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2. Strange things happening in Algoa Bay.
3. Rehabilitation centre becomes reality for SAMREC
4. Sperm Whale Sighting, 28 nautical miles south of Cape Recife
Jikeleza Lodge is well positioned for all sport activities in the Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth. We are literally 2 blocks away from the famous St George’s Cricket grounds. It is a short walk to the stadium and a short roll back after Castle Corner has attacked you.
We are also 10 minutes drive from the EPRFU stadium and the brand new Nelson Mandela Bay Multipurpose Stadium. The beachfront and all the related sports such as the ironman, sailing etc. is also only 10 minutes away, AND we are not in the thick of all the traffic so it is easy to get around
2. Strange things happening in Algoa Bay.
The Seaview Times - Written by Lloyd Edwards, Owner Raggy Charters / The Baywatch
During the last 12 years that Raggy Charters has been operating marine eco cruises in Algoa Bay the earliest we have observed Southern Right whales entering the Bay is in July. It was then very surprising that my son Jamie Edwards while on a trip to St Croix Island observed the first Southern Right this year on the -10th May. What was even more surprising was while he was on a beachfront cruise on the 31st July he observed another Southern Right Whale and this time it was accompanied by a newly born calf. Again, according to our records they are usually only born in the Bay during September. Yesterday while Lloyd Edwards was returning from a Penguin Monitoring cruise at St Croix Island with Dr Lorien Pichegru, a French
Scientist studying the alarming decrease in penguin numbers in the bay; it was equally surprising for him to find another Southern Right cow off Hougham Park, this time with a white baby calf. The last and only white Southern Right calf he observed in the Bay was during the last week in September 2000. It was seen swimming next to its mother just off the mouth of the Swartkops River. Last year on the 2nd October Lloyd observed a White Southern Right male mating with a female Just off the port of Port Elizabeth. Maybe it was this female that has returned to the bay and now also produced a white calf just like his father. The gestation (pregnancy) period is however a year long so this is possibly not from the same female although with all the strange things happening at the moment there is a possibility that it is in fact the mother. Some scientists have stated that global warming could have an impact on the migration patterns of cetaceans. These white Southern Rights are not real albinos as their colours do vary with age eventually becoming a slightly darker grey. Some calves are born completely white except for the dark band behind the head and an occasional black spot. These animals are referred to as "brindled" and are nearly always males. About 3% of calves born are white in colour. The white calf we observed at Hougham Park had been born very recently. It was swimming and playing with its mother just behind the breakers in very shallow water with quite a large swell running. We saw a pregnant Southern Right in the same area on Friday that was in about 4 metres of water just off Coega. It is normal for the cows to go into shallow water prior to giving birth. The calves weigh about a ton at birth, are between 4 and 6 metres long and are breastfed a few hundred litres of milk per day. The mother will nurse the calf in the bay until it is strong enough to complete the 2000 km swim back to their feeding grounds at the sub Antarctic convergence, about 55 degrees south. The female has not eaten since leaving these grounds and will not do so until she returns, quite a feat! As the Southern Right whale population is increasing every year one can expect to find an increasing number of "out of season" sightings. This means that some Southern Rights may arrive earlier and even stay longer as the duration of the time they spend here increases. The "normal" span of the calving season for Southern Rights along the South African coast is from June to October with a peak in August. So although the calves born in Algoa Bay are not atypical in their timing for the whole South African coastline it is a first for this time of the year in Algoa Bay. These whales get their name from the fact that they were the right whales to hunt as they were slow moving, close to the shore, floated when dead and produced large quantities of oil, whalebone and meat. Copepods (a planktonic crustacean) make up the bulk of their diet. They are usually characterised by their black colour (except for our white ones), the white callosities on their heads and their V shaped blow. Although larger ones have been recorded, their average weight is about 40 tons and their length 14 metres. Their numbers have been estimated at about 20 000 prior to exploitation but were reduced to about 100 individuals by 1935. They were subsequently the first whales afforded protection in that year. In 2005 they had increased to an estimated world population of 6500 and a SA population of 2500.
