Albert Visits from Spain

I arrived to Port Elizabeth on a windy summer morning of January. Karen (responsible for the marketing and bookings) was waiting for me at the airport, and shortly after I was introduced to Lloyd Edwards (the owner of the company) and Jake Keeton (the manager). Since the very first moment they all made me feel like part of the team, and that did not change during the three months I collaborated with Raggy Charters.

m_281ae3fe4c424146ae72ade7c94b9abd.jpg

I initially heard from Raggy Charters because it was part of the WCA (World Cetacean Aliance). The fact of being a small company, running very personal tours with small groups, being committed with conservation and education and involved in many research projects around Algoa Bay caught my attention. That is why I got in touch with Lloyd Edwards. He was always very helpful and informative about what my stay would be like. But after these three months I can say that the reality overtook my expectations. I could not have had a better experience.

I was hosted in the Guest House in Seaview, and I quickly fell in love with that place. I could not believe I had an entire apartment for myself, with unforgettable views to the Indian Ocean. Falling asleep with the sound of the Indian Ocean and waking up with the birds is something I will never forget. Besides that, I could use a car to move around and explore the area.

m_img_20190304_110909078.jpg

Even when it was not high season, I was regularly going out to the sea to show to our guests the magnificent wildlife it is possible to see in Algoa Bay. Before arriving, I honestly wasn’t aware of how rich the ocean is here. I rapidly understood why Algoa Bay is the bottlenose dolphin capital of the world. I had never seen that amount of dolphins together! But besides Bottlenose dolphins, I managed to see Common dolphins, Humpback dolphins, Minke whales and Bryde’s whales… and it was low season!

But it was not only about cetaceans… after these three months I saw different species of sharks (Hammerheads, Mako sharks and even Great white sharks!) and also a wide variety of birds, such as Cape cormorants, White-breasted cormorants, Cape gannets, African black oystercatchers, Cape gulls, shearwaters, storm petrels… and the lovely African penguin. I felt blessed I had the opportunity of going to St Croix island to see this endangered species of penguins from up close.

My duties consisted basically on helping on anything necessary on board, assisting our guests, driving the boat when necessary and boat maintenance. I really enjoyed all my time helping the crew. I could also visit SANCCOB (South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), and learn about the different coastal birds of the area and the threats they are facing.

I even had the opportunity of going to Bird island for a day trip with the manager Jake and with researchers. It was very interesting and exciting helping the researchers while releasing injured Cape fur seals back into their colony. I could also help them when collecting data of that colony. It was also great to get to see the biggest gannettry in the world at Bird island.

But it was not only about working. I also had time to explore a little bit of what South Africa can offer. I did some short trips to Cape Town and also to Lesotho and ekwaZulu Natal province, as well as a week in Kruger National Park.

All the team made me feel like one of them. I had so much fun with Lloyd, Jake, Warren, Purity, Karen and Abongile. I will always remember them not only as working mates, but also as true friends. We spent lots of hours on the boat, but I also enjoyed the glasses of wine with Lloyd (lots of them), the beers with Jake (even more), the talks to my little sister Purity, the uncountable braais (BBQ) with all the team, the visits to Addo National Park and so many unforgettable moments I spent with Raggy Charters team.

Thank you all for this amazing experience!!!

m_img_20190222_084312550_hdr.jpg

m_img_20190322_180724136.jpg

m_img_20190322_181923763_hdr.jpg

m_img_20190226_152452173_hdr.jpg

Website Design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) by ZAWebs Designs | Web Hosting by ZAWebs Hosting