Bee friendly at Dempsey’s Guest House.

Bee friendly at Dempsey’s Guest House.


On a few occasions over the years bees have moved into our irrigation system at Dempsey’s Guest House, not without drama. The recent safe removal of them ended with the beekeeper offering to place a bee hive in our garden. We hope this will become their new home and working place and that the irrigation system might have a chance to work again once the drought has broken.

Previous posts of ours which are environment-related:-

Environmentally conscious at Dempsey’s.

Been ‘going green’ for years at Dempsey’s Guest House, Port Elizabeth.

Dempsey’s is proud to be associated with Greencycle.

 

Adventurer Zakie completes her solo SA coastline walk.

Adventurer Zakie completes her solo SA coastline walk.

We are rather late with this news but it’s still worth sharing. Adventurer Zakie Odendaal, who started her solo SA coastline journey on the 20th September 2016, ended it with aplomb at Ponte do Ouro, Mozambique on the 10th June 2017.  Her parents drove more then 1800km to congratulate her and to walk the last 6km with her. They shared a lovely brunch in Ponte do Ouro and that night their celebrations continued around a traditional South African braai. Congratulations Zakie on your incredible journey!

Zakie’s adventures continue, she has already completed day 2 of her 7 day journey across Swaziland with Keegan Longuiera They’re on a budget of R10-00 per day! We look forward to seeing their photographs and hearing their stories.

 

 

Port Elizabeth listed in top 6 spectacular scuba dive sites.

Port Elizabeth listed in top 6 spectacular scuba dive sites.

Port Elizabeth is one of the top six spectacular scuba dive sites in South Africa and Mozambique.

According to whom we ask?
According to Fiona McIntosh.
Who is she you might ask?
Fiona McIntosh is an Olympian, a hiker and an author, she contributes to the SA Country Life magazine, she is one of South Africa’s great adventurers and lovers of the great outdoors, having skied to the north and south pole, climbed the highest peaks, dived to the depths and kayaked raging rivers.

In the June 2017 issue of SA Contry Life magazine, in her article titled “What Lies Beneath’ she lists her top six spectacular scuba dives sites in South Africa and Mozambique.

How does this interest us?
Fiona lists Port Elizabeth in her top six spectacular scuba dive sites, shining the spotlight directly onto our “Algoa Bay Hope Spot”

In her article Fiona shares the following points on scuba diving in Port Elizabeth:-

  • Port Elizabeth’s underwater world is remarkable.
  • There is incredibly diverse diving in the sheltered Algoa Bay and on more exposed reefs outside.
  • It’s a macro photographer’s dream.
  • The reefs are covered with neon pink sponges, red sea fans and vivid blue sea squirts.
  • Top sites are Bell Buoy Reef and Riy Banks.
  • Visit Port Elizabeth now in late June, early July to catch the Sardine Run or late October, November for diving the chokka egg beds; a unique chilly experience that every exploratory diver should try.

What’s Fiona’s motto in life?
“If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

Thank you to Fiona McIntosh and SA Country Life Magazine for continuing to highlight the magnificent splendour of the natural wonders in and around Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, Algoa Bay.

Natural wonders:-

ALGOA BAY HOPE SPOT:- Algoa Bay is one of the largest bays in South Africa. At the conjuncture of two oceanic systems; the Cape Agulhas and the upwelling current of the Benguela, Algoa Bay presents climate and oceanic conditions favourable for species from two different ecosystems. The islands located within this bay are the eastern most islands of South Africa, representing the last territory accessible by the large numbers of endemic species of the Benguela Upwelling system, one of the richest systems on earth.

What is a Hope Spot? a special conservation area that is critical to the health of the ocean.

http://www.raggycharters.co.za/news/bottlenose_dolphin_capital_world

https://www.samrec.org.za/      Now called SANCOB

http://dempseys.co.za/sa-country-life-featuring-raggy-charters-and-pe-bottlenose-dolphin-capital-of-the-world/

 

wat lies beneath agoa by, prt eizabeth

What lies beneath Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth

sa country life june 2017

SA Country Life June 2017

 

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal rests her weary feet at Dempsey’s Guest House.

