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Roggebaai Canal – Cape Town

Most people have heard of the V and A waterfront in Cape Town, but how many know there is a navigable canal and a lock as well?

It’s only a small canal but it does exist.

The canal was built to connect the foreshore area in Cape Town city centre to the V and A Waterfront.

Some facts – the canal is 1.5 kms long, depth 1.2 metres, width 10 metres but opening out to 45 metres at turning basins, and is 3.5 metres above sea level.

Water Taxis arriving at CTICC Cape Town

It starts at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC),  which is also at the entrance to the Westin Hotel.

It meanders past several other hotels, City Lodge, Harbour Bridge Hotel and Suites, Cape Grace, under several bridges and ends near the One and Only Hotel.

Here, a lock allows boats to drop the 3.5 metres
down into the V and A Marina, from where one can go out through Victoria Basin and out to the sea.
One or two residential complexes are situated along the canal. with private moorings or berths.

Roggebaai Canal – Table Mountain in background
The bright red Water Taxis or Shuttles run every 20 mins, ferrying tourists from their hotels, residents from their apartments,or people from the city centre to the V and A, a journey of about 20 minutes.
They operate on the same Hop On, Hop Off principal as the City Tour busses one sees in most tourism cities these days.

Lock from Roggebaai Canal to V and A Marina and sea

For some reason, the lock only operates at spring tides so the canal is not often accessible to the marina or open sea.

Wouldn’t it be great if this canal could be extended right up Long Street into the heart of the trendy area of the city centre?

As those who follow this blog will know, we now have a motor cruiser in Holland, and our plan is to leisurely do the inland waterways of Europe over the next few years.

Taxi Stop at City Lodge Hotel

When we bought the boat, most people asked if we planned to take the boat back to South Africa.
The resounding answer is – NO.

As beautiful as the weather can be here, there are very few places to go to near Cape Town. It’s one thing if you are a die-hard sailor who loves racing yachts in gale force south easterly winds.

In a motor cruiser one could go up the west coast where the first harbour is at Saldhana Bay which is 64 nautical miles away – a full 8 hour trip even if the weather is perfect.
Or one could go south to Hout Bay, at least a 3 hour trip weather permitting. After that its round Cape Point to Simonstown or Gordon’s Bay.
Even on a good day there is usually a large swell running off Cape Point.
So, as much as I love Cape Town, I wouldn’t keep a boat here.

In the meantime we will enjoy Cape Town from the land till going over to Holland in March 2013 to start cruising on Shangri-La.

Happy cruising.

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