Kayak the Ocoee

We hired a Lincoln Continental Town Car in Atlanta and put roofracks on. Dave Jones, dentist and US paddling legend and coach, put us up for the night before we headed North. Chris Greeff, kayaking legend & trip organiser; Herve de Rauville, kayaking legend; Jurie the SABC cameraman, Steve Fourie, a friend of Chris’. AndContinue reading “Kayak the Ocoee”

My Canadian Wooden Paddle

. . is a work of art. Made of Beech, Birch, Cherry and Maple wood, it has a hollow laminated oval shaft, the oval at right angles so each hand has its own correct oval. The blade is also laminated, then kevlar-clad and teflon-tipped. Bruce the Moose Clark of Gauteng and Umko paddling fame wasContinue reading “My Canadian Wooden Paddle”

Umko Trip Mpendle to Lundys Hill

I remember a lovely day, spectacular scenery, an easy river level, quite gentle, good company, lots of laughs, but very little else till near the end when we came to the only rapid we decided not to go ‘down the middle’! Among us were (as I recall) Doug Retief, Martin Lowenstein, Marlene Boshoff, Pete ZietsmanContinue reading “Umko Trip Mpendle to Lundys Hill”

Lake St Lucia and Dukandlovu

Dukandlovu rustic camp was underutilised. Parks Board wanted to increase its use and were looking for new ideas. It was a walk-in or cycle-in rustic camp and they were reluctant to open it up to drive-in access, so wanted to try other ideas first. Rustic, but splendid, it’s a four hut, eight bed camp withContinue reading “Lake St Lucia and Dukandlovu”

A Fine Spectacle

This story will be fuzzy in parts because of the long passage of time. But although some details may be slightly different, ‘strue. So I must tell the tale before those last few grey cells that hold the memory get blitzed by the box wine. It was on the Berg River Canoe Marathon that ChristofContinue reading “A Fine Spectacle”

Thanks, Charlie Ryder!

I canoed the Vrystaat Vlaktes thanks to Charles Ryder, who arrived in Harrismith in about 1968 or ’69 I’d guess, to start his electrical business, a rooinek from Natal. He roared into town in a light green Volvo 122S with a long white fibreglass thing on top of it like this: I asked: What’s that?Continue reading “Thanks, Charlie Ryder!”

River Trip Swinburne – Walton

Down the Mighty Vulgar River (Wilge really) in a borrowed canoe ca 1970. An Accord double kayak borrowed from the ‘Voortrekkers’ thanks to Ou Lip’s kindness. He had a good heart, Ou Lip Snyman, and I’m sure he thought he looked dashing in his Voortrekkerleier uniform. I’m with my mate Claudio Bellato. We embark inContinue reading “River Trip Swinburne – Walton”

River Trip Swinburne – Harrismith

Fluffy Crawley and I were dropped off in Swinburne on the banks of the Mighty Vulgar in the grounds of the Montrose Motel with our open red and blue fibreglass canoe. We were aiming to head off downstream, camp overnight and finish in Harrismith the next day. This was circa 1970. But we bumped intoContinue reading “River Trip Swinburne – Harrismith”