Monday, 13 June 2016

Minister’s quick action on shark-cage diving, whale watching

Boat-based whale watching and White shark cage-diving activities will continue as usual after a decision to extend for a year the current permits, which were due to expire shortly. The development follows engagement between Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom and the Department of Environmental Affairs after he apparently read about the issue on Tourism Update.

The industry recently expressed concern that the department had not put in place an application process for new permit allocations.

Evelyn Peper, Chairperson of the South African Boat Based Whale Watching Association, told Tourism Update that the action from the Minister ensured that operators would be permitted and able to carry out their activities. She added that he was alerted to the situation after he read Tourism Update and that he took action immediately.
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Saturday, 28 May 2016

Latest News and blogs from the seaside town, Hermanus

Dolphin Escapes Captivity, 

Finds Her Family In The Wild And Has A Baby
This is a tale of survival and hope against all odds.A formerly captive dolphin named Sampal has given birth to a healthy calf after finding her own way back to her family and freedom in the open ocean.  read more

The truth about Mother's Day

TODAY WE TAKE BACK MOTHER’S DAY BY MOTHERING THE MOTHERLESS. There is no such thing as other people's children.  read more

Researchers use Drones to fly through Whale spouts to study the breath of Whales.

Though a whale’s spout looks like a stream of water, that’s actually water vapor from the warm breath being expelled from the whale’s lungs. read more

My 10 Reasons to visit Hermanus this winter!

More than 10 reasons to love winter in Hermanus. Ten Fantastic things to do in Hermanus in Winter. read more

Friday, 26 February 2016

Heroic HMS Birkenhead Sinks 164 years ago and remains one of the greatest maritime disasters in South Africa's history.

The sinking of the Birkenhead remains one of the greatest maritime disasters in South Africa's history.

But what it is chiefly remembered for is that every one of the seven women and thirteen children aboard survived the wreck owing to the gallantry and discipline of the men on board. The soldiers of the British Army regiments, and the sailors and marines under Captain Robert Salmond, jeopardised their own chances of survival by putting the 'women and children first' in a gesture immortalised by Rudyard Kipling as 'Birkenhead Drill'. (read the poem)

This disaster started the protocol of "women and children first!", which became a standard evacuation procedure in maritime disasters. Similarly, "Birkenhead Drill" carried out by the soldiers became the epitome of courageous behaviour in hopeless circumstances.

The story of the Birkenhead begins at the Port of Cork in Ireland in January 1852. There she embarked 479 soldiers from a variety of regiments who were bound for the Eastern Cape to reinforce the British troops fighting in the 8th Frontier War. A number of military and naval officers, more than fifty women and children and a crew of 125 brought the ship's complement to about 693. All these were crammed into an iron hull less than 64 metres long and a little more than eleven metres wide - about the width of a tennis court....

Read the full story

Birkenhead Horses
Various sources mention that between 9 and 30 horses boarded the Birkenhead at Simon’s Bay. The conclusion drawn by diligent researchers, however, is that there were no more than nine horses on board – belonging to military officers, Wright, Bond-Shelton, Seton, Dr. Laing and Booth. They concluded that the Birkenhead was too small to safely accommodate and convey more than this number of horses along with the bales of hay needed for the voyage.   read full story

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

We enjoy the Brisan sundowner canal cruise in Cape St Francis

Cruising for about an hour on the Canal with the Swan of Brisan, was one of our greatest experiences while visiting St Francis on our recent road trip.  The upmarket black and white homes lining the waterways.

On our trip we noticed a number houses being repaired.  In 2012 a devestation fire destroyed 76 houses along the canal, he told us.  A sad time for the family and friends on the canal.

Treat yourself on the Swan of Brisan and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the canals with the abundant birdlife and view some of the incredible houses on display.
Travel Blogger

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Hermanus is a very special place

Hermanus, is a town on the southern coast of the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is famous for southern right whale watching during the southern winter and spring.  

This spectacular seaside town extends from Fisherhaven to Voëlklip and forms part of the Whale Coast Route. Cradled by the mountains and the ocean, Activities in and around Hermanus:

The Fernkloof Nature Reserve is the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, but it is also the most diverse. Nowhere else on the planet will you find such variety of species per square metre? In addition, there are many plants unique to this small area. A drive up Rotary Way will take you to the top of the reserve and has spectacular and sweeping view of the signposted. Several paths are accessible to wheelers – wheelchair users and parents pushing babies in prams.

