10

Photo of the Week 15 June 2017

This week’s challenge for Photo of the Week is Ships and Boats

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Tall Ship in Sydney Harbour

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Meisho Maru – Japanese fishing boat wrecked near Cape Agulhas, Western Cape South Africa

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My husband’s ski-boat, Kiora – Struisbaai Harbour, Western Cape South Africa

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Rowboats on the hard at Struisbaai Harbour

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Narrow Boat on a waterway in Hertfordshire, England

5

How deep are our roots

Today’s one word prompt is Roots  Here is my contribution.

Although I am deeply interested in History, I become a tad bored when some ordinary person brags about their blood line and prattles off a list of great things their ancestors have achieved.  I’m more interested in what they have achieved and how they live their lives now.  Only if they tell me how their roots influenced their choices in life do I prick up my ears and pay attention.

If I were to find out that I was a direct descendant of  Aristotle or Archimedes I would be fascinated and quite proud but I’d wonder why their brilliance had not found it’s way down to little old me!  Perhaps over time the gene pool became diluted.

I looked through some old photographs of my grandparents recently and had some nostalgic moments.  Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles are the ones that shape our lives and even then it’s up to us to reach our potential because of or in spite of them.

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My brilliant grandfather

Granny

The sweetest grandmother ever

Family quote

The roots I am more concerned about today are the ones in my garden!  I have this beautiful milkwood tree, indigenous to the area and protected by law.

Everything we do in the garden revolves around the tree. It provides wonderful shade,  the birds love it and it gives us great pleasure but its ample shade affects the growth of lawn and it’s a problem finding something that will grow beneath it. We are in the process of trying some groundcover now and slow progress has been made.

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The dominant milkwood tree

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This little white eye and his friends love it

There is a very famous milkwood tree in Mossel Bay.  It was used as a “Post Office” during the days of the early explorers. It is marked with a plaque reading: “This post office tree stands near the fountains where the Portuguese navigators regularly drew water at Aguada de São Bras (now Mossel Bay) from 1488 onwards. In May 1500 Pêro de Ataíde, captain of a homeward bound ship of Pedro Cabral’s fleet, left a message here which was found on 7 July 1507 by the outward bound ships of João da Nova. According to tradition the mesthat were lsage was placed in an old shoe and tied to a tree”.

The letter told the story of how four ships from Bartholomeu Dias’s expedition were lost.  The writer also warned future readers of the letter, of the dangers along the Indian coast.

In 1962 the South African Postal Service put up a mailbox in the shape of a shoe at the site of The Post Office Tree.   Items posted there are cancelled with a special stamp.

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This shoe mailbox can be seen at the Diaz Museum Mossel Bay (Photo from the internet

Today in South Africa we are celebrating Freedom Day.  Twenty Three years ago new roots were planted with the first non-racial democratic elections and The Rainbow Nation was born.  Our roots go down deep as we collectively strive to build a strong new nation.

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1

Cee’s Share your World 17 April 2017

Here are my answers to this week’s Cee’s Share Your World

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

Ah writing!   The only time I pick up a writing implement is to jot down a shopping list or to do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.   And then it’s usually a pencil.
The best thing I learned at school besides Reading – was typing.   I have always found handwriting a struggle. My fine-motor co-ordination is not good!

In my early days of teaching filling in the attendance register – and balancing it at the end of each term, writing reports and keeping records accurately was a nightmare – I always had to rewrite things – no tippex was allowed. I was the first person at my school to start doing it all on the computer.  Yay for technology – I embrace it passionately. It certainly made my life a lot easier.

Having said all this – I did learn Italic – and loved it.   But writing by hand is a struggle for me and I very much prefer my devices.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer?

I would love to be both but am not talented in either in the least.  Much to my children’s dismay I break into song at the drop of a hat and Hubby and I are always the first on the dance floor.

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If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating?

I would love to debate anything about Education – like – to give homework or not to give homework.

What are you a “natural” at doing?

I guess I will have to answer that I’m natural at working very hard at anything I tackle because I have no talent for anything!  When I tell people I have no talents they respond with – nonsense – everybody has a talent but they can’t come up with a good one for me. I will tell you, however, what I love doing.  Teaching, writing (creatively and factually), doing stuff on a computer or electronic device – and showing others how to do it.

