Wednesday, March 21, 2007


On Monday, after showing you the different moods of the sea at St Francis, we watched the evening news and found out a bit more. It appears that the moon, sun and earth are in a special alignment which only happens every 18 years or so, and that has led to exceptional Spring Tides. (In fact so extreme that Durban and parts of the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast had to have the beachfront properties evacuated, the waves went right into shops on the Golden Mile to counter height, and many roads were completely undermined!!)

So, armed with the trusty Silvia (my camera!!!) i went off to the beachfront to check out the low tide yesterday at about 11 am, and again the high tide at 4.45. Before I show you those pictures, here is another contrast that serendipitously came my way!

As I was parked at the roadhouse (OK I admit, I was getting an ice-cream, a girl needs energy for all this photography you know!!), I spotted something in my rear view window that was a real blast from the past for me.

Here it is... An old (and I mean OLD!!) white Kombi. Back in 1975, when i was living in Johannesburg after dropping out of University, I bought one just like this from some hippies, with the old split windscreen and hinged door on the side! It was old even then, in fact it was a struggle to get it road-worthied. It was done out with a big mattress in the back, and then behind the front seats was a cupboard, with a little galley set up, a hifi with massive speakers... the walls had been cladded with carpet underfelt for insulation and then hardboard panels covered with wall paper covered with beardsley prints of the can can dancers, moulin rouge posters etc! In the space between the bed and the cupboard was a small patch of floor, on which i put a little Persian rug, and above it was a home made roof hatch, through which you could get wonderful views of wild game as you travelled. My dad said it was the most decadent thing he had ever seen and called it my "sex-pit"!!! On impulse, I would pick up bunches of friends and take to the road at a moments notice, often to Swaziland, or Zimbabwe, and had some amazing times in the old bus. I have a photo somewhere, i will try and scratch it out and show you sometime!
Anyway after that little detour down memory lane, as I was editing this picture to post on the blog (I always have to reduce them so they don't take FOREVER to upload), I spotted the new Combi behind the old one, so there you have it, a contrast!
High Tide and Low Tide
Ok, so we get to the tides, here is the bay at Spring low...

and here she is 6 hours later at Spring High.
To give you some idea of how high this is, this is the same tame little rock pool Ethan swam in HERE. It was high tide then too, but normal high tide!!
These guys took a bit of a chance ! I didn't see them catching any fish but I sure saw them catching a wave!
Speaking of catching waves, the surfers were out in force too.
Final contrast, high pressure and low pressure.
Remember learning about Land and Sea breezes in Geography classes at school (in my case, somewhere in the dark ages!!) This week I saw it illustrated perfectly, by a horrible pollution making smokestack! I have been intruiged by the different moods across the park, so often when I take my ddd looking out my front door pix, i zoom in on the distant city, and am collecting a whole lot of different views. This week the factory was belching a lot, and after a day or two it registered that there is a pattern to the smoke direction....
in the early morning it blows to the right (out to sea) because the sea is relatively warmer than the land, having retained more of the previous day's heat overnight. Hot air rises, so a low pressure area is created over the sea, and the air over the land moves in to equalise it.
By late afternoon, the land has absorbed more heat than the sea. which now has a relatively high pressure area by contrast. The air is moving in from the sea to the land, to fill that low pressure area, and the smoke has swung to the left (inland).

Daily Pix:


kirsty said...

Wow, Suzi! Love the sound of your old kombi van (and your Dads name for it!!).
Tried to leave a comment on your sherlock post but I often seem to have trouble. Seems worse since you moved to the Cursed Beta :(

RUTH said...

Wonderful photos and info; enjoyed hearing about your blast from the past!. I especially like the Mandela Bay photo.

Libbys Blog said...

I adore your pics of the sea, I miss it so much!!

Sheila said...

The sea is so powerful isn't? I love the photos you have shown us here.
The info was interesting too. We had a smoke stack up the road from where I worked for years, I could always tell what the weather would be like by the way the wind blew the smoke..Who needs the weather man...LOL?

CJ said...

Our tides here on the edge of the longest sea loch in Scotland have been exceptionally low and I wondered what was going on...there has been nothing in the news here. I was very gratified to read your blog about the rare alignment of earth, moon and sun. SA has fantastic news, I really miss all the interesting additions you get there. Love the pics, as always. We travelled through the southern US in a kombi just a little bit newer than yours ;)