Bird-watching is developing rapidly in the Overstrand. Its close proximity to the mountains and the sea results not only in a huge variety of flora but also bird species, which can be observed in Fernkloof, Middelvlei, Fisherhaven and along the Klein River and lagoon.

The Hermanus Cliff Path runs almost the whole length of the town for 12 km and stretches from Grotto Beach in Voëlklip all the way to the New Harbour. The rocky cliffs, varied seascapes, the multi-coloured lichen, coastal shrubs endemic to the easily accessed coastal walks in the world.

Hoy’s Koppie is an interesting and historical feature in the middle of town. There is a walkway to the top of the koppie which provides a lovely viewpoint of 360 degrees over the town.

Hermanus is known as the land-based whale watching capital of the world and from June to early December whales can be viewed up close from the Cliff Path, a whale-watching boat, or from a light aircraft. Ther hermanus Whale Crier has the status of a town crier, and is the only whale crier in the world. He is arguably the most photographed person in South Africa by visitors.

Welcome to Hermanus and enjoy your stay in our spectacular town.

Sources: Hermanus Online -  Hermanus Times  - Hermanus Tourism

Friday, 19 February 2016

Hermanus Blog, a very special seaside town in South Africa

Why do the whales move away from Walkerbay, Hermanus?

Do the whales move away because of Wi Fi?

I have a theory. Our whales do not return to Walkerbay because of the distress caused by Wi-Fi signals to the whales and new-born babies.

Southern Right Whales annually visit the Hermanus, Walkerbay area to mate and to calve. They will stay for about six months to nurse their young and then return to the krill enriched Antarctic waters.  During this time the baby whales will nurse on their mothers and learn communicating skills through typical whale behaviour; lob tailing, tail slapping, spy hopping and breaching.
However, the whales are now moving away or worse, not returning at all! In 2009 mother and calve pairs were observed from June up to mid-January.  The 2015 whale watching season has ended mid-November with after slow arrivals from July.  read more...

The world's last remaining wooden whaling ship (172 years old) has sailed again to save the whales.

The world's last remaining wooden whaling ship has sailed again.  Built in 1841, retired 80 years later, and kept on display since then, the Charles W. Morgan set sail in July in the waters off Cape Cod.  Once it roamed the seas to harvest whales. After more than five years of restoration, the majestic sailing ship is now used as a tool at Mystic Seaport to educate the public about preserving and protecting whales.

This summer the whale ship is plying New England waters after an extensive five-year restoration at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. The ship is bringing a public exhibit on America's whaling history to ports between New London, Connecticut, and Boston. The Morgan, a National Historic Landmark, is the second oldest ship in America after the U.S.S. Constitution, a warship built in 1797.  Click to read the full blog | article

What do we know about Loggerhead turtles?

To see these magnificent creatures make their way up the beach, dig a hole with their flippers, lay their eggs, carefully cover up their nest, camouflage the site and return to the ocean is a rare and special experience, especially in view of the fact that the loggerhead is listed as vulnerable and the leatherback listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

The loggerhead sea turtle is the world's largest hard-shelled turtle. Adults have an average weight range of 80 to 200 kg (180 to 440 lb) and a length range of 70 to 95 cm (28 to 37 in). The head of the loggerhead is large and square. The shell is dark to yellow-brown and tapers to the rear with a row of five large plates on either side of the central plates. The shell plates on the loggerhead turtle do not overlap. The most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons than the females. The loggerhead reaches sexual maturity within 17–33 years and has a lifespan of 47–67 years.  Click to read the full blog

Hermanus, a South African seaside town and it's history

Hermanus Historical information

This gorgeous seaside town, Hermanus has a proud history dating back to the early 1800s when a man by the name of Hermanus Pieters followed a path etched into the ground by a herd of elephants. Hermanus Pieters was a traveling teacher and Shepard who growing tired of his locality, made the decision to pack up and try somewhere new. He wandered south of Caledon along the elephant trail and ended up next to the sea where he discovered a fresh spring. Hermanus Pieters decided to set up camps here because of this spring and the fine grazing the land provided for his livestock. This beautiful setting became known as Hermanuspietersfontein (directly translated as Hermanus Pieters Fountain).