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

 

 

Magnificent book of our South African Coasts.

Magnificent book of our South African Coasts.

This magnificent book “South African Coasts – A celebration of our seas and shores” can be bought online on www.sst.org.za or at SAMREC. The proceeds of the book go to educating our children about the sea. It includes information on Hope Spots. This info taken from Raggy Charters’ website. www.raggycharters.co.za

What are Hope Spots?

Mission Blue defines Hope Spots as special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need protection. About 12 % of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments, etc.), while less than three percent of the ocean is protected in any way. Mission Blue is committed to changing this. Networks of Hope Spots maintain biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us. By engaging governments, businesses, schools, research organizations, universities, civil society and the media, Mission Blue hopes to effect significant changes so that future generations can thrive on a healthy planet, with a healthy ocean.

Port Elizabeth’s Algoa Bay is a Hope Spot. http://www.nmbt.co.za/algoa_bay_hope_spot.html

 

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Three-in-one new tour from Raggy Charters, Port Elizabeth.

Three-in-one new tour from Raggy Charters, Port Elizabeth.

0090080007006010Here’s a nice new tour combo on offer from “Raggy Charters”:

Head off on an exhilarating boat cruise to St. Croix Island in Algoa Bay to see the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. After that it’s off to SAMREC, Port Elizabeth’s marine bird and rehabilitation centre in Summerstrand. Finish the day off with a visit to The Bayworld Museum, Snake Park and Oceanarium in Humewood.

For more information on The Penguin Patrol and to book, visit: http://www.raggycharters.co.za/page/penguin_patrol

About Raggy Charters, in their own words, from their website: http://www.raggycharters.co.za

“As far as we are aware we are the oldest marine eco tour company combined with a conservation project in Africa – since 1992. We are owner run and managed and use the volunteer system to assist in our tours and projects. We specialise in taking tourists, photographers, corporate office party groups, TV crews and marine wildlife enthusiasts on ocean safaris to watch the whales, dolphins, penguins and other natural wonders of Algoa Bay. Our wildlife and whale watching boat cruises possibly cover the longest distance of any ocean safari along the South African coast, lasting for 3-4 hours and covering 50km. This provides guests with a better chance of seeing the full array of marine wildlife Algoa Bay has to offer. Port Elizabeth is a hidden gem in South Africa for whale watching, and other wildlife viewing. With seasonal visits from Southern right whales, humpback whales, and indo-pacific humpback dolphins. We have the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world right on our doorstep. As well as our other resident species including bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, bryde’s whales, Cape gannets and more. All year round we at Raggy Charters can offer guests some great wildlife viewing experiences in our secret and undisturbed bay.”

Lloyd’s wife Dr Lorien Pichegru has been studying the breeding success of African Penguins in Algoa Bay for the past six years, to determine whether competition with purse-seine fisheries has caused the decline in African penguin numbers. Lorien gained her PhD at the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2008 and is currently a research associate at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (click here for a list of her publications). Part of the study involves closing a 20km radius around St Croix Island to fishing by purse seiners who target one of the penguins prey items, the sardine. It has been found that even this small Marine Protected Area around the colony helps dramatically. Click here for more information about the research being conducted on the African penguin.

Dr Pichegru says: “My research focuses on seabirds foraging ecology and life history traits in relation to prey availability and local competition with industrial fisheries, using animal-borne miniaturized recorders, such as GPS recorders combined with pressure sensors, cameras, etc. taped on adults breeding small chicks to determine the at-sea behaviour of several species of seabirds breeding in South Africa, endemic to the region and threatened with extinction.”

See Dempsey’s Blog on Raggy Charters’ feature in the SA Country Life magazine: http://dempseys.co.za/port-elizabeth-features-again-in-sa-country-life-mag

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

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

It’s great to page through the September issue of SA Country Life magazine and spot coverage on Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas. The article “One Giant Leap” written by ex Port Elizabethan, Keri Harvey, highlights the top attraction that Lloyd Edwards of “Raggy Charters” has on offer: whale-watching boat trips from Port Elizabeth harbour into Algoa Bay.

On page 75 Port Elizabeth gets another mention at the end of the article “Pushing up Daisies”  about the Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve which is on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.

See our posting on the reserve:-  http://dempseys.co.za/explore-van-stadens-wild-flower-nature-reserve/

Dale Morris’ article “Free as a bird” on “Birds of Eden” also promotes our area. Although just inside the Western Province, Birds of Eden is only a 2 hour drive from Port Elizabeth. Birds of Eden is a world class free flight bird sanctuary, the largest in the world.

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, we love this place! Thank you for the exposure SA Country Life! Come visit again:)

keri harvey writes about lloyd edwards

Keri Harvey writes about Lloyd Edwards

lloyd edwards of raggy charters

Lloyd Edwards of Raggy Charters

birds of eden, garden route

Birds of Eden, Garden Route

soak in the beauty at van stadens wild flower reserve

Soak in the beauty at Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve

sa country life issue september 2014

SA Country Life issue September 2014