Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Welcome Anne-Mariewithadash...

Long time blog reader and lurker A2Z has bowed to pressure from someone and created her own blog.

It's about time, although I can't speak too much seeing as I don't post much these days either.

In any regard...welcome to the blogging world. Enjoy the experience and keep us updated on your trips between Qatar and Canada.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The future is so bright, I gotta sit in the shade...

Angus, one of the guys from the Cape Town fishing forum, and I got talking the other day about how hot it was on the beach and how we should look at making up some sort of shade for the camping chairs.

I went one better...

I'd been shopping with mother in Longbeach Mall in the morning and had tried a couple of places for tent guy ropes and pegs, maybe even a small shade, but no-one had anything. Thinking I would have to go to the "other side of the mountain", I left it at that for a while.

I am also in the process of making an oak table and after I'd finished laminating some planks, had some time to kill. In the corner of the gargae, there was a camping chair that had broken at the plastic joints which, to fix, I took a couple of pieces of 2mm cable and crimps and fixed the chair. I now have a kewl fishing chair.

I also noticed that I still had our old gazebo which, during a camping trip to Morgans Bay, had had a couple of poles broken by a very strong NE wind. Next to that was something I thought I had got rid of a while ago...the Rally Tent from my old caravan.

Needless to say, my mind went into overdrive and in almost no time, I had come up with this solution to the heat...

The Rally Tent wraps perfectly around the canopy and back end of the Mazda-rati, with the tie down ropes looping perfectly around the rear bumper to keep it taught. With the rear window of the canopy open, it holds the canvas in perfect position. Taking three of the old poles from the gazebo, and a few lengths of nylon rope, I rigged the Rally Tent, caravan-style and this is what I came up with.

This is the prototype and now I just have to test it in a strong Cape Doctor...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Year to the date...

that we arrived in our new home, in Cape Town.

I get asked all the time, "What do you miss about Joburg?", and each time my answer is "Only my friends".

Would we change things and head back up that way? Not in a million years. We are very happy here, the people are great, the weather is sometimes a bit dodgy (but there's nothing you can do about that), there is plenty to do and see.

In fact, if there came a time that the corporation said to us "Move back to Joburg, or find something else to do", guess what? So long, corporation. No second thoughts, it would take me all of about a second to get that out of my mouth. Second thought out of me would be "Now, about that severance package..." year in Cape Town...who would have guessed? And we love every minute of it...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Who said Huntley was daft?

Recently, a South African citizen applied for political asylum in Canada, citing unrest and uncertainty in the country (well, hellloooooo asshole, it's Africa, uncertainty capital of the fuckin' world).

I believe, however, that I have found the real reason for his fleeing the country...

Fuck that scary or what? Huntley, dude, I don't blame you for running away from that. Actually, you're an asshole. You should have put her out of her misery first, then fucked off to Canada and applied for asylum.

I'm just surprised it took him that long to wake up and discover what he was sleeping next to. She looks like a cross between a sumo wrestler and a circus-act tattoo lady. All that's missing is the wispy beard, but then maybe she shaves every day like the rest of the menfolk around her...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Email Hoaxes move to the next level...

I received this in my Inbox this morning. Obviously the person knows someone who used to work for the Corporation, as how else would they know where to get corporate email addresses?

Email hoaxing should be a death penalty sentance when the person is caught. An example has to be made of one of them. If hackers face lengthy jail sentences for exposing loopholes in corporate internet failures, why should email hoaxers face any different punishment? That said, I believe the hoaxers punishment should be taken to the next level.

Dear Friend,

I Am Ms. Angela Gordon. I Am A United States Citizen And I Am 34 Years Old. I Reside Here In Dripping Springs, Texas And I Am Thinking Of Relocating Since I Am Now Rich.

I Am One Of Those That Took Part In The United Nations Compensation Program In Nigeria Many Years Ago And They Refused To Pay Me. I Had Paid Over $20,000 While In The Us, Trying To Get My Payment But All Was To No Avail.

So I Decided To Travel Down To Nigeria With All My Compensation Documents And I Was Directed To Meet Mrs. Anita Paton, Who Is The Member Of Compensation Program Committee, And I Contacted Her And She Explained Everything To Me.

She Said Who Ever Is Contacting Us Through Emails Are Fake. She Also Took Me To The Paying Bank (ARCB BANK) For The Claim Of My Compensation Payment.

