Winter is officially behind us and now that we are into spring it is time to start thinking about summer and holidays again. It seems to me that we have had an exceptionally mild winter with very few winter storms which traditionally bring lots of wind and rain. Nevertheless we have certainly had some cold weather and right now the days and nights remain quite chilly. LIBC has been quiet but our diehard members still venture out on the lagoon and we are beginning to see more action, which will hopefully pick up as the season warms up.
This newsletter is a bit overdue but we decided to wait until preparation of the financial budget for 2022/23 was complete to enable us to present the new subscriptions and levies to our members. More about that later.
As mentioned above, we have had a relatively mild winter and the weather over the July Knysna festival time was particularly pleasant with some glorious warm days. For myself, over the years, the June school holidays have always been a great time to visit Knysna and although the days are short, it provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fabulous warm, windless and peaceful days on the water and also to get out and experience the many other “non-water” activities that Knysna and its surrounds has to offer. So my advice to all our out-of-town members is to think ahead and include this part of the world in your holiday plans for next year.
In the meantime, haul out all that boating and fishing gear and get ready for summer because before you know it the summer season will be in full swing.
LIBC STAFF ON THE MEND!
The May Newsletter included both good and bad news, and it seems that the pattern continues! Thankfully Margie has been back at work for some time and she is completely back to her normal happy and energetic self after being seriously ill with a viral chest infection in May. To make matters worse, no sooner was Margie back at LIBC than she had to have cataract operations on both eyes so she was once again incapacitated for a few days. Those of you who know Margie will be well aware that the worst thing that can happen to her is to be cooped up at home, so she was almost as pleased as we were when she was able to resume her duties at LIBC. It is great to have her back and making sure that everything at LIBC is shipshape and up to her usual high standards!
In the meantime at the end of June, just about at the time when Margie returned to work, Clive was involved in a very nasty motorcycle accident in a collision with another motorbike while out on a morning ride near the Karatara River. Although Clive was lucky to escape other injuries, his foot was pinned under the motorbike and badly injured which left him totally incapacitated for several weeks and at home in bed. Fortunately, Clive is on the way to recovery and although he still has to undergo an operation to have a skin graft done, he is back at work and able to carry on.
We are indeed fortunate to have Ray Turpin on standby to step into the breach when either Clive or Margie are out of action, and he has certainly been busier than he could possibly have expected. Thanks to Ray for all the time and effort given to LIBC over the past couple of months particularly since he had to undergo a minor but unpleasant surgical procedure involving a skin graft during this time.
On top of everything else our Committee member Chris Stubbs underwent an ankle replacement three months ago and he too has been out of action for a long time but he has now been given a clean bill of health and has made a full recovery, although I expect it will be a while before he is back to his favourite pastime of water-skiing!
Hopefully by the time you receive this newsletter our team will all have recovered their health!
On a much happier note, we can update you about the amazing performances by our young superstars! Firstly, young Kayden Turpin, the 8 year old grandson of Treasurer, Ray, represented South Africa at the World Karate Championships in July this year at Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA. Competing against youngsters much older than himself, Kayden managed to achieve an admirable 5th place out of twelve competitors from all over the world, a wonderful achievement.
Likewise, Chris Stubbs’ son Tristan has overnight become a household name in the cricketing world with phenomenal performances at the IPL tournament in India and while playing for South Africa where he really showed his mettle against England and Ireland. He is now off to represent his country against India and will then take part in the T20 World Cup in Australia. What an incredible rise to fame and we at LIBC are all terribly proud of him and we will all be watching his performances with huge anticipation!
Not to be outdone, Craig Clarke’s young grandson, Kai, aged 11, recently came 4th representing Eastern Province in the under 16 age group at the SA National Longboard surfing competition in Jeffreys Bay.
Maybe it’s something in the water of the Knysna estuary!!!