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Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Easter brought home to me how lucky I am to have such an amazing extended family and even though I don’t see all of them all that often I’m grateful that they’re in my life.

No plans for the next week but I’m sure something interesting will happen.

5

Share Your World 10 April 2017

Here are my answers to Share Your World 10 April 2017

Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.

My first fun run was 5 km which I ran with my friend Chantal (She features later in this post too) – I was in my forties and she was in her thirties.   Then in my fifties I ran an 8km fun run with my grandsons who were about 8 and 9 at the time.  They were both fun events but like Cee I was not ever a competitive runner but enjoyed jogging for exercise.   The last time I ran more than 1 km was when I was 60.   I’ve decided it’s time to slow down to a walk.

Name one thing not many people know about you.

My life is an open book.  Most of my friends have known me for a very long time and I can’t think of anything they might not know about me.  I lived in my home town most of my life before retiring to Struisbaai but some people may not know that from the age of 2 to 5 I lived in Johannesburg and started my formal schooling there.

What is your favorite flower?

My favourite flower is the South African National Flower – The Protea

Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)

I am very happy with everything I have in my house (all of the above except the hot tub) l’d only change one thing – the floors.  I’d like either wood laminate flooring throughout or tiles that look like wood laminate.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

As much as I love living here at the southern tip of Africa, I do miss my Cape Town friends and family.  So I’m always grateful when they come to visit for a few days.  After much re-scheduling Chantal and Jeremy made it here this past weekend.  How wonderful it was to have a good catch up and not have to try and get all the news in during a quick dinner date fitted in when we go to Cape Town.

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The placemats at Potpourri in Cape Agulhas suited each of us appropriately

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Chanty certaily loves her songs

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Translation for overseas readers – That what we have is enough!  Definitely The Earl’s Motto

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And everyone knows how much I love my coffee

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Jeremy wants all those gorgeous girls out there to know that he is taken!

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The sky was amazing at the Southern Tip on Sunday

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A yellow mongoose or six greeted us on the way to Arniston

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This morning we had breakfast at the harbour

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The gang waiting for service

Next week I am looking forward to Easter.  The kids will be coming in large numbers!

1

The All Coastal Bottom Fish Interprovincial Competition

The All Coastal Bottom Fish Interprovincial Competition was hosted by Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling Club at Struisbaai from Tuesday 21 March to Saturday 25 March 2017.   Thanks to Leander Wiit (Chairman of Western Provence Deep Sea Angling Association), DP Burger (Convener)  and Louis  Becker (Tournaments Officer) for their organisation of the event.

The three days fished were Wednesday, Thursday  and Friday.  Conditions were superb although the sea was quite rough on Thursday.

There were nine teams, namely

  • Western Province White – DP Burger (Captain) Iaan Viljoen and Gus Rautmann
  • Western Province Blue – Morne Marais (Captain) Ron Pennninkhof and Philip van der Walt
  • Western Province Juniors – Christof Dahl (Captain) Divan Burger and Karla Rautmann
  • Natal DSSA – Abed Khan (Captain) Heino Meyer and Timothy Munnick
  • Southern Cape White – Terry Terblanche (Captain) Koos Scholtz and Johan Crouse
  • Southern Cape Blue – Rod Kieser (Captain) Chris Schorn and Thys Uys
  • Eastern Province Black – Wayne Gerber (Captain) Christopher Gerber and Sheena Gerber
  • Eastern Province Red – Kevin Clark (Captain) Peter Dawson and Alie Matthysen
  • Border Deep Sea – Rory Leonard (Captain) Allan Ford and Everitt van Loggerenberg

Thanks to the skippers who put in their boats for this competition

  • Kitty Cat – Pietro Cutino
  • Haven – Colin Joubert
  • Sea Dodger – Roger Marais
  • Cavalier – Mark Truter
  • Men @ Work – Piet Wessels
  • GT – Patrick Christodoulou
  • Relentless – Daniel Hughes
  • S-Catman – Louis Bekker
  • King Fisher – Erik Dahl
All Coastal Boats

The boats used in the competition.  Thanks to the awesome skippers.

