Saturday, November 3, 2007

Cape Town - South Africa

Suppose to be with the Semakau guides to do the Exploratory Walk on the 28th Oct, but duty calls.
For late that night, I have to be at the airport making my way to Cape Town in South Africa on a business trip.

South Africa is buffeted by two oceans (Indian and Atlantic), and where the oceans “collides”and with the different in temperature, the sea here is most active and life most abundant.

Believing that I will have no chance to drink in the local scenery and enjoy its beauties, I left my camera at home. Fortunately, I was still armed with my handphone which comes with a 3.1 Megapixel camera. So this is the first time, I am blogging with pictures taken with a handphone!
(All pictures taken with Sony Ericsson K800i - no editing of any sort)

I was staying in this hotel, that overlooks the Table Mountain. It is a classic geographic term for Plateau, the top is FLAT. It rises to about 900 m, and there are many ways of going to the top, for me I can only enjoy the view from where I was staying and standing, the hotel.

In the morning, the top of this mountain is cloaked with layer of mist, and at times, the whole mountain “disappear” behind this misty shroud, but by late morning with the sun warming and clearing the air, the mountain will appear.

I took the opportunity to comb the beach, and found many dislocated kelps that have been uprooted by the constant pounding of the waves. The waves in this bay is “small”, but bigger waves can be seen outside the cove.

I examined a number of these fallen “trees”, and the trunks are round and hard, and the leaf blades are like leather - Thick and tough. But looking at the anchoring point, it seems to be held by a small root section onto rock. Kelp is one of the fastest growing organism, and in S Africa there are 3 types, of the fallen specimen, I have no idea which one is this.

The kelp forest provides safe haven for fishes, as they can hide from their predators. Sea Otter has been seen using the kelp as a type of "rope"which it will wind around its body when it is feeding on the water surface. This will keep them in one spot and not be swept away.

(Below picture was taken in the Two Ocean Acquarium - Cape Town, showing the simplified kelp forest formation)
The Kelp forest forms a very important part of the eco system just like the trees on land. The root system, the swaying "trunks"and leaves. Many other organisms rely on the kelps for their survivors.

Strewn across the sandy shore, unfortunately are the many shells of mollusks and leftover of human occupation! So similar to most of our shores.

(looking very much like Water Hyacinch, there were many of these that were brought in by the waves)

Along the strewn path to the water line, many native and maybe imported flowers can be seen. Unfamiliar with the S African fauna, I perceive that this may be the daisy, and probably brought over by the early settlers.

There were many types of birds, was unable to capture them with my simple phone.
Gulls flew with the wind and look for leftover scraps from the human. Dove of types, that I have never seen. Over the sky, a flock of ibis flew with their curve beaks.

South Africa faces the same economic dilemma as most countries, the Abalone has been over-harvested. River extraries have been polluted by development effort.

South Africa – there is really so much one can see.

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