An African Penguins view
A Jackass Penguin View
After the riggers left we headed for the aquarium with mixed feelings about wild animals being kept in captivity. The penguin floor, from which you can just see Zoonie out of the window, is divided into two ‘natural’ habitats; the window view is for the African feathered residents, the same as we saw on our way to Cape Town, and the internal pen is for the pretty little tufted Rockhopper penguins. They looked healthy and are an asset for teaching children about local fauna and hopefully grow up with feeling of kindness towards animals and great efforts had been made to create rocky beaches and real waves. Sometimes the residents have been rescued from the wild and for a host of reasons cannot be returned there.
In the three floor coastal sea-water tank the kelp plants were attached to the rocks with cable tie hold fasts and heaved and flowed up and down with the swell movement created by another wave machine. It was quite mesmerizing sitting watching the fish and kelp move one way and then another as if the whole environment was breathing in and out. So we can picture our little neighbours now, living their protected lives.
Being up close and only a few inches from a great white shark in another tank enabled to me marvel at an animal form that has not needed to evolve for millions of years. I wonder what humans will look like in a million more years of evolution. Maybe babies will be born wearing natural masks and holding anatomic iPhones?
After all that swaying we needed some fresh air and a drink so we wandered along the seaside walk just a little way to Grand Beach and the sparsely peopled, extensive area where the tables and settees are set out on imported sand overlooking the rocky shore line, more heaving kelp this time in its natural habitat, and the harbour. One could imagine how busy this place will be when Covid is just a sore memory and the foreign tourists have returned. For us we were able to sit comfortably in deep shade and tuck into a South African Sav and an equally sparsely populated pizza. The interior of the bar was comfortably Bohemian, amazing what you can do with a corrugated iron barn!