 

All the catering was done by Marinda de Kock and her team. All can attest to the superbness of the breakfasts, lunch boxes and dinners.

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A Delicious Spread at the Opening Function

The radio communications were ably controlled by Andrew Perris and assisted by Earl Fenwick who also took most of the photographs.

Thanks too, to the following people, Grant van der Westhuizen, Elize Beukes and Dick le Roux   for doing an awesome job as weigh masters at the scales, Mark Westhook for organising the bait and Louis Becker and Patrick Christodoulou for doing the scoring.

At the opening function it was great to see the teams dressed in their colours, newbies were capped and there was an auction to predict and ‘buy’ the winning teams.  He/she who predicted the first, second and third winners would win a handsome cash prize.

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Leander Wiit and Patrick Christodoulou with the newly capped WP Juniors – Divan Burger, Karla Rautmann and Christof Dahl

Launching time was 7:00 am which meant a chilly and early rising if you wanted to enjoy a good breakfast before setting off to nab your catch.  The aim was to get as many bottom species as possible.  They had to be measured, photographed and released. However, if it was a pending record fish it had to be brought to the scales to be weighed.   Yellowtail could be caught, kept and brought to the scales for points.

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Busy at the scales

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An awesome catch of yellowtail by Southern Cape White -Terry, Johan and Koos

The Gerber family – Eastern Province Black –  did exceptionally well and were a tough team to beat!

 

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Sheena Gerber achieved a SADSA Lady’s 6kg line class record with her beautiful yellowtail

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The only juniors fishing and didn’t they have an awesome time – not to mention a three day break from boring old school!

A special word of thanks is due to the skippers of GT, Cavalier and Haven for hosting the Juniors.  Thank you guys for your patience with and your guidance and support of these delightful youngsters.   Long may they continue with their passion for the sport.

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Christof Dahl holding his Red Stompneus which is a pending 6kg line class junior record.

It was a close competition and on Saturday all held a collective breath waiting to hear the final results at the prize-giving function.   Roger and Sonja Marais were particularly delighted to hear that Western Province Blue, the team they ‘bought’ were the winners!

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Sonja and Roger with the winning team!

 

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What an exceptional Eastern Province family in second place

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And Border came an awesome third

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Pietro Cutino (Kitty Cat) was the skipper in third place

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Colin Joubert (Haven) was placed second

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And the top skipper was Louis  Bekker (S-Catman)

And so ended another awesome Suidpunt Deep Sea angling event!

 

 

 

 

 

6

Sunday visit to Arniston

Cara and Shaun cooked us a wonderful breakfast on Sunday morning and we discussed what everyone would like to do on their last day.   Swimming and/or body surfing was on the list so we suggested packing cossies and heading off to Arniston where we could also include a visit to The Waenhuiskrans Cave.  The Earl and I secretly hoped to stop to see a bird or two but time was of the essence so we didn’t stop for too many.

 

You can only get into the cave at low tide which Earl said would be at 14h00.   We were a bit earlier than that so we explored the area a bit and then went for a swim.

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Shaun and Cara with Casper

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Be careful Cansu

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Lolz and Cansu watching the surfers at Otter Beach

 

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Casper also wanted to swim

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Cold – but lovely once you’re in

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Fun jumping the waves

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Recovering from a dump!

The boys did some body surfing and the girls some tanning and then we dried off and set off to see if the cave was doable.

The last time I did it with friends it was spring low tide and looked like this.

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Easy to make your way along these dry rocks

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Not so easy when you have to wade through the tide that is not quite out yet

I decided not to risk slipping on the route to the cave just in case I fell and had to deal with weeks of recovery – not a good idea at my ripe old age.  But the young ones being more sure-footed bravely went ahead.

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Shaun the gallant gentleman giving Cansu a hand

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The Earl watched from the top of the cliff and yelled out directions

To get to the cave you have to go through a smaller one and then crawl through a tunnel.  The kids missed the way at first but Earl was watching from the cliff and gesticulated frantically until they caught on that they’d gone to far. Cara found the tunnel and in they went. As I wasn’t there I couldn’t take photos but these are some from a past trip.

