Submitted by Eileen van Helden
In the good old, bad old days of the sailing ships and the spice island trade between Europe and the lands around the Indian Ocean, Cape Town was known as “the Tavern of the Seas” because everyone making the long journey round the tip of Africa would stop here for some R&R.
This year we have seen something like this happening when several members of our worldwide sisterhood of BCS paddlers have contacted our team when they knew they were going to visit Cape Town, and then come and paddled with us in the beautiful Cape Town Waterfront. We hosted Gaye from Deep Cove in Canada, Linley and Izzy from New Zealand, and Theresa from the USA.
In April four of the Belles did our bit to keep it international and went to the unforgettable IBCPC Festival at Lake Karapiro in New Zealand. We found it bitter-sweet that so many people, paddlers and the audience along the route of the Parade of Nations, came up to the South African group and wanted to share stories of the time they had lived or worked in the country, and some just wanted to hear a bit of Afrikaans spoken again!
In August, I found myself in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen and was very kindly invited to paddle with the Copenhagen Dragons Abreast in the sea channel running through the city, giving me a totally different and unusual perspective on the area. And of course the ladies were lovely too.
This feeling of a home away from home amongst BCS dragon boat teams is very special.
A few months ago our boat had a much needed overhaul and facelift and emerged gleaming white with shiny pink scales. We invite anyone who is passing through or staying in Cape Town to come and paddle with us!
We love putting the “International” back in International BCPC.