The big news in the press this week is the return of the SA Agulhas II from its research mission to Gough Island.
The vessel returned to Cape Town with its team of 13 on board who had spent 13 months on the island.
After the vessels return and addressing the research team, Dr Monde Mayekiso, Deputy Director General: Oceans & Coasts Department of Environmental Affairs, said: “To the scientific community at large, your contribution to this meaningful cause in research arena has not gone unnoticed.”
It is a proud moment for the South African maritime industry to see the success of this wonderful vessel. May it be the first of many successful missions.
The Sapina Rainbow Project which is endorsed by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund also made the news this week with the return of Nomcebo Siyaya from her 5,000 mile first leg of a round-the-world yacht race.
Nineteen year old Siyaya, who until recently had not even seen a boat, completed her leg of the race and is extremely proud to have gained her sea legs. She is one of eight South Africans chosen to take part in the project.
Siyaya’s leg took more than three weeks to complete. She says: “I learnt a lot from my journey, although it wasn’t easy. I have found the trip challenging, particularly the weather.”
It is exciting to see the youth of our country embracing opportunities which allow them access to some kind of maritime experience. This can only promote the industry and generate an interest in its future members – and it is widely acknowledged that sailing provides one of the best bases for competent seafarers.