Right Now, I Am The Happiest Woman On Earth Because I Have Received My Compensation Funds Of $5,000,000.00 More Over, Mrs. Anita Paton Showed Me The Full Information Of Those That Are Yet To Receive Their Payments And I Saw Your Email As One Of The Beneficiaries Who Have Not Yet Received The Payment Under Case File 54ac003 And That Is Why I Decided To Email You To Stop Dealing With Those People. They Are Not With Your Fund; They Are Only Making Money Off You.Therefore, I Would Advise You To Contact Mrs. Anita Paton For Assistance And Inform Her That Your Case File Is 54ac003. Contact Her Directly Via The Information Below.

United Nations Compensation Award Program
Name: Mrs. Anita Paton
Phone: +234-802-132-9323

You Really Have To Stop Dealing With Those People That Are Contacting You And Telling You That Your Fund Is With Them Because It Is Not With Them. They Are Only Taking Advantage Of You And They Will Dry You Up Until You Have Nothing.

The Only Money I Paid After I Met Mr. Kelvin Tuner Was Just The Bank Transfer Charges, Which Is Only Normal And Legitimate As It Is In All Banks In The World. So Please Take Note Of That. Mrs. Anita Paton Shall Ensure That You Deal Directly With The Bank (ARCB BANK).

Once Again Stop Contacting Those People. I Advise That You Contact Mrs. Anita Paton So That She Can Help You In The Collection Of Your Transfer Payment Instead Of Dealing With Those Liars That Will Be Turning You Around Asking For Different Kind Of Money To Complete Your Transaction.

Thank You And Be Blessed.

Ms. Angela Gordon.

Here's a response bitch....fuck off and die a slow painful death...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Athens and Cape Town have something in common...

Both are subject to bush fires at the moment.

Coming home from the orifice on Monday evening, we could literally see smoke on the water as the blanket lay over False Bay.

It turns out that the mountain between us and Simons Town was on fire (cause as yet unknown, but presumed to have been caused by "bergies" - tramps - living in the bushes).

The flames came very close to some of the houses built up to the fire break (why do people take that much risk with their homes? bloody idiots) and I'm not sure if any were actually burned. No doubt the local rag will have an article about it in the coming days.

By morning, the flames had been put out but everything was covered in a light layer of ash.

It really is sad to see the way this bush burns and it takes years to recover.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cape Storm - Tuesday 18th August

These were the view from our lounge window last week...

Thank goodness I was working from home, or else we would have had some seriously unhappy dogs. As it was, I spent the best part of the morning wringing out towels which I had to use to catch the water coming in under the sliding door...

The camera on the Blackberry does not do the weather justice as you can't really see the rain coming down in sheets...

On the Wednesday, I got the landlady's DIY guy to come out and see what could be done about the water coming in under the door and discovered his rates. I've been thinking of starting up a handyman business for a while and at R280/hr, plus cost of materials (no doubt with a "handling fee" added) and R3.50 per kilometre travel, I think it might be a viable business. The estate agent who looks after the house has been asking whether I still wanted to do the handyman thing, as she has a number of jobs to be done and no-one to do them for her. It appears that all the handymen are so busy, they just don't bother getting back to her on the small jobs. I reckon it might be possible to make up to R30k a month at those rates, so maybe it's something I need to do...

This Dog is not Dead...

it is, in fact, just the way Cassie likes to sleep...

Angie rocks Kalk Bay in her Crocs and Socks

Sounding like a very bad Dr Seuss book, my sister (gotta love her) brought down the house (or at least, had me in stitches) when she visited us recently. We went to a nice little restaurant on Kalk Bay Harbour called Polana. At some point through the evening, I noticed she wasn't wearing proper shoes.

This is what she was wearing a true European touriste...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not good news, at all...

The text message I got on my phone on Monday afternoon was short and to the point. Not surprising...

It appears that Tamlyn had another scan done yesterday and the results reveal that she has had a miscarriage.

So, I won't be a grandad just yet...

Sorry to hear the sad news, heart is with you, as usual...

Thursday, June 25, 2009


hopefully the Mpame report will get you off my back now...LOL...

Make sure you tell the others about the report.
We need to go fishing/drinking/camping/drinking/drinking again...

Ok, so there's only Two's the second...

To start off, it is perhaps time to explain how Tabard got his nickname. Some of you may know Tabard, the liquid. It is a white, viscous, aromatic liquid smeared on the body to fend off the huge fuckin' mosquito's (see photo below) we get in SA. Anyway...around the second night, Damba gets woken up by some strange noises emanating from Tabard's bed. Rolling over, Damba vaguely, in the dark, sees some strange motions from under the covers and politely asks him what the fuck he's doing.

