On our little West coast cruise from Cape Town we first stopped at Port Owen. This lovely marina is in the town of Veldrift and you have to go up the Berg River for about a mile to reach it. The official recommendation is that it is accessible for boats with drought of up to 2 meters from 1 hour before to 1 hour after high tide. It is not clear wether this is high tide at the entrance of the Berg River, at a place called Laaiplek (Afrikaans for loading space), or in the Port Owen marina itself. Best is to contact Port Owen Marina Authority (POMA) and ask for their advice. We got pilotage from the marina manager who got on board at the holding jetty. The channel is pretty well marked with stakes but only port die ones, stay as close as possible to starboard of these when coming in. I have included the GPX track of our entrance here:
On our way out we didn’t feel like waiting for high tide so we left 3 hours before high tide and according to our depth gauge we should have hit the bottom on our way out of the marina, the depth (adjusted according to the depth of the sensor) read 1.3 meter and our draft is 1.4, but we didn’t notice anything, so either the bottom is so soft we didn’t feel anything or I miscalculated the depth.
When at the marina you use the ablutions of the Port Owen Yacht Club. A lovely club, with old but well maintained showers and toilets. You get access via a finger scan which needs to be set up. When we were there at the end of October there was only someone available a few days a week to set up the finger scan (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings only) but during high season this might be different). You pay 50 Rand per person per day for use of the Yacht Club facilities on top of the marina fees which are paid to POMA directly.
Here are some photos and videos from our stay at Port Owen:
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