Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An evening at St Georges

The cricket season is in full swing and the Warriors were playing the Knights in a T20 match in PE tonight.  Having a cricket mad daughter we headed over to St Georges for a bit of action and action we got.  The Warriors totally outplayed the Knights on all fronts and we even got to see a one handed spectator catch off the last ball hit to the boundary. The next game in PE is next Friday, 9 December, against the Cobras, so make a plan and get out there cause it's lots of fun.  Even better if you take your camp chairs and park yourself on the grass.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday sunset

With the huge fire at Schoenmakerskop and a fire in Fairview there is a lot of smoke in the air which means orange sunsets.  Getting home this evening I noticed that the wind was blowing westerly so no smoke between me and the sunset.  By the time I got home the sun was gone but the sky was beautiful.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Signs that summer is here - Pleasureland arrives

Driving down Marine Drive past Kings Beach this morning I saw one of the signs that summer is here.  The trucks carrying Pleasureland's equipment has pulled in.  Within a week or so all the rides should be set up and that will mean it's time for the holiday hordes to start appearing on the N2.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Van Stadens mountain bike trails

The Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve doesn't only have great hiking trails, it also has a few very nice mountain biking trails.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wyd & Syd - the Best Program Insert on Luister FM

At the first Luister FM 90.6 awards evening last night my Wyd & Syd travel slot on a Friday between 12:00 and 1pm was announced as the best program insert on the station for the year.  What an absolute honor and privilege it was to receive the award.  I'm really proud to be part of the Luister FM team in some way and hope that the slot will continue to inspire people to travel and explore around Port Elizabeth and the rest of the Eastern Cape. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

The story of Mastertons

This past week the iconic Port Elizabeth coffee roastery, Mastertons, launched their new proudly Port Elizabeth BLEND OF THE BAY coffee mix.  Mastertons have been around the city since 1924 and for today's Video Friday post I am posting a video by Lunaticscentral featuring owner James Masterton relating the history of Mastertons and some of his memories and plans.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Have you ever heard of Tufa stromatolite?

One of the aspects of Geocaching is something called an Earth Cache.  An Earth Cache isn 't a physical cache where you have to find a container but rather something that teaches you about the earth and it's geology.  Last weekend I did an Earth Cache in Schoenmakerskop set up by Seekoei NMB called PE Tufa stromatolite ecosystems.  What is Tufa stromatolite?  Please bear with me because this get's very scientific (which means I'm copy and pasting from the listing otherwise I may just be misinterpreting the information.

Tufa is a variety of limestone, formed by the precipitation of carbonate minerals from ambient temperature water bodies. Geothermally heated hot-springs sometimes produce similar (but less porous) carbonate deposits known as travertine. Tufa is sometimes referred to as (meteogene) travertine. Care must be taken when searching through literature to prevent confusion with hot spring (thermogene) travertine. Calcareous tufa should not be confused with tuff, a porous volcanic rock with parallel etymological origins that is sometimes called "tufa".

This now is where the Tufa stromatolite discoeverd at Schoenies comes in.

The first extant marine tufa stromatolites along the southern African coast were described in the early 2000s from Cape Morgan and later investigated in some detail from a geochemical and geomorphological point of view. Located on a dolerite headland shaped into a wave-cut platform, these stromatolites consist of continuous, extensive laminar growths or discrete accretions bridging gaps between separate boulders. In either case, the formation results in enclosed rock pools capable of trapping carbonate-rich groundwater seeps.

Although other rare, isolated examples of similar formations have been reported to occur from Port Elizabeth to Tofu in Mozambique, the recent discovery of numerous and closely spaced living stromatolites on the coastline south of Port Elizabeth appears to be extraordinary.

While the Cape Morgan headland includes about 50 stromatolite colonies, each of about 3 m2 on average, the formations mapped so far to the west of Cape Recife include 540 colonies, ranging in cover from < 1 m2 to > 100 m2.  

