Monday, December 18, 2017

Scuba diving party in Port Elizabeth

Parties are getting more and more sophisticated.  Back in our days it was kids coming over and eating cake and sweets while watching a video and playing.  These days parents are pulling out all the stops to make a child's birthday party a memorable one and with two kids, a boy and a girl, we've been to everything. Movies, ice skating, trampoline park, pool parties, supertube, survival parties and more.  But Drama Princess had a first the other day.  A scuba diving party hosted at ProDive here in Port Elizabeth. 

The kids had a swim in the dive pool while waiting for everybody to arrive before the full safety briefing by one of ProDive's qualified dive masters.

They were then given their diving gear...

... with the dive master kitting them each out individually to make sure everything is in order.

Then it was time to get in the water and the fun to start.

Miggie showing off her scuba look.

Some of the kids "got it" immediately...

... while Miggie's mind told her she has to come up every time she wanted to breathe in.  The dive master brought her back to the shallow side and spent a few moments with her to put her mind at ease and to help her get used to breathing underwater. 

Then there was no stopping her.

I wondered beforehand if Miggie would enjoy a scuba party and if she would even go under water.  Any uncertainty was cleared up very quickly and the kids at the party absolutely loved it and would have spent all day in there if they could.  I did my diving qualification many years ago and haven't dived for a while, but I remember the feeling and I can imagine while the kids loved it.  It's really something different and if you're looking for something out of the ordinary for your child's next party, then you should really consider doing this. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hole in the Wall - an icon of the Eastern Cape

The Hole in the Wall near Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast truly is one of the iconic sights (and sites) of the Eastern Cape and South Africa and recognised worldwide. 

Hole-in-the-Wall was named by Captain Vidal in 1823.  Vidal was captain of the Barracouta and was sent by the British to survey the coastline between the Keiskamma River and Lourenço Marques (present-day Maputo). He took his ship as close as 800m from the coast and described the phenomenon of a natural archway which he then named the "Hole-in-the-Wall".

The local Bomvana people refers to the formation as ‘EsiKhaleni’, the Place of the Sound or Place of Thunder.  During certain seasons and water conditions, the waves clap in such a fashion that the concussion can be heard throughout the valley.  

Local legend tells that the Mpako River once formed a landlocked lagoon as its access to the sea was blocked by a mighty cliff.  A beautiful girl lived in a village near the lagoon.  One day she was seen by one of the sea people who became overwhelmed by her beauty and tried to woo her.  The sea people were semi-deities who look like humans but have supple wrists and ankles and flipper-like hands and feet.  When the girl’s father found out he forbade her to see her lover. So at high tide one night, the sea people came to the cliff and, with the help of a huge fish, rammed a hole through the centre of the cliff. As they swam into the lagoon they shouted and sang, causing the villagers to hide in fear. In the commotion the girl and her lover were reunited and disappeared into the sea.