Covid-19 Lock-down 100th DayWednesday, 8th July 2020
By Jake Keeton
A special day for Raggy Charters
8th July 2020 at 8:30am we launched our boat 'My China' and headed out into Algoa Bay for the first time in 100 days! Prior to yesterday's cruise the closest we came to launching our boats were occasional visits to the harbour to carry out critical maintenance on our boats. Not being able to launch our boats during the nationwide lock-down was a real change of pace for the Raggy Charters team as we were all used to launching every day where sea conditions allowed. Once we had launched and were on our way across the bay, a feeling of great appreciation came over us. We realised at that moment, just how much we missed being out in the Bay.
Yesterday's trip to sea was made possible by the Port Elizabeth Harbour Master and a film crew looking to do a story on the happenings in Algoa Bay. On Tuesday 7 July, we received confirmation from our Harbour Master that we are able to launch our boats for media, research and conservation purposes. Moments later we were contacted by a film crew based in Johannesburg who were to be in the Port Elizabeth area for the next few days filming stories covering the Covid-19 Pandemic. The film crew expressed their desire to film a conservation story, something to take people's minds off of the Pandemic. They expressed specific interest in one of our Projects: Ship to ship bunkering vs endangered African penguins and the recent spills in Algoa Bay. With environmental scientist Ronelle Friend having played a lead and vital role in this project she was contacted to join us yesterday morning. For more information on this project please click here.
We made our way through the bay, stopping at strategic locations to conduct interviews with the film crew and for them to get the footage they desired. Just being out at sea was enough for us to be having the time of our lives, but we were in for a pleasant surprise. As we approached St Croix Island we saw the dorsal fins of about 400 bottlenose dolphins up close to the Western side of the island. It seemed that the dolphins missed us as much as we missed them. Small groups broke off from the main pod and raced to and around our boat, eyeing us as they passed. Two of the pictures below show two individuals that were persistent in peeping at us between the swells. We could not have asked for a better sighting for our first day back at sea.
Under the current regulations we are only allowed to launch our boats for media, research and conservation. Keep an eye on our page as we will announce when we receive permission to conduct our cruises with guests on board. We cannot wait to have you all out with us soon!