Beachcomber for a day

One of the chief delights of living on the whale coast is that there is always an excuse to go rambling along the seashore in search of driftwood. To negotiate much of the tide line one need to be fairly agile. It is a matter of leaping from one slippery rock to another, of wallowing ankle-deep in sodden tangle, of wading through shell-strewn pools and … Continue reading Beachcomber for a day

The Great Benguela Current

  Ocean Currents The sea is subject to the transport of enormous masses of water moving continuously in one set direction. These large ‘rivers’ of water in the sea are ocean currents so important to the navigation of ships, the climatic conditions of continents and the fisheries of the maritime countries. The current systems of the sea may be grouped into (a) those produced by … Continue reading The Great Benguela Current

Shipwrecked French Champagne – Revealing tastes from the past

Scientists say that 170-year old champagne found on a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea actually tasted pretty good. The French bubbly is believed to be the oldest wine ever tasted, and although it was super-sweet, it also exhibited aromas of leather, tobacco and smoke. French researchers are publishing their chemical analysis of the champagne today in the Proceedings of the National Academy … Continue reading Shipwrecked French Champagne – Revealing tastes from the past

Beacons of Light on the Cape Whale Coast

Burning upon some hidden shore across the sea one night, A little reef, the captain said, he saw a shining light. He said there was a lighthouse there, where lonely in the sea, men lived to guard that moving light to trim the land for me. For me, for him, for every ship that passes by that way. I though it must be strange and … Continue reading Beacons of Light on the Cape Whale Coast

The Argonaut or the Paper Nautilus.

Amongst tidal debris there sometimes appears a thin papery shell, bearing on its white surface a ribbed pattern like that which shore currents impress upon sand. It is the shell of the paper nautilus or Argonaut, an animal distantly related to an octopus and like it , having eight arms. The Argonaut lives on the high seas, in both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The “shell”is … Continue reading The Argonaut or the Paper Nautilus.

Antifreeze Fish

Did you know there are fish whose bodies contain antifreeze, like the stuff that keeps a car’s cooling water from freezing? Many kinds of cod-ice fishes, which live near the South Pole, make a kind of antifreeze so that the icy water doesn’t kill them. Here’s how it works. Water turns into ice at what’s called the freezing point, and if you’re in water at … Continue reading Antifreeze Fish

3 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FISH AND A WHALE YOU DID NOT THINK ABOUT

1. Scales vs Blubber : Cetaceans, like whales and dolphins lack the characteristic scales of fish but are equipped with a thick layer of blubber beneath the skin, which fish does not have. As warm blooded mammals they need the blubber to help maintain their body temperature. The body temperature of fish can fluctuate within fairly wide limits without having a detrimental effect. 2. Shape … Continue reading 3 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A FISH AND A WHALE YOU DID NOT THINK ABOUT

Teeth or bristles

Cetaceans divide into two groups in the manner they catch their food using teeth or bristles Most cetaceans have triangular teeth and feed on fish or squid. These include dolphins, porpoise’s narwhals and sperm whales. A number of whales, including most of the largest, feed by filtering crustations and shoaling fish through large plates of bristles called baleen. The baleen whales open their mouths to … Continue reading Teeth or bristles

Waaygat whaling station at Stony Point

Early History of the farm Waaygat The land on which the whaling station was established originally formed part of the farm Waaygat. Historically and geographically the whaling station formed and integral part of the history of Betty’s Bay area. Waaygat passed through the hands of several owners from 1824, including Sir Robert Stanford after which a nearby town is named. ln March 1899 the brothers … Continue reading Waaygat whaling station at Stony Point

Clouds that look like ocean waves. What is it?

     Van Gogh clouds! Like breaking ocean waves. They are called Kelvin Helmholzt clouds, aka billow clouds or shear-gravity clouds    It’s widely believed that these waves in the sky inspired the swirls in Van Gogh’s masterpiece Starry Night. Here’s a special kind of cloud known to scientists as a Kelvin Helmholtz cloud. These clouds look like breaking ocean waves, with the rolling eddies … Continue reading Clouds that look like ocean waves. What is it?