Elegant Places

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Final call for entries in the Kirstenbosch 100 Photo Competition


Budding photographers have until 31 October 2013 to submit entries for the Kirstenbosch 100 Photographic Competition.

Both Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and its partner NGO, the Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) celebrate their centenary this year and to highlight this achievement, the Kirstenbosch Branch of the BotSoc has been running a photographic competition.

To enter, participants need to visit Kirstenbosch to capture photographs that focus on fauna, flora and/or landscapes, which must be taken in the Kirstenbosch Gardens during 2013.

Photographs may be taken with any camera or photographic device and even photographs taken with a smart phone are eligible for entry.

Final images must be digital as entries may only be submitted on the website www.botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za 

The competition consists of two categories: Section A - Open, and Section B - Students (18 years and younger). This category has been included specially to encourage younger photographers to enter the competition in their own category, without having to compete against older, more experienced photographers. Students are encouraged to enter the maximum number of three entries in order to increase their chance of winning. Entry to the competition is free.

The winning images from October will compete against all the winners from the previous five months for the grand prizes of a Canon 60D and Lens (Section A) and the Canon G1X (Section B), proudly sponsored by Canon and Orms Pro Photo Warehouse.

For the rules of the competition and further information visit www.botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za 

Watch the press and Kirstenbosch Branch of BotSoc website for details about the exhibition and prize giving to be held towards the end of November.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Department of Coffee

Hansa’s hops help to spread Khayalitsha’s coffee culture.

Three young friends woke up and smelt the coffee – and realized it was time to bring the culture of lattes, cappuccinos and Americanos to the Cape’s townships.

Thus, the Department of Coffee was born in July last year, Khayelitsha’s first coffee shop, run by Wongama Baleni, Vusumzi Mamile and Vuyile Msaku – a former fireman, employee at a towel factory and a coffee barista respectively.

All three risked their stable incomes by leaving their jobs to start the business – but it seems to be a gamble which has paid off. A year later, Department of Coffee has been selected as one of the businesses given free advertising by Hansa Pilsener’s Cheers to the Dreamers campaign, which seeks to celebrate entrepreneurs who are hustling and achieving against the odds.

Mamile, 25, had to drop out of school in grade nine to look for a job to help his single mother put food on the table. “My mother was always an entrepreneur, selling chips and chicken feet.”

“We were inspired by wanting to see the young generation owning businesses. I told myself I needed to push the business ideas I had inside my head and make my life better as a young entrepreneur.  We wanted to bring coffee culture to eKasi and upgrade local facilities to grow the local economy.”

Business hurdles included convincing the target market that coffee was not only to warm you up when cold, and cutting down on heavy sugar users. “There are customers who take seven or eight teaspoons of sugar in one cup. I try to educate everyone about how nice the taste of coffee is with less sugar or no sugar.” The shop was also burgled earlier this year, and equipment stolen and damaged had to be replaced at around R10 000. Despite this, the trio have soldiered on, gathering fans one coffee at a time.

“Being recognised by Hansa means we are on the right track and it is going to be fantastic to have extra exposure in the form of advertising to get a chance to market Department of Coffee to a bigger audience.”

The trio dream of opening Department of Coffee shops around the country as well as overseas. “We dream of being proper businessmen, able to take care of our whole families.”

Khensani Nobanda, Hansa General Manager, said Department of Coffee would be featuring in a radio advert that would air on Umhlobo Wenene. “Hansa is celebrating real people with the Cheers to the Dreamers campaign and we hope that the adverts will help grow their businesses.”

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bringing a piece of Kirstenbosch to the Waterfront

Situated on the edge of a working harbour, the Waterfront is an unlikely place to find an award-winning garden exhibit, but this month, visitors are given the opportunity to see the South African National Biodiversity’s (SANBI) Kirstenbosch Gardens’ Chelsea Flower Show entry on the water’s edge. From 30 August until 24 September, this spectacular exhibit will be recreated and on display at the Waterfront’s Clocktower area.

Kirstenbosch Gardens has won 33 gold medals at the annual Chelsea Flower Show hosted at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew in London. Entitled, “Come into the Garden”, this year’s award was extra special because both Kirstenbosch and the Chelsea Flower Show celebrated their centenaries.

