Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A windy welcome

Unfortunately the weather since Shirley’s arrival has been rather miserable. Our plans to paddle to the peninsula have been continuously foiled by rain or bad winds, but we did manage to get out to the Lookout colony. The visit was a short one and we abandoned the exercise due to the wind.. With my hood on my rain jacket up, the sand hitting it sounded like rain, as a friend says ‘So sandblasted I’m white again’.

We also made a trip out to the Robberg colony. It is difficult to put off fieldwork when it’s a beautiful day outside except for the wind so we braved the elements at Robberg. Perhaps a stupidly arrogant option but humans have been pitting themselves against mother nature for years, why stop now? The majority of the walk was pleasant, being sheltered from the wind by Robberg itself, but once we hit the outer edges the wind raged against our forward progress. The island was particularly unpleasant, being out on the exposed mountain side we were gusted and blasted and beat a semi-hasty retreat after the 12 nests had been checked on. There is a certain exhilaration in standing on the edge of a rocky precipice as the wind is funnelled up the slope toward you, with waves pounding all around, the spray being brought by the wind to dampen your face. To open your arms and embrace life, as the wind whips your dreams heavenwards.

A windy welcome to Shirley Van de Voorde from the Netherlands.
Looking along Robberg from a viewpoint.

The wind and waves were pumping!
White-breasted Cormorants staying out of the wind.
The longest bluebottle tentacle I have ever seen!

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