Marine Inspirations – October 2017


marine inspirations, Lawhill Maritime Centre
Marine Inspirations October 2017
Marine Inspirations, Lawhill Maritime Centre October 2017
Marine Inspirations, Lawhill Maritime Centre October 2017

Participants from Lawhill  –  All Grade 12:

  • Olwethu Maneli – from PE
  • Lizwi Ncube – from Durban
  • Nkazimlo Mxitsha – from Khayelitsha
  • Siphuxolo Mlaba – from King Williamstown

Plus:  Navigating officer, Aubrey Sosibo (Lawhill alumnus)

 Report provided by Captain Phil Wade: 

REPORT Day 1 Monday 25th September 2017

I am calling this Day 1 because the lads missed their connection in Madrid yesterday morning and as a consequence had the day sitting in Madrid airport and only arrived in Palma at 18.00hrs. We have rented a 7 seater van for the week so loaded them all in and took them on board their new home, the “Aloha J” After showers and a tour of the boat we gave them a Chili con Carne for dinner and an early night for all.

Monday morning, Terry (my nephew) who stays on the boat with them got them going in the morning with a clean-up, rope stowage and some knot instruction. We had one boat visit cancelled but went to Highland Fling for a visit and were shown around by the Australian captain Samuel Wright. Fling is a very high tech racing machine built out of carbon fibre and titanium to minimise the weight. She is out of the water in STP shipyard so the guys got to see the keel and rudder configuration and learn about stability as well as yacht construction methods. When this tour was finished they had a brief walk around the Cathedral area of the old town nearby while I went for a doctor’s appointment. I picked them up again with the van and we drove to WOK restaurant for an amusing all-you-can-eat lunch. The range of food is amazing and most of it is really good so the boys dug in and had many first time experiences – eating with chopsticks, tasting prawns and sushi, eating snails, plus a large variety of meats, fish and vegies. They were definitely very impressed!

With full stomachs we headed out of town to visit North Sails. They were shown around by Mark Sadler who grew up in Johannesburg and he explained how he ended up in Mallorca and the North Sails business. They saw row upon row of sails in storage the largest single sail weighing an incredible 1.8 tons! As well as storage North Mallorca does repairs, maintenance and cleaning and has huge warehouses and many staff.

A quiet evening had by all.


We met Maria March (Anthony’s PA) on the boat at 0900 and drove out of town to visit OmniAccess which is a company supplying satellite communications to yachts and ships worldwide. They have a very impressive high tech office employing 75 people alongside a site with 23 or more satellite dishes, some nearly 8 meters in diameter. Most of the technicians are sitting in front of a bank of 4 large screens monitoring and adjusting the system and keeping it all on track. It was certainly beyond my comprehension but the boys asked a lot of questions and came to realise what this side of shipping is all about. OmniAccess is a company that works around the clock and really look after their staff. We were shown their coffee room with is fitted out like an American diner, complete with a juke box and posters from old movies. They also have a recreation and exercise room in the basement complete with a bandstand. The boys immediately picked up two guitars, one manned the drums while Aubrey sang a song “Thank you, thank you Omni Access” It was very good and we all had a good laugh!

From the Tech Park it was a short drive to visit a glass factory to watch them blowing glass and making ornaments in brightly coloured glass. It is fascinating to watch this happening and then visit the shop alongside to see the large array of stuff that they make. A shopping opportunity to buy some presents to take home.

We had lunch in the old town of Santa Maria then continued on our way to Binnisalem to visit Eyos Tenders run by Tom Sell and John Apps. Similar to North Sails who store sails for yachts, Eyos stores the tenders and toys for yachts who want them off the boat while doing refits and repairs. We saw a large variety of tenders and toys then drove back into Palma to visit Tom’s main office called Complete Marine Freight. CMF services yachts and owners by shipping spares, supplies and actual yachts worldwide. For instance the racing yacht “Highland Fling” was shipped from Palma to Florida for the Key West Race and then back to UK for the Fastnet Race. Apart from cargo and equipment, CMF ship 300 to 400 yachts every year! Their latest shipment is a full size submarine which is to be used for a new version of the film “Das Boot”

Right across from CFM is berthed the 44 meter Bennetti motor yacht “Blue Vision”.

