Category Archives: Cape Town

A Breath of Fresh Air

Seaside 1

Haiku 97

Sitting on the beach

Strong breeze blows your cares away

Just sea, sand and sky

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Seaside 2

Distant mountains.

Seaside 3

I’ll be very impressed if anyone spotted the cormorant in the photo above, taking off from the sea where it had been fishing.

Seaside 4 – Cormorant

Where was it?

Seaside 5 – Cormorant

I have left a lot of sky in the photos, so you can enjoy the deep blue; and sand, so you can imagine walking along the beach.

 

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Happy New Year 2019

Sunrise 2

As the sun sets on 2018 and rises on 2019, I’d like to wish my WP friends all the very best for the coming year.

Thank you for your friendship during this last year and here’s hoping the coming year will be a good one for you all, with health and happiness.

Here’s to a great 2019.

Cheers from Scifi and Little Monkey.

Happy New Year!

 

The Blue Train

Kalk Bay Train Restaurant 1

Step back in time, to an era of elegance, where you could travel in style and luxury.

Kalk Bay Train Restaurant 2

Sit comfortably on padded chairs while you wait for your food.

Kalk Bay Train Restaurant 3

There is plenty to choose from the scrumptious menu.

Kalk Bay Train Restaurant 4

Or take a look at menus from past journeys under the glass top table.

Kalk Bay Train Restaurant 5

Nowadays this old railway carriage serves as a restaurant and stands alone, next to the tracks where trains still run.

It is where I always stop for lunch whenever I visit Kalk Bay.

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This is for Blosslyn, who requested photos of the Blue Train.

 

Sea Mist

Sea 1 Muizenberg

Haiku 86

See through the sea mist

Distant mountains all around

Vast open ocean

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This is a coastal view of Muizenburg from part way up the mountain on Boyes Drive.

Sea 2

The sky looks cloudy in the distance, but this is not fog. It was a hot windy day and what you see is a heat haze.

Sea 3

The wind whipped up the sea, producing white horses.

Sea 4

This is the view from the parking lot at Kalk Bay. The train runs right along the coast towards Simonstown. Today the sea looked green, but usually it is as blue as the sky.

 

All Hail

Hail!

Haiku 71

All Hail! Little stones

Dancing on my patio

So rare yet welcome

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We had Hail!

It is quite rare for the conditions to be just right for it to hail here in Cape Town. However, after a storm raging all night at the weekend, we got this brief hailstorm in the early morning. It was great to watch the little stones bouncing on the slaster.

It seems we are getting our July weather after all – but in August!

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post script: The weather is odd right now. When a cold front passes bringing rain, the temperatures drop right down. It was 9 C reaching a high of only 11 C when it hailed, which is cold for CT. But the sun, when it comes out, is hot!

The sun has been returning for two months already. It is higher in the sky, much warmer than it was and around for longer in the day. It is very pleasant for Little Monkey and I to take a walk after a rainstorm, when the air is fresh and clear, and the sun warm on our backs. 

 

Day Zero – Now What?

Raindrops

Basically, Day Zero will not now happen in 2018, and probably not in 2019 either. Day Zero: the day the taps would be turned off in Cape Town, if the dam levels fell to 13%. See Day Zero and Day Zero – Update.

Weekly Drought Monitoring

This is because Cape Town received some rain this winter, mostly in May, with a little in June, virtually none in July (which used to be our wettest month!) and some this August, as you can see from the graph above.

Dam Levels 20 August 2018

The dams have just reached the 60% mark I was hoping for. Hooray! (You can see in the graph above that for this week in 2017 the dams were only 32% full!)

This puts us out of the danger zone for a while. The water should last us over the upcoming long, dry, hot summer months, until the next winter rains can be expected in May 2019.

However, all water restrictions are still in place and these are severe. Each person is allowed only 50 litres of water a day. Drinking water cannot be used for any purpose other than drinking and household requirements. You are not allowed to wash your car, water your garden or top up your swimming pool.

You can use grey water (dirty water, such as water already used for washing clothes or dishes, and unsuitable for drinking) to flush your toilets or water your garden.

Dam Levels 2014 to 2018

So what was all the fuss about then?

Well, if Capetonians had continued to use water at the rate we used to do, which was about 1.2 billion litres a day, we would definitely have run out of water (some time back in April this year). We now use about 500 million litres a day; a significant reduction.

There had to be “scare tactics” and strict regulations made. People who refused to reduce their water usage were heavily fined and had water metres fitted that would shut off the water supply to their property after their allotted amount was used up for the day.

If people had not been woken up to the facts and that queuing for water would be a very real possibility, most people would not have saved enough water. Sadly it is just human nature. “It rained yesterday therefore we have water.” “If there was a problem they’d switch the water supply off.” etc

What irked me in all this was the world view. I felt the rest of the world was pointing fingers at Cape Town and saying, “How could they be so stupid and not plan for this?”

I repeat again: It Did Not Rain!

2014 was fine, dams 100% full.
2015 less rain, but still fine.
2016 less rain again, but OK.
2017 hardly any rain at all!

As you can see from the graphs above and below.

Ten Year Graph of Dam Levels

Water Augmentation Projects were in place before the drought struck, but not for the immediate future, rather for 2020 to 2025. These projects are still underway with more proposed. Large desalination plants are very expensive! Water is being produced already, but nowhere near yet, to the 500 ML needed per day.

Water Augmentation

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By now everyone is used to the small amount of water they’re allowed to use daily here in Cape Town.

But it would be nice to take a shower for more than 90 seconds or have a bath in more than 2 cm of water!

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post script: The graphs shown here are for the week beginning Monday 20 August 2018. You can visit the City of Cape Town website for current information.