Kraal Bay Cruise

Presented by Alan Dawson

29 October 2019


  • This is essentially a holiday, not a short cruise. It’s going to take a few days to get there, it’s worth staying a few days and can take a while to get back – especially at this time of the year.
  • We will do it again at Easter time so, don’t worry if you can’t make it now
  • We will also ensure that there are some shorter cruises that are easier to participate in but, if you choose to join us on this one, here’s what you need to know…
  • The setting is SPECTACULAR!!
  • During peak season there are a number of holiday makers on the beach, mainly between around 10:00 and 16:30
    • This includes people skiing, SUP’ping and swimming
    • It can get a bit frenetic and then it suddenly goes really quiet

The Lagoon

  • Obviously quite tidal
  • Kraal Bay is ideally suited for cats, though there are areas for reasonably sized keel boats to moor. Max draft of about 1.8m
  • Water warms up to a comfortable temperature but is generally not very clear
  • The local breeze for this time of the year is South or South East
  • No alcohol may be consumed on the beach in the Park.


  • It is proposed to take the trip up the coast departing on the weekend 14, 15, 16 December
  • Alan is currently only planning to return his yacht after Easter.
  • All yachts participating can return whenever it is convenient.
  • This is essentially a holiday, not a short cruise and Alan suggests taking three weeks for the trip up, some time there and the sail back.
  • Should anyone wish to leave their yacht unattended there are three options:
    • Saldanha (best)
    • Mykonos Harbour, and
    • Yacht Port.


  • Leg 1
    • Gordon’s Bay to Granger Bay (or on to Dassen Island, if the conditions allow it)
    • Distance – 60 miles (or 92 to Dassen)
    • The plan is to depart quite early (04:00) in the morning, depending on tides and wind conditions.
    • If the South Easter is blowing, Alan suggests anchoring in Granger Bay – outside the harbour. It is a well secluded.
      • The depth is around 6m
      • An anchor watch may be required.
  • Leg 1 or 2
    • Granger Bay to Dassen Island
    • Distance – 32 miles
    • One of the most beautiful places on earth
    • Need to be careful when approaching from the SW
    • When approaching we keep clear of the south-west and west side of the island.
    • Once around the island, the anchorage is generally on the left of the bay
      • Anchoring depth is around 2m
      • There is a foul patch in the middle of the bay (including a large kelp bed)
  • Leg 2 or 3
    • Dassen Island to Saldanha Harbour
    • Distance – 28 miles
    • The proposal is to go south between South Head and Jutten Island
      • If you wish to go straight to Kraal Bay, follow the coastline, by keeping outside the yellow buoys (military area)
      • Keep the tide in mind when planning any trip into the lagoon. Generally, try to navigate the lagoon in daylight – when the tide in flowing in.
      • Don’t try to go into the lagoon on an outgoing tide
        • The tide reaches speeds of up to 5 knots in certain places.
      • When cruising in shallow water, it is ideal to have the sun behind you and have someone on the bow keeping an eye out for any obstacles in the water.
      • The whole lagoon has a sand base.
      • Keep an eye out for fish farming in the bay between Saldanha and Langebaan.
    • The current plan is to sail to Saldanha for the night
      • Plans will need to be made if anyone wants to moor in the harbour
      • The anchorage is also great outside the harbour.
      • Need to leave Saldanha at the correct time to get the best tide in the lagoon
    • Langebaan
      • If there is bad weather or any issues, one can pick up free moorings in Langebaan
        • The tide is strong in Langebaan
      • If the SE is blowing gale-force it’s best to anchor behind Schaapen Island (off Langebaan)

SAN Parks

  • A Wild Card is a worthwhile investment if you plan to go through the gate a few times
    • The cost per entrance to the park is around R47 per person
    • Yachts do not require any pre-booking
    • A ranger will visit the yacht to discuss costs
      • A permit for a boat in Kraal Bay is around R400
      • Each yacht costs R120 per night
    • Technically yachts should have a black tank, though this is not enforced.
  • There is a restricted area for any motorized vessels, at the top end of the lagoon (close to Kraal Bay)
  • General safety
    • Take everything up at night

Boats currently considering the trip (we think):

  • Stealaway (definite)
  • Barbarian
  • Shifta
  • Pikkewyn
  • Jambo
  • Bergwind
  • Zia
  • Take Six

Interested crew (that we know of):

  • Nico and Goretti van Wieringen
  • Gita Theron
  • Barry  Ross (if he doesn’t take his own vessel)