In celebration of the gold medal and the centenary of a much loved national gem, the V&A Waterfront is proud to share the Kirstenbosch exhibit in a unique location., free for all visitors.

David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said, ‘’It is an honour to acknowledge the groundbreaking work SANBI does by bringing the Kirstenbosch Chelsea exhibit to the Waterfront and sharing it with our visitors. It is fitting that a piece of South Africa’s first botanical garden is showcased at the country’s oldest working harbour to celebrate a momentous 100 years.’’

This year’s exhibition is a snapshot of South Africa’s distinctive botanical heritage. Striving to create a sensory walk where visitors can experience the beauty and tranquility of being surrounded in the heart of the garden. The circular walk through exhibit features the Dell and Cycad Amphitheatre on one side and the Protea Garden and mountain skyline on the other.  There is also a strong focus on South Africa’s indigenous fynbos such as the protea and Mandela’s gold strelitizia. This year’s exhibition also showcases the oldest plants in the garden; plants which were introduced from 1913, when Kirstenbosch gardens was established to 1917.

The exhibition is located at Clocktower Square, at the V&A Waterfront. It is open from 9am to 6pm and entry is free.

About the V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront is one of Africa’s most visited cultural and historical hubs. Set on the edge of a natural working harbour with the iconic Table Mountain as its backdrop, it offers local and international visitors a cosmopolitan mixed-bag of experiences ranging from tourism and leisure, retail shopping and exclusive entertainment. Its prime positioning boasts panoramic views of the ocean, city bowl and mountain peaks. Upto 100 000 people visit every day during peak season. With 22 official landmarks on-site, it is also part of South Africa’s historical legacy. Jointly owned by Growthpoint Properties Limited and the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), represented by the Public Investment Corporation Limited (PIC), the V&A Waterfront was developed in 1988 by the state-owned transport corporation, Transnet Limited, while official commercial trading commenced in November 1990.

Source: corporateimage.co.za

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rondebosch - an Architectural Gem

In 1949, a thirteen-year old schoolboy was so impressed with the new home that he and his family had moved into in Rondebosch, that he painted a watercolour of the building, a thatched cottage on the old Rouwkoop Estate.
It is probably the only pictorial record of the old residence, demolished over fifty years ago. Though the young artist's effort lacks basic watercolour technique, Desmond Martin had begun what was to become for him a lifelong hobby - recording architectural gems in pictures.
The full tale of his enchantment with Rondebosch, with its old facades, places and spaces, is captivating. He weaves his nostalgic anecdotes of his schooldays in the suburb into the architecture and history of these subjects in his new work. This lavishly illustrated coffee-table book not only tells his story but also gives the reader an insight into the social history of the 1950s.
Of the forty buildings and places covered in the new book, seven feature aspects of the Rondebosch Boys' Schools. 

Desmond has dedicated his latest book to the memory of all his teachers here, who gave so unstintingly of their knowledge, wisdom and experience to their young learners - about to step out into the world sixty years ago.

Among the large group of teachers the author remembers in particular the six who coached him in Class E1: Arthur Jayes, Stan Edkins, E V 'Budgie' Franz, E V 'Buck' Ryan, Steyn Krige and H H 'Herbie' Helm.

About the Author

Cape Town-born Desmond Martin opted for a career in graphic art and advertising after a year of architectural studies. With a Fine Arts degree he was appointed Assistant Director of the National Monuments Council, Cape Town. 

Involvement with heritage and conservation of the built environment spurred him on to investigate the church building boom in Cape Town between 1889 and 1910.
This research earned him an MPhil in 1993, while his PhD in 2002 documented the history and architecture of the fifty churches planted by Bishop Robert Gray and his wife, Sophy Gray, during the years 1848 to1872.
He has written and illustrated The Bishop's Churches (2005), and Walking Long Street, Cape Town (2007), both published by Struik. 
Source: Vernacular Society of South Africa (VASSA)
His beautiful book 'Rondebosch - as I knew' it is available here.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

A journey to a new and improved you

Elegant Places is your partner in world-class medical care travel based in Cape Town, South Africa.