URGENT REQUEST FOR MAKING HARBOUR BERTHS AVAILABLE TO RENT
It is that time of the year again when the Club starts to receive requests from holiday makers all over the country for holiday berth rentals for the forthcoming December/January holiday season. Any berth owner who is willing to let out his/her berth over that period is asked to make urgent contact with Clive or Margie either via email or telephone. We will then place your berth on our renting schedule and will endeavour to let it out for as long as possible, although obviously we cannot guarantee a rental or the duration thereof, but every year we end up with a waiting list of visitors anxious to use the LIBC facilities. It is worth noting that after deduction of the LIBC commission, you stand to achieve a rental of R248.00 per day during the peak holiday season which will go along way to covering your membership expenses!
For more information, contact Clive or Margie at email@example.com or phone 079 378 8252.
Although our LIBC members may not have been very active on the water recently, maintenance and repairs remain ongoing and make sure that the LIBC staff are kept busy.
A few of the finger jetties which were replaced about eighteen months ago were badly warped and some of these have been repaired as and when necessary. The design has been modified somewhat and we have been able to reuse most of the existing timber so the cost has not been excessive. One of the disadvantages of working with timber is that it is an organic material and some distortion is inevitable as the moisture content changes with age and ambient conditions. Also it is clear that the general quality of local timber is not the same as it was in the past.
The ongoing replacement of jetty poles is another matter which has been addressed. Last year the firm Sea Services replaced a number of poles and at the same time we undertook a survey of all the jetty poles and identified several others that were showing signs of damage from the marine organism, gribble. Further inspections earlier this year confirmed the need to replace more of the poles, using the Club’s existing stock of spare poles and the work was done by Sea Services during July. At the same time we arranged another underwater inspection and confirmed that there are probably another 30 odd poles that will have to be replaced during the next 6 – 12 months. A stock of 40 new poles has been delivered to the harbour and we will continue to monitor the poles and replace them as necessary.
We now recognise the fact that the ongoing replacement of poles will continue to be an issue and we must expect to replace a number of them each year as part of routine maintenance.
We are often asked why we use timber poles in these harsh conditions and whether there is not a better solution. The problem of deterioration of the timber poles was first identified in 2016 and at the time an extensive investigation was carried out to determine the best way of addressing the matter. A report was prepared in which the conclusion reached was that for a variety of reasons, including cost, timber poles remain the overall most cost-effective and suitable solution. The report has been reviewed this year and we have again reached the same conclusion.
HARBOUR SECURITY AND BACKUP ELECTRICAL POWER
The Committee reviews security at LIBC on an ongoing basis because we recognise the importance of security generally and particularly taking into account the value of the assets kept on the harbour premises. The LIBC staff are on site all day and in addition we employ a guard who is on duty from 18:00 until 06:00 every night as well as cameras which monitor any movement at the harbour entrances (via road or water). These arrangements are backed up by maintaining a good standard of lighting of the entire harbour premises because we believe that visibility is the criminals’ biggest enemy.
The existing area lighting at LIBC functions well and generally meets our objectives, but we have to upgrade the installation.
In the first instance most of the existing high mast area light fittings are old technology and energy inefficient, and the high mast lights are an ugly source of light pollution. We have therefore embarked on a phased programme of replacing the existing lights with modern low-energy LED fittings and designing the type and layout of lights to reduce the pollution outside the harbour area. The first phase has seen the installation of four new low-level light poles along the east wall of the harbour and this will gradually be extended to include the rest of the harbour and the parking areas. The aim is to achieve a high standard of night lighting which will deter criminal activity and will benefit Members who use the facilities at night while at the same time providing a standard of installation that is in keeping with our objectives for the environment and Leisure Isle.
A significant problem familiar to everyone in South Africa is that of electrical load-shedding and the hugely negative effect this has on our security systems. Anyone who visits LIBC at night during load-shedding will know that without any lighting the whole area is pitch dark and an open invitation for criminal activity.
Sadly, it is abundantly clear that this is a problem that is not going to go away and indeed it is likely to become worse and the Committee thus decided to install a 5kW back-up battery/inverter system which will provide electrical power to a sufficient number of security lights to ensure an acceptable level of lighting during power outages.
The system being installed can have photovoltaic panels added at any time to charge the battery and will make us less dependent on the public supply, but these will not initially be installed. The installed cost of the system will be about R60 000.00 which will be met from the Club reserve fund.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND LEVIES FOR 2022/23
The financial year-end for LIBC is 30 September and therefore although the annual financial statements will only be presented at the AGM in December, the budget for 2022/23 is prepared in September each year at which time the various subscriptions and levies for the following financial year are also prepared and implemented.
