Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cruising to Seal Island in Hout Bay

Read the news today said:

South Africa: 300 dead seals wash ashore in Cape Town

Disaster management officials say they have removed about 300 dead seals from Kommetjie Beach in Cape Town. A high tide or extreme wind conditions probably caused the animals to be washed off Seal Island on Thursday night and officials say it is not a particularly unusual phenomenon....."These high winds and high seas washed over the Seal Island and seem to wash off any of the young seals that can't swim and any seals that have died on the island," he says.
The news make me feel sad to those lovely seals I have seen during the trip to South Africa last month. 

We took a cruise to Duiker Island which is more commonly known as Seal Island, a small land mass located just off the beaches of False Bay, in South Africa. It is home to about 6,000 Cape Fur Seals of various shapes and sizes.
It took us about 15 minutes to go near the island. the so called island actually is just a big rock occupied by a great number of Cape Fur Seals. 

Most of the seals are too lazy to move around, they have a great life here until the great white shark come. 

They were sunning themselves on the rock...some seals were playing in the water. There is no vegetation or soil of any significance on this small island. No beach too, only cape fur seals, seals, seals and some sea birds.

The Cape Fur Seal is also known as the brown fur seal, are the largest and most robust of all species. The fur of cape seals has multiple layers. The first layer is soft and thick (protecting them from cold temperatures) and covered by a long, harder layer of course hair. Adult males vary in coloring from dark gray to brown,  Females are light brown to gray. Pups are born black and molt to gray with a pale throat in the first five months.

These seals love the sea but they never stray too far from land.  
On occasion, they have even been seen consuming birds. The South African subspecies can dive as deep as 204m and stay under for as long as seven minutes.

And False Bay harbor is a very lovely place too, on our boat ride out to the island we really enjoyed the beautiful coastline...
It was a fun memory of seeing so many cape seals......and even some seals along the way right in the harbor.
...and many small roadside stores selling all sorts of funny and interesting things.  Seals basking under the sun, gulls overhead and tourists everywhere, and the owners of the store here, the African, they can speak quite well Chinese. Surprise? Surprised!
 ...and guess, whose teeth below? memory of South Africa, and so much more to share...

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