The decision international clients take to have medical treatments abroad is a very personal and significant one, which we take very seriously. Elegant Places deals with the recuperation stage, and can assist with places of tranquility where your clients can fully recover with discretion.
Are you contemplating some form of:
  • plastic surgery
  • facial rejuvenation
  • breast enhancement
  • liposuction
  • dental procedure
  • fertility
  • other surgical or non-surgical procedure

If you have been delaying a medical treatment due to cost, long waiting time or unavailability of specific treatments, we invite you to consider Cape Town.

For years now South Africa, especially Cape Town, has been one of the premier destinations for medical tourists for plastic surgery in particular. According to estimates, up to 30,000 foreigners entered the country last year for some of the country’s top-class procedures.

The Cape is considered the 'jewel' with regards to medical tourism due to its highly internationally rated medical facilities and professionals, quality health care that render an efficient, quality service and affordable prices at a fraction of the cost, as well as the range of leisure activities and the city's exceptional natural beauty.
Recuperate in the most elegant of places with privacy and tranquility.
These are the chosen 'gem' establishments with the best spa and wellness facilities in the Cape:

The lifestyle-oriented spa offers spa luxuries, keeping alive traditional handicrafts. The spa retreats are designed to be sanctuaries for the inner self, to refresh and rejuvenate the spirit as well as physical well-being. Privacy and tranquility allow you to shed the cares of the world while they pamper your body, as well as your mind, with invigorating treatments. Rediscover essential sensory pleasures - from the pleasure of touch to the aroma of exotic oils like rosemary, lavender, jasmine and frangipani wafting the air. Feel your muscles being kneaded and the tension seep away from your body as you drift off to soothing music and enter a realm of blissful happiness and total relaxation.

Enjoy shiatsu, lymph drainage and classic massages or even indira valodia. They are highly skilled in reflexology, aromatherapy and invigorating stress relieving massage. The spa has a variety of treatments available, from facials to pedicures, manicures, waxing and tinting, as well as massages and full body treatments to relax and de-stress. 

Le Franschhoek

A glorious Cape destination spa, where a sensory experience, complete well-being and pure indulgence awaits. The spa is a fusion of rich, opulent tones with sensory symbols from the labyrinth to private outdoor massage garden (where you may even have a moonlight massage) all leading to a relaxation room and meditation area which peer out onto a private courtyard. Spa highlights include innovative signature treatments and sensational elements including a liquid-sound flotation room, the colour-therapy room, an aromatic herbal sauna and shower.

A rare experience of true African indulgence that blesses the body and soul through ancestral therapies. The spa provides this quality African experience and service.


Calm your mind in this relaxation spa and let them pamper you with their attention to detail. Uniquely personal, it prides itself in offering treatments that are based on traditional hands-on touch therapy principles. The combination packages ensure that you leave this sanctuary totally relaxed and rejuvenated with your skin nourished, muscles soothed and the mind calmed. The spa facilities include a Rasul Chamber, two saunas, three multi-purpose treatment rooms, a twin treatment room and a soothing tranquility lounge.

The spa is earthy, relaxing, yet up-to-the-minute in this elegant and luxurious establishment. There are five beautifully fitted rooms each offering distinctive experiences. Spacious and comfortable, they encapsulate the essence of well-being and relaxation. The unique design in combination with the professional treatment procedures, based on traditional and natural touch therapy principles, will gladden your heart.  The stone therapy massage is an unforgettable experience for the massage enthusiast. Another outstanding treatment is the signature therapeutic massage which encompasses five different techniques using traditional touch therapies.

The spa has a full range of treatments composed of traditional, asian and global accents. Therapy principles based on traditional and ancient practice of healing by the human touch. It is uniquely personal and prides itself in offering treatments that are based on the traditional hands-on touch therapy principles within intimate and discreetly private surroundings. The foundation of its therapy regime is a holistic approach to all treatments. They ensure that the highest standards are met and maintained consistently. Each treatment culminates with a tea service featuring a selection of herbal infusions to relax or invigorate - enjoyed in the comfort of the spas lounge area.

