Day 374 – Dassen Island by night

I didn’t think that the image below deserved Flickr status (that said, I think that the one of the cormorant probably shouldn’t be there either), but I still quite like it. So let’s preserve it for posterity right here.

Dassen Island sits about 9km off the coast at Yzerfontein. There’s not much there save for a lighthouse…

…a penguin colony and a lot of gannets, but a quick look at Google Maps does indicate a little infrastructure at the north end of the island – including that jetty.

And there’s even less to see at night. Because it’s dark, see?

However, if you grab the tripod, stick your short lens on, shelter your camera from the howling wind and time your longish exposure to pick out a flash from the 1.4Mcd light on the 29m tall tower, you can pick out all of the meagre detail: from that lighthouse in the south to the jetty lights in the north, through the evening heat haze. Like this:

Not amazing. But something different. And thinned. Thinned images are still very en vogue.

And that Dassen Island lighthouse characteristic?

Fl(2) W 30s – two white flashes every 30 seconds. I needed to know this so I could time my shot correctly, but when I looked it up, that setup rang a bell with me. And yes, a quick check confirmed that that is exactly the same characteristic as the Langness Lighthouse at Dreswick Point in the Isle of Man. It scares me that I recognised this.

Day 361 – Back home, but…

It was a wonderful weekend away, but I feel like I might need another weekend away just to get myself repaired from this weekend away. Sun, fun, sand, drink, laughter, cricket with the kids, some good long beach walks and not quite enough sleep (despite my very best efforts).

And I’m always happy to get safely off the R27 West Coast Deathtrap Road in one piece.

It’s back to school for the last week of term tomorrow and I’m already dreading the 6am alarm call.

For the record, I found this page all about the place in which we stayed, and its fascinating history. Suffice to say, it’s been upgraded a great deal since those images were taken (and the big spinny thing on the roof has disappeared). But you can still see the very solid, reinforced concrete structure when you know what you’re looking for.

Photos on the way – really. But let me grab a good night’s rest first, ok?

Day 360 – Birds

Ah. The full 360. And that’s why we’re just about to come back to where we started with another hard lockdown.


Sunnier, warmer and less windy today (although that last one starting from a very high baseline), so the Boy Wonder and I grabbed a camera and went for a wander around our weekend neighbourhood.

Not much special stuff going on togging-wise in the bright sunshine, but good to get some fresh air and take in some rays as we headed through town and then back along the coastline.

I’ll need to lob them into Lightroom when I get chance, but in the meantime (because I’d rather be looking at the sea than a computer screen), please enjoy a Cape Cormorant and a Three-Banded Plover. Despite the Cape Cormorant being much smaller than his White-Breasted cousin, there’s actually still quite a size different between the two birds above (65cm v 18cm). However, because of the cropping and the fact that one was far. away. it doesn’t seem that way.

More photos to follow. “Soon”.

Day 323 – Shaky

I know that there are lot of other things going on at the moment: loadshedding, football, some virusy thing (apparently, anyway), but something else just caught my interest and I thought it worth sharing here.

I’m on the USGS mailing list. They tell me whenever there’s a “big” (> M6.0) earthquake anywhere in the world so that I can be ready in case the Cape Town tsunami is on its way.

The good news is that we’re safe (for the moment anyway), but things on the seismological front have been very busy – much busier than usual.

Including that M7.5 Chunky Boi (which was later upgraded to M7.7!). And it’s continued into yesterday (when I’m writing this post).

If you lower your expectations (and let’s face it, you’re here, so they can’t have been that high anyway) and set your earthquakeometer to M5.0 and above, the screen is filled (and more) with shaky things happening all around the Loyalty Islands.

Which are located thus, by the way:

I would not want to be there right now.

Although the beaches do look quite nice:

Anyway, I don’t want to fill you with more existential dread, but it does seem that the world is shaking itself to pieces as well as all the ice melting and everyone dying from The Virus.

Otherwise, you well?

Day 276 – On The Move

We’ve been told to keep ourselves to ourselves this Christmas, and we’re taking that advice seriously.

As I mentioned before, this is no normal Christmas at the end of a very abnormal year.
Hopefully, we will be well back on track by this time next year. Hopefully.

But it doesn’t really matter to us (or to Covid) where we keep ourselves to ourselves, and so we’re going to head down to Agulhas for a few days. None of the excitement of the Struisbaai New Year fireworks to look forward to, sadly, but still the beach and the braai and the sunshine. With the beach hours extended to 6am-7pm, maybe some early morning exercise by the sea as well. And that’s worth a lot.

I don’t expect that we will have any interaction with anyone other than the odd shopkeeper, much as we would here in Cape Town, and so I’m at peace with the fact that we’re leaving one home for another for a few days. We’re not putting anyone in any danger, and we’re keeping ourselves safe as well.

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