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Nahoon-point Nature reserve as moon rises over the Indian Ocean
Moon over the Indian Ocean
Nahoon Point revisited as the moon rises over the Indian Ocean.
Living in East London on the South/East coast of Africa we are fortunate to be able to watch the sun come up over the Indian Ocean. The trouble is that we live in a typical suburban house that does not have a sea view, something only the rich can afford. The only view we have is a rather poor one from the street in front of our house. So we have to get in our car and travel the 5/6 km to the beachfront to actually see the sunrise over the ocean.
In the evening the sun sets to the west and so while we can sometimes see the beautiful colored sky behind us we really have no place to watch the sun set in dramatic fashion.We have to be content with sunrises and because I really do not like getting up early in the morning this is a problem.
Add to the picture the moon and again the beauty of the moon rising over the sea means a short journey to the beach front or the several view points along the coast. Like most people living in an area where others come on holiday we seem to neglect getting out at sunrise or moon rise. Every now and then we decide to actually make the effort and are seldom disappointed.It is amazing that no two sunsets or sunrises are quite the same.
Yesterday I decided to again make the effort and so it was down to the beach front at 6.00.Before the early morning traffic I drove to the beach front to watch the sunrise and then in the evening Audrey and I drove to the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve to see the sun set, albeit towards the west, and then a short while later the full moon entertained us by rising over the sea.
Sunsets, sunrises and moon rises are not really easy to photograph and the photos never really seem to tell the story but as usual I tried and so I invite you to share in these photos from yesterday.
On the birding front we watched with fascination as a Cape Gannet patrolled the waves and dived deep into the clear Indian Ocean to catch its prey.These beautiful birds breed on Bird Island near Port Elizabeth some 300 km to the south or on the West Coast at Lambert's Bay. It is amazing to know that these birds dive more than a hundred feet into the ocean to find their prey.
A couple of fishermen had some success catching what is locally known as Blue-fish. A couple of surfers also were busy with their catch, namely waves shaped perfectly by the South-westerly wind that was blowing.. Nahoon Reef is one of the best surfing places in Southern Africa and is where the South African Surfing Championship is sometimes held. The rocky cliffs overlooking the point break provide an ideal lookout for surfing fans to watch their heroes.
As we arrived a Tree-rabbit (Dassie) sat on his perch in the coastal bush, catching the last rays of the sinking sun.In the rocky edges of the beach a group of Oyster -catchers darted into the waves to find their food.A Kelp Gull patrolled the sea looking for an evening snack.
The nearby Footprints Museum offers an interesting overview of the coastal region and the history of surfing. A surfboard on display with a piece bitten out by a Great White Shark reminds us that we as humans enter their habitat as visitors. The surfers who frequent the waters on a daily basis are happy to risk their safety, knowing that we as humans do not make up the Great Whites normal diet.
The pleasant restaurant serves light meals and snacks and if the wind is not blowing sitting at the tables overlooking the ocean is a great place for a breakfast or lunch. A walk along the broad walk often provides a view of Dolphins or even Whales as they pass by in the blue waters of the Mozambique Current that kisses our shore.
All in all a most enjoyable hour or two and we decided that we need to make the effort more often.
Footprints Archaeological site
This coastal area is the situation of one of the earliest human footprint tracks found dating back a 124000 years. The nearby Footprints Museum and Educational Center sponsored by Mercedes Benz tells the story of how scientist from the East London Museum discovered in a cliff face in this area these early footprints. The nearby East London Museum also host the famous Coelacanth, a fish that was caught of the coast here that was believed to be extinct for millions of years.