South African Sunset Painted By The Master Scientist

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This photo was taken just after sunset with a Canon Powershot A460. If you painted this incredibly beautiful sky just this way . . well, it would look as if you changed your mind somewhere, wouldn’t it?

The Bot River Estuary lies against the foothills of the Kogelberg mountains in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and only 20 kilometers outside Hermanus, South Africa. At bottom right part of the Kogelberg mountain range is just visible.

South African Sunset
South African Sunset over the Bot River Estuary -- Photo: John Bradfield. Taken with a Canon Powershot A460

Smoke and Fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – Day 2

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The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is in the heart of the Overberg about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Hermanus in the Western Cape, South Africa

By late yesterday afternoon the wind was a factor, blowing strongly from the south-east. The fire was moving rapidly into the mountainous area north of the N2 national road, threatening farms in the area. Continue reading “Smoke and Fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – Day 2”

Smoke and Fire in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve

koggelberg

After sunset the fire continued to burn as it marched over the peaks of the mountains in the distance at left casting a bright yellow glare in the night sky.

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on Fire
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve on fire
Within minutes, yesterday afternoon, this fire had blossomed from a wisp to a towering column of smoke. The vegetation of Fynbos contains plant matter with eucalyptus-type oils that burn very quickly.

Japanese Tsunami and the Amazing Resilience of Japanese People

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Day five and utter devastation and mounting problems face the deeply shocked survivors of the worst Japanese seismic event in history. The Japanese people, in the first moments realised that something was different from the intensity and duration of the movement of the ground.

The one-meter drop in sea level which occurred immediately after the 8.9 level earthquake confirmed that this was a seismic event big enough to generate a deadly tsunami. People on the coast began evacuating immediately. Continue reading “Japanese Tsunami and the Amazing Resilience of Japanese People”

Hottentots Holland Mountains of the Western Cape

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Almost equidistant between Hermanus and Cape Town lies the beautiful Hottentots Holland mountain range. The excellent N2 national road must negotiate the Sir Lowry’s and the Houwhoek mountain passes. The recently upgraded road is in superb condition and is well graded and contoured.

This region is the heart of the Western Cape’s successful fruit-growing export industry. Apple, pear, peach and nectarine orchards are interspersed with established vineyards. Continue reading “Hottentots Holland Mountains of the Western Cape”

The Grande Hotel in Beira Mozambique is Squatter Heaven

On the North-Eastern border of South Africa lies the country of Mozambique. Here, in the port city of Beira, the magnificent Grande Hotel was built in the mid 1950’s when the country was still under Portuguese colonial control.

It was by far the most luxurious Hotel in Africa. In the mid 1970s I visited Mozambique with my first wife on honeymoon. The civil war had just started and we saw evidence of the military wherever we traveled. Even at this time it was still a popular and thriving tourist destination for travelers from Rhodesia and South Africa. Continue reading “The Grande Hotel in Beira Mozambique is Squatter Heaven”

Deepest Sea Shoot for Avatar Sequel in the Marianas Trench

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The author of Avatar, James Cameron, is assembling a team to dive to the bottom of the deepest sea. He is planning to shoot footage for a sequel to Avatar.

The movie is set in the turbulent waters of Pandora, an alien moon, and it’s expected to hit the circuit in 2014. Cameron has commissioned Australian engineers to build a deep sea submersible to reach the bottom of the Marianas Trench. “We are building a vehicle to do the dive. It’s about half-completed in Australia,” said Cameron.

Camerons destination is an area known as “Challenger Deep”. At 10 916 meters (35 813 feet) below sea level, this is the deepest surveyed point on earth. It lies in the hadopelagic or Hadal zone so named from the greek word ” Hades” for the “underworld.” Continue reading “Deepest Sea Shoot for Avatar Sequel in the Marianas Trench”