DURBAN PADDLE SKI CLUB – FEBRUARY NEWS UPDATE
Another windy month has come and gone but that did not stop the few die-hards and week-day guys from launching when there was a gap. Sadly not much in the way of fish other than the odd shad and mackerel.
A note on the launching rules and beach protocol was sent out recently and is copied herein.
Beach access for Vehicles
The responsibility of ensuring that the beach and launch site regulations and laws are observed at the Vetches launch site has been entrusted to the Durban Ski Boat Club (and hence PWC) by the Port Captain and the municipality. As such the club runs the risk of having this privilege removed if it allows the members to transgress the applicable laws and regulations.
It is illegal to have a vehicle on the beach unless it is involved in the launching of a watercraft. This means that that the club can only allow 4×4 vehicles on to the beach that have a boat trailer or a paddle craft (not a surf board) on board.
2 x 4 vehicles are not allowed through to the beach even if they have a boat trailer or paddle craft on board as we need to keep the access road clear for the boats and tractors.
If you have been accessing the beach to go fishing or set up camp on the beach for the day, this activity is not permitted by law. Please do not put the staff under pressure to let you through the boom to “just quickly to drop off the family and beach stuff”! The club has bought a small tractor and is having a “people mover” trailer built to help members get their stuff to the beach. We hope to have this operational during the second half of February.
The boat launch site extends from the north harbour breakwater to Vetches reef which starts in front of the old DUC clubhouse. Boats are entitled to use the entire area to launch and bathing is not supposed to be permitted in a launch site for obvious safety reasons.
The club realises that this is not the reality and has signs up on the beach on the weekends that demarcate the launch site. Please do not set up beach camp, bathe or use surf boards etc. between the launch site signs. Always keep a look out for returning boats and kids that have inadvertently strayed into the launch site area.
All vehicles must be parked up against the construction fence once the watercraft have been launched. You can’t use your vehicle as a “beach base” or sound system and park anywhere you like on the beach. If you move further north up the beach, please do not go past the base of Vetches pier as no vehicles what so ever are allowed past this point unless on official business. Joy riding on the beach in any vehicle is strictly prohibited.
Boat Launching Procedures
There are two methods of launching a boat at the club. One is a self-launch where you use your own vehicle to take your boat to the beach and the other is the tractor launch. For self-launches, you go to the manual gate closest to the beach and before you go through the boom, let your tyres down, complete the launch register and do a radio check. Once this is done proceed straight to the beach. Do not stop on the road until you are beyond the pinch in the road between the construction fence and black pipes.
For tractor launches, you go the automatic boom and drop your boat off for the tractor to take to the beach for you. The queueing procedure for a tractor tow is to drop a golf ball with your boat number on the ball into the pipe supplied and the tractor driver will tow in the order that the balls are dropped. Launch register must be completed and radio checks done.
Respect other water sport users
Due it being the closest the club house, the tendency is for all the members to crowd into the beach area immediately adjacent to the north harbour breakwater. As such members are coming into conflict with one another when it comes to accessing the ocean for their respective water sports. We ask that we give each other due consideration, respect and space so that we can all enjoy what this unique beach has to offer.
We continue to sign up members for access cards and thanks to Claudette and Warren we are close to two thirds of our membership complete thus far. The members I have seen and chatted to at the site seem happy and relaxed. There will be a committee person available for chats or help on week-ends early morning. They can be found at the corner table on the lawn, closest to the beach access gate. Claudette has kindly offered to take over secretarial/admin duties and has thus far been most helpful. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We have built up a good working relationship with Paul and his team there so if you have any issues at all whilst on site, please raise your concerns with the committee first, so that we can handle for you. They have also made a tractor available for pulling our trailers that Shaun is busy modifying. There is also a 15 ski trailer doing trips to and from the beach from the car park. Note also that there is now a pedestrian gate short cut to the beach and you no longer have to walk around the pumping station building. (Long ski’s fit through as well)
The reciprocity offered by PYC to our club will come under review at their year-end (May) and I expect that we will not get the same benefit as we currently enjoy, but I will keep you posted. For those of you who have taken up this offer and currently use the PYC facilities – enjoy. I will endeavour to try and retain this benefit.
We are also busy with a draft agreement between us and PYC in terms of the new club premises and lease/sub-lease issues, as well as proposals as how best to share the facility and the financial implications therein. We are being guided by Richard Pearton (one of our members) and will keep you updated in due course. We will let you have details of the promenade development and progress (if any) as soon as we have something that is not a rumour. Rumour has it that they are pushing for completion in 18 months. Seeing is believing…..In the meantime let’s make the best of what we have at the moment and hope the weather and fishing improves.
Social and get together
The committee is working on something and notice will be sent out soon for a day where we can all meet and enjoy a braai and beer or two whilst catching up. Hopefully we can find a good weather day. Looking forward to seeing you there.
We have also been invited to fish in the paddle ski section of the upcoming Easter tournament by the ski boat club and details of that will follow shortly.
Lastly, one of our members, Lionel Bennet sent me this mail which we think is worth sharing:
My name is Lionel Bennett and I am a member of DPSC.
I am a volunteer member of MCM, which is the Marine and Coastal Management dept. of DAFF.
There has been a lot of restructuring recently with respect to the monitoring and policing of our coastline with even further changes ahead.
This has created much confusion in the public mind re who to call when poaching and other illegal activities need to be reported.
Please don’t hesitate to call the poaching hotlines.
However, if any of DPSC members see anything please to contact me directly and I will be able to get the relevant officers to quickly respond and investigate.
Your friend in conservation
That’s all for now – if you want to phone and chat about anything please don’t hesitate, else see you on the water.