Saturday, October 15, 2016

Cape Town, going home, part 1.

Table Mountain, my picture.

The 16th of June is a public holiday in South Africa which fell on a Thursday this year so, being on top of things in the workshop, I took Friday off and went home to Cape Town. It's been about three years since I was last there and it was so good to be home again. Leaving on Wednesday evening wasn't an option because of the cost of flights but by leaving early on Thursday morning I managed to save R1600.00 which made a whole lot more sense to this old man. James picked me up from the airport complaining about having to get up so early. You've got to be kidding me, it's 8.30 in the morning. I must admit it was quite amusing to see how late Capetonians get up on the weekends, somewhere around 9. I'm up at about 5, it must be a Joburg thing. Anyway, we went to the Food Lover's market and bought eggs and other breakfast goodies and then went to James' house to make breakfast, Very nice. When one goes to visit other people in another city it tends to cost them quite a bit to have you as a guest which is something I hadn't even thought about. After breakfast off we went to the Two Oceans Aquarium in the Cape Town Waterfront.
The entrance to the aquarium, my picture.
Here James payed the entry fee and because I'm over 60 years old I went in for half price, cool. That was when I began thinking about how much this was costing him and decided he wasn't to pay for anything else, I would pay for whatever we needed or wanted. I don't want to cost my son extra just so I can come and visit him, makes sense to me.
The Aquarium was fantastic. As we walked in, right in front of us, was a tank filled with clown anemone fish, you know, Finding Nemo. But when I say filled I really mean filled, there were hundreds of them in there. I of course turned into this delighted little child and out came my camera.
I found Nemo, my picture.
The pictures were unfortunately not very good. Low lighting and fish that would just not stop moving around like mad. Oh well, that's the thing about marine fish, very active but really beautiful to watch. It was a public holiday so all the schools were closed. What do you imagine parents of small children do on a day when the children and parents are at home? They take them out and the Two Oceans Aquarium is the perfect place to take them. The place was packed, with shows going on and conservation people doing demonstrations, there was no time for children to get bored and as I said earlier, Geoff was like a child too. I must tell you that I used to keep tropical marine fish myself. I had acquired some ten millimeter glass from a company that made acrylic sheeting which was made on 10 mm glass. This glass would eventually get tiny scratches on the surfaces and would have to be replaced. They would sell off the glass to anyone who wanted it at a very reduced price. I cut my sheet up and made a huge fish tank which I then populated with marine tropicals that I caught myself.
Divers feeding the fish. My picture.
 I was living in East London on the east coast at the time and would go diving with a special net I made. There are of course thousands of different types of fish in the oceans but my objective was to catch the non-predatory little ones. I would collect my sea water in 25 liter containers, take it home and fill the tank. It did take more than one trip to collect enough. I'd fill the tank with fish I'd caught and then started the task of feeding them. This I did by making my own fish food. Various shell fish, bits of kelp and other bits all put through a blender type machine that I still have. I'd freeze this mixture in ice trays and dump one cube into the tank in the morning and again when I got home after work. It was extremely rewarding and therapeutic. That was about thirty years ago so visiting the aquarium was like being back in East London, the only difference was the size of the tanks and the
One of the huge tanks, my picture.
huge fish in them. I had a whale of a time.
I must recommend this experience to those visiting Cape Town, the Two Oceans Aquarium display is magnificent. There are all sorts of marine creatures on display, some of which I've never seen in my life. Sharks of course I've seen, even caught on a line (released after catching by mistake while deep sea fishing). But there are some creatures that come from very deep, places where the sunlight doesn't penetrate. The ocean along the African coast is very deep in places, sometimes up to four thousand fathoms (1 fathom is 6 feet).
I have no idea what these things are named,
I'd call them jelly fish. My picture.
Moray eels, turtles, penguins and some of the most interesting sea creatures from shallower areas are also kept here. There were even frogs and otters ( we didn't see the otters but there was a display area for them.)
The conservationist ladies were telling everyone about the life you can find in the rock pools. Having lived in Cape Town and on the coast for most of my life I knew all about these little creatures. Here's an interesting factoid that you may not know about; if you throw a copper coin into a rock pool, within a matter of days everything living in that pool will be dead. Sad. Here are some of my pictures for you to marvel at, the creatures in the images not the pictures themselves. Ha, ha, ha. Enjoy.
Quite difficult to get a decent picture of
this Portuguese Man Of War. My picture.

The proceeds from this aquarium are used for conservation purposes around the South African coast. Sharks and other creatures that have to be taken out of the tanks, for whatever reason, are released back into the ocean. Sharks are a very necessary part of the ocean ecosystem so don't be upset by their release, it's very necessary and the most environmentally sensible thing to do with the. There are also penguins that have been rescued from various places along the coast and they too will be released back into their colonies after they have been restored to health. They do good work and deserve our financial help if nothing else.

A Box Fish, one of the little creatures I used to keep in my tank.
My picture.
A lion fish, not one of the predators I would keep. My picture. 
While we were still at the aquarium James got a phone call. He became very engrossed in the call while I was snapping away like a crazy thing. He came up to me and said "We have to go. The geyser at home has burst and the house is flooded, sorry. So we had to cut our tour short, which was a pity, and off we rushed.
Since I'm currently not employed and have more time to do the things I want to do, like writing blog posts, I will be spending more time telling about all the amazing things I've been up to since I moved to Johannesburg. In essence that means writing on a daily basis. So the rest of my trip home will be written tomorrow in part two. For now it's time for me to go and visit Toni my sister. She is starting her own business printing "T" shirts and things like Mouse Pads, Mugs and other things and I'm helping her set it up. I wish for her only blessings. She too was in the media industry and she too got sick of it and decided to branch out on her own. As for me, I now work from home doing things like making Toy Chests and so on and so forth. I'll post pictures of whatever I land up making so you can be inspired.
As for those who read this blog and all my followers, I wish you a wonderful life with very little stress and many many blessings from God.
Jesus tells us "Whatever you ask for in my name I will do it." Ask!
Very interesting deep sea anemone. My picture.

You probably recognize this little sole, yep, that's what they
look like in the ocean. My picture.

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