2

Delightful Weekend with Good Friends

We love having our Cape Town friends to visit us in Struisbaai from time to time and last weekend Tony and Sharon came up to spend Saturday and Sunday night with us.  The weather couldn’t have been nicer.

During our many years of friendship, Sharon and I have waked many miles together so it was great to have her company on my daily strolls.   Of course we did the mall, the harbour and the beach but on Sunday we headed toward Cape Agulhas where we planned to meet the guys for coffee at Potpourri.

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It’s compulsory to visit the harbour

We didn’t make it to Potpourri as we bumped into our mutual friend Sheryl who was working in the garden in front of her B&B.  She was delighted to see Sharon and invited us in for coffee. So we rang the guys to join us and spent a few hours with Sheryl and Alan instead

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Sheryl showed us round her beautiful B&B, Agulhas Ocean House

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Each room has stunning sea views

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The en suites are so luxurious

On Monday we drove to Arniston and looked for birds and wildlife on the way.

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We saw a few birds including blue crane, bokmakierie, pied starlings, sparrows and canaries but I’m always delighted to find the Denham’s Bustard

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Also a little bokkie resting in the veld.

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This rock kestrel at the car park overlooking Otter Beach

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View of Otter Beach

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Tony and Sharon enjoying the view

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It was an amazing day

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View from the deck of The Arniston Hotel

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The cake and coffee was to die for

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Not the Banting Diet!

Sadly our friends had to leave when we got back to Struisbaai but it was so good to spend those two days with them.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

6

Struisbaai Marlin Competition 2017

Last week The Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling club once again hosted the Marlin Competition. This annual event is a great drawcard for deep sea anglers and a wonderful highlight on the Struisbaai calendar.  This year 27 teams from all over the country took part and the competition ran for six days of which only two were not fished due to poor conditions.

The club catered all meals for the teams and there was a wonderful vibe at the evening dinners.  Earl and I hosted Andrew, who was the communications officer and we were appointed the official photographers for the week!

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What a Spread

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Hardworking Girls behind the scenes

The rules of the competition were fairly complicated but this is how I understood them.  A marlin had to be landed, photographed, a DNA sample taken then released.  A video of the fish swimming away also had to be taken.   The angler/boat who caught the last fish would be declared the winner – this was so that their enthusiasm would last to the bitter end!

Three fish were landed.  Osprey caught the first, Woes Lekke the second and Salti the third.

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Crew from Woes Lekke with DNA Sample – second Marlin landed

On one of the evenings Andrew was the Auctioneer and some generous bids were made for the wines donated by some local estates.

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Wines on Auction

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Sold to that man over there

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Should we or shouldn’t we – they did

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A special wine bottled in honour of Shanga

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Shanga is Andrew’s dog who goes everywhere with him

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And what am I bid for last year’s banner?  Quite a lot it turned out and this year’s one went too.

The auction raised R39 000 for the club.  Thanks to all the bidders this will be put to good use a Suidpunt Deep Angling Club.

On Friday there was a pirate party at The Club which was great fun.  Earl and I were the judges and we found it difficult to choose so in the end gave one individual prize and one group prize.  There was no female prize and I was the only girl to dress up and the judge can’t win!

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Tattooed and scary?

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Captain Morgan ready to pillage

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Beware of this lot on a dark night

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The organisation of this event was mammoth.   The caterers did an amazing job and kept us all well fed.

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Hungry anglers enjoying the catering

Struisbaai, I think, thoroughly enjoyed having the anglers visit for a week and each afternoon the harour was a fun place to be as the boats returned from sea.

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The winning boat escorted in by the birds

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Feast from the fishermen

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No fighting please – there’s enough for everyone

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The Stingray will not be left out

 

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Second boat to land a Marlin

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Team Salti were the winners

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Struisbaai -Two Oceans Marlin Competition

When there is a fishing festival or event, our quiet little fishing town wakes up and shows its true colours.   The Tenth Two Ocean’s Marlin Competition held here last week, ( I mentioned it briefly in a previous post) seemed doomed to failure as the weather provided only one good fishing day which was last Friday.  The boats that got to the 45 mile bank were confronted with green and cold water but worked their way back to Halfway House where the water was better and managed to get a few big yellowtail and a Dorado.

Other boats fished outside of the 12 mile bank where they found shoals of small yellowfin tuna. No marlin were hooked but some were sighted.

It’s a marlin competition so no other species counts for the trophy.  So when the weatherman predicted that Sunday’s conditions would be perfect, they decided to extend the competition by one day!  And this is how the competition was saved with one boat catching and releasing a 90kg marlin, the only one caught, thus winning the competition!

Our harbour was graced with many  beautiful boats and brought many locals and visitors down to have a look.
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Some of the boats that graced our harbour

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Gwaza is done for the day

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I love the name of this boat!

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And this one – translation – Hectic Leaks

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@Work – Good name – Fun Boat

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@Work’s towing vehicle – Just love it!

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Black Pearl with crew on board

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Le Boss coming back after a fun day at sea

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And Marco Polo are the winners!

The seagulls certainly welcomed them as did our friendly stingrays who were only to happy to accept the scraps from fish cleaning that were thrown into the sea.

