1st Hermanus Sea Scouts
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Double Patrol Camp at Loerkop
24, 25, 26 October 2008
Weather - First warm summer days, but terribly cold at night.
Albatrosses Campfire Bug
Our two patrol leaders working on their first class badge successfully completed the camping section by taking their patrols on camp and
running the program. Beforehand they planned the food menu, did the costing, bought the food and got it cooked on camp.
The adventurers and pathfinders also got their camping section marked off. The adventurers by learning about maintaining gas equipment and camp layout. The pathfinders learnt about camp hygiene and fire safety.
Rogan Anoushka Jacques Savanna and Hans did their swimming badges by swimming about 300m in freezing cold river water in various styles including with clothes on (bulky jacket) and under water.
Rogan got bad cramps due to the extreme cold and Anoushka braved the water despite her very real fear of the snake we saw crossing the river earlier. Savanna was the best swimmer by far and should consider the Olympic games. Well done to all earring their swimming badge it is well deserved.
We also organized our patrol boxes for this camp, each patrol now has 2 boxes 1 containing basic camp kit and the other empty for food storage.
Written by Felix
Hike Table Mountain (Platteklip Gorge and Kasteels Poort) (about 15km minus all the steps...)
26, 27 July 2008
Weather - Saturday - Sunny, then thick mist on top of the mountain, Sunday - severe rain and wind in the morning, which turned into a sunny day as we descended down the mountain.
12 Apostles view down Kasteels poort Comparing Table Mountain and Hermanus at 1:50 000
The eight participants;
Click here for time breakdown of route.
We started hiking at 11:00 after packing the divided food and splitting up into two groups of four. On the First day Jacques, Hans, Stephen and I walked in one group with Michelle Keryn Jason and Matthew in the other. This made it much easier for the smaller groups to stick together. Walking in larger groups usually results in some rushing ahead and others trailing behind.
We stuck to the planned time quite well (see time breakdown of route above) on the first day. While we were ascending Platteklip Gorge we also entered the misty cloud and half way to Maclear's beacon we decided to turn to the hut as there would be no view anyway. The walk to the hut was much more pleasant than the steep uphill of Plattekilp Gorge and we managed a good pace.
Everyone was happy to reach the hut with no one overly tired or unchallenged by the day. Michelle, Keryn and Jason's knees gave them a bit of trouble but it wasn't too serious. The hut is in excellent condition and even has a solar geyser which should work wonders in summer but made no change in the mist resulting in no one taking a shower. We had supper and played a bit of cards while the mist was thickening and the wind was blowing more and more cold outside. Then everyone went to bed surprisingly early before 21:00.
The next morning it rained hard and the wind was really stormy. Because of the early night everyone was up early. I decided we should start walking as soon as possible in case the weather got worse and to take the shortest route down. Hans was feeling bit nauseous and didn't eat much the previous night. I think it was because of stress. I asked everyone to eat breakfast and to get ready and went for a walk outside to test if we could do the hike in the weather as it was. The rain came from every direction due to the wind and it was quite cold. I came to the conclusion that all should go well if everyone kept walking. I know the path very well, so that didn't bother me, but if something should happen to someone that would prevent them from walking we would could be in deep trouble because of the cold. I wasn't sure what to do, we could stay put, but that could place the group under big stress if the weather did not improve soon. Then we would need to stick to our decision to stay put and spend a night with limited food and cause another newspaper headline of scouts stuck on the mountain.
We had plenty of extra time because we chose a shorter route and it was still early. I decided it wouldn't do harm to go and see the reservoirs as we all still had dry clothes should we return to the hut to stay put. The walk went very well despite the bad weather. No one except me have seen Wood head reservoir before and everyone thought it was interesting. Because this walk went so well we had a rest and something to eat at the hut and went on our way to Kasteels poort.
Half way down Kasteels poort we reached the sun and had nice rest with a view. The walk down the pipe track went well with almost no other hikers because of the bad weather a while before. On a sunny weekend day/public holiday it starts to look like a shopping mall, that is how popular the pipe track is. While we were walking on the pipe track some rushed ahead and others started trailing behind because we walked in one big group. I battled to keep everyone together, so we reverted back to our two smaller groups. We reached the end an hour too early and sunbathed a bit. On our way home we supported Macdonald of course.
A note on the food;
On this hike I organized the food and everyone ate the
same. This improves team spirit (every hiking group
team), results in everyone carrying a little less weight (everyone doesn't need
to take their own equipment) and saves everyone except the organizer a trip to
the store to buy their food and relives the burden of planning your own food.
The other option would have been for everyone to take their own food, the plus
points to this method is everyone can take whatever they like and and you don't
need someone to organize the food for the group. The best method depends on the
hike - I decided to eat as a group because it is the first
overnight scout hike for a couple of scouts and they might not be sure what to take.
We had cheese sandwiches with chutney for Saturday lunch, thank you to Martie - Michell's mom for making them. They were delicious and yet so simple to make, the bread was unpacked from it's packaging and then repacked so you don't even need a container. Next time I won't be able to improve on it.
Supper was two "Boerewors rolle" each. I am not an expert yet with doing sausage on a fire and they came out too well done and dry, but I was worried they might be raw. Next time I wont make the same mistake. We had hot chocolate with cookies as well. The cookies was just enough.