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal rests her weary feet at Dempsey’s Guest House.

This brave warrior woman, adventurer Zakie Odendaal, arrived on our driveway recently to put her feet up at Dempsey’s Guest House and to recharge her battery for the next leg of her solo walk along the SA Coastline. YES, she is walking the entire South African coastline on her own, along the beaches and as close to the coastline as possible. She started her journey at Alexander Bay in September 2016 and her goal is to reach Kosi Bay, northern most part of KwaZulu-Natal, by June 2017. She is already ahead of schedule! Travelling with a tent, some good walking sticks and a few supplies, her backpack is lead-like. She trudges 7kms per hour, averaging 50kms per day.

Zakie is a freelance photographer who has had this dream for many years to walk the SA coastline, a tough personal challenge, unaided and without sponsorships. Along this walk she has given deep thought to future walks and adventures, she is considering future sponsorships so that she can raise funds to assist projects to empower and improve the lives of poverty-stricken children.

We asked her what the highlights have been along this walk so far. “The kindness of people” she replied with a beaming smile “along with magnificent nature surrounding me at every step and turn.”

And your lowlights Zakie? Without hesitation she answered: “That would definitely be negative people!”

We wished her well and dropped her off at Bluewater Bay Beach. She was quick to start walking and we watched as she powered on into the pumping east wind. Within minutes she was a mere dot on the horizon, heading for Sunday’s River and later the dunefields of Alexandria, the largest dunefields in the southern hemisphere. Our wish for you Zakie as you close in on your challenge is firm sand for solid footing, mild beautiful weather and the continued kindness of people.

Follow Zakie and her adventures on Facebook and Twitter:-

Facebook:- https://www.facebook.com/Zakie-Odendaal-Adventurer-1650708985257756/

Twitter handle:- @OdendaalZakie

We have a dream…to be passengers in a helicopter flying over the SA Coastline. A couple of months would do it. Just saying, in case a mad helicopter pilot and a crazy photographer with generous sponsors… are listening:)

zakie ready for east coast trek

Zakie ready for east coast trek

 

quick comfort check and she's off

Quick comfort check and she’s off

 

bluewater bay start

Bluewater Bay start

 

typical dramatic landscape of sa coastline

Typical dramatic landscape of SA coastline

 

adventurer zakie odendaal solo walk sa coastline

Adventurer Zakie Odendaal, solo walk SA Coastline

 

ready, set, go

Ready, set, go

 

zakie soaking in the beauty of the sa coastline

Zakie soaking in the beauty of the SA coastline

 

zakie's night space-tight

Zakie’s night space-tight

SA Country Life featuring Raggy Charters and PE Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World.

SA Country Life featuring Raggy Charters and PE Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World.

Turn to page 36 of the December 2016 issue of SA Country Life magazine to find Keri Harvey’s article on Port Elizabeth, the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World. She takes an exciting trip with skipper Lloyd Edwards, of Raggy Charters to St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay, to do some whale and dolphin-watching. Thank you to SA Country Life for highlighting our bay and all the natural treasures within it.

Previous posts of ours on Raggy Charters and bottlenose dolphins:-

http://dempseys.co.za/the-bottlenose-dolphin-reigns-in-algoa-bay/        http://dempseys.co.za/three-in-one-new-tour-from-raggy-charters-port-Elizabeth/

Port Elizabeth features again in S.A. Country Life mag.

port elizabeth, the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

Port Elizabeth, the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World

lloyd edwards of raggy charters, pe

Lloyd Edwards of Raggy Charters, PE

south african country life magazine december 2016

South African Country Life Magazine December 2016

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s deck!