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Inside the cave

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The opening to the sea

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The crawl through tunnel

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Was this Hayley?  I called her name but she could not hear me above the crashing waves

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She was a braver woman than I  – It was indeed Hayley and we had a lovely catch- up when she returned.

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Our adventurers returning

The young ones needed to get back to Cape Town so we decided not to have lunch at the motel which was busy and we would have had a long wait to be served.

On the return I had to yell for The Earl to stop as I spotted a Denham’s bustard – a bird I have to see when doing this drive!

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We saw very little else in the way of birds but it was still and most enjoyable excursion.

 

 

 

4

Fishing and Fun in Struisbaai

Our daughter, Laurie, brought a group of friends to stay this past weekend.  What a great time we had with Cara and Shaun, Dylan and a young girl visiting from Turkey named Cansu – pronounced Yunsue.

They all drove up together after work on Friday evening and we met them at The Michael Collins for dinner.   The fun began from there and it was midnight before we got to bed.

In spite of this Dylan, Shaun and Earl were up bright and early and went out on Kiora to try their luck on the five and twelve mile banks.  And it all went well – more of that later.

We girls chilled a little longer in bed but when we arose Cansu cooked us a Turkish breakfast.  She heated olive oil in the pan, threw in chopped green peppers, tomato and garlic and fried them till soft then mixed in some eggs and then topped it with grated cheese and cooked it slowly.   We sat out at the picnic table and enjoyed this delicious feast.

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Breakfast was a Turkish Delight – Cansu and Cara

Our mission for the day was to show Cansu what the area had to offer so off we set to climb to the top of the Agulhas lighthouse.

 

Cara and Laurie stayed down below but I went up too. The last ladder that takes you to the top is the scariest of all.  You may only go up one at a time.  When I reached the top I found a mom and a very scared little girl refusing to go down.   I stopped to encourage her telling her the story of two other little ones I’d recently had in the tower who were just as terrified but very brave.  Just hold on tight and don’t let go and you will be fine, I said.  I think just hearing a voice other than her mom’s did the trick as the tears dried up and she went straight down.

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Dad and Little Sister were waiting to welcome her – what a brave girl!

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Cara and Laurie walking Caper the Daschund

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Magnificent View from up there

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Down the scary ladder she goes

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But she was not afraid

It is compulsory for every visitor who comes this far south to stand at the very tip of Africa.   As it was the weekend there were a number of visitors but the wait was not too long.

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In 982 a Japanese fishing boat, The Meisho Maru 38 wrecked at Cape Agulhas and can still be seen on the rocks today.  We took Cansu to see it.

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The rocks are rugged – you wouldn’t want to run aground here

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Cansu poses with the ill fated Meishu Maru

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The threatened Black Oystercatcher 

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Casper loves the beach

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Some fynbos

By this time we were all hanging out for a cup of coffee so the delightful gift shop, Potpourri, was our next port of call.  We sat outside as we had Casper and shared a scone – a first for Cansu.

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Potpourri

The boys, in the meantime, were having a great time at sea.  Soon after we got home, Earl called to say they were on their way in and they had fish for supper.

There was a lot of activity at the harbour and some fishermen were cleaning their catch and throwing the guts into the sea.  This attracted about ten stingrays into the shallows.

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A stingray swims in the clear water

These creatures have become very tame, will eat from a friendly hand and allow people to stroke them.  Cansu was fascinated. She kicked off her shoes and waded in.  One of the locals had bits of fish and was feeding them. He told her the stingray was pregnant.

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Getting close and personal with a ray

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“It feels like a jellyfish with fur,” she said

I yelled to Canu to watch the tail but I was on the jetty and she didn’t hear me.

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Ouch – the tail brushed against her leg

Cansu got a fright and there was a small graze on her leg which bled but there was no harm done – the spikes did not penetrate her skin and there was no swelling or pain afterwards.  We just treated her with Allergex ointment and she was fine.

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The Fishermen returning after a successful day at sea

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Shaun has a Santa and a Red Stompneus  Dylan has two Red Roman

Laurie made us a lovely spinach salad, Cara made garlic bread and new baby potatoes and Earl fried the fish – we had an amazing feast.

More of this lovely weekend to follow.