dawn of a new day…………………

Those of you who have been following this blog before this little excursion to the Alpujarras, would remember the time this blog spent in Agulhas, before we fastened our seatbelts and headed off overseas. Well, sadly that little holiday excursion came to an end with yesterdays post, and seeing that we are all still adjusting to the idea of not being on holiday and making the long trip home, I figured why not just go back to where the trip started. So, once again, fasten your seatbelts, we’re heading towards home, thats right, not home yet, but towards home, yep! South Africa.

Whether you’re travelling First Class, Business or Economy I suppose will depend on where you’re reading this, either on your luxury office chair in A grade airconditioned office space, with foamy cuppachinos available at a finger snap, or maybe at home on your trusty old chair with the mangled cushion at your computer, or sitting on your bed, with the laptop at your side, or maybe just sitting at the bus station with your android powered device (or on your Iphone – not looking to offend anybody :-))  , or maybe at a terminal at the library. I’m happy with economy in my trusty old chair with mangled cushion :-), we’re all heading south, yep! way down south to the southernmost point of Africa.

The visit to Agulhas a few months ago, was partly documented a few blogs ago, so this is just going to latch into those. SanParks (South African National Parks)  have built some really cool timber chalets that are neatly positioned just above the dune, very much with the environmentally friendly concept of touching the ground lightly, one of these was my lodgings for the time there. They are placed pretty close to the shoreline, close enough that you can hear the thundering waves through the night. This is the Cape of Storms after all.

 As I had made a detour to the village when I first arrived, I got to the chalet when it was dark. I knew the sea was in front of the unit, though it was difficult to assess how far. The sound of the sea was loud enough that it felt like a couple of hundred metres. So, I set an alarm for about half an hour before dawn, and discovered it was still dark outside. I ventured outside, torch in one hand, camera backpack on one shoulder and headed out to try and shoot the sunrise. I used the torch to lead the way to where I could hear the waves thundering onto the shore, as I moved closer I realised that maybe the sea was a little further than I thought!!:-( and that maybe the crashing sound of the sea was deceptive.

I noticed the first light breaking through, and realised one other thing, the direction of the sunrise was a bit different to where I was expecting it. I know, no preparation!! rule one when you’re planning something like a sunrise shoot, is preparation. But, I can be spontaneous, remember, so I improvised. Got the tripod out, set up the camera and took a few shots. The foreground was still dark, and I remembered reading about “painting with light”, in low light situations, so I recruited the torch into providing some ambient lighting. Not exactly, successful I would say, but good enough for a first try. Then edged a little closer each time, heading towards the shoreline. By then, the sun was rising quite quickly, and within moments there was a glowing furnace emerging from behind the dark horizon. I really enjoy the colours in the sky just before the sun emerges, because there is this rich blue, thats enriched by this early light, and there is a fusion with this orange red that creates a palette of blues and pinks that are incredible.

I thought it was appropriate that we return to the Southernmost point of Africa for the dawn of the new day, after the little excursion in the North. The journey continues…………………..

Todays images are about those wonderful moments before sunrise……………. welcome back home 🙂

 Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F5.0, 30 sec, FL=18mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F5.0, 30 sec, FL=18mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F5.0, 13 sec, FL=24mm

Canon 7d, Canon 18-200mm lens f3.5/5.6, ISO 100, F10, 15 sec, FL= 100mm

Cape of stormy seas………..

Those of you that read my blog of yesterday, will already be familiar with Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent. If you missed yesterdays blog, and are wondering about where exactly Cape Agulhas is, let Google Earth fly you there. The amazing thing about GE is that it always gives you that sensation of being transported to a faraway land, on an incredible journey, with that progressive zooming action, that feels like terminal velocity, until just prior to getting to the area you want to go to, it slows down and slowly floats you above your destination, while your internet connection catches up with the download 🙂 Of course those of your that are surfing at supersonic speeds are probably looking up at the ceiling going “what is he talking about???”. Well, the reality is that some of us here, have substantially slower internet connections than others, which is still a lot slower than what some people in other parts of the world have. But I diagress, this mail is not about Internet speeds, perhaps another time 🙂

So, we were in Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa, at least that label is becoming a bit more mainstream nowadays. Not too long ago, people used to refer to Cape Point or Cape of Good Hope as the southernmost point, until somebody started pointing out the technicality that Cape of GH is actually the most South Western point of Africa. With its proximity to Cape town, I guess it was a good tourist selling point, until the truth was revealed. Yep! just hack in Cape Point on GE and voila you’ll be zoomed away to the faraway land :-). The significant thing about the lowest point of Africa is that it is the point where the The Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet. Now rumour has it that on a clear day if you squint your eyes a little bit, you can actually see the actual line where these two oceans come together!! I reckon its just a myth, I’ve squinted my eyes, kept one closed, stood on one leg, tried various combinations, but I have yet to see it, but, I suppose my eyes are getting older:-).

Seriously though, the convergence of these Oceans at the end of the land mass of Africa, together with some serious winds often results in stormy seas and many a ship have been casulaties in what is known as “the Cape of Storms”. I’ve read about shipwrecks dating as far back as 1682, and probably before then!! I’ve read somewhere that Bartholomew Dias rounded this southernmost point for the first time in 1488!! History was never my strong subject at school, so dont quote me on that! To this day with modern navigational equipment, satellite weather forecasting, diesel and even in some cases nuclear powered  engines, and with all the modern technologial advances in shipbuilding etc ships still become victim of this rugged coastline. A grim reminder about how mankind understimates the power of nature!!

This was my first visit to Cape Agulhas which is about 150 km east of Cape Town, having been content with the conventional wisdom that the southernmost point at Cape point was good enough for me. Having been there and actually experienced a little bit of its “unpleasant weather”, seen the rugged coastline, and the remnants of the hull of one its victims, I have a new found respect for the “Cape of Storms”..

the journey continues…………………………….

Todays images are of Cape Agulhas, maybe we’ll stay in the region with the next few blogs, but then again, maybe not :-):-) it is a journey after all 🙂 ………………………