3. Rehabilitation centre becomes reality for SAMREC
Port Elizabeth Express,  Written by Tanya Van Heerden
After nearly ten years waiting for their dream to be realised, the Trustees of the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (SAMREC) received the keys to this building from the contractors on last week Monday. The trust for a much-needed marine rehabilitation centre in Port Elizabeth was established hi 2000 and as Clive Sharwood, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said, they thought it would be an easy and quick process. But funding of the building was a huge problem as promised sponsorships from the United States of America (USA) fell through in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. "After the attacks the USA was not interested in sponsoring anything outside their country," Sharwood said. In 2003 they received R1.8 million from the Lottery Board, but they had to wait another few years to get a lease signed, which only happened in 2007. "We thought with the Lotto money we could start building right away, hut we had to wait for the lease to get signed. By then, for financial reasons, we had to scale down on the building, but finally on September 1 last year construction on the building started," he said. Now, SAMREC are putting the finishing touches to its new home at Cape Recife and according to Sharwood, should be opening its doors to the public later in September. "It's taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it is so exciting to be standing here today, knowing that very soon we will be able to accept and rehabilitate stranded birds of all kinds," said Libby Sharwood from SAMREC. The facility will be fully equipped to cope with the rehabilitation of up to as many as 2 000 penguins at any given time- The centre has been designed in such a way as to allow the public to view the rehabilitation process, without being in the way or endangering the birds in any manner. "We want it to he an interactive experience for visitors. They are not just observing from a distance, but rather they get the opportunity to be up close and personal with these birds, which is a far more effective and memorable learning experience," she added.
4.  Sperm Whale Sighting, 28 nautical miles south of Cape Recife
The Seaview Times, 
Sperm whales seldom venture over the continental shelf and are thus unlikely to spot in Algoa Bay unless they are dying like the one that was washed up near the new Port of Coega a few years back. Some uninformed do-gooders (no names mentioned) tried in vain to pull the already wounded out to sea with a rope fastened around its tail which dislocates the spine causing the animal a further immeasurable amount of pain. Luckily the one we spotted was figure of health and getting ready for its next dive. It was part of a group of three that we observed 27,74 nautical miles directly south of Cape Recife. We were on our way to the Tuna grounds and had just left the continental shelf which starts off at about 150 metres deep and drops down to about 2 km; I say about 2 km as that is when the echo sounder on the boat stopped working. All of a sudden there was a large blow emanating from the front left side of a very large whale. When I saw its huge squarish head and wrinkly, prune like brown skin I immediately knew it was a Sperm whale much to the delight of the fisherman. It is only the third time ten years that I have been going out to the Agulhas that I have observed these creatures. Yesterday we saw three in the same area. This whale apparently gets it name from the early whale hunters of the seventeenth century who believed that the spermaceti oil contained in its large head was the animal's sperm. It is believed that spermaceti is used for buoyancy control which allows it to reach depths of 3 km and remain submerged for up to three hours. This wax can be cooled presumably by sucking in cold water which shrinks the wax making it less dense and allowing the whale to sink faster. When it needs to come up from the depths it warms this wax making it expand and thus accelerating its accent. It could also be used to focus sonar clicks as it uses echolocation to find its prey in the lightless depths. The white markings around the mouth are luminous and thought to attract its prey. At such depths and the associated pressure the lungs collapse and they rely on the vast stores of oxygen in their muscles. According to Professor Peter Best that although they are frequently portrayed as battling to the death with giant squid, in reality the principle food items of Sperm whales in our area are more modestly-sized squid averaging 1 to 3 kg in weight. The animal we saw was about 14 metres long and thus probably a male as females do not get much over 11 metres in length. Males may grow to 16 metres, weigh about 50 tons and live for up to 70 years. They seem to reach a peak in numbers off Algoa Bay in winter, migrating towards the Antarctic for the summer. The most famous whale in the world was "Moby Dick" who was a white Sperm whale and had a reputation for attacking the early whalers. Our individual was calmly retrieving his breath at the surface blowing every 10 seconds in order to exhale carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen for his next feeding attempt. After ten minutes he lifted his huge tail flukes and descended to the sea floor in search of yet another meal of squid. According to Prof Best the large males can eat up to one and a half tons of food per day! These whales were ruthlessly hunted by the early whalers and it is estimated that over one million of them were killed. The present world population is estimated at 300 000 although no one knows for sure how many there are in our region.

5. Events in Nelson Mandela Bay

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