The figures have been reviewed and were approved by the Committee at its monthly meeting on 8 September, can be viewed HERE
In arriving at the above amounts the fundamental objective was to ensure that the club is sufficiently funded to meet estimated expenditure for the next financial year with an allowance to continue to build up a reserve to meet our future needs in respect of possible major projects which we review and update each year and include the following:
- Perimeter fence replacement.
- Upgrade to area lighting In
- Replace/repair eroded brick paving
- Security systems
- Harbour silting
- Ongoing harbour pole replacement
- Improved Member ablution facilities
TRIBUTE TO PROFESSOR BRIAN ALLANSON
In July we circulated a tribute to Professor Brian Allanson who passed away at the age of 94. The Prof (or the Great White as he was fondly known for his shock of white hair from an early age!), was a legend not only at LIBC but throughout the Knysna area and indeed in academic circles literally world-wide. The environmental studies and reports prepared by him paved the way for the approval of our facilities and even more importantly Brian Allanson played a massive role in the formative years of conservation and environmental management of the Knysna estuary.
We were therefore really happy when Prof Allanson family and his close friend and colleague, John Kennedy, approached us with a request to be allowed to plant a tree in his memory at the LIBC premises and Margie and the Harbour Management will cherish and look after this fitting memorial to a wonderful person.
UPDATE ON HENRIETTA THE HERON
Sadly we have to report that Henrietta the heron which was injured and lost a leg earlier in the year has not been seen for the past couple of months and it has to be assumed that nature has taken its course and that she did not survive through winter.
Although no one can be sure of her fate, our members had reported seeing her being attacked by rival herons which seemingly chased her away from her old home and source of food at LIBC.
We miss seeing her familiar presence landing on our boats when we approach the harbour.
LIBC was well represented at a SANParks public participation meeting for their proposed Knysna Estuary Management Plan (KEMP) on 30 May as well as a Knysna Park Forum meeting on 3 August.
The KEMP has been in progress for the past year or so and is well advanced. The draft plan has been developed and SANParks are going through a process of public participation meetings before taking the plan to the next level. It is expected to be implemented quite early in 2023 and will affect everyone. We generally see the plan in a very positive light and we hope that it is going to go a long way towards the future preservation of the greater Knysna Estuary area.
From a strictly boating and lagoon use point of view, the most significant effect is going to be the new “Zonation” plan which will see some new “no boating zones”, “no-wake” zones and new bait reserves. I am quite certain that the Zonation Plan will see some unhappy responses, but from what I have seen the objectives are all in our best long-term interests and are intended to benefit not only us but also, more importantly future generations of lagoon users and my view is that we must learn to adapt and to support and indeed embrace the plan.
A further Focus Group Meeting to be attended by the our Lagoon Users Group is planned to take place very soon and we will report back after that.
The regular Park Forum meeting we attended in August was noteworthy for the report-backs from the various bodies who attend this really interesting forum 3-4 times a year. For me a feature of the latest meeting was the really good news about the development of a number of areas in the “Brenton Hills” which are being contracted to SANParks and will thus effectively become privately owned Contract National Parks. The work going on behind the scenes which is all aimed at conservation and preservation of the greater Knysna area is really quite phenomenal and it all deserves every bit of support it can get.
Another small item of interest was that a function to celebrate World Ranger’s Day took place immediately after the August Park Forum meeting. The function celebrates the work done by Park Rangers throughout the world and we were treated to various exercises presented by Rangers from the Garden Route National Park and short presentations by various dignitaries. It may all appear to be of little significance but I found the whole exercise quite moving and I would strongly urge anyone interested in the work being done to conserve and preserve our environment to attend future World Ranger Days. It was a pity that the event was not better advertised.
The follow up article on the development of the Leisure Isle Boat Club and Harbour, remains at the top of the to-do list but it will involve a lot of work and will be saved for another day.
WEBSITE AND CONTACT DETAILS
Erf No 2060
1 Links Drive
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
Website : www.libcknysna.co.za
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).