These holidays are for developing computer material and investigating the area. Teachers may find this computer skills information useful – How to use a group to send email, and then how to import email addresses from Excel into Gmail http://www.compmat.wcape.school.za/PHS/examples/Google%20email%20import%20group.doc

Google street view is here! A Google street view vehicle has probably been in most urban areas in South Africa and taken street views. Today I went to Google map and looked for my home. I dragged the orange "Pegman" icon on the left-hand side of the map onto my street, and saw my home. Oops, I need to do some tree trimming. Read the details of Google street view here – https://sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/streetviewza/ .

And while we think of tourists have a look at the web cams at http://www.kapstadt.de/reiseinformationen/suedafrika-webcams/blouberstrand-webcam/

Young people can handle the poor weather we are experiencing today. However my friend in the local old age home / frail care centre has just been banished to her room because she has a cold. Residents at the home need to have the flu jab. They cannot get it because all flu vaccine has been tied up by government agencies for the World Cup. Strange how soccer can actually possibly kill the patients!  For further details see the West Cape NewsHealthy young person.

Overcast day

Overcast day at beachThe surfers appreciate the changes in the waves which have resulted from the beached Seli 1. Today, although the weather was overcast, they were out in the surf near the ship. The car park was busy but few ice creams were sold. Beanies and hoods were the uniform, as well as jackets.

For a live view of Blouberg beach look at this list of web cams on the right hand side of the screen, and select the one required.  So many!

Weather on the coast is perfect for some people on this winter’s day – no wind, full sun, no rain. Winter?


Broken Seli 1

Broken in middle

In September 2009 the Seli 1 ran aground in Table View. Since then the owners and insurance company have disconnected from the wreck and left it to the South African government to deal with. Coal, oil and diesel have gradually been removed from the ship over the last few months. With winter approaching there were fears that the boat may break up before all pollution forming material had been removed. On a beautiful winters day last week the ship showed definite signs of a break in the central area and being lower in the water. Today, 4 June, there was an explosion on the ship and it caught alight. As the sun set it was still burning, Seeing a burning ship in the dark is a fearful sight especially when there are other ships with crew and cargo in the roadstead and as vulnerable.

In the morning one will be able to see the pollution on the beach and what remains of the boat. Many will be glad of the fire – as a way of getting rid of the wreck. Surfers had been well disposed to the wreck as it had improved the surfing in the area, even though they hated the miniscule blobs of oil which it gave off and which stuck to their bodies and equipment. The Milnerton lagoon already had the barrier floating on the water to prevent any oil spillage entering the ecologically important Rietvlei. Now we wait to see what happens to the sheets of burnt metal. Will they break off and create a hazard to ships and surfers, or will a salver now be able to get the metal off. We wait the morning.