Matt the chief officer showed us around and gave an excellent tour with lots of information when the boys asked the questions. See:

We finally got back to the “Aloha J” at 17.45 hrs and tonight is the night that Law (Laureen) takes them out for Pizza night at the great Italian Restaurant at the end of the dock as she does on every Marine Inspirations trip. Thanks Law!!

REPORT Day 3 – Wednesday 27th September 2017

First visit today was to the 36 meter sailing yacht Sovereign which was built at Alloy Yachts in New Zealand. Geoff Williams the captain gave them a good tour and then we went further down the same dock to visit the 46 meter motor yacht “Mary A” run by my good friend from Hermanus, Barry Jones. Another great tour, lots of questions from the boys as well as “Oohs and Ahhs” They were particularly impressed with all the gold plated fittings.

Both these boats are in the Club de Mar marina ( which has an astounding 625 berths and can accommodate yachts of over 300 meters!! Not that there are any yachts that big…..yet.  From Club de Mar we went a short distance to Santa Catalina and were shown Deckers Uniforms operation. Katie explained how they supply all these super yachts worldwide and also do all the custom embroidery, another huge support business to keep the yacht owners happy.

The local market is close by so we had a quick tour around there explaining about Salt Cod, Jamon Iberico and other typical Spanish foods such as Sobrasada. The fresh fish on display is fantastic.

Another 100 meters down the road and we visited Aigua Sea School that do RYA yacht master courses as well as all the other practical training such as STCW. The staff and teachers were all very interested in our lads and what they study and learn and were amazed to find out they were doing ECDIS and that Aubrey already has his OOW certification. A very successful visit.

Lunch was at the Hindu Restaurant next door which another hysterical eating experience was for the boys. Really good food enjoyed by all.

We arrived at Master Yachts at 1500hrs and sat with David “Mega” Glendenning who explained all about yacht management. Mega is part of the compliance team so the main thrust of the meeting was explaining about how they keep the yachts safe and how they handle any disasters or problems. Master Yachts have a sophisticated custom software program monitoring the yachts under management at tall time, a very interesting visit. Richard Masters as you may know is a great supporter of Marine Inspirations and actually bursars one student at Lawhill.

The final visit of the day was to the 42 meter motor yacht “Ninkasi” ( captained by Ross Hearle from the UK. This boat has several South African crew so the boys had a lot of fun asking questions while the “Jaapies” practiced their Xhosa skills. Another interesting boat kept in beautiful condition. The highlight of this tour was that they got to start the twin main engines with a huge roar.

Ninkasi is in the same marina as the Aloha J so it was a two minute walk back home. The boys had been dying to try out the electric bikes that the Marina have available free of charge so they took it in turns riding up and down the cycle path along the front of Palma. They arrived back at the Wade House at 7pm for a delicious chicken dinner prepared by Law.  End of another successful day.

REPORT Day4 – 28th September 2017

Another fine sunny day with temperatures in the top twenties. Our first visit was to “Scorpione” (ex Pink Gin), which is a 45 meter sailing boat captained by yet another South African, Clive Walker, who has always been an enthusiastic supporter of Marine Inspirations. After showing them around he gave each lad a chance to be hoisted up the mast which of course was very popular.

Next stop was to see Shaun Carkeek, a well-known South African yacht design who has offices here in Palma as well as Cape Town and the USA. One of his designs won the Cape To Rio Race this year. Shaun explained the process of how he first meets a potential client and then makes concept drawings and gradually these are fine-tuned until everyone is happy that the owner is getting what he wants. He then takes the drawings to various shipyards for negotiation and then he overseas the construction all the way through to launching and acceptance of the vessel.

Shaun had mentioned 3D printing so I took them off after lunch to see a 3D printing operation which started recently in Mallorca and specialises in the marine industry. The boys were fascinated and asked Johan many questions.

