HMS Argyll visits Simon's Town

On the 10th May 2013 the HMS Argyll arrived in Simon’s Town on a gorgeous autumn morning. After a 21 gun salute, the tugs De Mist and de Neys pulled her into Simon’s Town harbour.

HMS Argyll arrives in Simon's Town

HMS Argyll arrives in Simon’s Town

The HMS Argyll is the longest serving Type-23 frigate in the British Royal Navy. She was built in the late 1980’s and is one of the most up-to-date and capable frigates in the Fleet.  She is currently on deployment conducting operations across the Atlantic in support of British interests worldwide.

23 May - HMS Argyll behind the SA Navy Submarine

23 May – HMS Argyll behind the SA Navy Submarine

HMS Argyll carries 185 navy personnel  and Cape Point Route was proud to be the ground handler for the Adventure Training (A.T), whilst the ship was in port.  In the space of 14 days the frigate, at 22 years old, received a work package which included preservation and painting work on the upper deck as well as internal maintenance in the engine rooms in order to ready her for the harsh weather conditions of the second half of the deployment in the Atlantic. Not everyone was working full time though and Cape Point Route organized daily activities for the Royal Navy personnel between the 12 May and 23 May.

The programme involved arranging activities and transport  and being servicemen on AT these were not the ordinary activities – a sense of adventure, a bit of extremism and extended activities were the order of the day.

Sea Kayaking to see the penguins at Boulders Beach  is a popular excursion for leisure visitors to Simon’s Town. The HMS Argyll sea kayakers however wanted a bit more of a challenge and they were transferred to Buffels Bay in Cape Point Nature Reserve, where they kitted up and paddled to Cape Point. This sea Kayak trip is for the fit and adventurous, leaving from the beach and hugging the coastline, checking out the sea cave and heading round the point to view the south-western tip of Africa from the water.  The chaps loved the challenge of rounding the “Cape of Storms” and returning back for welcome refreshments.  See pictures here:
HMS argyll- kayak

The Mountain Bike Adventure for the HMS Argyll was a full day of mountain biking that started in Tokai Forest at the Arboretum.  The lads endured a gruelling stretch of gravel up into the Table Mountain Range.  They then headed into Silvermine Nature Reserve along the Boulders single-track through a sweet 2km section of pine forest.  They of course opted for a gritty blood, sweat and granny gear ride to the radio mast at the top of Constantiaberg.  Dropping down through a wicked set of switchbacks and some white-knuckle single-tracks the guys headed down on the home run out of the reserve.   See pictures here:
HMS argyll- mt bike

The Sand and Surf combo proved to be one of the most popular A.T. excursions amongst the HMS Argyll personnel as it packed two fantastic experiences into one day.  The first part of the day involved taming the giant sand dunes near Cape Town.  Sand boarding is a great alternative to snowboarding and offers the same perks as snowboarding – a cool board, racing downhill at high speed and hopefully packing in some awesome maneuvers.

Google Images

Google Images

The second part of the day involved surf lessons – the ABC of learning to surf for novices – showing how to paddle out, how to catch a wave and how to control your body weight to stand up.  For more experienced surfers there was additional learning skills for judging waves, learning more about rips and currents and improving style and technique.

Great White Shark Cage Diving is a well known attraction on the Cape Point Route and False Bay has become known as the home of the Flying Great Whites.  Needless to say a bunch of guys who spend a lot of time at sea, were interested in the adrenalin rush of seeing a Great White Shark up close and personal.  This spectacular shark behaviour is one of the most incredible phenomena in the animal kingdom and Cape Point Route arranged for numerous excursions to Seal Island in False Bay. The HMS Argyll Royal Navy Personnel had varied sightings and cage experiences. One group was lucky enough to see 7 breaches in one morning! All in all Great White Shark Cage Diving was one of the highlights reported by the A.T. department.

Shark Cage Diving False Bay - images supplied

Shark Cage Diving False Bay – images supplied

The HMS Argyll Ship’s Motto is “Ne Obliviscaris” which means “Lest we Forget” and we have no doubt that they will not forget their 2 week stay in Cape Town.  Major Gellender MBE thanked the Cape Point Route team for our involvement, direction and support to the crew, explaining that it was a positive experience for everyone involved.  He described the Cape as the Ultimate Playground and was delighted that so many of the ship personnel had the opportunity to see and experience some of what Cape Town has to offer through the series of activities. ARgiel

Cape Point Route would like to thank the HMS Argyll for their positive feedback and enthusiasm whilst participating in all the activities. As a thank you we were invited on board the ship and given a special tour, which was a wonderful experience for us.  See the pictures of our visit on board the HMS Argyll here. 

HMS

Cape Point Route offers day tourspackagesaccommodationactivities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events in Cape Town. We will happily arrange group activities, transport and extended programmes.

Call  021 782 9356 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za 

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