The next morning we had two yogurts each with boiled eggs and oats so easy. For some reason no-one ate the oats so easy? Most of the eggs broke in Jason's bag. Next time I will choose a less violent person to carry them and pack them in an un-crushable container. The 6 surviving eggs was eaten.
Lunch was provitas, fish paste and peanut butter as well as biltong and bananas. The biltong disappeared in a flash, and everyone liked the provitas with the peanut butter and/or fish paste, we actually ate all of it! Next time I'll leave out the biltong, because it is too expensive to just disappear and replace it with peanuts and syrup/marmite/cheese spread for the crackers.
Everyone enjoyed and learnt a lot on the hike despite the bad weather.
Written by Felix
Backwoods cooking at scout hall
30 May 2008
We cooked a backwoods meal for our adventurers.
Group Stuffing bananas Fires!
Hike Greyton - Die Galg (about 30km give or take a few round the next bends)
1, 2 May two thousand and great.
Weather - really good and sunny and cold at night.
The eight participants;
We started the hike just after eight at my house (74 main street) after a group picture and kit check - checking for enough water, raincoat and sun cap. We walked down Regent and Vlei Street to the start of the Boesmanskloof trail. The trail has some severe erosion caused by heavy rains early in December 2007 with about 10% of the trail having 1m deep ducts where the path used to be.
We had a couple of short breaks to take off jerseys and had our first official stop at breakfast rock at ten and saw an Eagle of some sort. Abri pointed out a spot where he found Buchu on the opposite mountains on a previous hike. Buchu is closely related to oranges and has a pleasant smell. According to Mike Lundy there is a Buchu farm in Paarl where they make Buchu oil which is then mixed to Black currents, Strawberries and spearmint to amplify the taste! Everyone was doing very well except for Aidan who bit his own tongue while handing everyone the most tasty cookies, and Jason had some cup a soup he made on a miniature stove that works remarkably well with a bit of blitz and any small sticks that happen to be about. The water boiled quickly and the stove cools down in a minute with the tingling reduced to ashes. Although the stove is meant to be disposable he saved it from a previous camp in England! The only down side is your cup gets burnt black at the bottom. Aidan's tongue wouldn't stop bleeding for almost the whole day, up to the point where Sven prayed for it in the evening and it didn't bother him again!
We saw many small antelope and wild cat prints on our way, and spotted two eagles and some lizards. There was red and white proteas in bloom as well as hundreds of other fynbos.
At the Oak falls we had lunch and most of us had a swim in the 5 degree freezing cold water. Sven, Abri, Jason, Anton and Aidan jumped in from high rocks. Jason erected a shade spot with his groundsheet in seconds; we should consider paying him on our next hike. We left at 14:30 and continued slowly to the nature scenic route.
Everyone became anxious about the hut with plenty “when will we be there”, yets. And what exactly does the hut look like and “how many kilometres still”?” how far “ “when? And why? Will we make it, we are tired! We started to sing to make the time go by quicker (see below). At about 17:00 we reached the bungalows at the "Bloekom" trees after very disappointedly passing a Villa with a pool, mistaken for our bungalow at 16:30.
Everyone was elated in the bungalow with Abri braaiing our meat and the sun setting. Anine had bad blisters on her heel that needed some treatment. After some hot chocolates, card games and Blitz ball (don't ask) we got into bed at 22:00. The next morning everyone was up at 7:00 as the sun rose and we started hiking again at 8:00.
We took the historic path back and Sven marvelled at the rocks, purple white, orange- red and some shiny ones. We also had fun with echoes in the half completed pass, the mountain did a “ repeat after me” song with us! The mountain pass was built by either Italian prisoners during the First World War, or by cheap labour and the funds got embezzled - I'm not sure which story is true, all I know is that they only did half the job.
We had lunch early at 10:00 at the Oakes falls again. We saw some lichens on rocks. I read a bit more about them on wikipedia. The ones we saw are Crustose lichens they look like they are painted on the rocks and can be white, to blueish green or orange. Lichens are a fungus and a alge growing into one another. The alge produces carbohydrates like all plants by photosensitizing while the fungus feeds on the alge, but in turn produces a safe place for the alge to grow, supplying water and other nutrients from the air. Anine and Abri made slow progress with her sore foot and didn't stop at the Oakes falls. We got to breakfast rock at 14:00 thinking it would be a 10min breeze to my house. But it was slow going with stretched bodies and we only got there at 15:45. Scouts in Hermanus starts at six so Sven had to leave in a hurry.
Everyone did exceptionally well seeing that this was the first overnight hike for most and a first in a long time for others. Packing light was the key to this I suppose. Thank you, Abri - who thought of it, Sven for the driving (diesel is not cheap!) and all the good company of the rest! Hopefully we will venture out agian soon.
The theme song of the hike:
This is a repeat after me song, what is it?
Written by Felix
New! >>Click here for 1.74MB video & sound of hike!
Group Wildlife at sign Scouts Lay zing on trail
Cape Epic Pancake fund raiser
4 April 2008
The Pancake stall did very well with over 1000 Rand. Even though selling pancakes is not very effective considering costs and income, the Cape Epic must be a yearly challenge for all Scouts and Cubs to work together as a team for their troop. We made about 60 litres of pancake batter.
Pancakes Yummy Sol collecting money.
We replenished our stave supply.