10 Jan 2013

Always eager to head out for the deep in search of the latest undersea bounty – Boating World’s Greg Alice jumped at the chance to accompany Riviera owner Peter Sternberg on a crayfishing trip.

Being permanently moored at Water Club in Granger Bay (home to Boating World’s offices) Peter’s Riviera 3350 is easily accessible for quick day trips like this one and Greg had the boat prepared and ready for the outing that Sunday morning.

Never mind that the weather was overcast and the sea was on its head, the determined pair set off for the popular crayfishing grounds around the Scarborough area– filled with enthusiasm and great expectation.

Huge 3m swells did not deter them at all and the Riviera 3350 (LOA 37’) handled the conditions with ease. Greg says “We felt confident and safe at all times in this solid Sport Fisher which is so adaptable – she’s ideal for our coastline and the rough conditions we encounter from time to time.”

After a rather bumpy ride for about 45 minutes they reached Peters “secret” spot where they dropped their three nets filled with Pilchard bait. Bobbing buoys helped them keep track of the exact position of each net – which they checked after 15-minute intervals.

Interestingly, the crayfish crawl inside the circular ring at the entrance to the net, attracted by the bait and when the net is taken up to the surface at a fast but steady pace, the crayfish generally fall down and get tangled inside. It is quite an art to draw the nets up to the surface in a straight line – not allowing them to go sideways – otherwise the crayfish escape and the catch is lost - so getting the slack of the lines just right is important.

As soon as they reached their allotted quota, Peter and Greg set off back to Cape Town – thankful for the fact that the ample, plush seating on board gave them a comfortable dry ride. Greg adds that this 3350 certainly lives up to her name “Symphony” – as she always stays in harmony with her surroundings – as she did all the way home.

Once safely back in the tranquil waters of Granger Bay harbour – the real test began. Cooking these hard-earned delicacies to perfection is essential and the key to a successful outing. The well-fitted galley became a hive of activity - as big pots filled with salt water, wine and crayfish were soon steaming away on the two-plate electric stove. Irresistible aromas filled the air and once they reached the optimum reddish colour – the crayfish were ready to eat.

Before long Peter’s partner Jeremy joined the party -  and they settled in for a relaxing afternoon with well-chilled Rose’ wine from the fridge soothing the way for a fantastic feast of crayfish, crispy baguettes and other tasty morsels.  What better way to spend a day than skillfully separating succulent crayfish meat from the shell and satisfying the hunger pangs than with food fit for royalty?

Because of the inclement weather they chose not to grill their catch (brushed with Olive Oil, garlic and parsley) on the BBQ griddle fitted in the cockpit area – but this is another popular way of tantalizing the tastebuds.

Peter loves the boating lifestyle of Cape Town especially as his Riviera 3350 is also ideally suited to day trips for snorkeling, swimming and fishing or to explore hidden coves and islands nearby. 

Longer distance travel is also a firm favourite as she comfortably accommodates four people overnight -taking guests right up to Saldanha Bay and Langebaan for long weekends or holidays.

No doubt there will soon be other Crayfishing trips before the season ends in April. Contact Boating World on 021 418 0840 to get your Riviera before the Cray fishing season closes.