Surrounded by Wonder and Delight

Surrounded by Wonder and Delight

‘Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical.

Roger Bacon: English theologian, philosopher and Franciscan friar; 1292.

At Waterfront Charters, we spend a lot of time on the Atlantic Ocean. This may seem like a rather obvious statement – we have seven vessels in our fleet, after all – but it underpins a fact worth repeating: we never, ever, tire of the wonders that our lifestyle affords. Bringing joy to our many guests is our main purpose in life – our raison d’etre in fact – but in doing so we are constantly surprised and awestruck ourselves by the splendours that our ocean offers up. It’s been over three decades since we first started thrilling V&A Waterfront guests with our cruises and harbour tours, but we will never tire of the beauty and splendour that the ocean offers up.

It’s a 360 degree world out there: at sea you are surrounded by opportunities to witness nature in all its splendour. Standing on deck looking out at the circular horizons, at all points of the compass are views that are breath-taking. From a backdrop of the Cape’s iconic mountain range to the distant vanishing point of the ocean; islands that are living history, and sea-going man-made behemoths that are heading off to distant lands.  Above, the skies; constantly altering with changes in the wind and weather; from the dome of brilliant summer blue to spectacular cloud formations that take on a palette of colours at sunrise and sundown. Below – the living ocean. A constantly moving force that follows the perfect clockwork of the tidal patterns, yet is driven and patterned by prevailing weather: swells that rock you originated thousands of kilometres away, formed by powerful winds that shape the surface of the ocean, pushing billions of tons of water in serried waves that roll on inexorably until they reach our shores, rising over the shallowing seafloor to crash onto the rocks and beaches.

And in all of this – the wildlife. Above, beside and below your boat as you cruise gently under sail or power. Africa is known as a protective enclave for land creatures threatened by the human expansion; the Big Five and all their smaller, fascinating, co-inhabitants in the many reserves are magnetic attractions for tourists from around the globe. Rightfully so, and hopefully the drive to preserve these creatures will continue to flourish. But out on the ocean the wildlife is equally enthralling and as deserving as their land-based counterparts of study, admiration and preservation. It does not matter how many times you have seen a Southern Right whale rising majestically from the sea to crash back in a welter of spray and obvious enjoyment, it is always as thrilling to observe. No matter how many times a pod of dolphins adopts the hull of your yacht, powering their way alongside, around and under your keel; you will always be spellbound by their power and grace.

Penguins – on land, little dress-suited clowns that waddle about like head waiters; put them at sea and they transform into miniature torpedoes, streaking through the water, leaving a welter of bubbles as a trail. The ever-present seals – flopping around clumsily on land with their vestigial limbs-turned-flippers; out in the bay they are elegant swimmers that play among themselves like a happy group of children, fascinatingly agile. They haul themselves up onto the rocks and islets in great social groups; barking, shouting, agitating and resting – a constantly moving, ongoing gathering of sea life.

Above the boat, the birds. Among the smaller species – pipers, oyster catchers, shearwaters and kestrels – the larger gannets, cormorants and seagulls (and for the lucky observer, occasional albatrosses) divebombing the ocean to pull out unsuspecting fish from their shoals. Seeing through the surface of the sea in a manner humans can only dream about.

The word ‘magical’ is probably overused in this age of electronic delights and illusions, but when it comes to experiencing the wonders of our oceans, it is absolutely applicable. Join us in this new year to find out for yourselves just how magical it is; whether you take an Ocean Safari, which is designed to seek out the wildlife, or any other of our range of cruises, you’ll have an adventure that will remind you just how precious and beautiful our oceans are.