Harties Boat Company. Hartebeespoort Dam. North West Province

Our birthday weekend at Hartebeespoort Dam was to end with a lunch time cruise.
On our way to the Harties Boat Company launch site, I discovered this large pond.
This aspect reminded me of a scene from the movie “Deliverance”
that I had to stop and take this image.
There were no hillbillies, but there was this Coot in my picture.
Danny Buoy…
It was to be where my wife and I would be sharing her birthday lunch.
We were not the only ones celebrating.
The entire upper deck was full of people sharing special events.
A complementary drink to get the cruise started.
I did take pity on the couple sitting in the foreground.
The guy in the red and blue shirt was also having a birthday,
but his guests did not make it on board…they had left home too late
 and were unable to share the lunch with him.
(The good news is that they had arrived and
were waiting for him when the boat docked at the end of the cruise)
A safety drill is mandatory.
It is just a pity that the PA system is not the best and
as a result it was very difficult to hear what was being said.
How cool does our Captain look?
Leaving the land behind as we head out into the Dam…
The last time I was on this dam was back in 1992,
as a participant in an Iron man competition!
The rather imposing cliff on the approach to the tunnel that takes
vehicles across the dam wall. You can see the cars lining the roadside,
awaiting their turn to enter the tunnel.
The dam wall is very imposing.
Some interesting facts about its construction
Building started in 1896 at a different site.
At the time it was to be the largest dam in the Southern Hemisphere
In 1905, the wall was moved to its present position.
Construction was halted during WW1, and was only recommenced in 1918
The temporary wall was washed away in 1921.
The wall was finally completed in 1923 and overflowed for the first time in 1925.
Even though there is a blanket of water hyacinth
covering a large percentage of the surface of the dam,
 there are still lots of sailing vessels.
A quiet Sunday sail…
Our starter platter for two.
Most delicious
Main courses was served buffet style, unlike starters and dessert
which were plated and served at our table.
There was more than enough food and seconds were a possibility,
but you had to allow for dessert
The dessert,a tiramisu, was the similar to the one that we had enjoyed
 at La Dolce Vita the evening before.
A Cattle Egret heading off to it afternoon roost perhaps?
A breathtaking sight.
The waters of Hartbeespoort Dam with the Magalies Mountains in the background.
The dam is approximately 20 sq km and varies in depth from approximately 10 to 45m
This fellow was trying to impress us as we chugged past
Each celebrant received a birthday cake.
This carrot cake was MOST delicious.
And a couple of hours later, it was all over.
Time to tie up, and head off home.
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