Sunday, April 30, 2017

Clouds over Port Elizabeth

Last weekend while on the beach I noticed this line of clouds moving over Port Elizabeth.  If I didn't know better I would have thought it was a cold front coming in, but these clouds were moving away and this was the back of it.  Was rather striking... 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

St George's Park fountain

The centre piece fountain of the Pearson Conservatory in St George's Park was made by Andrew Handyside at the Duke Street Foundry "Britannia Iron Works" in Derby in the UK around the same year the Conservatory was built in 1882.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sardinia Bay from the air video

This week's Video Friday post is another of Renaldo Gouws' aerial drone videos, this time of what is probably Port Elizabeth's most special beach.  Sardinia Bay. Enough said. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Shipwreck memorial in South End Cemetery

Probably the biggest maritime disaster that ever took place on the Port Elizabeth coastline happened way back during the Great Gale of 1902.  On Sunday, 31 August 1902 there were 38 ships at anchor along the then North End Beach.  Rain and a south-easterly wind started to lash the bay and by midnight the storm turned into a hurricane.  By the end of the storm on 2 September 1902, 18 of the ships had been stranded on the beach, while the rest all had major damage.  The dead were buried in the South End Cemetery and thousands lined the route to the cemetery as the funeral processions went by with surviving ship-mates carrying the coffins of those that died during the storm.  A memorial stands in the South End Cemetery with all the names of those who died during the storm.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Oupa en Ouma sit op die strand

There is a fun little Afrikaans rhyme that starts with "Oupa en Ouma sit op die stoep..." (Grandpa and Grandma sit on the porch) and it was this rhyme that popped into my mind on Sunday when I saw this elderly couple sitting on the rocks at the beach.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

How old is St George's Park?

I took a walk through St George's Park a week or so ago and along the way I wondered how many people actually know how old St George's Park is.

St George's Park was laid out and opened on 6 August 1861 to commemorate the visit of Prince Alfred, second son of Queen Victoria, to Port Elizabeth exactly one year earlier.


Flags and streamers were flying in every direction, all shops were shut, people dressed in holiday attire, and expectation stood on tiptoe. By a sort of instinct the Market Square (now Vuyisile Mini Square) seemed to be the centre of attraction. Here the naval brigade all dressed in blue and white stood mustered under Captain Chapman and Lieut. Wheatland. The worshipful concillors in ‘tails and gloves’ began to assemble at the Town Hall and looked most grave and dignified. Presently the band struck up and matched smartly down Main Street (now Govan Mbeki Avenue) and up Donkin Street past the Scotch Church. The concillors then proceeded to the Hill and by the time the brigade had reached the spot, a good crowd of people had assembled to witness the ceremony of planting the first tree in the newly-named St Georges Park. A fellow townsman, Mr Birt, had presented the Mayor with a young oak and this was to be the tree.

The Mayor, Mr William Smith, then explained to the assembled crowd the purpose of the meeting, after which he called upon Mr Pearson, the originator of the idea, to address those present. In brief, it was to the effect that for some time a public playground had been needed in Port Elizabeth and that the Mayor was about to plant the first tree in what it had been decided to name ‘Prince Alfred’s Grove’. In later years when people would assemble in St Georges Park they would point to the Prince’s Grove and say; ‘for that and for this spacious playground we are indebted to the foresight and kindness of a former Municipal body who commemorated the first anniversary of a Royal Prince’s visit in inaugurating for the comfort, health, and recreation of their fellow-townsmen for all time these shady walks and extensive beautifully laid-out grounds.’ After this, champagne was produced and amid a volley of popping corks and several repartees, healths innumerable were drunk, and success to St. Georges Park and to the Prince’s Grove pledged over and over again.

-- Port Elizabeth in Bygone Days written by JJ Redgrave and published in 1947.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Building sand castles

While we were on the beach yesterday and Miggie and her friend were swimming, my 15 year old son chose to rather dig holes and build sand castles.  Perhaps we should all take a break every now and then and build sand castles.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Beach fun at "The Rock"

When we were small one of our favorite places to go on a Sunday afternoon was "The Rock".  The Rock refers to the rock below Something Good with the gap through which the waves wash into the little natural tidal pool.  Today we spent a couple of hours on the beach and Miggie and her friend Dinky had a great time leaping off the rocks into the swimming hole.

