Pools of toxic algal bloom which sometimes occur when there is an upwelling of nutrient rich phytoplankton, turn the water an unusual reddish brown colour. These red tides cause depletion of oxygen in the water which is harmful to filter feeders and crustaceans. Tons of of rock lobsters and other shellfish become casualties and the beaches fester with the die off of many of these species.
The “Cape Doctor” (as the south-easterly wind is fondly known) has been in fine form this summer. It’s blustery dynamic speeds have reached galeforce and tempered by the South Atlantic anticyclone weather system hanging off the peninsula, the seas have responded in huge curling waves. A breed of hardy daredevil windsurfers come out to play – while the spectators marvel in awe at their finesse in this scene at Platboom beach.
Here along the coastal edge of the Cape peninsula, kelp forests create unique ecosystem and provide a sheltered habitat for smaller creatures from the force of breaking waves. The photo shows the top fronds of the canopy afloat on the surface of the sea at low tide. It has a neat construction where hollow gas-filled stalks expand into bulbs at the top which then act as floats for the strap-shaped fronds. Creatures such as rock lobsters and sea urchins, mussels and sea cucumbers are typically associated with sea bamboo.
“Afloat” was this week’s photo challenge; to find out more click here to follow the link.
Sara Rosso poses the question on what emotions the sea evokes for this week’s photo challenge: “… do you remember the first time you went in the water; had a wave crash on you… do you feel more peaceful around water, feel the sand burn your feet?”
As a child, my siblings and i spent summers messing about in water. Holidays were spent near a river leading to the sea and there we learned the ways of currents, tides, waves. Later i learned to scuba dive and sail and that was the start to messing about in boats. It forged a passion and yearning, a way of life which follows natural rhythms and a respect for the elements.
This week i returned home from a trip abroad to be greeted by a growling sea with a deep pounding beat; the Peninsula had been racked by a low weather system which brought with it a startling dump of snow to Table Mountain and wrought raging waves.
Now, living so close to the water’s edge, it’s the voice of the sea that holds me in it’s thrall…. some days it’s the sheerest of whispers, gentle lullabies. Sometimes the mood is percussive, with a tympanists’ beating rhythm, like castanets rumbling over the pebbly beach. The songs are forever changing, subscribed symphonies to lift the soul.
Jacques Cousteau summed it up …. ” the sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.”
To check out more posts on the challenge check out the site here