The Sweet Service Award goes to Haus & Laib Deli and its co-owner Cheryl Hauslaib, in organising gammon for us on Christmas Eve when they themselves had sold out of it. She called her previous employer Hartlief in Garden’s Centre, and arranged for us to get some slices kept for us until we arrived there. She also has Carrot Salad freshly made for me, when they are out of stock. Continue reading →
Tourists coming to South Africa for the World Cup may have been warned about all sorts of dangers in travelling in South Africa, but one danger they were not warned about was its biggest “wildlife” attraction, the whales.
A 40-ton Southern Right whale, that breached twice near the 32 foot Intrepid training yacht, and crashed onto it the third time last Sunday, has focused world attention on Cape Town, just two weeks after the end of the World Cup.
Last weekend Cape Town Sailing Academy sailing instructors Ralph Mothes and Paloma Werner were sailing in Table Bay, when they observed the whale breaching close by. Normal whale behaviour is for whales to go under, and to pop up on the other side of a boat. This 11 meter whale however landed on the boat, just a meter or two from where Mothes was standing. The mast broke as a result, but being a steel boat, it has not suffered any structural damage, reports the Cape Argus.
The whale breaching onto the Intrepid has caused worldwide interest, as it such an uncommon occurrence, yet it is something sailors do fear. Two streams of reporting in the past week appeared negative for the sailing school couple, who would know about the international rule of keeping 300 meters or more away from whales.
First, other yacht owners who were out in the area allege that the whale was provoked, not only by the Intrepid, but by a rubber dinghy, getting closer and closer to the whale. The Department of Environmental Affairs is investigating this allegation. Second, it is said that the photograph of the whale breaching onto the Intrepid, a most dramatic visual, was photoshopped, and could not be for real. A video that was taken by another boat proves beyond a doubt that the incident happened as reported.
The big whale splash has been the topic of news reporting on American, Australian and British TV stations, and the video of the incident, as well as interviews with the couple, were shown.
While the incident may be a deterrent for tourists going out on whale watching tours in future, it may encourage them to rather see the Southern Right whales from the safety of the cliff paths of Hermanus, the town known to offer the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com