Southern African tufa stromatolites are regarded as unique in their nature, because they typically occur at the interface between freshwater seepage points and the marine penetration.  I know this is all a mouth full, but if you read through it carefully and understand it, it really is something very interesting and unique.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pincushion Proteas at Van Stadens

We stopped by the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve on Sunday afternoon for a quick walk.  I've always found that it doesn't matter what time of year I visit the reserve, there is always something in flower.  At the moment it's the Pincushion Proteas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The N2 near Lady Slipper

Standing on the road bridge over the N2 in the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve looking down the highway towards Port Elizabeth.  Looking down on this dual carriage way it's hard to believe that it is the main highway just west of Port Elizabeth.  Nice and quiet.  Just the way we like our roads.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Van Stadens Gorge

Looking down the zig zagging Van Stadens River gorge towards the N2 Van Stadens Bridge while hiking in the Wildflower Reserve yesterday

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A quick hike at Van Stadens

This afternoon we headed out to the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve for a quick walk to go and find the oldest Geocache in Port Elizabeth.  While the Damselfly waited in the car, Drama Princess and I headed down one of the trails in search of this very significant cache.  The Pincushion Proteas are stunning at the moment so I kept on falling behind. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bird Island Gannets at Sunrise

The 19 hectare Bird Island in Algoa Bay is home to 250,000 Cape gannets, the largest breeding colony of these birds on the planet.  In 2014 Alan Straton of MyPE did this great time lapse of Gannets on Bird Island at sunrise.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The town of Despatch

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is made up of Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage, Despatch and the surrounding area.  But how much do you really know of Despatch?

The Despatch area was originally occupied by a flourishing brick industry based here due to the rich clay soil you find in the district.  It got its name from the fact that bricks got dispatched form the original railway siding that connected to the main line running to Port Elizabeth from Uitenhage.  Many of the old buildings in PE and Uitenhage was built with bricks from Despatch.  These days the only reminder of the town's original brick industry past can be found in the form of the old Brick Works chimney built in 1882 and standing in the field nexy to the railway tracks just below the town.

The town of Despatch developed in 1942 and offered a cheaper housing alternative for the fast growing Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth nearby.  In 1945 the town became a municipality and in 2001 it became part of the metro.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Hardy little yellow flowers

I am always amazed when I see flowers right on the coast like these at Schoenies.  I know they are hardy but how they survive growing in sand and bad soil and getting battered by the salty sea winds all the time and still flower like this is above me.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Feeding the donkeys

On Saturday we stopped by the East Cape Horse Care Unit based at Animal Welfare on Victoria Drive for the first time in a while to visit the donkeys.  Naturally we took a bag of carrots along but clearly we didn't have enough.  Will have to visit again quite soon. 

"Hey, did you bring us some carrots?"

"Don't hold it so far, I can barely reach..."

Monday, November 14, 2016

Walking the Animal Welfare dogs

Not everybody are in the position to adopt a dog from the Animal Welfare, but everybody are able to put some time aside to go and walk the dogs.  Visiting the donkeys at the adjacent East Cape Horse Care Unit it gladdened the heart to see how many people are volunteering their time to walk and play with the homeless dogs. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Saturday morning parkrun

We've started doing the weekly Hobie Beach parkrun as a family, both to get us all active and more fitter as well as for the Discovery Vitality points.  Chaos Boy is running a lot faster than what I've ever been able to do while the Damselfly is walking it at this stage as she's not in 100% shape after her last ops yet.  Drama Princess isn't a slouch and at 11 is doing the 5 km at about the same speed I am currently doing so the two of us stuck together yesterday. I'm seriously unfit and carrying a bit too much weight around my middle, but hopefully parkrun will get me active and motivated to go and jog more often again.

Disclaimer - The photo isn't my own and was taken by a parkrun volunteer on photo duty at the Lolipop Beacon turning point.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Shopping Centre Train

I wonder how many shopping centres have a kiddies train that do rounds though the centre like the one at Moffet-on-Main.  Moffet-on-Main is quite a popular spot for families with small children what with the Funky Frogs kiddies play area and a coffee shop for the moms (and dads) right next door.  Whoever added the train had a stroke of genius when they did that as it means that there are always kiddies around wanting to ride on it. So if you are in the centre over weekends and hear loud music and laughter coming from behind then you need to step aside.  The train is coming.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Expedition Africa Baviaans 2017 promo

Expedition Africa is the South African leg of the Adventure Racing World Series.  A race normally covers a distance of about 500 km during which teams of four (usually three men and a woman) cover the distance by running, cycling, paddling, swimming, climbing and doing rope work.  The teams have to plot the easiest way from check point to check point and the top teams barely stop to sleep over the five days it takes them to cover the distance.  The back makers complete it in about ten days which shows that this isn't something for just everybody.  This year's Expedition Africa took place on the Garden Route between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and the Kouga and Baviaans region was selected to host the event in 2017.  The home base will be at Cape St Francis Resort with the course, which stays a secret until the actual start of the race, covering the surrounding area and into the Baviaanskloof.  The promotional video for the race have just been released and I decided to share it with you today for Video Friday.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Richmond Hill Jacaranda

