It is beginning to feel like holiday time in Knysna and at LIBC we are looking forward to a bumper season with Knysna jam packed with visitors, even though I must admit that many of the locals prefer Knysna and the lagoon when things are a bit quieter! Boating and fishing are definitely more pleasurable out of season and right now it is absolutely glorious to be out on the water early in the morning with not another boat in sight!.
If you are planning to launch your boat at LIBC over the holidays, please make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork in place. We all hate rules and regulations but the regulations applicable to boating are all there for your safety and it is essential that you abide by them. Anyone in control of a boat must have a valid skipper’s license as well as a SAMSA Certificate of Fitness and a SANParks permit for the Knysna Estuary and if you plan to do any fishing do not forget your annual angling permit. Please also adhere to the LIBC rules and remember that our harbour is congested and navigating a boat in the channels requires skill and experience. Please do not attempt to enter or leave the harbour if the wind is blowing, this can be extremely tricky.
The 2022 LIBC Annual General Meeting will take place at 17h30 on Tuesday 20 December 2022 at the LIBC Clubhouse. Please make a note of the date and we urge as many of our Members as possible to attend because this is your opportunity to find out what the committee has been up to during the year and to give us feedback regarding your needs and wishes.
|CLIVE GARTH-DAVIS RETIRES
was a huge surprise to the committee when Clive Garth-Davis informed us in September that he had decided that the time had come for him to step down and “retire” fully from his position as the LIBC Harbour Manager. Clive has served in the position for eight years since 2014 and has seen the club through some very difficult times as well as taking us through the transition from that of an amateur sports club to a far more professionally managed and business-like operation where the club manager takes over many of the responsibilities and duties previously assumed by the committee members. Clive has managed to do all this without ever complaining and always with a smile on his face. He has also put up with the chairman and committee members making ever-more demands and endlessly changing their minds about everything. The result is that LIBC now runs like a well looked-after outboard motor, purring along without missing a beat!
What made Clive give it all up, we asked him?
Clive’s response was that he has thought about spending more time at home and relaxing and doing all the things that he enjoys most like fishing and boating and working on the many do-it-yourself chores that we all have at home. What finally tipped the scales was his motorbike accident a couple of months ago. His foot injury has taken a long time to heal and it will still be some time before Clive is fully mobile so he decided that some rest and recuperation was needed. In Clive’s normal selfless manner, he offered to stay on and help us through the holiday season but after discussing everything with him, we all agreed it would be in Clive’s interests to stop working as soon as possible and in that way to give his foot the best chance of a quick and complete recovery. Having said that, we have told Clive that we will definitely be asking him to step in and assist Ray and Margie not only during the forthcoming holiday season but also at other times in future when we need someone to assist with relief work.
In his normal humble manner, Clive has asked that we do not make a fuss of his departure, so the committee intends to formally say goodbye early in the new year at one of our committee meetings. In the meantime, if anyone wishes to contribute to a farewell gift for Clive, please feel free to leave a cash donation at the office with Ray or Margie, or make a deposit into the LIBC bank account with the reference “CLIVE” and, if you like, your name and/or membership number.
When Clive informed us about his retirement, we were very relieved when Ray Turpin, our Treasurer, immediately offered to take over the position of Harbour Manager as an interim measure to give us time to recruit someone to fill the position on a permanent basis. Ray is obviously very well known to most of our members and in fact he has filled in as Harbour Manager several times over the past few years when Clive and/or Margie have been on leave or off ill.
I am certain that every single LIBC Member knows our Senior Harbour Assistant, Michael Madeya, better than any other member of the LIBC team! Michael is always there with ready smile willing to help any member with their boats and trailers and of course he is always kept busy running his after-hours boat cleaning business. This year marks a most important anniversary of fifteen years of loyal service as a permanent member of the LIBC staff and we all congratulate Michael on this fine achievement and hope that he will still be around for many years to come.
The LIBC team are all hard at work beginning to prepare for the holiday season which is rapidly approaching. Bookings are being processed for berth rentals over December/January and Margie is making sure the gardens and lawns are all in perfect shape. So far the rainfall figures for Spring have been unusually low and Margie is quite distressed about the condition of the grassed areas but I am confident that everything will be up to her usual high standards by the time our visitors arrive.
We want to clean up the Ashmead and Steenbok Channel marker buoys and a light must be replaced on one of the buoys, but otherwise I think we are just about ready for anything and everybody!
Statements of account for the 2022/23 annual subscriptions and levies have been sent to everyone. Many thanks to the many members who we know promptly settle their accounts every year and to everyone else, we remind you that in terms of the LIBC Constitution, “all subscriptions shall be paid within two monthes of due date and the membership of anyone who fails to meet this deadline shall be terminated.”
