Michael and Andrew turn 40 on Wednesday 18 January and they very kindly invited the family to spend the preceding weekend with them on the houseboat, Nirvana, moored in Langebaan lagoon. Wow, did we have some fun!!
Upon arrival we were ferried over by dinghy to the houseboat. Everything was spotless and ready for us. Our accommodation was more that adequate with plenty of bedrooms and an enormous amount of living space. Better still, there was no TV!! Andrew had brought all his new toys; kayak, Stand-Up-Paddleboard (SUP) and boardsailing gear. A canoe was available for our use and the kids all had their fishing rods and various other gear, so there was plenty to do.
Gillian had drawn up a schedule of meals and everybody knew what to bring. The food was wonderful, starting off with a huge platter of freshly shucked oysters and a crayfish braai of note! Breakfast the next morning comprised big bowls of fruit salad, yoghurt and cereal, followed up by fresh croissants with scrambled egg, smoked salmon and bacon…..and so it went on until we left on Sunday morning.
There was champagne aplenty and no shortage of iced beers. Everyone had turns trying out the SUP and most managed quite well. There were sore arms from paddling canoes and Andrew even had enough wind to rig his board and do some sailing. Of course, Michael and David joined in, proving that once one has learned the sport one never forgets how to do it. Luckily the wind was never a problem as the boat was moored so that it swung with the wind and the main deck area was, therefore, always sheltered.
The fishing was going quite slowly, but the children never flagged. When we discovered a cache of large black mussels clinging to the bottom of the floats, things changed dramatically and with new bait on their hooks, the kids started pulling in small stumpnose regularly. All the catches were returned to the water, but they certainly had their first taste of successful fishing, even if the fish never exceeded 20cm.
We even had an impromptu fashion parade on Saturday evening, however, most of the photographs were censored! It was with long faces that we packed up on Sunday morning for our return to shore and then on homeward. Michael and Andrew have certainly raised the bar for family reunions and will be a hard act to follow.
Our next reunion will be at Vermaaklikheid in March – I, personally, can’t wait!
Click on a picture to enlarge it.