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Cape Canopy Tour

Cape Canopy Tour

Cape Canopy Tour

Cape Canopy Tour is outside of Elgin and about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. We at Dive Inn Cape Town decided it is time to dive into another adventure and we tried out zip lining with Cape Canopy Tour.

They are the 7th and youngest of the canopy tours branches in South Africa and which are all privately owned. Cape Canopy Tour is situated in the fynbos paradise of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve and the cost of the tour covers the entry fee to the reserve as well. You will be treated on your way there already with views of the fruit trees in full bloom and lush green valleys.

Friendly staff welcomes you on arrival and will give you a quick tour of the ‘office’ area which includes a small coffee shop where you can buy zippucchino’s.

Cape Canopy tour

Sunbird cafe

We were called to the briefing room and were shown a video of what Cape Canopy tour is about, a bit of history and how the zip lining works. Safety is really a big thing with them and we felt safe all the way through. Lonely Planet stated they are the 2nd best new attraction in the world. Well done guys.

After briefing, signing affidavits, providing e-mail address for the certificate we were kitted out. First was to step into the harness and securing it around your body. Next were gloves (aka handbrake tool) and some helmets. This take a bit off time to ensure the harness fits comfortable and secure, from here we head of to the cruiser for the 30 minute trip up the mountain. For this trip they also renamed it from the boring 4×4 trip rather to the African massage trip as the dirt road is a bit bumpy.

Arriving on the top our 2 guides were waiting for us. A 5 minute walk got us to the first zip line and they briefed us on the process we will follow. Most of us were tentative at first especially about the idea that you have to break with your gloved hand BUT behind the slider and not in front as it will be painful. After the 2nd slide down into the valley we all got more comfortable and starting enjoying the scenery as we zipped over it. We had various lengths of lines crossing the valley down and even had a suspension bridge we needed to cross. Three quarters down we had an Elgin ice tea break with some choc chip cookies. (more…)

Sea Anemones

Sea Anemones: (Pronunciation: Uh-nem-uh-nees)
Before I start about my quick view on Anemones, Wikipedia can do the more scientific explanation:
“Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria. They are named for the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Hexacorallia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger prey and also lack a medusa stage. As cnidarians, sea anemones are related to corals, jellyfish, tube-dwelling anemones, and Hydra”.
Well I think Sea anemones are slightly easier to say and here in Cape Town we give them even easier names. But for the clever ones out there I will put the proper names in bracketsIMG_0444.  I have learned local names can differ from region to region so in a way it’s good to learn the tongue twister names.

They are all over the world and old “Nemo” loves them.

False Plum anemone(Actinia Equina)One of our biggest species is the False Plum Anemone (Pseudactinia flagellifera). They can devour almost anything they can fit into their mouths. I have seen west coast rock lobster, redbait, and even shy sharks sticking out of them. Spider crabs love to hind behind them as well.
Walking sock anemones ( Preactis millardae) are exceptional feeders and they can strip multi-coloured seafan (Acabaria rubra) polyps that only bare stalks are left. They are not stationary and move around more. Saying this some of the other anemones does have the ability to move as well. Juveniles can be sometimes incorrectly be mistaken as a type of nudibranch.Walking Sock anemone(Preactis millardae)

Walking Sock anemone(Preactis millardae)Most of the sea anemones have prime land and do not allow others to get close by. There are of course the exceptions like strawberry Anemones (Corynactis annulata) who can cover a rock or wall in a pink carpet. In other places in the world a similar specie is called Jewelled Anemones. The close -up of their tentacles are really stunning. A close up of the cup coral (Balanophyllia bonaespei) tentacle ends looks great as well. The Cup coral I always thought was an anemone but writing this blog I read it is not as it even has a skeleton thus it falls under the coral family.
The other carpet forming ones who are also a bit bigger than the strawberries are the striped anemones (halianthella annularis). Size them up and then the Sandy Anemones (Aulactinia reynaudi) come into play with a wide array of colours and we normally see them in the Atlantic side.

Strawberry anemoneWe can found sea anemones at depth, on rocks, kelp, crabs, shells and in the sand. Low tide anemones can be seen in rock pools and in tidal pools as well so everyone can have an opportunity to check them out. I can remember as a child tentatively putting my finger in a rock pool touching an anemone and pull back quickly when it feels like it is grabbing your finger with its tentacles.
On safety stops in Cape Town I prefer to get to a pinnacle at 5 meters thus the last 3 minutes of the dive I can still explore and take pics and normally between the redbait heads you find the best blue and red & yellow spotted Knobbly anemones(Bunodosama capensis).Knobbly Anemone(Bunodosoma capensis)

Knobbly Anemone(Bunodosoma capensis)

In Summary Sea Anemones are a very well adapted organism who as a basic organism can survive almost everywhere.


Cape Town Autumn

Cape Town Autumn

Cape Town Autumn

Cape Town is experiencing the cool Autumn weather with Winter fast on its way. Thus people start to dive less because they do not want to get cold and wet;-0, or the nasty winter flue keep you out of the water and in bed. For the diving business it is bad news but on the touring side it can be the other way around.
So if you do not want to get cold and wet what about driving around see the sites, taste the wines and enjoy the many different restaurants like the Boulders Beach Lodge & Restaurant. Sea view, good food and of course penguins on the beach.

The Cape Peninsula tour is also a popular tour to do but with the weather it could be some what grey.  We do prefer to dive inn the Stellenbosch or Franshoek winelands which really is great. Especially on a Cape Town Autumn day. One winefarm Delheim even welcomes you with a glas of Gluhwein.


Wine Tasting @ Graham Beck

Wine Tasting @ Graham Beck blogging is a new thing I get to today. So a slow start and hopefully later one when I get feedback/reviews I will be able to up my blogging/writing skills.

In the last week a trip was made to the Graham Beck wine farm outside of Franschoek for a wine and smells pairing/tasting.

On arrival we got a glass of Blanc de Blanc Cap classique and then were escorted up to a tasting “Boardroom”. Our wine guide started with the white wines. Where we 1st nosed the wines followed by a sniff of for example gooseberries, tinned asparagus, wood chippings, dark chocolate etc. and then tasted them.
So with all the wines we could smell the fragrances that has been picked up in the wine.
We also had some dark cappuccino chocolate, ham, and salmon bits for snack to pair with the wines.
This was my 1st experience of a sense tasting. As normally it is said yes you can smell the apple but now we had a comparison to confirm the smell.

The morning with Wine Tasting @ Graham Beck ended with us buying some wines. Also tasting some other wines which we had an interest in.
The tasting room and cellar is very modern with cheetah sculptures and other new age sculptures outside.
Unfortunately the farm has been sold we have been told that the tasting room will be closed in June. So go out and arrange a group to go and experience the wonders of smell and wine.
Or I can arrange it ;-). The Stellenbosch Wine route got everything to offer. Wines, Chocalate, Brandy and beers are up to taste.  Even food pairings are also very popular.

All the farms upped their game and fun to go out and explore.

Wine Tasting @ Graham Beck

Wine tasting smelling