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|November 30 - Laurie Macha|
Ahhhhh. I slept in today until at least 6:30 am. I walked over to the pick n pay to pick up a drink for the boat release today and then headed over to SANCCOB a little early to take a few photos. It's been pretty hard to stop working and take photos. Venessa has been really great when I leave my camera out for her she pops by and takes random pictures of me at work. I spent a little time watching home pen get fed today and took some great photos of the Cape cormorant. They have beautiful green eyes! I got a chance to meet Columbine today, she's beautiful! I also went to pen 10 to see how they were doing and take some photos of 440. I hope to be able to send the photos in to show everyone so you can see how beautiful the chick is.
We left SANCCOB at 11am and headed over to QUAY 4 at the V & A waterfront to take seven blues to a sailboat called Esperance. The boat left the dock at 1pm with only me, Zach (a volunteer from London) and the seven blues. Once we got out of the harbor and into Table Bay, the wind picked up and there was a fierce chill to the wind. As I understand it, the wind comes up from Antarctica and is very cold. In fact, the water is really cold too, only about 6 degrees Celsius. It took us about an hour to get to Robben Island where we were going to release the chicks. It's an area where there aren't too many Cape fur seals or great white sharks. On our way to Robben Island, we saw a Cape fur seal and a lone penguin. We were slightly off shore when the crew called for me and Zach. The process of releasing the chicks was to cut the boxes open, balance on a beam off the back of the boat and just turn the box on its side and plop the chicks into the water. They were released in no time. It was beautiful! Although the chicks stayed close to the boat for a minute before they all grouped together and swam off. I hope they make it, they have so much to battle for survival: finding food, avoiding predators like sharks and seals and of course fishing nets, lines etc. It only took us 50 minutes to get back to the waterfront harbor. I took the opportunity to lie in the back and warm up in the sun.
Zach and I decided to walk around the waterfront before heading back to Table View. The waterfront is really fun. There are craft buildings where you can get great souvenirs, performers on the walkways and a lot of great restaurants. On our way back to SANCCOB we saw some flamingos and pelicans. There is so much wildlife in South Africa. When I got back to the elements lodge I found Venessa with two staff (Laura and Angela) from Jenkinson's Aquarium in New Jersey. They just arrived and were my roommates. We all went to have dinner together at Blue Peter – a definite must if you are in Table View. They have the best pizza ever! We also had a little guest with us, Sally, Venessa's dog. She's so sweet and it's a great remedy for me missing my dog at home. I've really missed my family while I've been here and because of the time difference it's tough to connect up. I have a Skype appointment with my husband and son tonight. It will be the first time I've talked to them since arriving in South Africa. I can't wait. Speaking of Skype, Venessa and I will be live on Skype at 10am EST at Mystic Aquarium from South Africa on Wednesday (tomorrow). I hope to see many of you there!!!!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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