Every year we find that a number of members do not receive their statements and when we investigate we find that this is because the club records are incorrect. LIBC does its best to ensure that our records are kept up to date and that they are accurate, but we can only do so with your assistance, so please immediately notify us in writing by email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org if any of your contact details should change.
Likewise, please inform us if you decide to terminate your LIBC membership for any reason. Our membership numbers are again approaching the limit of 450 members and we will soon have to turn prospective members away, which is a pity if there is a waiting list for new members. We often ask ourselves why we have a limit on the number of members and I think the simple answer is the fact that we only have a limited number of harbour berths and trailer parking bays with no prospect of increasing these. There is also limited parking for vehicles on the premises and so for this reason it seems sensible to limit our membership to ease the pressure on our facilities.
BERTH RENTALS AND OTHER MATTERS
There has been quite a demand for renting of berths over the holiday season and as things stand right now we have had nearly 40 bookings. There are still a few berths available to rent but if you want to either let your berth or if you want to hire a berth, please contact LIBC urgently because we end up over-subscribed every year. You should contact Ray or Margie at 079 378 8252 or email@example.com .
Following a query from one of our Members, we realised that there was an error in the table of Subscriptions and Levies published in the September Newsletter in that it included an item for weekly berth hire over December/January. This item had been added two years ago in an attempt to simplify the booking of berths but we quickly found that it was unworkable and persons wanting a short term booking were blocking the berths so we have now withdrawn that option and over the December/January holiday season temporary berth hire is only available on a daily basis. We sincerely apologise for any confusion and misunderstanding and a revised Table is attached at the end of this newsletter.
The Club will again hand out 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.
HARBOUR SECURITY AND BACK-UP ELECTRICAL POWER
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the committee decided to proceed with the purchase and installation of a 5 kW inverter/battery backup power system to ensure that the security lights remain active during power failures and particularly during load shedding. We are pleased to report that the work is now complete and the LIBC premises remain well-lit when there is a power failure at night.
We also previously informed you that the committee wants to upgrade and improve the lighting at LIBC in order to be more energy efficient and to reduce light pollution as much as possible. The work involves replacing the old area lights with modern LED streetlights. This will be a costly process and will be undertaken over a period of time as and when we feel that the club has sufficient funds available. For this reason and to reduce power consumption from the inverter system, we have disabled some of the older inefficient luminaires, so if you notice that some of the lights are not functioning, this is in all likelihood because they have been purposely disconnected and will be replaced in due course.
LIBC was well represented at the final SANParks Parks Forum meeting for the year. We listened to the usual interesting reports about all the activities going on behind the scenes which have a vital impact on the Knysna Estuary and the surrounds. The general public is probably not aware of the really well planned and coordinated work going on to remove alien vegetation and to clean the area generally. A variety of organisations are involved with this work which not only improves the environment but also provides crucial employment opportunities for the most needy communities.
Pressure on the estuary’s fish resources is an ongoing issue and a lot of work is being done, with remarkable success, to get buy-in from the indigent fisher people to understand the problems and to respect the regulations to ensure the future sustainability of the fish stocks. On the other hand, illegal bait collecting and selling of bait is a really bad problem and is getting worse. While on the subject, anyone who witnesses illegal bait collecting, be it harvesting bait in reserve areas, excessive bait collecting, or illegal harvesting methods, is urged to immediately contact SANParks on their 24 hour duty standby number 082 269 5007, and they will respond. Just be aware that the Knysna estuary covers a huge area so it is unreasonable to expect an instant reaction every time.
We also listened to two really interesting presentations on research work being done by SANParks on the Knysna estuary. The first involves a scientific count to establish fish densities and populations all over the estuary because the data currently available is outdated and inaccurate and the other is research into the influx of Blue Stingrays at this time of the year. If you do not know about this unusual behaviour of our stingrays, it is well worth a visit to the Knysna Quays where if you are lucky you will see masses of stingrays in the very shallow water in front of the Protea Hotel. It is really quite an amazing phenomenon.
Finally, another interesting project that is close to all our hearts is the development of a Knysna Elephant Management Plan which is an in-depth study of how to manage the Knysna elephant population bearing in mind that there is now only one remaining elephant in the forest. The study is looking at the issue holistically in the broadest possible sense and covers everything from a zero intervention policy to introducing elephants from elsewhere and takes into account every imaginable aspect of the matter.
We call on all LIBC members to respect and comply with all SANParks regulations – they may sometimes seem to be a nuisance but they are intended to preserve this unbelievably beautiful environment that we are so fortunate to have as a place to live or holiday. If we all do our bit then there just may be something left for future generations to love and cherish, if we do nothing then very quickly there will be nothing left and it will all be gone forever.
I promise that the follow up article on the development of the Leisure Isle Boat Club and Harbour, will happen early in the new year!
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).