Posts Tagged ‘Bird Island’

Lamberts Bay Attractions.

Apart from the normal attractions of most seaside villages – great beaches, surf and wind surfing, hikes etc – Lamberts Bay offers a few special attractions that are well worth spending some time exploring. The first of these is called Bird Island and is situated in the harbour area.

Welcome to Bird Island.

Welcome to Bird Island.

There is an entrance fee of R20.00 but that does also allow one to walk to the end of the pier and get some great views of Lamberts Bay, the beaches and the boats in the harbour.

The wonderful beaches.

The wonderful beaches.

One of Lamberts Bays jewels is the sea-bird breeding colonies on the internationally famous Bird Island which has the most accessible Cape Gannet colony in the world.

Cape Gannets.

Cape Gannets.

Gannets packed together like sardines?

Gannets packed together like sardines?

There are thousands of these birds packed together on quite a small area of the island and I was told they do this as a form of protection from their main enemy, the seals on nearby Seal Island.

Whale bones on one of the walkways.

Whale bones on one of the walkways.

Not sure if this sign was for the tourists or the birds.

Not sure if this sign was for the tourists or the birds.

I am always amazed how these beautiful flowers manage to grow just about anywhere.

I am always amazed how these beautiful flowers manage to grow just about anywhere.

Another of Lamberts Bay’s main attractions is to take a boat trip to go have a look at Seal Island and hopefully to spot some dolphins on the way.

Seal Island boat trip.

Seal Island boat trip.

All aboard for Seal Island.

All aboard for Seal Island.

The round trip costs R150.00 per person and if you are lucky one normally sees quite a lot of dolphins as they have become  used to the boat and come up really close. I was not that lucky as they just streaked around the boat and did not do any jumping. As a result I only managed 1 or 2 photographs and they were not great.

This is a Heaviside Dolphin and are quite rare.

This is a Heaviside Dolphin and is quite rare.

Seal Island.

Seal Island.

I had heard about a shipwreck, about 5 km’s from Lamberts Bay, that happened in 1901. The ship was HMS Sybille, a twin screw 3,400 ton second class cruiser. The ship was sent to Lamberts Bay as a patrol boat during the Anglo Boer war (1899 – 1902). On the morning of 16 January 1901 she struck a reef near the farm Steenboksfontein. The crew were all saved and guns and torpedoes salvaged.

Unfortunately, because of the exposed reef that she ran aground on, there is nothing of the wreck left to see but there are some wonderful artefacts at the Sandveld Museum in Lamberts Bay.

Write up about the Sybille.

Write up about the Sybille.

A displsy of artifacts from the Sybille.

A display of artefacts from the Sybille.

One of the propellers from the Sybille.

One of the propellers from the Sybille.

There were  other really interesting displays in the museum, which was opened in 1980, and is at present run by the the Friends of the Museum. The day I went there it was officially closed but the friends were having a meeting and kindly let me browse around.

Number please!!

Number please!!

Ex rugby flank and Springbok Jan "Boland" Coetzee was born in Lamberts Bay

Ex rugby flank and Springbok Jan Boland Coetzee was born in Lamberts Bay

Mountain or Leopard Tortoises.

Mountain or Leopard Tortoises.

While outside the museum photographing the Sybille’s propeller I came across many  of these tortoises,  from tiny babies to pretty large adults. They can grow up to 50 cm in length and have a mass of over 13 kilograms. Come rain or shine one of the Friends of the Museum comes in everyday to feed them.

I still have one more post to do on Lamberts Bay and that is going to be a short one on the Caravan Park.