For some reason I forgot my camera at home but luckily I had my phone.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Conservatory lines

I just can't get enough of the lines in the Pearson Conservatory in St George's Park.  
Great for photography.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Maitlands from the air

Last week's Video Friday post was one by Renaldo Gouws showing off Shark Rock Pier and surrounds.  This week I'm sharing his video with drone footage of the Maitlands area.  We really are fortunate to have such beautiful coastal areas around Port Elizabeth and it's great seeing it from another angle in Renaldo's videos.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Forgotten Footbridge flowers

Behind the South End Cemetery is an old footbridge over the narrow gauge railway line which most people probably have never seen.  It's not really something significant but I know of it because I have a Geocache hidden there.  I went to check up on it the other day after the recent fire and snapped this pic. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Garden stroll

A weekend or two ago we went for a photo shoot in St Georges Park.  No, I don't mean I went to take photos in St Georges.  In February the Damselfly gave me a voucher for a couples shoot with Champayne Creations for Valentines Day and we were in St Georges to have our photos taken.  I'm not one who always like photos being taken of me, especially posed ones, but Lundi did an amazing job and the pics look stunning.  I did take my camera along to get a couple of snaps myself though.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

South End Cemetery in sepia

I stopped by the South End Cemetery last week to check up on my Geocaches in the area and took a slow drive around the cemetery.  It's really sad to see how much vandalism has taken place in the cemetery.  Pity the municipality can't put aside a bit of budget to restore a lot of these pushed over and broken historic grave stones.  Anyhow, I was looking for an interesting angle to photograph and settled on this one, converted to sepia.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Splash Festival crowds

It was Splash Festival time again this Easter weekend and after a bit of a damp squib on Friday, the rest of the weekend turned out rather nicely.  I spent some time at Splash as part of the Luister FM outside broadcast on Sunday and was quite impressed with the amount of people around.  When the wresting started the crowd watching was a bit thin but it quickly grew when Kurt Darren did a performance between two of the early bouts.

Other than the normal two stages with entertainment along with all the stalls, this year had some action packed water and beach sports activities as well with jet ski racing, beach volleyball and beach rugby.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Our little SA champions

Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling

Over the past week the South African Indoor Cricket junior championships took place in Port Elizabeth and Miggie was in the under 10 EP Elephants side taking part in the tournament.  It's been close to 8 months of preparations and the team did not disappoint.  They came through the round robin rounds undefeated although they gave the coach, parents and supporters a few very stressful moments and took on Boland in the final.  After all the stress of close results during the week, the team put in a clinical performance and convincingly beat the Boland team to grab gold and be crowned the SA u10 champions.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing
To put a cherry on the cake for us, Miggie was selected to the SA Junior Girls team while three of the boys made the u10 SA team.  The team also has a non travelling reserve in the boys team and the other two girls in the team were also selected as non travelling reserves for the girls team.  We really are so proud of her for this fantastic achievement being included as a 12 year old in a junior team along with 14, 16 and 17 year old girls.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Drone footage around Shark Rock Pier

I was very excited when I saw that Renaldo Gouws had uploaded some drone footage on YouTube again.  Renaldo may be best known for his political and social comment videos, but his drone videos truly are exceptional.  He has upload three which I will be sharing with you on Video Friday over the next three weeks.  The first one features Shark Rock Pier and surroundings.  Makes me wish I had the budget to get myself a toy like this as well. Enjoy.   

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The beach at Bluewater Bay


Bluewater Bay Beach stretching away towards the Coega Harbour hidden somewhere in the haze on the horizon.  I made a quick stop to snap a picture or two while on my way elsewhere but have to make a plan to return some time soon for a walk along the beach.  The beach is great for land based whale watching as the whales are often spotted not very far behind the surf line.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

St Francis the patron saint of animals

The Animal Welfare Society on Victoria Drive truly needs all the help it can get with so many people who care for animals it is also clear that there are even more who don't really care for animals.  Outside the Animal Welfare building stands a statue and I wonder how many people notice it or know who it is.  It is the the figure of St Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment.  A fitting place for him to bestow his blessings on.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

St Mary's arch figure

The figure on the arch entrance way outside St Mary's Anglican Cathedral next to the Public Library in the Port Elizabeth city centre

Friday, April 7, 2017

Port Elizabeth from the air

I found this clip by Hurricane Productions on YouTube this morning and I see I have commented on it so there is a chance that I have shared it before.  But even if I have, it's worth sharing again.  The drone footage of Port Elizabeth is among some of the most stunning I have seen and really shows off this beautiful city we live in.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A grey day on Kings Beach


