TS Woltemade Sea Cadets Visit SA Naval Museum and SAMTRA

Article and photos by Lt Cdr Glenn von Zeil

Sea Cadet Leading Seaman and Petty Officer classes from TS Woltemade visited the SA Naval Museum in Simon’s Town on 23 May 2015 to learn about South Africa’s Naval history. Prior to the visit only a 5th of the class and Officers / Instructors had visited the naval museum.

The opportunity provided them with a practical opportunity to learn about the history of the SA Navy, naval and nautical traditions and have a feel for life at sea as it developed over the centuries.

SLt’s (SCC) Marlon Adams & Dr David Walker, accompany TS Woltemade Sea Cadets to the SA Naval Museum.

SLt (SCC) Dr David Walker, a lecturer in Maritime Affairs at Cape Peninsular University of Technology (CPUT) and previously a Royal Naval Sea Cadet Instructor, shared his experiences of how different life at sea was like with stories of HMS Victory, the battle of Trafalgar and Admiral Lord Nelson.

Experiencing the mock bridge and wheel house of a mine sweeper, various naval guns and a submarine operations room was greatly appreciated. The experience provided a much needed practical experience after hours of pouring over notes and photographs.

The transformation display was a great hit with the young Sea Cadets as they were interested to see how the SA Navy had evolved over the years to become inclusive.

TS Woltemade Sea Cadets with Capt (SAN) McNaughton’s ceremonial Naval Sword at the SA Naval Museum. His son, Ens (SCC) Stuart Mc Naughton, is a seamanship instructor at the Unit and has told the class about the sword.

TS Woltemade Sea Cadets have “fun with a gun” at the SA Naval museum.

They were especially interested in those who had performed acts of bravery including the story of the SS Mendi, Job Masego and Sea Cadets from their unit who fetched the training ship, the General Botha from the UK, and sailed it back to South Africa. They applaud the hard work performed by the SA Navy museum personnel to preserve the history of the SA Navy and nautical traditions.

They also visited the South African Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) in Simon’s Town on the same day. The visit was arranged by Cdr David Wolfaardt, SA Navy Reserve, who is the SAMTRA Training Manager. The aim of the outing was to gain an insight into the commercial shipping industry and to experience, through simulation, the activities that take place on the bridge of a ship at sea.

Capt Peddle and Cdr David Wolfaardt with TS Woltemade Sea Cadets in the Bridge Simulator at SAMTRA.

SLt’s (SCC) Marlon Adams & Dr Dave Walker with TS Woltemade Sea Cadets in the Bridge Simulator at SAMTRA.


SLt (SCC) Dr David Walker observes a TS Woltemade Sea Cadet carrying out helmsman duties in the Bridge Simulator at SAMTRA.

Capt Peddle listen attentively while a TS Woltemade Sea Cadet asked questions.

A tour of the SAMTRA facilities revealed the Electric Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) and Global Maritime Distress & Safety Systems (GMDSS) simulation classrooms, as well as the Refrigeration and Seamanship workshop, and several well equipped Bridge Simulators.

The bridge simulation demonstration involved sailing two frigates in False Bay before coming alongside in Simon’s Town harbour. During the practical exercise the Sea Cadets were able to experience lookout and helmsman duties and carry out engine telegraph orders.

The Sea Cadets were also exposed to some of the different weather patterns, including rougher seas, fog and rain that could be encountered at sea, and experienced some rule of the road scenarios with other ships - and even spotted a whale or two! The experience using the computer technology was very realistic and at times the Sea Cadets reacted to the “moving” ship.