We drove a short distance out to town to CAB marine carpentry owned and run by Brendon from New Zealand. Brendon demonstrated to the guys how a lot of the machines work and showed them his photo album of past jobs making fine joinery. A true artist in wood!

I bumped into Moctar, an old friend of mine who came to South Africa from Senegal and ended up as crew on Shosoloza for the 2004 SA America’s Cup team in Valencia. Moctar continued his yachting career and recently passed his OOW certificate so I invited him to join us for dinner and meet the boys. We threw some burgers on the fire at our house while Moctar told them stories, a nice educational evening.

Day 5 – 20th Sept

This is the second time Captain Cook Sailing have taken out Marine Inspiration boys for a day of sailing, swimming and environmental education. Adriaan and Sandra were the perfect hosts, picking us from a small dock Santa Ponsa and ferrying us out to “Simmertime”, their Beneteau Océanis 46 yacht.

We motored round to a small bay and moored up for some swimming time and for a couple of the boys it was their first ever time swimming, never mind just in the Med. Overcoming their initial fear they all thoroughly enjoyed the experience with all of them spending as long as they could in the water enjoying the snorkelling and diving as well.

Also on-board again was Alice a volunteer from Asociacion Ondine, (  who gave the students a very informative talk about the plastic pollution in our oceans and how much it now affects all aspects of marine life and also what we can do to limit our use of plastics and the impact it ultimately has on the ocean. An eye opener for us all.

We then motored across the bay and the wind picked up enough for a bit of sailing which gave Adriaan an opportunity to give an introduction and explanation about wind and angles for optimal performance as well as some hands on sailing for the first time. A good introduction for the guys to sailing, with all of them taking turns at the helm, which they found out was not as easy as the experienced sailors make it look. We anchored off on the opposite end of the bay in time for a lovely lunch, a quick swim again before heading back.

Tired from all the sea and sun we drove back to Aloha J with brief detours to see two other marinas, Port Adriano and Porto Portals where scores of large yachts are moored.

Adriaan and Sandra  joined us on board for a lovely home cooked Paella made by Anne and Law. Lots of laughs and memories plus is seems some of the boys now have new nick names. For instance Siphu is now called Boom Boom as he bumped his head not once or twice, but three times!!

REPORT Day 6  Saturday 30th September 2017

The boys have had a very full week so the weekend will be more relaxed.

We took them to the beach in Arenal, a short drive north of Palma where they were met by Clive Walker who gave them sailing lessons on a laser. They also got to see the incredible long beach which is crammed with tourists in this area.

I picked them up and drove back to the boat where Maria Caimari had made a typical Mallorquin lunch for them, consisting of P’amb Boli, Coca and Frito Mallorquin. A leisurely lunch and time off in the afternoon to catch up.

Sunday 1st October – Day 7

Chris Morgan, a young South African from Hout Bay took the lads to a small beach at Porto Pi, just a short walk from where the Aloha J is berthed. This is quite a spectacular venue with steep rocks so much fun was had jumping off into sea. Even the non-swimmers took part and it was a big hit with the boys.

I picked them up in our van and we drove inland to the town of Alaro,  then up a very windy, rough track with lots of hairpin bends, finally arriving at Es Verger Restaurant high up in the mountains. See

A very adventurous drive to arrive at the great rustic old farm house which is packed and people waiting for hours to get in. Fortunately we were able to book as we were a party of ten and they will not take bookings for a lesser number of guests. We had a variety of starters but the main attraction was the typical local snails. These are stewed in a pot and you get a large bowl full, which you pick out with tooth picks and dip into Ali Oli. There was a bit of scepticism but one after another they tentatively tried them and then were hooked! Three big bowls gone!

Next course is a fall-off-the-bone whole leg or shoulder of lamb served with chips and salad. It was a struggle to finish but most managed and had a big smile of appreciation afterwards.

To work off the effects of lunch they hiked up the mountain to visit the ruins of the old castle and to see the monastery. The views from up here are spectacular and well worth the effort.

REPORT TO FOLLOW – 2 October to 9 October.  By Anthony Just.