Cruise to St Croix

As part of Nick's 25th birthday we took a trip to the rocky islands of Algoa Bay

Features penguins, dolphins and us

For a long time we wanted to visit the islands of Algoa Bay, three down, Bird Island to go....

We did this trip with Raggy Charters and we met Lloyd at the PE yachtclub. Soon we were on our way and could have a close look at one of the containerships being loaded.

No sooner had we left the harbour behind and we could see the significant change to the PE skyline with the 2010 soccer stadium nearing completion.

The brains behind this trip seems to be very happy with the ideal weather and the calm seas. There was quite a swell running though and the small boat rode the waves beautifully.

Some seagulls followed us in the hope of something to eat but they were disappointed and soon left us alone.

Mom and daughter looking the part...

...until somebody tried to be funny.

We approach the first island, Brenton Island. Not a good place for nesting apparently as in high seas the waves crash over the entire island.

Now we approach the larger island, Saint Croix. The old house used by whaling companies a long time ago is still in reasonable condition and used by ornothologists as a shelter.

Here we see the main inhabitants of the island. Due to overfishing of their main diet of sardines and pilchards the population has shrunk alarmingly over the past few years all along the South African Coast. A research project is underway to see the effect of a fishing ban in the immediate vicinity.

Some more penguins.

They are not the only inhabitants as there is a sizable population of cormorants, not to speak of the predators, the nasty gulls.

Some interesting folding in the rocks.

I want my mammy!...

We cruise slowly along part of the island while having a few snacks. It is very difficult to go ashore so we stayed on the boat.

The early Portugese explorers erected a cross on their first visit to Algoa Bay, this is a replica used to good advantage by a seagull to see where he can steal another egg.

Close up of the old house.

The view back to the mainland was quite interesting, in the background the Groot Winterhoek mountains, then we see the hill with the quarry used for the building of the new Coega harbour and then the dolosses of the breakwater of the new harbour.

With the economic downturn the development is not going as fast as was projected but at least the harbour cranes have now been installed.

We were treated to a pod of dolphins. With the slow shutterspeed of the camera it was quite frustrating to try and photograph them.

Hopefully they will be here for many years to come even as the shipping traffic increases and impacts on their route.

We left them to their endeavours, turned around and headed back to the PE harbour after a magnificent outing and a closu-up view of these outstanding features of our bay.

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