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Kimberley goes SA: a cake, kids and sharks!

The first real week of the 21 ocean days. A busy week, and actually we did a beach clean-up almost every day! Something that is dearly needed here.

The kids of the orphanage!

On Monday we went to the nursery, where most kids are around six years old. We made colouring pages, and played games. It is so great to meet these kids, they hug you all the time – sometimes you have ten kids jumping at you, trying to cuddle and play. During the trip in the afternoon we did not see a white shark but we meet a copper shark! Copper sharks are beautiful sharks of about 3 meters long with a special colour!

 And Tuesday 4 September was my twentieth birthday! I ordered a big cake (see photo). No sharks because of the weather, but we went to the nursery again to play with the children. In the afternoon it was time for the swop shop, an initiative of White Shark Projects. The shop is open every Tuesday. Kids can bring in recyclable items, for which they receive points that they can spend on toys. This way the children learn to recycle and the value of ‘money’, because if a child has earned 20 points, he or she can choose something for 20 or fewer points. Something bigger costs more points, and therefore more recyclable stuff has to be brought to the shop first.

A real shark cake!

 

On Wednesday 5 September it was a no sea day, again. In the morning we held a survey among the customers at the SPAR about the use of single-use plastic bags. This shows that almost everyone knows about the problem of plastic in the oceans. Still, half of the respondents use them… In the afternoon we once again went walking the dogs at B.A.R.C. Such a pleasure to see how happy the dogs are then!

 

Thursday, September 6, it was a sea day again! In the morning we had a presentation by our marine biologist Tom Slough about the anatomy of the shark. The second time for me, but I discovered new details that I had missed earlier. I am learning more and more about sharks! During the afternoon trip we had bad luck, 5 minutes after we left one of the engines broke down, we had return to the harbour. As a result, we suddenly had a lot of free time and I the processed the data from the survey into statistics and wrote a report.

 

Friday the 7th of September the engine was repaired and it was good weather. There were eight volunteers, and that is why I stayed on shore this time. So i spent the day in orphanage, with children of about 5 years old. They were incredibly shy but we made beautiful flowers (see photo).

Fish!

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September I visited Cape Town with three other volunteers. Here we spent the Saturday and then went to Simon’s Town by taxi in the morning. We did two great dives there. We planned to look for sevengill sharks during the first dive, and see seals during the second dive. We did not see the sevengills, but four other shark species, such as the pyjama shark, the puffadder shy shark, the dark shy shark and the leopard catshark. At the second dive, there were only few seals and visibility was bad, so I only saw a ‘seal shadow’. But a nice pyjama shark again and many fish. Next time better! We happily returned to Kleinbaai.

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