The spa takes an uncompromising approach to health, well-being and beauty. Therapies on offer are carefully chosen to create the perfect environment in which to combat stress, pollution and discomforts caused by urban life. They offer you a uniquely holistic treatment of mind, body and spirit to rejuvenate the senses, with a wide range of signature skin and body care treatments based on traditional touch therapy. A range of rejuvenating facials and massages, body treatments such as body bronzing, body wraps and additional treatments such as tints, manicures, pedicures and waxing are available. These versatile treatments are ideal whether you need to relax, relieve tension, eliminate toxins or simply pamper yourself.

 spa is nestled in a quiet corner of the garden. Come and indulge in the therapeutic essential oils and natural plants extracts used in the locally produced products. There is a hydro-therapy room in which you can enjoy a special treatment in the jet bath, as well as a sauna and steam room with a small but well equipped gym with great views over the vineyards.

The spa is nestled between the majestic mountains and the azure ocean, surrounded by a tranquil national park, yet close to the best beaches. Feel indulged and cared for with splendid luxury. This is the ideal escape where harmony and tranquillity gently restore body, mind and soul. Dedicated to restoring beauty and balance through individual treatments and personalised spa journeys. They focus on holistic principles, combining ancient wisdom with modern expertise. Experience the Rasul chamber, hydrotherapy bath, rain shower, manicure and pedicure salon, private outdoor mountain gazebo, tranquillity lounge, health bar, plunge and floatation pools.

The spa captures the essence of this tranquil estate of pure relaxation. The spa is nestled amongst the vineyards with unbroken views of the majestic mountain range. Relax on either the indoor or outdoor loungers or in the heated jacuzzi. Admire the magnificent and unique winelands scenery. In keeping to the theme of the surrounding vines, they use the vine therapy product range, which is an innovative and superior grape-based skincare product range. Grape-derived ingredients include grape cultivars such as Pinotage, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Sauvignon Blanc. The Spa has grown to become a much sought after retreat where you receive special care and attention.

A unique position deep in the valley that offers a health and wellness spa and new yoga studio. Situated in the quiet corner of the estate where two rivers meet, this is a perfect setting to escape your daily worries and relax into a world of calm tranquillity.  The Spa has three treatment rooms, each with a terrace opening out onto the vineyards with exceptionally beautiful mountain views.  Enjoy a glass of rejuvenating iced tea or cold lemon water. A multitude of therapies, all using the holistic African range of products. The spa collection includes a variety of tantalizing treatments and packages, customized specially for you.  You will re-emerge as a younger, more beautiful you!

In the presence of grand old trees is the constantly changing vistas of mountain and vineyards with the tranquil sound of running water. Here there is the sense of understated luxury. Relax, rejuvenate and restore mind, body and soul amongst the breathtaking vineyards in the shadow of the mountain. They offer a comprehensive range of treatments and therapies as well as a body treatment based on the aromatic components of fine wines.  

At this equestrian area at the edge of the valley, the spa is set in the midst of beautiful and lush surroundings. Nestled in the shadow of the mountain, the spa exudes silence and pristine purity, the essence of stillness. The well-equipped facilities are tailored to be as efficient and comfortable as possible and well-being. Moderation, basic nutrition, sensible exercise, abundant relaxation and health combined with holistic treatments will lead to the discovery of a whole new world of rejuvenation for your wellness.

Their bespoke treatment takes a holistic approach to the five senses using nature’s elements to enliven your total being. Situated in the beautiful gardens, it is the perfect place to relax, unwind and rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. It provides the ultimate spa treatments in a series of luxurious facilities. The focus is on treatments that make use of and highlight indigenous and natural ingredients. You can expect soul-enriching treatments that include the use of specially selected natural oils, volcanic stones, tropical bamboo sticks, woven linen clothes and unique massage techniques.

For more information with regards these fine establishments and the growing Medical Tourism  industry in the Cape:

Heather Saunders
+27 21 843 3336
+27 82 789 6392 

About Elegant Places

As a member of Stellenbosch Tourism (360) and the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa (VASSA), we specialise in establishments that are the historical ‘gems’ of the Cape, restored to their former glory.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Spanish Warship - The Rayo in Cape Town


South African maritime watchers, led by the South African Navy, will have eyes peeled on Cape Town's V&A Waterfront this week when the Spanish Navy vessel Rayo pay her first visit to local waters.

The visit, which will also take in Durban, will enhance co-operation and ties with the local maritime arm of service as well as providing crew rest following deployment as part of the European Union Naval Force's anti-piracy Operation Atalanta off the Horn of Africa.

