Drumbeat Charters

Drumbeat Charters has been operating since 1989 and is based in the famous fishing village of Hout Bay offering daily scenic cruises to one of Cape Town's main attractions.

Grade

Epic

Disabled Friendly

Yes

Accommodation

No

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

  • Category
  • Location
  • Grade
  • Disabled Friendly
    Yes
  • Accommodation
    No
  • Team Building Facilities
    Yes
  • Family Friendly
    Yes

Join our boat cruise to Duiker Island to see thousands of Cape Fur Seals in their natural environment and some of the most spectacular scenery the Cape Peninsula has to offer.

Our vessel Drumbeat II is licensed to carry 118 passengers and has two toilets and a licensed bar on board.

While aboard you are surrounded with breath-taking scenery of the famous Chapmans Peak Drive and the Sentinel Mountain.

Join us on our 1 hour special to the ‘Seals & The Shipwreck‘ where you’ll visit Duiker Island home of the Cape Fur Seals and then travel further along the Kabonkelberg Mountain range to Moari Bay to view the Shipwreck of the Bos 400 which ran aground in 1994 in one of our Cape winter storms.

This is a 40 minute cruise from Hout Bay harbour to Duiker Island the

Seal Colony where you can view thousands of Cape Fur Seals close up in their natural habitat. 40 Minute Seal Colony Cruise

Departs daily: *07h50 | 08h30 | 09h15 | 10h00 | *10h45 | 15h30 • *Minimum 15 Pax

Adults: R90 • Children under 14: R50 • 2 years and under: FREE

There are 35 species of seals in the world. Duiker Island is a Cape Fur Seal and bird sanctuary, home to thousands of seals and many birds such as the Cape Cormorant, the Bank Cormorants, Black Back Gulls, Kelp Gulls and Hartlaub Gulls.

It is illegal to go onto the island. The majority of the seals on Duiker Island are males waiting out their time until they reach the right breeding age, which is between the ages of 8 to 12 years depending on their size. Duiker Island is not a breeding colony as the sea can get very rough and the pups get swept off. The island is most densely populated from January through March due to the seals moulting. During this period they do not go off in search of food but rely on fats they have stored in their blubber.

Breeding is a continuous cycle and takes place in November/December in breeding colonies around the coastline of South Africa and Namibia. After fertilization there is a dormant period of 4 months and thereafter development continues, making the active gestation period 8 months. The pups are then born in late November early December. A cow usually only has one pup at a time when she reaches the breeding age which is 4-5 years old. She knows her pup by its smell and call and she will only mother her own offspring. Pups are entirely dependent on milk for the first 6 months. They are weaned between 8-10 months old.

They grow quickly and start to swim at 6 weeks old. By about 7 months they can spend 2-3 days at sea on their own and can already swim long distances. It has been noted that tagged seals have swum from Cape Town to Cape Cross in Namibia, a distance of 1600 kms at the age of 8 months. The Cape Fur Seal dives to a depth of 36m on average but diving abilities varies between species. Their ears and nostrils close tightly when they dive and they cannot breathe underwater. Even while sleeping in the water they have to surface to breathe, every 10-15 minutes for young ones and 30 minutes for the adults.

60 Minute Shipwreck Cruise

Departs Daily: 12h15 | 14h00 • Subject to Change • Minimum 15 Pax

Adults: R90 • Children under 14: R50 • 2 years and under: FREE

This 1 hour cruise is one of our special signature trips to see the Cape Fur Seals at Duiker Island and then continues below the Kabonkelberg mountain range to Moari Bay notoriously known for its Shipwrecks. There you will be able to view the remains of the wreck of the Bos 400 which ran aground in a Cape winter storm in 1994.

When the Bos 400 was stranded in July 1994, she was one of the most powerful crane barges in the world, capable of lifting 1200 tons and valued at over 70 million US$

Being a barge, she had no main engines and had to be towed to wherever she was needed.

At the time of the disaster she was being towed into Cape Town docks for a refurbishment..

Unfortunately this was carried out in the winter of 1994 when the seas were very rough and the tug towing her was under powered. Two other tugs were dispatched to help but they could not get any tow lines on due to the stormy weather.

The tow line snapped and she drifted onto the rocks in Maori Bay.

A huge effort was made to salvage her but unfortunately was not successful due to the hull being irreparably ruptured.

All 14 crew members who were on board were airlifted to safety.

Over the years much of the wreck has disintegrated.

60 Minute Chapmans Peak Cruise

Departs Daily: 12h15 | 14h00 • Subject to Change • Minimum 15 Pax

Adults: R90 • Children under 14: R50 • 2 years and under: FREE

This is a 1 hour cruise which leaves from Hout Bay harbour to Duiker Island to view the Cape Fur Seals. From there the boat will cross the bay and travel back to the harbour along the cliffs and caves of Chapmans Peak.

Chapmans Peak is named after John Chapman who was the first mate of an English ship called the ‘Consent’ which was becalmed near Hout Bay in 1606.

The captain sent Chapman ashore to look for a safe anchorage and fresh water who then recorded the bay as Chapmans Chance. This name stuck and became official on all East India charts.It was also the first English name to be given to a geographical feature in the Cape. Until then it was Dutch and Portuguese names that were used.

In the early 1900’s Sir Nicolas Frederick de Waal, who was the first administrator of the Cape Province, ordered the construction of a road linking Cape Town to the southern suburbs. The road known as De Waal Drive was a big success and due to this he called for another road linking Hout Bay to Noordhoek.

Two routes were under consideration and although it was going to be costly and seemed impossible, De Waal decided on the more scenic route along the cliffs.

Construction started in 1915 with convict labour from the Hout Bay side and the following year work began from the Noordhoek side.

It took 7 years to complete and cost 20,000 pounds and was opened to traffic on Saturday 06 May 1922.

In 1962 a section of the road was widened and in 1977 a portion of the road was washed away and subsequently the road was closed in May after a large section was washed away. This damaged section was replaced by a bridge at a cost of R150.000

On 29 December 1999 a falling rock caused the death of a Noordhoek resident. Then in early January 2000 another motorist was killed on the drive due to rockfalls which was concerning as the weather conditions were good and the rockfall risk was not considered to be high.

Adding to this in January 2000 the worst mountain fires in many decades raged in the Cape Peninsula including in the mountains above Chapmans Peak Drive causing massive rock slides onto the road and Chapmans Peak was closed to traffic indefinitely.

There was a lot of work to be done and many decisions to be taken as to what was going to be the best solutions to repair the road and make it safe to traffic.

Extensive work at a cost of R156million was undertaken on the cliffs, road surfaces and bridges to make the road safe.

Measures to contain the loose rock and soil on the mountain side include concrete cladding of the mountainside, catch nets and a half-tunnel excavation.The catch nets are of Swiss design and constructed of intertwined steel rings with fiction grips .

The half tunnel ,or overhang is the first in the country. It allows falling rock and soil to overshoot the road and roll down the steep mountainside.

Chapmans Peak drive was re-opened to traffic as a toll road on 20 December 2003 much to everyone’s joy as it is an international tourist destination.

However the upgrade was put to the test in July and August 2004.Serious rainfall caused further rock slides resulting in damage to the catch nets and the drive was closed again for 55 days to clear the debris and replace 4 of the nets.

The much loved and travelled road was back in the news again when Chapmans Peak was once again declared unsafe for use and in June 2008 was closed for major upgrades and repairs.

This took over a year and eventually the road was reopened on 09 October 2009. Since then it closes temporary for routine maintenance and during dangerous weather conditions. It is truly one of the most scenic and breathtaking roads one can travel and should definitely not be missed.

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