Friday, 11 February 2011

The Great Wild Coast

I finally got to visit the British Science museum with a friend last week.
There was a 3D show on at the time called  "Wild Ocean" which we decided to watch. To our amazement and wonderful surprise it was based on one of the  world's spectacular and great natural annual phenomena, which occurs in the winter months along the untouched and sheer cliff drops off the Wild Coast, in South Africa. It gave our hearts a sense of warmth and belonging as the distinguishable voice of John Kani narrated the expedition of the SARDINE RUN!
Every year millions of these silver fish make their way north along the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, swept along with the cold current of the water.

Pictures taken fromhere
They tend to form a huge bait-ball so as to confuse their predators and somehow choreograph their movement with their parallel swimming partner, thereby defending themselves. Their migration is tracked and followed by legions of predators, the common and  bottle nose dolphins, Cape gannets (that dart into the water with missile-like speed), sharks, seals and the biggest one of all, man, to commence the greatest yearly underwater feast! The hump back whales usually migrate aound this time of year as well, adding to the pomp and spectacular yearly event.

These shoals create such an extravagant phenomena that it is visible by satellite. People crowd the beaches every year around this time to watch shoals of it being netted in by business hawking seamen, and also to make their claim by spending early hours of the morning fishing the conventional way.
This natural occurence might be a thing of the past  as the years pass on and as man claims more of it than they require.

After watching this beautiful and extraordinary event in an IMAX cinema, it made me appreciate so much more of our beautiful country with unspoilt coasts, and also very fortunate to have witnessed it in my lifetime.
It's something you might take for granted every year because you're fortunate to see it happen and because you're fortunate enough that it happens some 20 minutes away from home, but next time you do experience it, consider yourself lucky and also very proud!

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