Ha-Yam Current

Ha-Yam 2013

Ha-Yam 2013

A Voyage to Remember – Picton Castle to Luderitz – Kris Steyn

I was astounded to hear that the Picton Castle was offering me a berth from Cape Town to Luderitz and hoped that I wasn’t too old to be chosen.

The crew is mostly young, athletic and extremely competent, so I was aware of my shortcomings. I was confirmed, and one of my life’s greatest wishes came true. Rear Admiral Piet Potgieter (Ret), Chairman of Cape Windjammers, was to join me. Alvin Kushner, the Chairman of JML and representing JML on the board of SASLA was also invited but was unable to get away from prior commitments.

From the moment we stepped aboard with our kit-bags, it was a journey of… Continue reading

Waste Not!! – The Plastiki

The Plastiki, a catamaran made out of 12 500 recycled plastic bottles, sailed into Sydney Harbour on 26 July 2010, four months after leaving San Francisco on a journey across the Pacific Ocean meant to raise awareness about the perils of plastic waste. The crew of the Plastiki, a 60 ft Catamaran that weathered fierce ocean storms during its 8 000 nautical miles at sea, left San Francisco on March 20 2010, stopping at various South Pacific island nations including Kiribati and Samoa. The Plastiki is a culmination of 4 years’ planning. Skippered by environmentalist David de Rothschild – a descendant of the well-known British banking family was finally towed… Continue reading

The Yacht Research Unit, University of Auckland – Dale Morris

Dale, a budding Naval Architect who hails from Cape Town who  wrote about his post graduate studies in Gothenburg, Sweden in our previous Ha Yam. This year he continues his Masters in New Zealand. We look forward to him eventually joining the Council of the JML when he returns.

Auckland: the City of Sails, a fitting location to find one of the world’s leading units in yacht research. The YRU was established in 1987 due to a significant increase in interest in the field when the University of Auckland became involved in New Zealand’s first ever America’s Cup challenge that year. Since then they have been closely linked with… Continue reading

JML Rotary Scout – Mark Jennings

JML Rotary Scout is a 39ft Tosca owned by the Scout Association of South Africa and moored in Simonstown. The boat was originally donated as a bare hull by the Rotary Club of Bellville in 1987 and was built up over a number of years by veteran Scoutmaster Neville Coxon, who launched the yacht in 1994. Then known as Rotary Scout she took part in the 2000 Cape to Rio race, crewed by teenagers. She has also taken part in three Governor’s Cup yacht races to St Helena Island.

The yacht fell into disrepair but was relaunched in January 2006 by an enthusiastic group of adult volunteers, mainly Dads and… Continue reading

The Jewish Maritime League Yachts


JML1 is being well used and once again entered th eprestigious Lipton Cup Regatta. The race was highly competitive with the best skippers in the country competing. . During the last of 5 races JML 1 made contact with the yacht Race Ahead’s stern at the finish line. Some brisk conversation ensued between the crews and JML 1 did the sporting thing and went back across the finish, did her penalty turns, and refinished in 14th place losing two positions. Interestingly when I approached Race Ahead to ascertain if there was any damage they indicated that they had not called a protest on JML… Continue reading

The Marranos Celebrate Yom Kippur in Amsterdam

Two ships were drifting helplessly in the North Sea. High winds and stormy seas damaged the rudders and the ships were at the mercy of the storm. Fortunately, the ships were driven towards the shores of the Netherlands, and finally found shelter in a Dutch harbour.

Among the passengers on the ships were ten refugee families from Spain. They appeared to be Spanish noblemen, but actually they were Marranos – secret Jews – who remained loyal to their faith despite the persecutions of the Inquisition. To all appearances they were Christians, but in secret they observed their Jewish faith and festivals. Life in Spain, however, was made impossible for them,… Continue reading

An Anchor for Life – Bertie Phillips

After an initial visit to South Africa by some 10 youth sailors from Israel back in 2004, made possible by the JML, some 7 years later, Bertie Phillips and his daughter Aviva Phillips travelled to Israel in April 2011 and made contact with, Dido Daadush (21) who was 14 at the time and Zeev Shafrir who was the group leader.  Together they rode their bicycles from Tel Aviv to Yaffa Port where they met with the Israel Sea Scouts leader Dr Colin Gorfil (70) who made aliyah to Israel from South Africa in 1967.

The purpose of the visit to the Israel Sea Scouts base in Yaffa Port was… Continue reading

SA Naval College Passing Out Parade

The JML presents an annual floating trophy to the graduate on the officer’s course who displayed the highest level of Esprit de Corps during their Practical Leadership Assessment.
The annual floating trophy was originally presented for the first time at the inception of the college. Being the recipient of this award is a proud achievement for a SA Naval officer who will have his accomplishment recorded on his CV. This year, for the first time, in addition to the engraved floating trophy, the JML presented the recipient, Cadet A L Goxo with a brass JML plaque with his name engraved on it which he will retain.


Haiti Jews tell tales of earthquake destruction in 2010

For over 500 years a small Jewish Community from Lebanon, Brazil, Syria and Egypt has been in Haiti.

Each year on Yom Kippur Rudolf Dana locks himself in his Petionville , Haiti home – protected by guard dogs and security personnel and passes the Day of Atonement fasting, praying and reciting the traditional liturgy of repentance and forgiveness.  Up until 10 years ago, Haiti’s tiny Jewish community would gather in a home on Yom Kippur and pray alongside a video recording of a Yom Kippur service that Dana’s brother in law, a cantor at  a New Jersey Synagogue had mailed to him. But in recent years, the community… Continue reading