Cape Kidnappers – Gannet sanctuary

24 Feb

22nd February 2013

In the morning there was much rushing around with trailer loading, picnic preparation (thanks Clara and Marjool) before we could head down to the beach.

Once there we unloaded the quad and strapped the picnic to the front. A dog cushion was loaded for comfort (they didn’t mind as they were coming too!).

Preparation for gannet run

The normal way to see the gannets is on one of the operations that take visitors along the beach on trailers pulled by tractors.

Gannet colony trip

Once we were all loaded up …. Graham, Marjool, Tom, Eddie and Jessie on the Quad, and Denise Steve and Clara on the bikes, we set off along the beach.

Brookes on quad bike

Quad and bikes on Cape Kidknappers

The beach was great for the bikes. Often you had to wait for the waves to recede before you could drive around them. Great fun.

Beach great for bikers

Graham on motorbike

At one point we squeezed through a narrow hole in the rock. First the bikes and then the quad.

Tight fit

Tight squeeze

Clara and bike

Clara did a good job even though she is more at home on horses!

So we were all through and directly under a small colony of gannets.

We all got through

The gannets were lovely.

Gannet against the sky

Mother and baby Gannet

Two meter wing span

It’s hard to believe but the information board said that the wingspan can be up  to 200 cm!

Jess was interested in the birds, but sat calmly on the quad. Very well behaved!

Jessie the dog

We then continued on to the main colony, parking the bikes and walking up over the hill. There are thousands of gannets there and the colony is steadily expanding. That is good news for the gannets and must mean that fish stocks are healthy.

After driving back along the beach we went to the Clearview winery for tasting and snacks.

Wine tasting at Clearview

Winetasting gives you an appetite!

Then it was home for a BBQ. In between, we managed to change the oil in the Mitsubishi and go for a ride up to Mt Mata in Steve’s old ford pickup … 1929 I think.

Tom was also keen have a go at riding a pony, it’s not every day you are offered a lesson from one of the Swiss national equestrian team! Amie, Steve and Denise’s daughter also represents New Zealand.

Tom enjoying riding lesson

Oil change on the Chariot

Ford pick up 1929

The BBQ was great and topped off a brilliant and interesting day …. Thank you!!

Marjool and Denise

No early alarm tomorrow, though I am sure that with a tiny bit of encouragement Steve would have us up early again tomorrow for another adventure before we leave!

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