I don't know why but I am noticing the blooming Jacaranda trees around Port Elizabeth a lot more this year than in the past.  Then I saw a picture of this specific Jacaranda Tree in Richmond Hill on Facebook earlier in the week and this morning while in the area recognised it.  So I just had to stop and take a photo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Then and Now - North End coastline

North End Beach back in the days.  A stretch of sand all the way to the Swartkops River which could possible have become one of Port Elizabeth's prime beachfront real estate areas if it didn't fall in the hands of Railways and municipality.  This pictures dates back to 1902 right after the Grate Gale when 21 ships ran aground along North End Beach.

Today North End Beach is no more.  The beach and coastline was reclaimed, railway tracks, Settlers Freeway (M4) and the N2 was built along it and the sea is held back by dolosse.  Sad really when you think of the potential this area could have had.

I know the angle of the Now photograph isn't the same as the Then, but I just haven't been able to find a spot with uninterrupted views of the whole coastline like this one from Richmond Hill.  The houses in the foreground is just above Albany Road.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fresh fish on the PE Harbour

We've never been to the fish shops on the harbour to buy fresh fish but a Saturday or two ago, in search of finding something else to make for dinner than just the usual stuff, we decided to go and have a look.  We landed up in Fisherman Fresh (throw a left as you enter the harbour at the Baakens entrance and follow the signs).  An amazing selection of fresh and frozen fish and other seafoods and so much cheaper than our local supermarkets and the Fruit and Veg down the road from home. We ended up having a snoek braai that evening and tried gurnard rather than hake for a change. Definitely a winner in my book and I will be back for sure on a more regular basis for more.  The service and advise we received was also top notch so if you haven't been and like to make your own fish, this is the place to go and buy it.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Humewood coastline

Some of the landmarks around Humewood Beach. The promenant Humewood slipway pillars, Shark Rock Pier in the background, the cement wall in the front, the steps where the old lifeguard tower used to be and the tripod the rope out to the pillars used to hang from in yester year. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Richmond Hill park

Last Sunday Drama Princess and her school choir sang at the Doxa Deo Artuo church in Richmond Hill.  This beautiful little park with the old Erica building is right across the road from the church.  Imagine having a park like this close to home to walk the dogs, play ball with the kids or just sit under a tree with a book. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Video shoot on the beach

I stopped along Beach Road on Thursday morning to enjoy the nice weather we had for a change and noticed a bit of activity going on at Denville Beach next to McArthur Pool.  It was way to early for people to just be on the beach and then I noticed the with the camera.  They seem to have been busy shooting for a video of some sort.  Wish more people would do shoots on our beautiful beaches and around the city.

UPDATE: Thanks to Grant Slater for the info.  The production was done by Sunshine Coast Studios and they were shooting the Christmas Worship special for SABC 2. Tune in to see great shots of PE, fun beach footage, and the amazing Erica girls choir singing Christmas Carols in the glorious St John's Methodist. Christmas Day, SABC 2 @ 10am.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The longest surfski wave in the world

Every now and then I see a video pop up on Facebook or YouTube and just wish that I could do it.  Yesterday was a day like that again.  It shows a couple of surfski paddlers grab a wave off Cape Recife and ride it for over 2 minutes. How can one not want to try it as well?

Dawid and Jasper Mocke of Mocke Paddling is busy planning a 10 Days 5 Capes paddling expedition in Feb / March 2017 which will take them and those who book the trip with them around Cape Point, Cape Aghulas, Cape Seal and the Knysna Heads, Cape St Francis and the lastly Cape Recife. 

This video was obviously shot as part of their recce of the area and just shows what they can expect when they do it next year.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The red shirt man

After so much wind lately I could not let a much calmer morning go by without at least stopping for a look out over the Bay.  I wasn't the only one it seems and I really liked the picture with this guy in his red shirt standing on the wall between McArthur Pool and Humewood.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tsitsikamma Forest stream

I was in the Tsitsikamma for a meeting today and pinched off a few minutes to go and sit in the forest next to a stream to plug in my soul for a quick charge.  It needs a lot more than just a quick charge but it will have to do for now.  I have a weekend to Hogsback coming up and an end of year trip to the Northern Drakensberg so there are lots of streams waiting for me in my near future.