Tuesday, August 12, 2008

cruising the bay part 2

After leaving St Croix Island, we headed for the third of the little rocky outcrops in this part of Algoa Bay, Jahleel, Island.

We were accompanied by a huge Antarctic Skua, a mean tempered scavenger, who flew low over our boat and then deposited a very nasty looking dropping in the sea, we were most grateful for his good timing!

It is not particularly interesting so we bypassed it and headed for the breakwater of the new deepwater harbour at Coega. I have written in some detail about these concrete structures, called dolosse in a previous post. They are enormous, about 25 tons each, and although they look as if they were randomly scattered, each one was precisely postioned using GPS. In front of the breakwater a seal was sleeping, wallowing around in the water with his flippers sticking up. He looked dead until he shook his head, and paid no attention to the boat at all.

We continued along, hugging the coast to avoid the increasing wind and swell, when, near St George's Strand, BINGO!! There in front of us, very close to the beach, we came across a pair of Southern Right whales. We acompanied them for 20 minutes as they gently wallowed along, apparently unfased by our presence. It was so wonderful and humbling being so close to these awesome and peaceloving creatures.

Reluctantly leaving the whales behind, and very aware of what a privilege it was to be in their company for a while, we moved on down the coast, heading past the mouth of the Swartkops River, just as some canoes paddled out to sea.

We passed one of the important beacons that keeps shipping safe, the Deal Light on the Eastern outskirts of town.

And then, as we entered the harbour and passed the harbour Master's tower, it was full throttle back to our berth, and the end of a really memorable and special experience. Thanks Llloyd, it was wonderful!


Ali Honey said...

Oh what a memorable Birthday treat to give each other. I did enjoy seeing all that amazing marine life. Thanks for the wonderul photos.

Imagine living on that island; no wonder they gave it up.

Firefly said...

I'm sure you guys will be talking about this trip for a long time to come.

Great set of photo's again. I specially like the last one of the boat's spray and the harbour master's tower.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am impressed with all of the photos on this post. They are excellent and the subject matter is close to home. I have a thing for dogs, horses and whales.

Brookville Daily Photo

Sheila said...

Great photos Suze.
I love whales. We were in Cape Cod a few years ago, and had the chance to go whale watching and passed it up. I've regretted it ever since.
I can understand the feeling of privilege, being in their company.

Cheesy said...

Once again faboo images suz... you and max need to tell me what kind of cameras you use. Wonderful sights! And the penguins from the previous post had me all a twitter... weeee