One moment you are leisurely strolling with your toes in the sand next to the Maitland River and the next instant sweat is pouring down your forehead as you climb THE dune.
How about a little roadtrip around PE? Start on the beachfront and follow Marine Drive along the Wildside to Schoenmakerskop, around to Sardinia Bay and then onto the Seaview Road to Seaview, Beachview and Maitland (perhaps as far as the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve), before returning along Kragga Kamma Road to Port Elizabeth.
This is what the road past Beachview on the way to Maitland looks like. Views for ages.
One of the protea species that you see quite often in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve is the Pincushion Protea. Pincushion Proteas normally have lots of flowers on each plant with the flower heads lasting for quite some time. You get them in yellows, oranges and reds and always make for the most beautiful photographs.
Aaaahhhh, Sardinia Bay. One of my absolute favorite places. Last week we went to Sards for the first time since lock down started for sunset. And a beautiful sunset it was. It is winter though and as soon as the sun is gone it gets cold so we didn’t hang around much longer. I did get a dusk shot down the dune’s ridge to the beach and suddenly wished I could go for a nice long walk.
The dune at Sardinia Bay is probably the best and most popular spot in Port Elizabeth to enjoy a beautiful sunset. We haven’t been for ages and I got tired of seeing other people post photos of it on Facebook, so on Tuesday afternoon I made a suggestion to go when I got home from work and was still putting down my bag when I heard the door close as everybody headed for the car.
Cruising Algoa Bay with Raggy Charters is like a luxury lucky packet. You kinda know what you could find, but when you do it like wow in overdrive. As a tourism marketer promoting the Eastern Cape I have spoken about Raggy Charters and promoted what Algoa Bay has to offer for years with so many invites to join them on a cruise. Something just always came up until I got to finally join them on a cruise a little while ago. Our first big wow of the cruise was a pod of Common Dolphins cashing a sardine bait ball. We followed the pod cameras clicking and at times it felt like the boat was going full tilt to keep up.
Common Dolphins (Delphinus Capensis) is the most widespread and abundant of all the dolphin species, and can be found in pods of up to 2 000. They are highly efficient at capturing small shoaling fish such as anchovies, pilchards and krill. Swimming at speeds of up to 60km/h they hunt down their prey and encircle them driving the shoal towards the surface and continuously tightening the circle around them.
And if you’re lucky, you get a shot like this…
Port Elizabeth and Algoa Bay are promoted as the Bottlenose Dolphin capital of the world while St Croix Island has the biggest population of African Penguins in the world. I was lucky to get both species in one photo at St Croix on an outing with Raggy Charters a little while ago.
Bottlenose Capital of the World – It is estimated that a population of over 28 000 individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins make use of Algoa Bay and the surrounding ocean making it the biggest concentration of bottlenose dolphins in the world. The bottlenose dolphins occur in groups of between 10 and 400 individuals.
For more information – Bottlenose Dolphion Capital of the World
African Penguins – About 60% of the total global population of the endangered African Penguins live in Algoa Bay, 21 000 on St Croix, and 5 700 on Bird Island. Strange enough there isn’t a mainland population in the Eastern Cape and they only occur on the islands.
For more information – African Penguins
Yesterday morning I was slightly earlier on my way to work than I have been because of levels 5 (work from home); 4 (still working from home); 3 (back at the office but in no rush to get up in the morning) and 3.86 (ii) section G, subsection purple with a tint of green, paragraph the doorbell is ringing but there is nobody there, line do they even know what’s going on, I think I’m hungry now, I don’t smoke but just give them their cigarettes. Oh and when can tourism establishments open, stop dragging your feet. But I’m digressing. Coming down La Roche in Humewood the sun was right in front (excuse the dirty window) and I just had to pull over in front of Bayworld to enjoy the moment.
I love the wide angle lens on my new phone. Makes for awesome photos. My thought was top try and get there before sunset this morning. I failed. Oh well, here is yesterday’s sunrise.
A drive up Kragga Kamma Road towards Colleen Glen may just give you a colourful surprise this time of year. I saw a photo of the stunning aloe fence on Kragga Kamma Road in full bloom on Facebook and just had to go and see it myself. The whole aloe fence is probably a good hundred meters in length and all of it is in flower at the moment, making for a stunning site and beautiful photo opportunity.
I’m not a flower expert so I went digging around the internet to find out what kind of aloe it is. My guess was a fence aloe, but it turned out to be Aloe arborescens.
According to Wikipedia, Aloe arborescens, the krantz aloe or candelabra aloe, is a species of flowering succulent perennial plant that belongs to the genus aloe, which it shares with the well known and studied Aloe vera. The specific epithetarborescens means “tree-like”. Aloe arborescens is valued by gardeners for its succulent green leaves, large vibrantly-colored flowers, winter blooming, and attraction for birds, bees, and butterflies.
I’ve got to say, one thing I have missed most because of lockdown is roadtrips through the Karoo and Gamtoos Valley to see the aloes in full bloom this time of year. At least you can still get a taste of it around Port Elizabeth.
The name Sacramento is synonymous with Schoenmakerskop. There is the Sacramento Trail, the Sacramento cannon and the Sacramento Restaurant. But what is the Sacramento. She was a Portuguese galleon that aground just off Schoenmakerskop outside Port Elizabeth on 30 June 1647 in foul weather. By the time she hit the rocky coastline, she had a badly damaged rudder and her sails were in tatters. 72 of the crew made it ashore and set off towards Lourenco Marques (now Maputo), 1400km away.
The Sacramento was heavily loaded with a cargo of bronze cannons cast in Macao and destined for Portugal. The cannon lay undisturbed on the ocean bed for 330 years until 40 of them were salvaged in 1977.
One of the original Sacramento guns stand at the west side of Schoenmakerskop pointing in the direction of where she met her fate.