Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Frank Wightman Finds Saldanha’s Flamingo Lagoon

Frank Wightman.

by Richard Crockett

Over a year ago I re-published this editorial, written by Frank Wightman, and feel it is appropriate to use it again as today I stumbled across the obituary written about him by Frank Robb.

But let’s start with what he said about Saldanha Bay then, a bay so quiet and full of flamingoes – unlike the busy sea port it is today.

“When I let the anchor go in that Ionely spot I had never imagined it was to be my home for so many years”.

“Wylo had been chased in from the sea by a hard southerly blow which was laden with spume, and my lips were cracked, my hair was heavy with salt, and my eyes bloodshot. As the chatter of the anchor chain dwindled into quietness I straightened up on the foredeck and glanced round”.

His closing paragraph is heartfelt, and shows just how much he had fallen in love with Flamingo Lagoon.

“My calendar became an unhurried flicker of nights and days unlabelled with dates. I no longer measured time by the hand of the clock but by the swing of the tides, the march of the seasons, the earth adorning her self and mourning, the panoply of Nature. Time as it is measured in the cities ceased to exist. I had found a new time. Time to Iive”.

Sadly few know that area as he did, yet there are pockets of paradise to be found, but all wrapped up in red tape making it almost impossible to visit them by yacht. It’s a sign of the times – so enjoy his “find” now as much as he did then.

For those who do not know much about Wightman, in a nutshell he was an incredible seaman who commanded respect. He was unconventional in many ways, as these tow editorial will show, but as tough as nails, sure of his boat, confident of his skills, and always willing to test them to the absolute limit.

“A Salute to Frank Wightman” is the obituary written by Frank Robb in February 1970, and is hardly worth comment from me as to fully appreciate the man, one has to read every single word of this editorial.

READ FRANK WIGHTMAN’S FLAMINGO LAGOON HERE:  Frank Wightman – 1957 10-11 – SA Yachting – OCR

READ A SALUTE TO FRANK WIGHTMAN HERE:  Frank Wightman – 1970 03 – SA Yachting -000248 – OCR