Wasted weekend

Back in Cape Town and still feeling miserable. Mrs 6000 had to braai last night and drive us back to the big smoke this afternoon.

I can’t believe that there was a beach waiting just 150m down the road and I didn’t even manage to make it out of the front door all weekend.

Throat still ablaze, I’m strongly considering a visit to the GP tomorrow for some antibiotics before this heads south to my chest.

More tomorrow. Always.

Beach Buddies

Whenever we’re walking along the beach in Cape Agulhas admiring the otter, we take a bag along with us to collect any plastic waste we find on the shoreline. Suiderstrand lies behind something of an offshore reef, so it doesn’t get as much flotsam and jetsam as some of the beaches in the area, but it does have a great number of fishermen (did I just assume their gender?) who leave behind miles (or more) of fishing line.

We never come back empty handed.

Further north, the problem with plastic is equally bad. And people are also doing something about it.

Yes, this preamble was merely opening for a link to a Grauniad article about Bill Dale’s Beach Buddies on the Isle of Man, with whom I have parental involvement.

Here is that link to that article.

Bit of hyperbole in the title; otherwise, it’s a nice positive piece about an important and praiseworthy volunteer organisation. And there’s a picture of Port Erin at the top.

Lovely.

As one of 52 Unesco island and coastal biosphere areas, the Isle of Man is focusing now with partners in Menorca, the Maldives, the Philippines and other islands on eliminating single-use plastic from their shores.

If that eventually puts Bill Dale out of a job, he could not be happier.

Indeed. I’d much rather have my hands free for… well… most anything else than picking up rubbish really, as I walk the beagle along our favourite bit of local coastline.

Wildlife

It was an amazing weekend. Wild and windy, but full of spring sunshine, and Cape Agulhas really showed off.

Sure, there was the whale, but that was dead and anyway, we’d already seen snakes and tortoises and the infamous Pengueagle (or Eaguin?) (more on that another time) before we saw her.

And then a walk on the beach this morning yielded Plovers, Kingfishers, a Curlew, some Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia):

…some very dramatic waves, photobombed by a Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus):

…and the highlight of my weekend, a Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capenensis), showing off his catch of (I think) a Carpenter (Argyrozona argyrozona):

We disturbed him as we walked along the beach, but he was as interested in us (and the beagle) as we were in him. He floated a few metres out in the bay with his fish in his mouth before transferring it to his (clawless) paws so he could give us a proper grin.

It was a reminder how lucky we are to have the cottage and how much our kids can learn from visits there. If we’d been in Cape Town this weekend, it would have been all iPads and crap on TV (although less windy, admittedly). Instead it was fresh air (albeit moving rather fast) and some amazing experiences. All in just over 24 hours.

More photos to follow, but I feel like catching up on the footy now.

Of whales

A quick trip around the corner (not this corner, another corner) from the cottage took us to Rasper Punt.

We were there, not just because it’s a nice walk through the fynbos to the beach, but because on that beach was a dead whale.
Dead whales might not be to everyone’s tastes (in fact, I’d advise you not to even think about eating one), but they are interesting when you’ve never seen a dead whale up close before. Sad, but educational.

And so we went to have a look, take some photos, poke it gingerly and slip all over the whale-oiled rocks.

I am not an expert in whaleology, but I think (think) this might be a Humpback. Probably 8-9 metres long, lying on its back, its body attacked by the seagulls and its skin sliced by some humans. And why not?
It’s not going to need it anymore, is it? See my link on “Stuff you can make from dead whales” (jks, I never wrote that post, but I know it’s a lot). Having stood on the rocks with the oil leaching from our floppy friend, my feet are so lovely and soft from all the grease on the stones.
I’ve never felt so young! Just wait til Tim Noakes hears about this.

It was blowing a literal gale while we were down there, so conditions weren’t great for togging stuff, but I got a few which I’ve put onto Flickr already.

Blogging from the far side

It’s ok. I haven’t died or anything. But the local Vodacom mast for the village has, and so I can’t upload anything from the cottage.

Fortunately, the beagle needed a walk, and so I’ve come a couple of kilometres around the corner where my phone has picked up a signal from a mast somewhere along the south coast towards Gansbaai. It’s weak and it’s slow, but it’s something.

So today’s post about the humpback whale (written but not uploaded) will now be saved for tomorrow.

But the beagle is getting restless and so I’m off to enjoy more of the scenery and the crashing waves around here.