I don’t know any Mossel Bay resident who has not seen the famous Romonza circle around Seal Island on one of its many daily trips. As a young child, I have had the privilege of taking frequent trips on this historic yacht. Very few things get one to feel quite as free and in touch with nature as the gentle motion of the ocean and the wind and seaspray on your face. Not that the sea was always gentle, but the days when the waters were rough, made for some exciting bumps around the island.
“Oom Wim” Klapwijk, who built the Romonza and named it after his children, Robert, Monica and Zandra, was a real officer and a gentleman. Always friendly, extremely good natured, and a great sense of humour. Not only was he an exceptional skipper, but he relished that moment when the Romonza reached a certain point of her journey, where he could extend an invitation to the passengers to take a deep breath of “fresh air”. That was of course the stage of the trip where that glorious smell of seal island was at its very worst.
It is great to see that the tradition of Romonza is still being carried on by the Klapwijk family. For a family-run business to continue for more than 25 years, there must be something magical about a life with seals. From the Findit 247 team, we wish the Romonza many more safe journeys!
For some interesting insight into where the story of the Romonza started, we share a short video (of 1 minute and 30 seconds) sourced from the Romonza’s official Facebook page.