Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wells Estate Pier

I want to bet that most PE Daily Photo readers who live in Port Elizabeth have never actually been to the Wells Estate pier.  Yes, everybody knows where it is and have seen the blue buildings along the N2 just outside Bluewater Bay, but who has ever turned off to have a look. Although I've been there before I decided to stop by for some photos and took a walk along the pier to the end.  This is where I took the picture of the dolphins surfing that was posted yesterday. Unlike Shark Rock Pier it doesn't go into the sea, but I don't know what else to call it then.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Surfing dolphins

On my way to Colchester for a meeting I had some time to play with and decided to stop at Wells Estate to snap a couple of pictures (and look for a Geocache).  Standing on the end of the Wells Estate Pier I noticed a pod of dolphins swimming along the shoreline just behind the waves.  Suddenly they started surfing the waves right in front of me. Now that is always a treat and even better if one has a camera on hand. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014 - Swartkops sunset

On 22 April (today if you read this post on the day it got posted) we celebrate Earth Day.  Earth Day is an annual event held worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection.  The day was first celebrated in 1970 with 192 countries now taking part each year.
 
In celebration of Earth Day 2014 I'm posting a picture of the Swartkops River taken by fellow Geocacher Emile Hallaby, or Speedbird315 as he is known in Geocaching circles, just after sunset from Bluewater Bay.  I'm posting the picture today for two reasons.  Firstly because it's an absolutely stunning picture (I wish I took it myself) but secondly because it's a picture of an area in desperate need of more environmental protection.  And here I'm quoting from the Zwartkops Conservancy website:
 
The Swartkops River is one of immense beauty and has significant enviromental importance. The origin and source of the river lies in the pristine area below the Cockscombe Mountain and the beautiful valleys and surrounding hills are seldom seen due to its inaccessibility.
It is only from below the Groendal Dam that we find the problems of pollution and alien infestation occuring.The river is heavily polluted by water which empties into the Swartkops River through storm water canals,(Motherwell Canal, Markman Canal, Chatty River and the upper reaches in Uitenhage) discharging raw sewerage and many tons of litter and waste from these sources. Pollution from industry and individuals contributes to pollution in the river.
There is growing resistance amongst local residents and the general public to the over exploitation of natural resources which threatens the fragile ecological balance and the sustainability of the river.

Monday, April 21, 2014

An Incidental Tourist at Shark Rock Pier

Last week two fellow travel bloggers, Dawn Jorgensen (The Incidental Tourist) and Di Brown (The Roaming Giraffe) came on a four night Sho't Left trip to the Eastern Cape which I was very privileged to play some part in.  Unfortunately I was busy over the weekend otherwise I would have joined them on the trip.  I did get to meet the two of them and show them around a little bot of Port Elizabeth though.  Here Dawn is getting a photo of Shark Rock Pier to place on Instagram.  Check out their blogs in the weeks to come for some of their posts from the trip.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sundays River mouth

This is the last post in this week's Sundays River Ferry series.  After cruising down the river and climbing the dunes, this is the view you get of the river mouth.
 
The Sundays River is said to be the fastest flowing river in South Africa.  It was originally known as the Nukakamma (Grassy River) by the Khoisan because the river's banks are always green and grassy.  The river has it's source in the Compassberg mountains (the highest mountain in the Eastern Cape) near Nieu-Bethesda.  From here it flows past Graaff-Reinet in a horse shoe, through the Karoo, the Zuurberg Mountains, past Kirkwood and Addo in the fertile Sundays River before getting to this point about 40km east of Port Elizabeth.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

River and dunes

Today is post #6 (and the second last) in this week's Sundays River Ferry series

The dunes at Colchester is part of the Alexandria dune field which is the biggest coastal dune field in the Southern Hemisphere and seriously high.  From the top of the dunes you get a fantastic 360 degrees view of the surrounding dunes, the river below all the way to the river mouth (picture to come tomorrow), Algoa Bay, St Croix Island and Port Elizabeth beyond.  After huffing and puffing to the top the view makes all the effort worth it.  And the best way down? Either flat on your tummy on a dune board or running down like an elephant. You'll know what I mean once you've done it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stopping at the dunes

This is post #5 in this week's Sundays River Ferry series.

A trip on the Sundays River Ferry is made up of two parts.  The actual cruise and stopping at the sand dunes to climb to the top.  Its difficult to decide which one of the two is my favorite part of the trip but I do have to mention that I was getting over bronchitis last time I went down the river with them and I still huffed and puffed up the dune with my tight chest....

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Looking down the Sundays River

This is post #4 in this week's Sundays River Ferry series.

After cruising upstream to the Mackay Bridge the cruise heads downstream towards the river mouth to climb the dunes.  The river flows in a northerly direction with the villages of Cannonville and Colchester on the left hand side before turning east and seaward at Pearson Park.  Looking down the river you can see the sand dunes waiting with the ocean beyond.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Captain Les in control

Today is post #3 in this week's series on the Sundays River Ferry.
 
"Permission to come on board Captain?"  Who would answer this question when you want to get onto the Sundays River Ferry?  Darn, suddenly I want to sing... "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"  This answer may be Sponge Bob Square-pants but that of the former would be Les Kingma.  Les and partner Maggie Mann are the folk behind the Sundays River Ferry with Les expertly steering the ferry up and down the river and who's also the first to take off his shoes to climb the dunes at the downstream turning spot.  If Maggie isn't busy with guests at their guesthouse in Cannonville then she'll join the cruise as tour guide, expertly entertaining guests and pointing out birds and other interesting facts along the cruise.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In our wake

This is the second post in this week's series about cruising on the Sundays River Ferry in Colchester.  The cruise from the jetty first takes one upstream to the historic Mackay Bridge before heading downstream towards the Sundays River Mouth.  Along the way you can see many of the different bird species found in the area, monkeys, jumping fish (like we did on this trip) and if you're lucky perhaps even a water monitor.