Struisbaai with three Generations – Exploring the Agulhas Coast Rock Pools

Earl was up at an indecent hour and went off to fish on Abrie’s boat.  Lauren, Shannon, the boys and I were out of the house by 7:30 as we were to meet Professor Gavin Marneveldt for a rock pool excursion.  His talk yesterday had peaked our interest and we were looking forward to exploring the rock pools with more informed eyes. It was overcast and cool and there was a splash of rain as we drove to Stinkbaai, just next to the Agulahs Camp Site.    It was a good day to have something different to do.  While we waited we explored on our own, watched the competitors in the Cape Agulhas Classic ride past and observed a family of francolin.

IMG_9362

The Cape Agulhas Classic riders were also up bright and early

Crabs having a feast on a fish head in one of the rock pools

Crabs having a feast on a fish head in one of the rock pools

Southern Most Fracolin on an early morning walk

Southern Most Cape Francolin on an early morning walk

There was an excellent turn-out to the rockpool excursion – just a pity more didn’t pitch up to Professor Marneveldt’s lecture yesterday – reason being, I think, because there were quite a few  young children.   This morning they all had an amazing time.

We started at the Littorina zone on the upper shore. This region is named after the small snails that inhabit this zone. Littorina spp. has the ability to survive the severe conditions of heat stress and water loss of the upper shore.

Because of the overcast conditions the periwinkles were out in their hundreds instead of hiding beneath the rocks

Because of the overcast conditions the periwinkles were out in their hundreds instead of hiding beneath the rocks

We worked our way to the other zones, upper balanoid, lower balanoid and cochlear and found all kinds of interesting creatures and plants in the pools. Ninety nine percent of life on earth is in the sea.

Brain seaweed

Brain seaweed

This limpet has a huge appetite and lives on micro organisms and algaes that live on the rocks

This limpet has a huge appetite and lives on micro organisms and algaes that live on the rocks

sea sponge in cochlea zone

sea sponge in cochlear zone

The kids were thrilled to find an octopus

The kids were thrilled to find an octopus

Marine Explorers

Marine Explorers of Stinkbaai

View toward Agulhas lighthouse

View toward Agulhas lighthouse

Chiton -

Chiton found in high tide zone

sea urchin found in cochlea zone

sea urchin found in cochlear zone

Brittlestar on Shannon's hand

Brittlestar on Shannon’s hand

sea cucumber

sea cucumber

After spending a few hours enjoying the rock pools we decided to pop  into Potpourri for breakfast.   Grandpa’s fishing excursion ended early without much fish being caught.

Checking the menu at Potpourri

Checking the menu at Potpourri

Rock pooling is hungry work so a healthy breakfast went down well

Rock pooling is hungry work so a healthy breakfast went down well

When we got home the three boys went to the beach, Lauren, Lisa and I got stuck into cleaning house while Allan trimmed the tree – what a transformation!

After the chores we were all ready for the beach.  The wind had blown away the clouds and the waves were superb for boogy board and body surfing.

The tourists have arrived and the beach is more crowded than a week ago!

The tourists have arrived and the beach is more crowded than a week ago!

Warming up for a swim

Warming up for a swim

Bat and Ball with Simon and Jay

Bat and Ball with Simon and Jay

Si has a good eye for the ball

Si has a good eye for the ball

Catching a wave

Catching a wave

Go Josh!

Go Josh!

What a stunning day it turned out to be.  Tomorrow is our last day and we are all feeling a little low – “why are we letting the house out?” is the lament from the young ones.

Well kids, Cape Town is cool too you know.  And now that Granny and Grandpa are pensioners every cent counts.  We have had a brilliant 10 days and there is always next year!

Watch this space for further reports on our family holiday!  The new title will be “Kokstad Kids in Cape Town”

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