The West Coast of South Africa has many an unpolished beauty to share. The coastline is rough and rugged and its people, mostly fishermen, are just as tough. With a long archaeological history, it can make for some pleasurable wanderings so with this in mind, we set off for a weekend of shipwrecks.
Unfortunately, the underwater conditions left a whole lot to be desired so we kept ourselves busy topside instead. We were based in Langebaan and it was suggested that we visit the wreck of the barge Margaret, just off Jacobsbaai beach. There is not much left of it but if you’ve ever seen an angry West Coast Sea then you’ll understand why. On 24 June 2009, The Margaret ran into trouble, carrying 12 river barges and 2 dry docks and were abandoned there and after a few years of being desserted, South African authorities finally demolished it in March 2010. The remains still poke above the waterline and allow for some fictional story telling of what may have been.
The next day, fed up with shipwrecks, we tackled a paddle around Schaapen Island in the Langebaan Lagoon. What a wonderful way to spend a morning! The island has restricted access so you may not go there but you can paddle as close as you like. It is currently home to hundreds of cormorants and gannets – you can tell by the smell that hits you down wind. The current around the island is quite strong and the wind can make things even tougher but it makes for a great morning outing and is highly recommended.