"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on March 2, 2018 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

Then it was on to Simonstown and the boat ride to Seal Island, so named due of the amount of Cape fur seals that call it home. The island is a small 5-acre landmass some 5.7km off the northern beaches of False Bay, and houses around 64,000 seals and a number of seabirds. 

Enroute to Simonstown, my sister took us to the Scala Battery on the hillside above the town. There are three 2.8m cannons in the battery, buts sadly all are in desperate need of maintenance and renovation due to both adverse weather erosion and vandalism. The guns date back to the late 1800’s, and were used as coastal defense weaponry in the Great War of 1916 as well as WWII. 

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During the boat ride to the island, the skipper pointed out Roman Rock Lighthouse which is the only lighthouse in South Africa built on a single rock and been in use since 1861.

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The island is a long and narrow (800m x 50m) outcrop of Cape

granite which rises about 4 – 6m above the high tide mark.

 

There is no vegetation or soil of any significance and no beach; although the ruins of an old radar mast and a few structures from the sealing and guano-collection era (first half of the 20th century) are still evident; and some rock inscriptions made by sealers in the 1930’s can still be found.

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As we set off, the seas were quite choppy and

the skies above a drab grey, with the wind whipping our hair into a frenzy as we bounced across the waves. It wasn’t long before we could see the small island, and going to the leeward side, our nostrils were assailed by the strong smell. We didn’t notice how strong it was on the other side as the wind was blowing it away, but once the wind had died down a tad, we soon realised the only downfall of the small island – the very acrid & pungent smell of the guano!

 

It wasn’t too long however, until the skies cleared a tad and we had some blue peering the angry grey clouds which had turned almost white and fluffy, but still large and looming.

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The seals were everywhere!

 

Almost posing when they saw us leaning over the sides watching them, hoping to get the perfect photo! Due to the dense population of seals at certain times of the year, its predator, the great white shark, hunts in the waters around the island. Unfortunately, we visited at the wrong time of year, so saw only some seabirds, loads of seals and, on looking closer at the images, a vast number of babies! 

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A fabulous outing although I’d like to go back when the sharks are in residence!

 

2 responses to “Home again #8 – part 7 – seals, seals and more seals.”

  1. Pauline Smith says:

    Lots of seals – LOL.

  2. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Wow you certainly know how to capture those brilliant photos thanks for sharing S :o)

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