We often spot these beautiful Knysna Turacos flitting from branch to branch, tree to tree in the distance, seldom near and seldom stopping long enough for us to really see them clearly, let alone to capture them on camera. They tend to be shy and skittish. Recently we heard a strange sounding thud on our deck; to our amazement it was a Knysna Turaco that had made a crash landing on our deck and was gingerly negotiating its steps on the coffee table. We observed in disbelief. It stayed a long while and then moved to the top of the couch, a few seconds later it moved into a tree very close by where it stayed for an unusually long time. We managed to take a few photographs of this unusual visitor to our deck. When the bird is in flight, the flash of crimson under those wings will take your breath away. Oh to be in the right place at the right time to capture that sight on camera.

safely in a tree at a distance from us

Safely in a tree at a distance from us

Gentle negotiation of knysna turaco

Gentle negotiation of Knysna Turaco

pretty painted face of turaco

Pretty painted face of Turaco

A Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s Deck!

A Knysna Turaco on Dempsey’s Deck!

We often spot these beautiful Knysna Turacos flitting from branch to branch, tree to tree in the distance, seldom near and seldom stopping long enough for us to really see them clearly, let alone to capture them on camera. They tend to be shy and skittish. Recently we heard a strange sounding thud on our deck; to our amazement it was a Knysna Turaco that had made a crash landing on our deck and was gingerly negotiating its steps on the coffee table. We observed in disbelief. It stayed a long while and then moved to the top of the couch, a few seconds later it moved into a tree very close by where it stayed for an unusually long time. We managed to take a few photographs of this unusual visitor to our deck. When the bird is in flight, the flash of crimson under those wings will take your breath away. Oh to be in the right place at the right time to capture that sight on camera.

knysna turaco on coffee table

Knysna Turaco on coffee table

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

Pretty painted eye of the Knysna Turaco

turaco settles at a safer distance

Turaco settles at a safer distance

Lloyd Road lodgers allow photo shoot near Dempsey’s, PE.

Lloyd Road lodgers allow photo shoot near Dempsey’s, PE.

These Lloyd Road Lodgers nonchalantly allowed a photo shoot one hot summer’s day this year, all I had to do was approach slowly and calmly and the scene was mine for the taking. Close up they are distinctly beautiful. They used to be called the ‘Dikkop’ bird, an Afrikaans word meaning ‘thick head’. Their name has been changed to “Thick Knee” bird.

Here’s a post from “Neseier”, a great young blogger living in the Karoo. ‘Neseier’ is Afrikaans for ‘nest egg’. Here she shares her experience of the Thick Knee:- https://greatgardenbirds.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/three-thick-knees/

From Wikipedia:- “The spotted thick-knee, which can reach up to 45.5 cm (17.9 in) in height, has long legs and brown-and-white speckled plumage which provides camouflage making it difficult to spot the bird in the grasslands and savannas where it roams. Its head is large and round with a prominent yellow eye and a short, stout beak. When in flight or standing in a characteristic position with its wings raised, it shows a striking contrasting pattern. Its legs are long and yellow and the tibiotarsal joint is expanded giving it the name “thick-knee”.

The spotted thick-knee is nocturnal and squats on the ground during the daytime making it difficult to spot. It hunts exclusively on the ground, feeding on insects, small mammals and lizards. It also nests on the ground, lining a scrape with grasses, feathers, pebbles and twigs. The female typically lays two eggs, and males and females rear the offspring together, with both bringing food back to the nest. The birds will defend the nest and adopt a defensive pose with wings spread and tail cocked and will even peck an intruder. Sometimes they will fake injuries to lead predators away from the nest.

The spotted thick-knee is native to the grasslands and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Its range extends from Senegal, Mali and Mauritania in the west to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa in the east and south.”

quite tame yet cautious thick knee birds

Quite tame yet cautious Thick Knee birds

 

 

inquisitive yet guarded

Inquisitive yet guarded

 

exposed watch of the thick knee bird

Exposed watch of the Thick Knee bird

 

The Bottlenose dolphin reigns in Algoa Bay.

The Bottlenose dolphin reigns in Algoa Bay.