Quick (perhaps too quick) to respond, Tabard says he's rubbing on some of the cream cos the mozzies are chowing him. Damba, looking for clarification, asks why he's rubbing it on what appears to be his groin region. I think the less said about this story the better and we'll give Tabard the benefit of the doubt.

Jonny Bravo trying to make a point, also known as "pointing". A number of these intellectual conversations were held over the course of the trip. We even solved a number of global problems, but the recession came after the trip so we weren't able to help there.

I'm going to skip the Wednesday and most of Thursday, partly due to the fact that I can't actually remember what happened all that time ago, but also because not much did. We spent most of our days as follows: wake up early, go fishing, catch fuckall, go back to camp when it's too hot, eat ourselves stupid, drink ourselves clever again, do some more fishing, drink some more to get really clever and then go to bed only to repeat the same the following day.

But...on the Thursday, instead of doing a little night fishing, we decide on having an absolute fuckin' bender. As you can see by the photo, The Bulls Inn has a nice little pub area, complete with pool table and dart board. Damba showed us how to play a kewl new game, "Naai Jou Maatjie" (or for those of you out there who can't read code, "Fuck Yer Pal"). The game is a great laugh and consists of the following mechanics: throw a dart with your left hand at any number (me, I'm left handed so I threw with my right hand otherwise it wouldn't have been fair), that number is now "yours" and you have to throw 5 of them before you are "open" and can start to "screw yer pals", by throwing their number and cancelling out all their little crosses, then knocking them out of the game. If you got knocked out early, the only thing you could do while the game finished, which at some times took a while, was drink. And that meant we all had our turn at drinking. None of us were particularly good at darts, but we were all particularly good at drinking.

All I remember of the evening was when I started to sober up (sometime in the early hours) and someone said "let's go fishing". Yeah, fuckin' brilliant idea for something to do at 3am. Anyway, myself, Fishman and Jonny Bravo decide it might be worth it as the wind had dropped and we had a high tide to bring the fish on the bite.

This is what the dawn looked like...stunning, but a very rough sea.

We gathered up our gear, put on some warm clothing (windbreakers) and headed off along the beach. When we got to the rocks we noticed that the waves were washing up the beach quite far and we had to tread carefully through waist deep water and waves to get to the shelf where we were going to fish from. Aparently, I was telling the guys "Safety first, boys" all the way through, and repeatedly, so I was perhaps not as sober as I could/should have been. Anyway, we got through a little damp, found a great spot and started fishing, but again, no fish. After a while, just before dawn, Fishman decided he had had enough and was going to have a snooze. He must have been fuckin' freezing judging by the foetal position he's sleeping in.

This is Fishman just after dawn.

Here's Jonny Bravo doing what he does best...standing with a rod in his hand.

Needless to say, we were all pretty useless on the Friday after we got back to the lodge and ended up sleeping a couple of hours.

Damba and Tabard decided that they wouldn't mind doing some deep sea boat fishing that day, and the owner was only too happy to charter out his boat to them. Apparently the guys "fed the fish" a lot, so I'm glad I didn't go along even though I love boat fishing. We all had a good giggle when the owner and his "motley crew" battled to get the boat back onto the trailer when they came back. The spring tide had gone right out and the water was very shallow, which made getting the heavy boat onto the trailer very difficult. It must have taken them a good half hour to get it right as the crew didn't have a clue what they were up to. The owner was shouting and swearing at them in isiZulu (language of the Zulus) but he wasn;t getting through to them and ended up doing most of the work himself.

On the Saturday, we decided we were going to go and fish the area we had been a couple of days before, where Jonny Bravo and I had had our six hour long tussles. The water was nice and deep, with not much wave action and certainly looked like it might yield a fish or two. We could drive the bakkie right up to the water's edge, which was great for carrying loads of tackle.

This was where I caught the small sandshark I mentioned earlier. I know from experience that they are great baits for larger sharks and immediately put it out of its misery with a swift crack of its head on a rock, and much to the annoyance of Kallie, who is a vet and hates to see any form of harm coming to any form of animal. I could have slid it out live, but that would have meant it would have suffered, hence the reason I despatched it quickly.

The sliding of the sandie was a little more difficult than planned and it got stuck on a rock a few metres offshore, which meant that I had to get into the water and free the rig from the rocks. Jonny Bravo held the rod while I took my shirt off and went swimming. Fishman thought I was going to get fucked up on the rocks when he saw a wave wash over my head, but I'm an old surfer and know that the best way to get through a wave is under it, with the result that I popped up almost in the same place as I'd gone under, and without a mark on me. Needless to say, Murphy had a hand in freeing the rig and just before I got there, Jonny Bravo managed to get the bait back in the water again. Ah well, it was a refreshing swim.

