On Monday 10 February 2014 Rainer Schimpf from Expert Tours and I launched off of Noorhoek to test out his GoPro Dolphin Cam.
Yes we saw dolphins but they were ‘confined’ to a narrow stretch of water close to the shoreline that was free of the Red Tide that has plagued Algoa Bay and coast for the past month or so.
After testing V1 of the Dolphin Cam and not getting any decent footage we the ventured further offshore and out into the red tide off of Noordhoek.
The water loses it’s sparkle and looks lifeless as it sluggishly moves in the grip of this algal bloom. The Longhair postulated recently that the Seismic Survey that took place in Algoa Bay could have been a trigger to release this upwelling of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB, commonly known as a Red Tide).
Moving into the red tide the sea turns this dark ‘dead’ red colour and does not look at all inviting – I certainly wouldn’t want to swim or dive in a sea like this and with the visibility severely restricted it would be akin to swimming in a charnel house or groping through a darkened foggy cemetery, ever concerned about bumping into something that will frighten the daylights out of you.
The current lines through the red tide are very visible as the dead sponges and debris collect along them. What is strange is that in certain places the sea smells dead and in others the sea smells ‘neutral’ – there is no fresh salty smell coming off of the red tide at all. Instinctively your nose tells you that the sea is in distress.
During our hour trip we spotted a dead penguin and gannet and numerous sponges completely devoid of life – as you can see in the video.
Both the penguin and gannet were being scavenged by evil looking flat crabs and had no discernible signs of being violently killed – the assumption is that they succumbed to some ill effects of the algal bloom.
The following two tabs change content below.
These businesses support MyPE: