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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

 

 

 

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A Whale of a Time in Struisbaai

There are two things my darling husband knows I don’t do.  I don’t fly in light aircrafts and I don’t go out to sea in small boats!  Yet this year found me flying not once but twice in a light aircraft and today, wait for it, I went out to sea in Kiora – his small fishing boat!’

And why was I persuaded to do this mad thing?  Well as I’ve mentioned in this Blog before, I’ve decided to retire adventurously and to do things I wouldn’t in my saner days do.  A little bit of madness in one’s old age goes a long way to make one move out of one’s comfort zone.  Megan was keen to go so I decided – oh well why not!

So up we were before 7 this morning and out to sea we went!   I was not a happy camper for the first half an hour it’s the speed and bumping over the waves that scares me silly, but then I got into the flow and decided I’d better just enjoy it.

To be honest it is beautiful out at that time of the morning which is actually late for most fishermen.

Heading out to sea

In the middle of the ocean

This trawler is from Cape Town

This trawler is from Cape Town and on her way to Gaansbaai

Earl spotted some whales

Earl spotted some whales

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My super zoom camera did not let me down

My super zoom camera did not let me down

I even caught a fish - red stump

I even caught a fish – red stump

We changed Kiora's name to Love Boat

We changed Kiora’s name to Love Boat

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Megan’s Blue Hottentot

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Earl was thrilled to get a beautiful cob

The pyjama shark had to be released

The pyjama shark had to be released

The red roman was released too

The red roman was released too

Phoning and Fishing - After all we girls can multi-task

Phoning and Fishing – After all we girls can multi-task

We moved from reefs to wrecks looking for the best fishing grounds but there was not really much happening today. The scarcity of birds told us that we could try but our luck would be limited so at 11:00 we headed back to shore.

Nice to take photos from the other side

Nice to take photos from the other side

Our beautiful harbour

Our beautiful harbour

Happy Fishers

Happy Fishers

Everybody was pretty tired after all the fresh sea air so after cleaning fish we all had an afternoon nap.   Tonight we are going to Tommy and Megan’s friend’s farm for a braai.

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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.

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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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Struisbaai Gathering of Three Generations – A relatively quiet day

Lauren brought coffee in bright and early this morning. “We’re still on farm time,” she said.  It will take a while to get into holiday mode. With everyone sharing sleeping quarters it is difficult to sleep in and soon the entire menagerie of grandchildren were gathered in our room.

What time is it?

What time is it?

I love you Grandpa!

I love you Grandpa!

Before the hijinks began we rallied the troops and headed for the beach.  It was overcast but there was not a breath of wind and the sea was as calm as a millpond.

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The harbour – I never tire of it

The beach in the early morning

The beach in the early morning

Lauren and Shan braving going in for a swim

Lauren and Shan braving going in for a swim

I was the first to plunge into the deliciously calm and clear water – there were no waves; just some gentle swells.  It was chilly at first but we all stayed in for ages as it was just so pleasant.  Grandpa who is more of a fisherman than a bather came in too but was ever watchful and overprotective, admonishing us for drifting away from the group.  Of course this just set the young ones off on an ever increasing mission to scare him silly!

We headed home eventually and Lauren whipped up a wonderful champagne breakfast (scrambled eggs, bacon, kidneys and toast) for 11 just in time for  niece/cousin Peta-Ann and her hubby’s arrival from Gansbaai.

She is a chip off her Cheffing father's block

She is a chip off her Cheffing father’s block

Cousin Reunion

Cousin Reunion

After breakfast I checked FaceBook and felt a twinge of jealousy to see my friend, Julian’s post about birds he was seeing in Robertson! Earl was impressed with the bass caught too!

Earl and me drooling over Julian's Face Book photographs - birding and fishing in Pat Busch Nature Reserve Robertson - So jealous

Earl and me drooling over Julian’s photographs – birding and fishing in Pat Busch Nature Reserve Robertson – So jealous

Peta Ann has not been too Struisbaai in more than five years and barely recognised the house and the town!   We took her on a little shopping excursion to show her how it had all changed since its earlier days of one co-0p grocery store, a shell shop and a fish shop!

Shopping in the metropolis of Struisbaai!

Shopping in the metropolis of Struisbaai!

The girls and me testing out the quality of the coffee in The Nursery Coffee Shop - It passed with flying colours

The girls and me tested the quality of the coffee in The Nursery Coffee Shop – It passed with flying colours

Peta Ann and Eugene left at 2:30 and Earl, Lauren, the boys and I went to a talk – Close Encounters of the Marine Kind with at the Sanparks boardroom in Agulhas.

