Friday, August 22, 2014

Algoa Bay

This is the one of the most amazing videos you will ever see about Algoa Bay and that is all I'm going to say...   No its not.
Here I would like to quote some info from Wikipedia
Algoa Bay is a wide inlet along the South African east coast, 683 kilometres east of the Cape of Good Hope.  It is bounded in the west by Cape Recife and in the east by Cape Padrone.  The city of Port Elizabeth with its harbor is situated adjacent to the bay, as is the new Coega deep water port facility. 
The bay contains six named islands in two groups of three that according to BirdLife International “are of considerable importance as they are the only islands along a 1,777 km stretch of coastline between Cape Agulhas and Inhaca Island in Mozambique."  Close inshore, near the Coega harbor development, on the north-eastern outskirts of Port Elizabeth, is the St Croix group, consisting of a main island of that name and two lesser islets, Jahleel Island just off the Ngquru breakwater and Brenton Island on the seaward side.  The second group consists of Bird, Seal and Stag Islands.  All six islands and their adjacent waters are declared nature reserves and form part of the Addo Elephant National Park. The islands are closed to the public.
Also worthy of mention, if only as an obstacle to navigation, is Despatch Rock, 2.4 km due east of the Port Elizabeth suburb of Summerstrand. The rock, which is submerged at high tide, is marked with the Bell Buoy.  Further south, about 1 km southwest of Cape Recife, the western starting point of the bay, is Thunderbolt Reef.  Though not in the bay, this hazard to navigation has claimed many ships carelessly entering or leaving.  Thunderbolt Reef is submerged save for spring low tides and the surf crashing on it can be observed from the mainland.
The BirdLife fact sheet adds that 14 species of seabirds, several species of shorebirds and 33 species of terrestrial birds have been recorded on the islands. Eight seabird species were known to breed on the islands in 2007. “These are the only islands off southern mainland Africa where Roseate Tern(Sterna dougallii ) breeds regularly.”  The islands are also home to 43% of the global population of the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus), the majority of which are on St Croix.  St Croix also holds a locally significant breeding population of Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis).
Bird Island is one of only six breeding sites in the world for the Cape Gannet (Morus capensis).  Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) and African Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini) are found throughout the Algoa Bay complex. The island group is also known to hold large numbers of Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata), which in winter roost on the island in their thousands (regularly holding between 10% and 20% of the estimated total Afrotropical non-breeding population).” The island is also home to Cape Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus).
Raggy Charters, the only licensed boat-based whale and dolphin watching tour in Algoa Bay can offer guests close-up encounters with the wildlife in the bay. Species which can be seen on the cruises are humpback whales, Southern right whales, Bryde's whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, humpback dolphins, African penguins, Cape gannets, Cape fur seals, various shark species and various pelagic birds.

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