Ex Sea Province 2015 – Southampton University Air Squadron

Aim: The main aim of the exped was to Kayak in pairs around the famous Cape Point transferring from Indian Ocean to Atlantic Ocean then continue on foot along the Atlantic Coast to the top of Table Mountain.

Day 1 – We split into 2 groups; one group went walking from Fish Hoek Bay to the summit of Elsie’s Peak whilst the other group went to Muizenberg to Kayak Surf concentrating on the basic principles and how to ride a breaking wave safely. In the afternoon the 2 groups swapped over activities.

Day 2 – We started at the Newlands heli-pad, and trekked a route that led us up the forested eastern side of Table Mountain. We followed the path and topped out at Maclear’s Beacon, highest point on Table Mountain at 1086 meters. From here, we walked across the entire length of the summit to the upper cable station on the western corner of the mountain and descended via the Cable Car.

Day 3 – Kayaking – Simons Town to Kalk Bay
Everyone split into pairs taking into consideration different strengths and character traits for today’s paddle and we set off towards the other side of the Bay into the wind and the waves. The group stayed together well and we made it across to Kalk Bay in about 2 hours. There were some interesting sights on the journey across and we passed shipwrecks and a group of Seals lazing around in the water. We all thought the journey back into wind would be easy but we didn’t take into account the waves taking us off course. The strength of the wind increased making the Kayaking more difficult but we all made it back safely to the beach. As the conditions got worse it was decided not to go out on another trip due to safety reasons. We drove to the Cape Peninsula for a recce on the Kayak route tomorrow from the safety of the land and had a walk around the landmarks there.

Day 4/5 – Kayaking – Cape Point
The first part of the exped went well, good strong Kayaking from Simonstown to Millers Bay where we made camp. The weather changed through the night and made paddling on day 2 hard through wind and rain. We paddled around Cape Point where the swell increased along with the wind; impending storm was the call so about turn and paddle hard back to land on Buffels Bay.

Day 6/7 – The walk was completed over 2 days from Slangtop Lighthouse to the top of Table Mountain via Chapmans Peak staying at Camps Bay.

Day 8 – The weather turned extremely bad with strong gusts and rain so we made a decision to drive inland to the town of Hermanus where we hired bikes and set inland to explore the forest trails and covered a distance of 48km in a loop around the beautiful mountain scenery in that area. The route was very undulating with climbs of up to 380m in height gained and descents of 200m on the trail. Once we finished the ride we returned the equipment and drove back to Cape Town.

Day 9 – Today we split into 2 x groups again with one group Kayak Surfing at Fish Hoek Bay concentrating on improving surf skills whilst the other group set off on a 2 hour Kayak trip around Simon’s Town Naval dockyard to see the penguins on Boulders Bay! In the afternoon the 2 groups swapped over activities.

Day 10 – We walked from the car park at the base of Lions Head and ascended over that peak before heading towards the lower cable car station on Table Mountain. We passed under the cable car before heading up the Platteklip Gorge (a good path made up of a lot of stone steps) all the way to the top of Table Mountain. It was then a short traverse along the top of the mountain where we got the cable car down and walked back to our vehicles.

The Challenge of a life time was over, the aim completed: goals met, plenty of seals, no sharks, lives changed, big smiles all round and big thanks to Ulysses Trust.

Note: More people have walked up Everest than Kayaked around the Cape Point.

With thanks to:

Ulysses Trust

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