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Waiting for a hand-out

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Dozens of Cape Gulls – adults and juveniles

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Fish guts are a great meal for a gull

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This juvenile Kelp Gull nabs a sanck

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Others want a bit too!

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One of the stingrays

Suidpunt Deep Sea Angling Club  were amazing hosts and each evening good food and company was provided.

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A lovely braai being prepared

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The amazing catering team

The prize-giving was a happy affair and there were some lovely prizes handed out.

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A great new tackle box.

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The winning team – Skipper – Rikus holding the trophy

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Enjoying the prize-giving

 

 

0

Struisbaai and The South League Competition

What a successful South League Off-shore competition it was for Team Kiora – Earl, Gus and Karla (10) and Team Red-Head – (Sam (18) Gareth (22 and Chris (Die ou man at 31)

They all had brilliant catches but Karla was the hands-down winner!   This amazing little girl who has been fishing with her dad since she was barely out of nappies caught two yellow-fin tuna 13,39kg each and two skipjack tuna, 4 Kob, 1 Santer and a red stump.

The men on Team Kiora caught a yellow-fin tuna each, Gus caught 2 skipjack and they each caught 5 Kob.

Team Red Head also did quite well with some yellowfin and red stump.

All the other teams did well too so it will be interesting to see the final results.

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Kiora coming onto the trailer – Struisbaai Harbour

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Karla at the weigh-in with her Yellowfin Tuna

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The smaller species count heavily towards points

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Quite a catch for a 10-year-old girl.  She beat all the participating junior boys!

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Team Red-Head – Sam (Skipper) Chris and Gareth

It was a rewarding day. But after the fun, the cleaning of the boats and fish as well as the cooking thereof must follow.   Karla was exhausted but she still willing did her share of the work.

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Still smiling while cleaning the fish

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Totally exhausted but still prepared to fry the delicious fresh fish

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Sam, Chris and Gareth ready to partake of a feast of fish

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Fishermen’s Friend, Andrew who mans the shore-based radio communications joined us for Earl’s famous fried fish

It was very late when everybody finally got to bed and I can assure you nobody was up with the early sparrows chirping outside my bedroom window!  We decided that cooking breakfast was not an option so instead we headed to Potpourri in Agulhas and enjoyed their delicious fare instead.

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It was way cooler outside than in and what a happy brekkie it was

 

 

 

3

Struisbaai and Share Your World Week 4

It seems a while since I’ve posted anything about Struisbaai so I thought I’d write something today and combine it with Share Your World Questions.

1. What one thing are you really glad you did yesterday?

I’m going to replace the yesterday with today!

This morning we got up later than usual. I have always been an early riser and thought during retirement that I would continue to be up with the sparrows – but not so – Sometimes I only get up after 8 o’clock!   Usually I do a bit of gym then run to the beach and have a swim before breakfast.  Today we skipped the gym part, drove to the beach and had a delicious swim just after 9 o’clock before returning to an ‘Early Breakfast’ of giant black mushrooms and fried banana, tomato, bacon and eggs.  “To die for doll!”

After breakfast we walked to the harbour to see what the boats had brought in.  I will never grow tired of Struisbaai harbour!  It must be the most picturesque and interesting little harbour in the Western Cape.  Or maybe I’m just biased.

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My Beautiful Harbour

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Commercial Fishermen rowing back from their moored boat

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Gulls ready for breakfast

I’m sorry I didn’t take photos of the huge yellowtail being off loaded from one of the ski-boats but believe me there were some beautiful fish.   I concentrated on the commercial fishermen gutting on the slipway and throwing the guts to the stingrays and gulls.

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Ready to clean the mackeral

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Chatting about the catch

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The birds know what’s coming

 

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Breakfast!

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The Stingray won’t be left out.

I am glad we did this today as afterwards we sat at Pelican’s Cafe and had a cup of coffee and met a couple from Cape Town and had a great chat with them. I overheard them talking about birds which is what started the conversation!

2. Are you generally focused on today or tomorrow?

Definitely I am focussed on today although I do make plans for tomorrow. But specially in my retired state I let things happen on a daily basis!  So far I’m having a fabulous day!

3. Would you want to have a guardian angel/mentor? What would they tell you right now?

I am convinced that my guardian angel works overtime on me!   Why else would my life be so good and full of good things happening in it.  I think she would tell me to take every opportunity that comes my way and to enjoy every minute of my life.

4. Would you rather live in a cave house or a dome house made out of glass?

I would definitely choose a cave.  One of my fondest memories is staying in cave accommodation in Kagga Kamma – a private game reserve in the Cedarberg Mountains.  Originally this area was home to the San people who lived in caves.   Caves have cleverly been recreated using artificial rock to blend in with the surrounding mountainside.  They are so cosy and it was great fun staying there.

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

On the mountainside of Fish Hoek which is near to where I lived in Cape Town there were horrific fires which threatened the homes of my sister, aunt, sister-in-law and many friends.   I am grateful that none of them lost their homes in spite of been evacuated or nearly evacuated (some refused to leave in order to fight the fires themselves).  I am grateful the the amazing fire-fighters and helicopter pilots who worked so bravely to beat the fiery monster.

Next week I am looking forward to entertaining friends and fishermen who are coming up for an angling competition.   It will be great to have a houseful again.