The slide went out and I never saw the sandie again. Not that I had a hookup or anything, but rather the line stayed in the water for a couple of hours and then when we decided to head back to camp, I lost the rig as the sinker had got stuck between the rocks and the line broke. It would have been great to get a hookup as the Transkei is famous for its large sharks. Maybe next time...

While we were on the beach, some friends of Kallie's drove down form one of the inland towns and joined us for lunch and drinks. Kallie managed to get some crayfish for us from the locals and the lodge owner lavished them in garlic and butter. I then popped them on the braai for Kallie and her pal.

That night, as it was our last and the conditions were good again, Jonny Bravo, Tabard and myself decided we were going to give it "one last throw" and went back down to Mpame rocks in front of the lodge. We had a good many nice bites but the only one of us to get a fish was Tabard, who caught this large Shad. This was the fish that, afterward, he said had made his trip.

On the Sunday morning, we were up bright and early as we had to make our individual ways home. We packed all the fishing gear away in our bags, broke down the multi-piece rods and stashed everything in our bakkies, not looking forward to the long road ahead. At least Damba would accompany me in my car back to the main highway, so I had company part of the way.

As a tradition, the lodge owner asks each group to leave a cap signed by the entire team that was there. He then hangs it up on the roof of the pub with all the others. I bet he has some stories to tell...

Here were all are signing the cap.

It was also tradidtion that, if there was a woman in the team, that she had to leave her bikini top with the hat too, so Kallie had to leave hers...

After that, there was only time for a shower and a fresh t-shirt, a group photo and then back into the bakkies for the trip back.

From left to right: Scotty, Kallie, Jonny Bravo, Skoonie, Fishman, Tabard and Damba.
Even though it was a long distance to travel, we all had a great time and I'm sure we'll be there again sometime. Perhaps not next year, but definately at some point in the future. Hopefully next time will produce more fish though...

Here are some of the other photos we took...

Fishman and Scotty, making breakfast one morning.
Fishman thinking "what the fuck are you talking about?"
This trench is about 15m deep and the wave surge would almost fill it up.
Sitting around between fishing excursions
She did well, the Mazda-rati. I'm proud of her
Mpame Rocks....and so did we.
Mpame beach, with the lodge to the right. That hill took four-wheel drive, low range, to get up and down
This is how we all felt..."Woohoo"
The Transkei has amazing scenery
A Damba, otherwise known as a Blacktail

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The most spoken-about event of the last year...(Part 1 of about 400)...

finally took place a couple of months ago. Yes, I know this report is late, so get over it and enjoy the report.

The Kosi Fishing Team's annual excursion took place at Bulls Inn at Mpame, in the old Transkei, now the Eastern Province (yes, it's in the east, how original is that?). It is a beautiful piece of the world and this was expressed a number of times by the team over the week.

The team were all allocated nicknames during one of our darts sessions and comprised of: Scotty (me), Fishman (he of Papvreter fame), Jonny Bravo (BMW dealer, also known as Jannie Dapper in Afrikaans), Kallie (after Kallie Knoetze, the boxer, except that it was Fishman's sister-in-law and she got the name thanks to her brashness at times), Skoonie (short for Skoonpa, Fishman's father-in-law and father of Kallie), Damba (new on the team and named for the volumes of Blacktail - known in the Cape as Damba - that he caught) and, last but by no means least, Tabard (also new on the team and named for his distant heritage). Damba and Tabard made fine new additions to the team as you'll read further down.

For the first time, our trips began from different origins, for obvious reasons. Mine began from Cape Town and the others travelled in convoy from Shit Towne, Secunda (where Jonny Bravo lives) and Sabie (where Skoonie and Kallie live). I started my trip early, leaving home at 1pm on Monday 9th March, heading to Kuils River, which is on the way, to pick up some dry ice which I was going to use to keep the bait frozen. The rest of them left a good deal later, that night.

Ice in cooler box, I hit the highway, not really looking forward to the distance which, as it turns out was 2,876km there and back. It's amazing what a guy will do for a fishing trip with his buds, though next year I might think twice about driving that distance on my own. Hopefully, I'll be able to take a couple of the Capetonian anglers with me as there are a couple of really good guys down here.