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Last week we attended Raggy Charters’ launch of Algoa Bay being the Bottlenose dolphin capital of the world. The venue was The Algoa Bay Yacht Club, always providing great views of the yacht basin and harbour, superb ambience and good food from The Chartroom Restaurant. Raggy Charters runs whale and dolphin-watching tours. Owner Lloyd Edwards, who is also Chairperson of the Baywatch Marine Conservation confirmed that our special Algoa Bay hosts the largest schools of Bottlenose dolphins in the world. For almost 20 years Lloyd has been monitoring the location of these dolphins along with the size of their pods. Since the Raggy tours started in 1997, dolphins have been sighted on 90% of their tours, they have been spotted on the past 28 cruises in a row. Marine biologists at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have recently completed their study confirming that approximately 30 000 bottlenose dolphins use Algoa Bay. We look forward to the launch of a Dolphin Festival hopefully to coincide with Marine Month in October.

Dr. Lorien Pichegru, Algoa Bay Hope Spot chairperson and leading marine life researcher in SA said Algoa Bay is home to more than half of the world’s African penguin population. She said that sustainable econmic growth in Nelson Mandela Bay, could be promoted by blending blue economy and tourism through initiatives such as this one.

On the subject of the African penguin, SAMREC is Port Elizabeth’s marine bird rehabilitation and education centre situated in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve; their main aim is to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured seabirds, particularly the critically endangered African Penguin.

 

Take a look at our post on the new ‘3 in 1’ tour on offer by Raggy Charters:- http://dempseys.co.za/three-in-one-new-tour-from-raggy-charters-port-elizabeth/

Also our share of Lloyd Edwards in the SA Country Life mag:- http://dempseys.co.za/port-elizabeth-features-again-in-sa-country-life-mag/

And this magnificent book on SA coasts; Lloyd and Lorien are contributors:- http://dempseys.co.za/magnificent-book-of-our-south-african-coasts/

 

The Chartroom Restaurant is open to all ABYC members, the general public and also for corporate bookings and evening functions. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Sundays.

Phone 041 585 2893 or 072 462 2676.  Large groups, small conferences and all other celebrations are also catered for.

The Chartroom has an interesting and varied menu, ranging from kiddies meals to pub lunches to steaks and seafood, fresh from the ocean.

The Chartroom also caters to a host of birthday parties and weddings.

Members get to use the facility at no charge. Non Members are encouraged to support the ABYC Community Sailing Program.

 

Sources: PE Herald and Port Elizabeth Express newspapers, Algoa Bay Hope Spot, SAMREC, Baywatch Marine Conservation.

raggy charters poster displayed in our office at dempsey's gh

Raggy Charters poster displayed in our office at Dempsey’s GH

algoa bay: bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

Algoa Bay: Bottlenose dolphin capital of the world

 

 

Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

Unusual sighting of the Sacred Ibis at the beach, Port Elizabeth.

photo of sacred ibis by: steve garvie, dunfermline, fife, scotland

Photo of Sacred Ibis by: Steve Garvie, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

These are very poor photos ( below) taken with a cell phone camera and from a distance but we needed to capture this strange sighting. It was quite bizarre to spot about twelve Sacred Ibis birds clambering along the rocks at Millers Beach last week. All were fishing alongside the regular seagulls for delicacies amongst the rocks. We were under the impression that the sacred ibis wouldn’t be found near the coast but after looking up the information we have learned that indeed they can be found at the coast. “The African sacred ibis thrives in large colonies near waterways throughout Africa. It inhabits wetlands such as marshes, swamps, riverbanks, flood plains and mud flats both coastal and inland. It is also known to visit pastures, ploughed land and rubbish dumps.” That doesn’t exactly say AT the beach, wading through little waves lapping up against the rocks at low tide!

sacred ibis, port elizabeth beachfront

Sacred Ibis, Port Elizabeth beachfront

sacred ibis with seagulls, millers beach, pe

Sacred Ibis with seagulls, Millers Beach, PE