Rayo is a new offshore patrol vessel and her deployment off the east coast of Africa  was her first operational tasking. Prior to arrival in Cape Town on Wednesday, Rayo ported in Mozambique as part of a planned voyage around Africa. In addition to her two South African stops, Rayo will also call on other friendly countries as part of her transit back to her home port of Las Palmas Arsenal in the Canary Islands.

She has been part of the EUNavFor anti-piracy operation since March.

Rayo is the fourth ocean patrol vessel of the Meteoro Classs (maritime action ships) designed to protect Spanish areas of maritime interest as well as maintaining a foreign naval presence for the Mediterranean country. Rayo is also equipped to carry out a number of other maritime security tasks as required with her 75-strong crew.

As with other Meteoro Class vessels, Rayo was built at Navantia's San Fernando shipyard. She was launched in May 2010 and commissioned a year later.

Rayo has a displacement of 2 500 tons and measures just short of 100 metres in length.

She will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday while at anchor in the V&A Waterfront.

ESPS Rayo has had a busy year, earlier this month capturing a skiff with six suspected pirates 320 nautical miles off the Somali coast. As there was not enough evidence to prosecute the suspects, they were returned to the Somali coast. In March ESPS Rayo has escorted the MV Royal Grace to safety after it was released by Somali pirates.

Source: Written by defenceWeb
Monday, 27 May 2013 12:44

Open days - Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June from 10h00 to 15h00
Location - Jetty 2, the V&A Waterfront
Departure date - Saturday 8 June
Estimated departure time - 09h00                            

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Total Solar Eclipse

On November 3, 2013, a total solar eclipse will pass over equatorial Gabon in the Western Africa Congo, Uganda, Kenya and finally Ethiopia. Lodwar in Kenya reports a very encouraging “percent of possible sunshine” of 74 percent, which makes it the best point to be during this time of event and as the duration of the eclipse declines to less than 20 seconds across Kenya and to less than 10 seconds in Ethiopia.

For the experienced eclipse chaser in these locations, such a narrow and abrupt eclipse will come with a prominent presentation of the colorful innermost atmospheric layer of the Sun (the chromospheres) and a spectacular view along the axis of the Moon’s shadow.

Satellite and surface measurements indicate that the weather prospect in northern Kenya is the best along the entire 2013 eclipse track. Standing in these untouched landscapes – gazing up at the unreal fuchsia hues of the solar prominences, the swirling wisps of corona around the black disk of the Moon – promises to be an experience you’ll carry with you forever.

Witness a 14 or 22-second sunset total eclipse of the Sun by the shore of a remote Kenyan lake in a desert landscape.

Experience a world class Safari featuring the best parks in Kenya. There is so much to tell and everyone should try to go at least one time on safari in Africa. Kenya is a destination which allows you to see an enormous variation of landscapes, each with a specific flora and fauna. In the North of Kenya you can experience a desert like environment and see the amazing survival skills of the animals and people who live in these areas. The center of the country has a fascination Mountain Range, the Aberdares, and together with the snowcapped top of Mount Kenya this gives you a dramatic landscape, also very suitable for active sports. It is an upmost pleasure to go on safari and travel for days in these vast open areas probably visiting the most famous of the Kenyan parks the Masai Mara National reserve.

Explore one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world. Famed for the annual Great Migration of wildebeest, the Masai Mara is home to a vast number of resident wildlife. Discover ageless natural cycles as masses of animals move through vast unfenced conservation areas and then travel to the peaceful atmosphere of Samburu for an authentic wilderness experience in one of Kenya's lesser known reserves.

For a detailed itinerary contact enquire@elegantplaces.co.za We would closely with an indigenous Kenyan company to offer you this and other amazing experiences.

Amboseli Zebra
Lake Nakuru Black Rhino
Masai Mara Wildebeests
Samburu Elephants

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

West Coast Fossil Park

On our return from a week-end at Rocherpan Nature Reserve 25km North of Velddrif, Western Cape, we decided to explore the West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan, about 150km north of Cape Town. We had never heard of the park before, but ended spending an interesting couple of hours being educated about the far flung past of the region.