Prof Gavin Maneveldt (Department of Biodiversity & Conservation Biology,University of the Western Cape) was amazing.  We were the only people there and seeing that we had our grandchildren he geared his talk to their level.  He allowed the boys to ask questions and engaged with them beautifully.  It was a fascinating presentation and will culminate with a guided outing to the rock pools tomorrow morning.   What a pity that more people did not respond to this invitation.  We didn’t expect it to be so immensely informative. More on this tomorrow after our field trip.

 

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Struisbaai Gathering of Three Generations – Swimming, Shopping and Fishing

A perfect fishing day dawned again.  Earl, Allan and Lauren got up at a very rude hour and quietly slunk off to sea, the latter two having dosed on sea-sick medication the night before!

My rising time, though not as bad mannered as theirs, might have seemed a little extreme to some.  The young ones groaned when I cheerfully encouraged them to join me on the beach for a walk and swim.  “Meet me there,” I called and left them to dawdle over bowls of Otees and debate as to whether or not it was worth the effort.

Once again it was a blissful morning made better that the masses had not yet arrived.   I left my camera behind and regretted it when I spotted a rock kestrel on top of a “Christmas Tree” and then an oystercatcher on the shore line.  By the time I was on my return lap down the beach, Simon and Josh appeared to look after my towel and glasses while I went in for a dip. Heavenly – the sea was calm and clear with hardly a ripple.  A mom and daughter started chatting to me and asked if I were local.  It was their first visit and they were delighted that they’d decided to camp here this year.

Struisbaai is indeed an idyllic place for a holiday. It’s off the beaten track and still a fairly well-kept secret although it’s grown tremendously since my introduction to it in 1982.

It was about quarter past nine when the boys and I returned home with croissants from OK Grocer’s bakery for breakfast(This has got to stop before I gain a ton!)  An hour later the fisherfolk pulled in. Lauren had the biggest and best fish!

Lauren's Fish

Lauren’s Fish

The females of the family decided to bond before lunch and how better to do that than to go shopping!  Yes in Struisbaai!   A new clothing store, Beach Bliss, opened just a week ago and is superbly stocked for men, women and children.

Beach Bliss

Beach Bliss

Wanien is the owner and there is something for everybody

Wanien is the owner and there is something for everybody

What do you think, Gran?

What do you think, Gran?

This one .....

This one …..

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Or this?

We got quite a few items for Shannon – Christmas presents –  so she’ll have to wait to wear them!   Lisa and Lauren also got one or two things and I bought a beach bag.

We were almost done when Earl phoned to find out where we were. Not to be outdone we got him some new stuff too – from another lovely shop in the mall.

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Earl in his new shorts and shirt

All that shopping is thirsty work so we stopped at Cafe dul Sud for coffee/milkshakes.

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Two Strawberry milkshakes, one chocolate a Cappuccino and black for me please!

The girls headed home while Earl and I went to chat to our friends Lynn and Glyn who have a gift shop, Due South, in the mall. We also popped into the nursery coffee shop to get a Christmas loaf for tea.

Friendly Girl in the coffee shop

Friendly Girl in the nursery/coffee shop

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Nursery

Coffee shop

Coffee shop

South Bound

South Bound – a wonderful place to browse

We’ve been looking for a suitable bird feeder and found one a quaint little craft shop which sells all kinds of locally made stuff.

We love it's name and the notice outside

We love it’s name and the notice outside – Not made in China – Buy from your own people.

What a surprise to arrive home to the smell of fresh fish frying in the pan.  Lauren has taken on the mantle from her dad!  It was delicious – the young ones had the nerve to say – Even better than yours, Grandpa! Well equally as good anyway!

What a super star

What a super star – She caught it – She cooked it

The beach was our next port of call – after 3:30 to avoid the harmful UV rays.   And wow – the water was divine – I usually don’t stay in for more than 10 minutes but I just didn’t want to get out this afternoon and the kids were even worse.

The sea was extra blue today

The sea was extra blue today

Kites were flying

Kites were flying

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It’s amazing, Gran!

Shannon got busy with my bird stickers when we got back and they are a-ma-zing.  Thanks you Leah for a wonderful gift.

Difficult to photograph but this one came out quite well!

Difficult to photograph but this one came out quite well!

So ended another lousy day in Africa!   Tomorrow Earl and I are making an early start to go bird watching with a local expert.  Watch this space!