This is what Kings Beach looks like on a grey and dreary day.  Empty.  This week is going to be different though with the 2017 LSA Surf Nipper National Championships taking place at Kings Beach here in Port Elizabeth from tomorrow till Saturday.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Final preparation

Life has been hectic and everything is coming in the way of blogging.  Or more importantly, taking photos for the blog.  I'm just not finding time to get out there with my camera and has been snapping pics with my phone to keep going.But like I said, life gets in the way.  Work, family, kids sport, trying to find time to just relax.  To tell the truth, I've even considered taking a break from blogging, but then one looses part of your audience and I have worked too long and hard to build it up.  The next few weeks aren't going to be much different with Miggie playing at the Indoor Cricket SA junior champs here in PE next week before I head to Cape Town for the World Travel Market.  At the moment Miggie's mind is just on cricket and she literally waits for me with bat and ball in hand to get home so we can go and practice in the street.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Bayworld's Sacramento canon



The Shipwreck Hall in the Port Elizabeth Museum at Bayworld has some excellent information on shipwrecks around Port Elizabeth.  The displays contain a lot of artifacts salvaged from wrecks like the Sacramento, Amsterdam and Doddington.  One of the items that form the centerpiece display is a cannon salvaged from the wreck site of the Portuguese galleon Sacramento near Schoenmakerskop in the 1970's.  The Sacramento ran aground in a storm on this coastline in 1647 with 72 survivors making it to land before staring their 1400km walk to present day Maputo.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Clouds over PE

We've been having beautiful skies around Port Elizabeth over the last week or so with tonight's sunset being a particular stunning one from what I see on Facebook.  Unfortunately I'm in Cape Town at the annual Cape Getaway Show so wasn't able to photograph it.  I did photograph this beautiful sky scene the other day while watching Miggie play netball.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Highlights of the 2016 Ironman African Champs in PE

This Sunday its time for the 2017 Ironman African Championship here in Port Elizabeth.  The excitement is building up and the vibe is especially evident on the beachfront.  To get you in the spirit of the event, here is the highlights package from last year's event.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ironman is coming

Preparations for this weekend's Ironman African Championship along with the related events, Ironkids and the Corporate Challenge, taking place on Saturday is in full swing on the beachfront. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beachfront Mussels

I took a break on the beachfront yesterday at low tide and walked out on the little wall between Deville and Humewood Beach.  Out at the end there are loads of mussels on the wall and it made a nice different foreground for a picture looking towards Kings Beach in the back.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A silver morning

This morning on the way to work I just had to stop below Brookes Hill and enjoy the sight of the silver ocean sparkling all the way to the horizon

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Tidal pool overflow

Everybody loves a waterfall.  Imagine my surprise when I spotted this unusual waterfall at Willows Resort on Saturday afternoon.  It's the overflow out of the tidal pool at high(ish) tide.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Willows view

Miggie was invited to a party at Willows this afternoon and when we went to pick her up I took a walk up to the corner next to the top of their water worm.  A beautiful on a stunning Saturday afternoon.  Actually very sorry that we're not camping there this weekend because the weather was perfect.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Orcas off Port Elizabeth with Expert Tours

Usually this time of the year the sardines start to gather off the Port Elizabeth coastline before they start their run up the east coast.  It gives divers and film crews the ideal opportunity to observe the bait balls along with all the dolphin, whale, shark and bird activity that accompanies it.  Expert Tours based here in Port Elizabeth does a number of tours out to see this phenomenon and a week or two ago they had the most amazing encounter with orcas off the coast.  Their footage have now been broadcast on international television and I got hold of the footage on YouTube to share with you today. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Seaview coastline

A hazy late afternoon on the coast at Seaview with an approaching thunderstorm

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Landman's Lake is a little on the low side

I drove past Landman's Lake (the lake on Lakeside Road) today and could not believe my eyes how low the water level currently is because of the ongoing drought.  PE's biggest fresh water lake is but a shadow of its former self.  It is so low in fact that there is a beach all around the lake now.

