Trans Agulhas Trip
Blue Chip Flight School was a co-sponsor one of the annual Trans Agulhas Inflatable boat race. The inflatable boat challenge is the toughest in the world. Over 800 km in 5 days along the rough and dangerous untamed, South African coast line. This is an annual event held every December and the race is from Plettenberg Bay to Strand, near Cape Town.
This year Blue Chip decided to make it a joint venture between personnel and students to follow this amazing race from Mossel Bay to Strand with a fleet of Cessna 172’s.
Our goal, is to lead our Captains beyond the known boundaries of Wonderboom & Gauteng and to enjoy the thrills, spills and beach action of the Western Cape.
“Trans Agulhas; a dearing trip for fresh PPL students who only knew the out skirts of Gauteng…
It all started with the planning, fifty three pages of detailed information and a pieced together map that most likely was bigger than the Cessna 172 itself.
We took off out of Wonderboom on the 26th of December for breakfast – yet due to bad weather that soon turned to lunch. Once we got there the spirits where high as we were well on our way! On the same day we ventured to Beaufort Wes- a place quite unknown to the city boys among the bunch of us.
The sleep over that night was something out a comic horror story but that was not going to defeat our spirits as the next morning we knew that the coast was our next stop.
Arriving in Plettenberg Bay, felt like seeing the sea for the very first time, from there we travelled to Mossel Bay for our first night of camping. The food was divine, as we had worked hard to get there and setting up camp in the dark, created many moments of laughter. From inside the tent point of view it was impossible to get sleep as the snored echoed through the camp site and laughter was the only resort. The camping throughout didn’t change much but what was ahead in terms of flight is something we’d never forget.
From Mossel Bay we flew to Stillbaai where the beaches gave us some time for swimming and experiencing the inflatable power boats in real shore line action. Then we flew to Struisbaai and it was very small – yet with a very tired crew we resorted to the night that highlighted the trip- Pizza and tent humor of 8 people in a three man tent.
We spent our new years in Hermanus- we enjoyed the sunset with some drinks accompanied with some pool table challenges that had every one back in spirit for the last stretch. Only three of us survived midnight to see the fireworks shoot across the ocean with the full moon as a back drop.
Coming back from Strand- we all were ready to enjoy the comforts of home…
I guess from the point of view from a student- you never know the value of flight and the gift of learning, until you put yourself out there. You learn that no two pilots are the same and that you need to trust, more than anything else, that your team will have your back every step of the way. It was tiring but something any one of us would do again in a heartbeat. 20 hours of flight, a life time of memories…..”
Article by Eulalie Venter