 

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Struisbaai Gathering of Three Generations Day 4

My eyes sting with the saltiness of the sea water, and I reel against the sudden chill as a wave crashes over my shoulders. But soon I am revelling in a refreshing swim as I become accustomed to the temperature.  I frolic in the breakers feeling like a kid again. It is 8:00 a.m. and Josh, Simon and I have walked and run along the most beautiful beach in Africa for half an hour.   How amazing to start the day in the delicious Indian Ocean at the Southern Tip of Africa.   A more idyllic place would be hard to find.

First stop - the harbour

First stop – the harbour

Interesting

Interesting Vehicle

Simon intrigued by the barble washed ashore

Simon intrigued by the barbel washed ashore

The boardwalk connects the harbour beach to the long beach

The boardwalk connects the harbour beach to the long beach

A Kelp Gull sheltering among the rocks

A Kelp Gull sheltering among the rocks

The boys brave the cool waves

The boys brave the cool waves

Wrapping up after

Wrapping up after

Life guard coming on duty

Life guards coming on duty

Back home we found a daughter cooking breakfast

Back home we found a daughter cooking breakfast

Grandpa and Jay, in the meantime, were enjoying a perfect morning at sea – the seasick ones remained at home today!

Jay's Catch

Jay’s Catch

After breakfast – croissants – the boys and I managed to get the last 10 from the OK Grocer’s bakery – and egg and bacon cooked by Laurie – we headed back to the beach.  This time we decided to enjoy the calmer waters of the harbour.

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It’s a safe family beach

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Even the dogs are having fun

IMG_0311After we all enjoyed a swim in the safe waters we enjoyed soft serve ice creams and then spotted Kiora racing into to the harbour.

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The boat to match the vehicle we saw earlier!

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Getting Kiora onto the trailer

The Champions

The Champions – a lovely catch of cob

Shannon and I had a little mishap while watching the hitching of the boat.  Shan wanted to climb up onto the boat and walked down the slipway which was covered with green, slimy sea moss.  Oops she slipped and slid down on her back, hitting her head to boot.  She lay unable to get up and I instinctively went to her aid and yes you guessed it slipped in the same way myself!  In my effort to save myself I hurt my wrist but no other damage done – I might, though, have a small broken bone in my hand!  I will only find out tomorrow when I go to Bredasdorp for an x-ray!  Shan has grazes on her back and a bit of a headache but otherwise – no harm done!

Annie is suffering from torn ligaments in her ankle and had a spare brace that is perfect for my hand which has a rather suspicious looking swollen lump on it- I am managing to type so it can’t be too serious – fortunately it’s my left hand.

Annie and Shannon creating a delicious salad

Annie and Shannon creating a delicious salad

Grandpa braaing the cob

Grandpa braaing the cob

Jay and Simon getting digital

Jay and Simon getting digital

Lovely fish

Lovely fish

Helping the daughter

Helping the daughter

 

Fab meal

Fab meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Struisbaai Gathering of Three Generations – Day 3

Yes – Today dawned bright and still, heralding good fishing conditions.  Earl, Lauren, Jay, Josh and Simon were on the sea by 7 o’clock and were lucky enough to spot dolphins and flying fish!  I could be persuaded to board a boat to see that!   The fishing was not too shabby either.   Grandpa got a lovely red roman and the others were happy to get a few silver fish.   The bad news – they were all sea-sick except for Jay and Gramps!   But they did not suffer long and were back on land by 9:30.

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Red Roman

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Some of the silver fish

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Jay, Simon, Lauren and Josh (looking a bit green about the gills)

After the fishing excursion the wind got up but the kids went off to the beach and spent some time there.  Lolz, Annie and I went down for a while but were soon blown back home.

For lunch we enjoyed Earlie’s fabulous fried fish and later in the day the kids headed back to the beach for a swim.

Master Chef of Struisbaai

Master Chef of Struisbaai

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Finger food

We had a little mishap with a little sugarbird today.  It flew against a closed window and stunned itself.  Jay picked it up with a dish towel and rubbed it a bit. It just lay in a stupor but slowly started to flick its wings and eventually flew onto some washing hanging on the line.  Eventually it felt strong enough to take shelter at the top of the milkwood tree.   I do hope its headache is over soon!  We must put those lovely stickers I received as a gift onto those windows soon.

Concussed female sugarbird

Concussed female sugarbird

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Let me rest a while

What just happened?

What just happened?

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A malachite sunbird in transitional plumage looks on