN
Something very special is that Martin Hatchuel who is one of our Members and familiar to everyone, is the author of a book, “It’s a Pity I Didn’t Bring any Swords” which he has published himself. Quoting from the cover, the book is “a ghoulishly lekker local adventure on the Garden Route coast.” It is a fictional story based actual historical facts all about a young lad who lives on Leisure Isle and finds himself involved in a fantasy world of ghosts and ghost ships with non-stop action and excitement that will tickle the fancy of any youngster who loves watersports, and maybe even some of us older folk! I must admit to reading and thoroughly enjoying the book myself and you will recognize our very own boat harbour and some of the characters.
It is the perfect Xmas present for any young person who knows Leisure Isle and Martin has kindly made some signed copies available for anyone to purchase from the LIBC office. This really is a wonderful opportunity!
OWN A CLASSIC SAILING DINGHY AND SUPPORT HOSPICE
If you are interested in old classic sailing dinghies then there is another opportunity which was brought to our attention by Kathy Michaelides and Bob Hunt:
Why not own a piece of history? The wooden Vaurien sailing boat pictured below was built in Holland and was obtained by Maarten Visser from his neighbour in the sailing town of Den Helder in Holland and transported to Knysna when Maarten retired here.
Maarten, being a perfectionist, spent hundreds of hours doing an immaculate restoration job. The boat has been shown on the Knysna Classic Boat Show a number of times and always draws good interest.
The boat has been purchased by Humphrey Price who has marvelously donated it to Knysna Hospice and now you can be the proud owner of this piece of history and at the same time enjoy sailing on our magical lagoon, while your investment will go to an extremely worthy cause.
Do not forget SA National Parks week from 22-28 November which gives everyone the opportunity of visiting one of our national parks without paying the normal conservation fee:
It is such a pity that most LIBC Members only see SANParks as the authority who spoils our fun by checking boating and angling licenses, whereas in fact they and a number of other organisations are doing a huge amount of really valuable work in the background all of which is aimed at preserving the sustainability of the Knysna estuary and the surrounding areas to ensure that this beautiful part of the country can continue to be enjoyed by future generations of the whole community. The greater Garden Route National Park area is under enormous pressure as the population increases, not only in terms of local residents but also from ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the area. The LIBC Committee is committed to working with SANParks and all the other relevant stakeholders to assist in this process in any way we can, because it is only by becoming involved that we will ever be able to make a difference.
While on this subject we recently attended another Knysna Park Forum meeting where plenty of information and feedback is provided by a variety of people. Of particular interest at the recent meeting was a report on research work which has grown out of the project to establish the exact number of surviving elephants in the Knysna forest. Sadly, the research has confirmed that there is only a single female elephant remaining in the forest and now the next phase of the project is to decide what to do next, if anything. But even more interesting was the information which came to light regarding the interface and interaction between humans and the wildlife in the forest. The camera traps used to monitor the movement of elephants highlighted the fact that man is encroaching into the Park area and this is having an effect on the wildlife in the forests. This is a matter that needs a considerable amount of further work before any decisions can be made about how to manage this interface, but it is clearly a matter which will have to be addressed in the future. In the meantime, the photos below provide a fascinating glimpse of what goes on in those mysterious dark places up in the hills behind Knysna!
An important matter raised at the Park Forum meeting was the recent outbreak of avian bird flu which has been prevalent along the west coast of the country and it has been noted that the disease is gradually spreading eastwards and may reach the Garden Route in the near future. The experts warned the meeting that the disease is highly contagious and for this reason the public is urged to avoid any direct contact with a sick bird, and rather report the sighting of any obviously weak and/or limp birds to SANParks or Cape Nature.
SANParks have asked LIBC to circulate a letter related to Safety Regulations as applicable to boating activities on the Knysna Estuary and this is attached at the end of this newsletter.
WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS
Physical address: Erf No 2060
Phone 079 378 8252
Note that the phone is manned during LIBC office hours only,
September to May: 06h00 – 18h00
June to August: 07h00 – 17h30
LIBC GATE NUMBER: 065 509 3553 (Your phone should be automatically registered on the access control system to enable you to use the facility to open the gate, but please check and inform Clive if you have a problem).