Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday 23rd March

Admiralty Bay, Port Elizabeth

13 00.635 N
61 14.405 W

Gerry was up and about early whilst I played possum and enjoyed a lay in. Just before 07.30hrs a boat boy came around selling bread, we didn’t need any but it was my indication that the time to get up had arrived. Moments after I had dressed we were called out onto deck by Kenmore, sure enough he had found us and presented us with a package containing the proofs, one framed shot and his price list for purchasing the photos, he said he would be back at 08.30 hrs to collect either the money or the package back if we didn’t want any of the photos. We were very pleased with the photos as they show us moving along at speed under sail, we quickly agreed that we should buy the package which included a CD of the proofs, and got our money ready to give to Kenmore when he returned. Our next callers appeared just on 08.00hrs, Dale and Mike were on their way into customs and wanted to know if Gerry was going with them; he hastily threw on a tee shirt, gathered our documents and his wallet and took off with them to try and clear us in.
I made water whilst he was gone and then paid Kenmore for the photos when he returned. Gerry returned with the news that we were going in a taxi to the Turtle sanctuary at 10.00 hrs; he also informed me that we had to return to the immigration office as the officers were busy dealing with a cruise ship that had come into the bay during the early hours of the morning. We took our documents back with us and joined Dale, Lorie, Mike and Terri at the dinghy dock and then proceeded to climb in the back of a truck with a canopy roof and bench seats along each side – this was our Taxi! Our ride to the Turtle sanctuary was fairly short and we were soon viewing the turtles in pools and peppering the guide with questions about them. I learnt quite a bit about them during the tour. Most of the turtles in the sanctuary are Hawksbill turtles which are native to the area but there were a few greenback turtles there which apparently are native to the waters around Mexico – I’m not quite sure how they came to be there. There were also some land turtles which were natives of Brazil wandering around in a pen. The ages of the turtles varied from 1 week old to 12 years old (this one was a pet) and the age groups were kept separate from each other. They seem to be quite aggressive towards each other and many of them had gentian violet painted on various pats of their bodies, this was to help heal the spots where they had been bitten by their peers. Our guide said that the average clutch of eggs for a turtle is 250 and that of these only half survive to adulthood. They don’t mate until they are 25years old and the only time that the females come ashore is to lay their eggs, the males never come ashore. The sanctuary returns the turtles to the water when they are old enough to fend for themselves and for the life of us neither Gerry nor I could recall what age that is but Lorie said it was 1 year old and Dale said it was 5 years old (obviously none of us paid enough attention!). I felt a little sorry for the 12 year old turtle that was a pet as the pool it was in didn’t seem big enough for it. We ended the tour, climbed back in the taxi and returned to the dock stopping on the way at a pottery. I didn’t find anything that I couldn’t live without at the pottery so it was a cheap trip. Back at the dock we slip up and Dale returned to his boat as he didn’t have his documentation with him whilst Lorie went to the bank, Gerry and Mike went to clear in at immigration and Terri and I went across to peruse the street market and collect maps from the information bureau. We all met back up a short while later and then went to see 2 shops that make wooden model boats, they were wonderful replicas of the real thing, I’m sure if we had somewhere to put it Gerry would have liked to purchase one of them. The second shop had a TV with the cricket playing, we thought we had lost Gerry for the day until Dale had the bright idea of saying loudly that the bar probably had the cricket on a wide screen TV – shop with no beer and cricket or bar with beer and cricket what a hard choice! We found a restaurant with a bar and cricket and ordered lunch whilst watching the Windies Vs Ireland match Lunch was very good and we all decided that it was time to return to our boats and do our own thing for the afternoon. We had invited everyone tour boat for cocktails at 17.30hrs so Gerry and I had to clear the cockpit which was looking rather dirty following our sail down to here and I had to prepare something to eat with our drinks. I made vegetable samosas from scratch, which turned out really well. Gerry had a problem getting the ice machine to work so we radioed Dale to bring ice with them, of course as soon as we had called them the machine worked perfectly! We spent a very pleasant evening sitting in our cockpit filling up on the various items of food that we had all contributed and drinking whatever took our fancy. When everyone left Gerry did the dishes whilst I typed up blog notes and downloaded the pictures from the camera.
Taxi photo from camera of Gypsy Palace



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