The fossils came to light when SEMANCOR was mining for phosphates, as stated on their website:
The deeply buried fossil deposits were uncovered during phosphate mining in the Langebaanweg area. The mining started in 1943, initially at Baard’s Quarry on Langeberg Farm, close to where the airforce training base is today. Here solid phosphate rock was mined for fertilizer and it is thought that many tons of fossils were crushed up along with the rock before scientists were made aware of their existence.
 Fortunately much is still visible, and it is still an active paeleontological digging site.

First we spent some time in the museum to get an overview of the animals and their skeletons that used to live in the area, about 5 million years ago. The more exotic being; saber-toothed cats, short-necked giraffes, hunting hyenas and African bears, as well as a large selection of birds. The climate was substantially different then, it was wetter and more lush, as shown in these illustrative posters of the flora and fauna as well as the 'event' that created this concentration of land based and marine fossils all mixed in the same layer of sediment:

Poster showing the flora and fauna 5 million years ago, showing the possible cause of the accumation of animalsPoster showing the flora and fauna 5 million years ago

This prepared us to recognise the various bones on display at the dig site.

Entrance to the dig covered by a tunnel with the sieves on the foreground.
When arriving at the dig site, you walk past the sieves where they go through tiny fragments of fossils mixed with sand. You quickly understand how  painstaking the process of  the paleontologists is, to go through tiny fragments of fossilised bone and then manage to identify the animal and the part thereof. A trained eye, or being good at puzzles is a great advantage!

Other view of the sieves

Finally into the tent, where you can see one of the dig sites. Helpful displays show the anatomy of the animals so you can (more easily) recognise the bones in the dig site.

Dig site with displays

The Short-necked Long Horned Giraffe

The Extinct African Bear
And finally some images of the dig site itself. This is where it gets really interesting, and we encourage you to go and see it for yourself!

The Fossil Park website is very thorough and offers much better information, than we could ever dream of writing up. But all I can say is. if you ever are in the area, or if you want an intellectually stimulating activity, the West Coast Fossil Park and their guides come highly reccomended.

If you are looking at a place to stay then stay in Hopefield, at Kersefontein Guest Farm, we'll gladly assist if you wish to stay there.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Running the Scenic Route

Keep fit while taking in the scenery at new running route.

Framed by Table Mountain on the one side and the glistening Atlantic Ocean on the other, the V&A Waterfront’s newly launched 2.2km and 5km running route offers one of the most picturesque running tracks in the country.

Picture credit: Alida Erasmus
The route starts at the Tourist Information Centre and snakes past many well-known V&A Waterfront landmarks including the Aquarium, the One & Only Hotel and the Cape Grace Hotel before winding its way over the Bascule Swing Bridge, past the Victoria & Alfred Hotel, the Cape Wheel and the Amphitheatre before reaching the iconic Table Bay Hotel.

Picture credit: Alida Erasmus
From here, the route reaches the Breakwater and the newly developed scenic Boardwalk Path which forms part of the route. The Boardwalk offers various scenic lookout points where runners and walkers alike can take a breather as they soak up the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, and possibly even spot a frolicking seal or a pod of dolphins. Runners then make their way to Granger Bay where the Cape Town Stadium will come into view, before finally heading back to the Tourist Information Centre.

Picture credit: Alida Erasmus
The 2.2km route is marked in yellow while the 5km run is marked in red, and both are clearly sign posted making it easy for runners to track their distance. Free maps of the route are available from the Tourist Information Centre.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The arrival of the Russian tallship; Sedov

92-Year old clipper sets sail for the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

The Sedov revisits Cape Town after a 77 year absence  (last visit was in 1936) on Monday, 22 April and will stay in port until Wednesday 24 April. Elegant Places was there to take these pictures.

Clipper Sedov arrives in Cape Town harbour

 Her previous port of call was Port Louis, Mauritius, with just under 40 trainee sailors on board.

 The four-masted barque was launched as a German cargo ship in 1921 and following World War II was handed over to the Soviet Union as part of war reparations.  Since 1981 she has served as a cadet training ship and is today owned by the Naval School at the Murmansk Technical University.

 From Wikipedia:

    The STS Sedov (Russian: Седов), formerly the Magdalene Vinnen II (1921–1936) and the Kommodore Johnsen (–1948), is a 4-masted steel barque that for almost 80 years was the largest traditional sailing ship in operation. Originally built as a German cargo ship, the Sedov is today a sail training vessel, training cadets from the universities of Murmansk, Saint Petersburg andArkhangelsk. She participates regularly in the big maritime international events as a privileged host and has also been a regular participant in The Tall Ships' Races.   

    Magdalene Vinnen II

    The Sedov, originally named the Magdalene Vinnen II, was launched in Kiel in 1921 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft at Kiel, Germany, for the shipping company F. A. Vinnen & Co. ofBremen, one of the largest German shipping companies at the beginning of the 20th century. The shipping company initially objected to have an engine installed in the ship, but the ship yard (with backing from a Government committee) successfully argued for an engine, making the ship the first sailing ship with auxiliary engine designed to modern principles.

    The Magdalene Vinnen II was at the time the world’s largest auxiliary barque and exclusively used as a cargo ship with a crew that was partially made up of cadets. She sailed on her maiden voyage on September 1, 1921. Her voyage took her from Bremen via Cardiff, where she took on coal, to Buenos Aires. Despite bad weather, the journey from England to Argentina with holds full of coal took just 30 days. The Magdalene Vinnen II carried all sorts of cargo: apart from coal, she took timber from Finland, wheat from Australia, pyrite from Italy and unit load from Belgium. The four-masted barque made two voyages around Cape Horn to Chile. Until her last voyage under the Vinnen flag in 1936, the ship sailed to Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Reunion and the Seychelles.    
Kommodore Johnsen

    On August 9, 1936, the Magdalene Vinnen II was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen and renamed the Kommodore Johnsen. The new owner modified her to a cargo-carrying training ship. More accommodation was provided, as the ship, apart from her permanent crew, was to have a complement of 50 to 60 trainee officers on each journey.    

    She came under Russian state ownership after the surrender of Germany — on December 20, 1945, the British handed over the ship to the Soviet Union as war reparation. In the Soviet Union, she was converted into a sail training vessel of the Soviet Navy. Renamed the Sedov after the Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov who died during an investigation in the Arctic in 1914, she was used as a training ship of the Navy from 1952 to 1957. She made several friendly visits to South America and Africa during this period. From 1957 to 1966 she was used as an oceanographic research ship in the North Atlantic. During these voyages, the Soviet Navy also used her for training of young cadets. In 1966 when she was transferred to the reserve in Kronstadt, formally under the civil ownership of the Ministry of Fisheries. In the 1970s, she was only infrequently used as a training ship, sailing in the Gulf of Finland.

    In 1981, the Sedov reappeared after renovation which had new features added such as a glass-domed banquet hall with a stage and a movie theater. She was now based at the Baltic Division of Training Ships in Riga. She embarked cadets from schools of navigation of Kaliningrad and Murmansk. After the declaration of independence of Latvia in 1991, she left Riga for Murmansk, transferred to the Murmansk naval school with the city of Murmansk ensuring her management and maintenance.

    Sedov has regularly been targeted by unpaid creditors of the Russian Federation such as Nissim Gaon (of now defunct Swiss group NOGA, an anagram of Gaon) and also by French holders of defaulted Russian bonds; in 2002 Sedov was forced to precipitously and unexpectedly leave Marseilles in the dead of night to avoid being served a writ by AFPER (French association of holders of Russian Empire bonds) the following morning.

    For over a year French holders of defaulted Russian bonds have been warning they were going to reorganize and export their claim to Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions, more friendly to private citizens than the French.

    In May 2008, in the wake of British-Russian tension, Sedov was instructed by Moscow not to dock as planned at Southend on Sea. The September 2008 visit to Falmouth, the starting point of FUNCHAL 500 race to Madeira, also seems to be in jeopardy.

    In 2011 "Sedov" celebrated her 90th anniversary. In 2012 "Sedov" started her first voyage around the world of more than 13 months.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Perfect Print

I found this amazing print shop on Somerset West, Main Road. Their service is incredible, brilliant prices and a unique collection of old telephones, type-writers and adding machines. The gold phone is my favourite. You can find them at http://perfectprint.wozaonline.co.za/ 143 Main Road, Somerset West. 021 852 4487