Let Go Fore and Aft; Summer’s Here!

Let Go Fore and Aft; Summer’s Here!

‘For why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?
The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.’

Samuel Taylor Coleridge; The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 1798

Summer seems to have settled on the Western Cape, despite the occasional chill or welcome fall of rain. At Waterfront Charters we love all the seasons, but for obvious reasons summer is our outstanding period of activity. More seasoned visitors might enjoy a blustery mid-winter sailing adventure across Table Bay aboard our sleek schooner Esperance, but on average our guests definitely prefer a day with the sun beaming down, the breeze mild, the swell gentle and the drinks chilled. Our catamarans come into their own in these conditions; the luxury they offer up is compatible with dreams of island-hopping yacht cruises and the holiday lifestyles of billionaires, and we do our best to ensure that these dreams are reality for the hours we host our smiling visitors, local and international.

Waterfront Charters newest vessel Eclipse is a stunning 42 ft (12.8 metre) motor powered catamaran.

We have recently added to our current fleet of three catamarans; we welcomed the beautiful twin-hulled motor-powered Eclipse to the V&A Waterfront, and she has immediately been put into service, taking smaller groups out on scheduled cruises. A 40 foot vessel armed with all the modern safety, communication, radar and weather devices, she is a sister ship to our popular catamaran Enigma, and also offers up all the attractions guests expect from a luxurious yacht. She is ideal for private charters: the summer season is also party season here in the Cape (okay, worldwide too…) and for groups of up to twelve people (currently) Eclipse is the ultimate venue for any intimate occasion you can dream of. There is a refreshment area (naturally) and plenty of deck space to dance or mingle; a trampoline – not the bouncy kind – slung between the for’ard hulls lends itself to lounging, and there is an upper platform that is superb for viewing the unbeatable scenery (and chatting to the knowledgeable skipper, we might add.)

For larger groups – right up to 140 dancing dandies – we have the recently polished and serviced catamaran Sea Princess. A doyen of the V&A Waterfront, Sea Princess is a double-decked vessel that could host a royal reception. Office parties, wedding celebrations, corporate functions: she has seen a wealth of happy events, and we have got pretty good at hosting these blow-outs. For those who wish to experience the true yachting adventure, there is our sailing Catamaran Serenity One. Like her motor-powered counterparts Enigma and Eclipse, Serenity One offers an ideal platform for cruising the Cape coastline, however she represents the best of both worlds: luxury combined with the joy of effortless sailing under billowing canvas main and jib sails, the bows plunging softly through the Atlantic swells. It’s like being aboard a mobile luxury penthouse, except the air is cleaner, the sounds more soothing and there is incredible wildlife watching on. Some wild life on board too, on occasion, we hear.

Esperance, the twin-masted schooner we referenced above, is not to be forgotten in the mix. She may not offer the coddling environment of our catamaran fleet, but as a sailing boat she more than makes up for it in sheer fun. Her protruding bowsprit (for landlubbers, that’s the jutting bit at the front where figureheads resided in earlier centuries) provides more fun per sea mile than any amusement park ride, and the entire experience is a sailing adventure: let your imagination run wild and you could be heading off to a distant continent, or participating in an oceanic race.

Our fleet does not end there, either. The Grand Dame of the V&A Waterfront moors right in front of our office on Quay 5: the inimitable Southern Cross. If you have visited the Waterfront, you will have seen her; she handles our Half-hour Harbour Tours, and her sturdy double-decker superstructure rests on are a trawler-based hull – the safest of ships. She also heads out of the harbour mouth on the harbour tours, giving a panoramic view of Table Mountain and the city, and in the evenings can augment the Sunset Champagne Cruises. We love her, and that about says it all.

Finally, there are our two adventure boats: Adventure One and Spectre. These are two Rigid-hulled Inflatable Boats (known colloquially as RIBs), and they are powered by twin outboard motors. These are not luxury vessels. They are high-powered and low slung, and operate like stealth fighters when it comes to Ocean Safaris. There are no mod-cons: just seats that cowboys would admire, handholds for the occasional burst of power, and the best possible viewing platforms for admiring the ocean life. For eco-minded adventurers and, not surprisingly, party groups of older offspring, they are unbeatable.

For more information, it’s all there on our website, with descriptions of our wide range of cruise and charter options. We look forward to sharing summer fun with friends old and new alike; if you are looking for advice on charter options don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have the best venues in Cape Town, courtesy of Mother Nature!