Coming from Kragga Kamma side the whole section that panhandles out towards Like Farm Centre is dry.  It just shows how badly we need some big rains to come our way.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Car wash waiting room

With the drought and accompanying water restrictions I have refrained from washing my car in my support for saving water.  Unfortunately it got to the point where my car started becoming an embarrassment so I popped by Soapy Joe car wash in Circular Drive.  While they returned my car to respectability I had look around and was very impressed with the facility they have at Soapy Joe's.  In addition to the standard outside benches, they also have a little coffee shop with inside seating and a basic menu offering things like roosterkoek for you to enjoy while reading the paper. Plus they were cheaper than the petrol station I normally have my car washed at. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cooling down at Supertube

I love spending time at the Supertube at Kings Beach.  Once I get going I just can't stop.  Yes, I slow down a bit after an hour or so but I'm like a tank.  I keep going long after the kids have stopped to look for something to eat or to warm up a bit under a towel.  Last weekend we spent a day at the Supertube with Miggie's EP Indoor Cricket team as part of a team building day and believe me, I felt it for a couple of day after.  But who need a gym if you can Supertube?  Unfortunately I didn't take my camera along but I did grab this pic of Chaosboy coming down the slide with my phone.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Low tide next to Hobie Beach

At high tide the rocky stretch of beach between Hobie Beach and Pollok Beach is mostly covered by water, but at low tide it's all exposed and looks rather barren.  Bird Rock can be seen on the horizon in the middle of the picture and Chop Rock to the left.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Volkswagen plant in Uitenhage


Have you ever wondered what it looks like inside the Volsawagen plant in Uitenhage but have never had a chance to go and do the factory tour?  Let me show you through this video I discovered on the Rivista Automobilismo channel on YouTube this morning.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bottom of Russell Road

I know today's photo isn't the typical touristy photo nor one anybody would use to promote the city with.  It's still one I would like to share with you.  I was at a meeting at Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism in Donkin Street the other day and ventured down to Chapel Street and over to the cul-de-sac overlooking the bottom of Russell Road.  Not an angle of the road one get's to see often and hence the share.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A little surprise from SA Tourism

I received a little surprise from SA Tourism in the mail this week.  A pair of coffee mugs with the SA Tourim"Welcome" figure on one side and "FireflyAfrica" on the other.  I don't get to deal directly with SA Tourism often, probably because I'm not based in Cape Town of Johannesburg where they do a lot of their media activities.  It's great though to know that somebody over there notices what I'm doing on this side as a travel blogger and it motivates me to continue doing what I'm doing on both my blogs, Port Elizabeth Daily Photo and Firefly the Travel Guy

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tee off at PE Golf Club

I'm not a golfer.  Not really by choice, more by the fact that I just don't still have time for it as well.  I'd rather be out looking for Geocaches somewhere.  It's not that I've never tried though.  I played the 9 hole Kragga Kamma course probably three times and twice at Sardinia Bay's 9 holes but I don't think anybody who knows how to plat would want to play a round with me.  Perhaps one day.  Last week I spent a little time with Stefan of Fish River Sun manning a sponsored tee box at a golf day at the Port Elizabeth Golf Club.  Yeh, perhaps one day.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Looking down on Walmer

In yesterday's post I showed you a photo I took while out on a bit of a Geocaching adventure looking down at Target Kloof.  Today's pic was taken from exactly the same spot but this time looking down on Walmer.  The Baakens Valley leading up towards Dodd's Farm is on the left with the river visible right in the centre of the picture.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Looking down on Target Kloof

On Saturday morning I went on a little Geocaching expedition at the bottom of Target Kloof.  I had to follow a path to the top of the cliffs overlooking the surrounding suburb and river below and ended up snapping this pic from close to the cache location.  Now I would never have seen this view if it wasn't for the cache.  #justsaying  

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Baakens River still has water

I went to pick up a few Geocaches this morning, one which was next to the Baakens River close to Target Kloof.  It's good to see that there is still water in the river even though we are struggling through a severe drought at the moment and levels are quite low.

Friday, March 10, 2017

An invitation to discover the Eastern Cape

We truly live in a magnificent province with so much to offer in scenery and experiences.  
Why not explore it a little bit more? #ExperienceEastCape   

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The waterfall at InniKloof

Two weekends ago we got to do the waterfall hike at Innikloof outside Hankey and I was amazed that even though we are in a severe drought situation, the river and waterfall still had a decent flow to it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Looking down the Baakens Valley

At had a meeting with Nadine of Passing the Open Window, a fellow travel blogger, yesterday and got to take this photo from their balcony looking down the Baakens Valley towards the harbour.  Nice!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tramways Building mural

On passing through Lower Valley Road today I decided to sop and have a closer look at the new mural that has been put up at the Tramways Building.  The mural, in black and white, depicts scenes and items linked to the harbour, South End and Central.  Included are lots of harbour cranes, trams, city scapes, the Donkin Reserve with the Great Flag and the Grey Institute, birds, a boat and even the St Peter's Church ruins.