A reader, Phillip, wrote that he had come across this blog “as part of my quest to rid it (the Goukou River) of the madmen & their speedboats.” Phillip was refering to my post on sailing on the Goukou River. As I replied to him, I have been part of this quest/war since 1973 and we are still fighting!

Phillip also added in his email, “attached pic of dabchick sailing from 40 years ago and my kids learning the ropes Easter 2009.  Both pictures taken in the upper reaches of the tidal part of the river.” He has given permission for them to be posted here.

Dabchick goukou

Phillip, friends and bowdog enjoying a sail on a Dabchick 40 years ago!

This picture really brought back memories for me. In the 1970s I used to sail a dabchick at Stilbaai. It was almost identical to the one in the photo. Our sail number was 333, although my brother Adrian is not in agreement on this. He contends it may have been 330. A noticeable difference is the rudder, ours had a wooden stock. Note the extreme tranquility, the only sound probably the ripple of the dabbie’s wake.

Boys sailing

Phillip’s boys sailing the Goukou, Easter 2009.

And so 40 years later the fun continues and another generation learns the ropes. Lets hope that by the time they are teaching their children the madmen and their motorboats have been banned!

Thanks to Phillip for the great memories.