I drove straight through to Knysna where I stopped for a bit of dinner, entering the spirit of fishing with a fish supper at one of the take away joints in the quaint little town. Satisfied, I filled up the bakkie and drove through to King Williams Town, by now in the dark and thankful for my spotlights. Thoroughly tired, I tried to find somewhere safe to stop and grab a few hours sleep but all I could manage was a dark spot next to a petrol station and two hours fitful rest. I didn't completely trust the area and the canopy on the bakkie isn't the most difficult thing to break into. Later, I found out that if I'd driven a couple more km's I could have stopped at a better spot and maybe slept better too. Ah well, if there's a next time...

I grabbed a cup of horrible coffee at the station cafe and hit the road again, gee'd up cos the last leg of the trip was underway. The rest of the drive to Umtata, capital of the old Transkei homeland, was uneventful and I pulled up there at around 9am, expecting the rest of the team to be along soon. Not so...Kallie phoned me to say that they were stuck at some roadworks which was going nowhere fast and it was almost two hours later that they arrived at the Ultra City. I kept myself amused by having an oily breakfast and sat watching people from the comfort of my front seat. It was here that I noticed the interesting tailgate on the bakkie in front of me.

When the rest of the team arrived, sometime around 11am, we said our hello's, filled up the fuel tanks (or at least, Fishman did, cos his new engine drinks petrol like he drinks Capn's Organ - very heavy indeed) and headed out onto the highway for what was going to be an interesting last section. Firstly, we had to head 14km back along the highway I'd travelled along earlier as the turnoff to Mpame was back the way I'd come and the map we had was very misleading and obviously not to scale.

The little piece of tarred road was in poor condition and, at times, felt like we were driving drunk, swerving all over the road to avoid the deep potholes disguised as trenches. After about 34km, we turned off the tarred stretch and onto dirt road, which mostly turned out to be in better condition than the tar section. We still had another 30-odd km of dirt road and from the time we left Umtata and hit our lodge, we must have been driving for what felt like a couple of hours.

The lodge, which was to be our home for the next few days, was a welcome sight. The ocean was even more welcome. Unlike the Cape waters, the Indian Ocean is relatively warm, ranging from 17 to 23 degC across the seasons. When we arrived, it was calm, with small waves lapping at the shore.

Needless to say, our first priority was to quench the thirst we had developed on the dirt road. Actually, we had been doing a bit of that all the way along the dirt road, but now that we had arrived, we had a better reason to crack open a beer. After introductions to the lodge owner and their welcome, we started to unpack fishing gear into the open living area where we would spend a good deal of time, either eating, drinking, playing backgammon or just sitting talking crap. We do a lot of each of those things on these fishing trips, something that keeps drawing us back year on year.

That night, I ended up having a bedroom all to myself as the house we were staying in had enough beds for about 20 people. As we were only 7, and as they have been good friends for a while, only Damba and Tabard ended up sharing a room (single beds, I might add quickly, before I get death threats). My room had four beds in it and I settled on to the one next to the window, in case it got too warm at night. As it happened, it was quite cool in the evenings and it was a pleasure sleeping with the windows open, listening to the birds in the morning. The open windows also acted as a damper for the snoring which came from my neighbours, Damba and Tabard.

Up early on the first morning, we tackled up and took a walk along to Mpame Rocks. The water was looking great, low swell, tide going out and only a light wind blowing. Not long into the morning, Jonny Bravo hooked into a huge Bartail Flathead. It is the biggest of the species we have ever seen and, after photos, it ended up back in the water to live another day.

Fishman had timed our visit to the area to coincide with the spring tides but, as it happened it didn't really help when it came to catching fish. There were very few fish caught over the coming days, with the exception of Damba who just about caught the entire Blacktail stock on the east coast. I dropped a huge Shad on one of the outings and only caught a small sandshark which I promptly put out for a big shark, to no avail. Tabard caught a large Shad on the last evening and was very chuffed, saying that it had made his trip worthwhile. The only other fishing happening of note was the time that Jonny Bravo and I spent hooked into what we believe (and were told by the lodge owner) large guitarfish, and spent 6hrs hanging onto the end of our rods, well into the night, only for us to get bored and end up breaking our lines off in frustration and fatigue. The rest of them say we were hooked into rocks, but rocks don't pull your drag slowly, one click every few seconds. Large fish, on the other hand, do. We'll stick with our side of the story.

We had some amazing sunsets, as can be seen by the photos below.

As usual on these trips, Fishman did most of the evening meals and had us all going back for more each time.

When the days got too hot, we would go back to the lodge and sit around talking crap, drinking and planning our next trip down to the beach, lamenting on the fish we didn't catch on the previous outing, or catching up on some sleep.

I'll start Part 2 of this saga off by explaining how Tabard got his nickname...