Knysna is gearing up to welcome the SA Navy to the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival next week. According to Lieutenant Commander Steven Ericksen, two minehunters are expected to arrive early on Tuesday 7 July, weather permitting.
“The ships will be off The Heads at about 7:00,” says Ericksen. “Then once the Knysna NSRI has done a recce and given the all clear, The SAS Umzimkululu and SAS Umkomaas, under the command of Commanders Nyathi and Short respectively, will navigate through the narrow channel.”
Dozens of locals and visitors in a variety of boats are expected to go out onto the lagoon to welcome the Navy, or take up viewing points on the Eastern Head to watch the spectacle. The ships will sail up the channel and berth at Thesen Islands. They will be open to the public at 10:00 on Wednesday 8 July.
The ships will each bring a crew of about 46 sailors, who Ericksen says look forward every year to attending the popular festival. They will form part of the parade led by the SA Navy marching band in Knysna’s main street on Friday 10 July at 12:00 before the Executive Mayor of Knysna, Georlene Wolmarans and Flag Officer Fleet Rear Admiral B.K. Mahlana.
On Friday evening at 19:30 at Cruise Café, the Oyster Gala Dinner for 60 guests will honour senior visiting naval officers, including Rear Admiral B.K. Mahlana, Director Fleet Force Preparation Rear Admiral S.F. Petersen and Rear Admiral Joe Dlamini. There will be a four-course dinner and entertainment provided by the SA Navy Band. Tickets for the dinner are available at R250 per person from LC Ericksen, tel 083 653 7060 or email email@example.com.
A highlight of the festival is the SA Navy Band Concert on 12 July at 10:30 at the Knysna Waterfront. Entrance is free and you are advised to get there early and bring your own chairs.
The SA Navy ships will depart Knysna on Monday 13 July at 14:30.
Press release by Knysna Tourism.