When I started here at Touchwork two years ago, I joined up just in time to make the big Spintelligent (of which Touchwork was then still a part) year-end function which involved the hiring of a bus, taking it all the way through to Darling, and then enjoying a supper and show with South African satirist extraordinaire, Pieter-Dirk Uys. Pretty awesome stuff.

Then of course Touchwork broke free and so last year we started all the way down at the bottom in terms of year-end shenanigans, with a simple lunch mixed in with some Secret Santa for hoots. Of course, this means we can only go up from here and this year we were treated with something I thought was pretty awesome – and had never done before – a water taxi trip departing from Kalk Bay harbour, destination Simon’s Town, followed by lunch at the Meeting Place and then a return boat ride all the way back!

So on Wednesday the 1st of December 2010 (the day marking the beginning of my third year here at Touchwork), the entire team piled into the nearest staff cars that were available (remember, I still park a good 10 minutes walk away from our offices!) and off we went to Kalk Bay, via the beautifully scenic Boyes Drive, where we met the brightly painted yellow and black water taxi happily awaiting us in the harbour.

The boat itself is nothing more than a big rubber duck with a wooden cabin structure in the front, but it has enough seating for ten people sitting in a horseshoe pattern and more importantly, features two big 150 engines, meaning that this little taxi can go pretty damn fast if it wants to – not to mention a fair distance out to sea if the mood so takes the captain!

Apart from the awesomeness of just being out on the open water and heading to your lunch destination, we were in for a further treat on the day thanks to the fact that it just happened to be the start of the annual Governor’s Cup, which is basically a bunch of yachts racing each other out to the Caribbean.

We sidled in amongst all the beautiful competitor yachts and other spectator boats hanging around the area, sticking close to the spectator-carrying tugs and even closer to the navy mine sweeper who was tasked with the duty of carrying the cannon that would eventually signal the start of the race.

This was the first time I’ve ever been in the middle of a yacht race, and thanks to the taxi man’s boundless nautical knowledge, learned a fair bit in the process! Eventually the cannon did ring off a shot and the yachts began their dive across the imaginary line in the water, signalling the start of the race and more importantly, our return towards the shore as we made a lightning fast route straight towards Simon’s Town, past our brand new South African Navy frigates and into the awaiting harbour, where the Touchwork team safely disembarked and made their way across the road to the awesome little upstairs eatery, The Meeting Place.

Lunch was a relaxed affair, and with only one mini speech to sit through and a slightly mathematically challenged waiter to deal with, it was pretty much straight into idle chatter, wine and eat mode, during which I got to thoroughly enjoy an impeccable meal consisting of a blue cheese and fig preserve with Parmesan ham starter, a beef fillet main with home-made made chips on the side, and a tiramisu dessert. Delicious! :)

Of course, lunch couldn’t last forever and eventually the team had to bid farewell to the restaurant and make their way back down to the harbour. With all of us safely onboard, the captain took us for a much longer, scenic tour back to Kalk Bay, making numerous stops to point out the various landmarks and give a bit of a history lesson here and there. It is amazing how different the land is when seen from this new off-shore perspective and I must admit to having thoroughly enjoyed the experience. In fact, it was almost a pity when we did eventually arrive back at home base!

And that was that. The water taxi tossed us off and picked up its next set of passengers, while we all piled back into John’s car and made the trip back to the office via the now very scenic late afternoon Boyes Drive trundle.

In summary. Touchwork Year-end Function 2010: A resounding success! :)