The Phoenix - The Shipwreck Near Durban

 We climbed down to the windswept beach, where the waves were crashing onto the rocks, to see if we could see the ill-fated Phoenix.

After picking me up at King Shaka International Airport, Jane took a detour to see the ship that had run aground in Salt Rock, near Durban. The 164 meter long bulk freighter, the Phoenix, was on its way to India to be scrapped, but had to drop anchor off the coast, in Christmas Bay, to weather out a storm. A cold front had arrived bringing 30 knot winds, rough seas and a 15 foot deep-sea storm swell.

Unfortunately, the anchor line broke and the Phoenix drifted towards the shore, where it ran aground. The skeleton crew of 15 were airlifted to safety by helicopters, and the ship left to the mercy of the Indian Ocean. At first, it was decided to try to use a tug to drag the ship into deep water, but it now seems as if the ship will be scrapped where it is, as a salvage company has already been brought in to oversee operations.

We could see the ship in the distance, through the sea-mist 
caused by the spray. Unfortunately the path was too rocky and slippery 
to reach the ship this way.

As you can imagine, this ship has been a great attraction and hoards of people are trying to get down to the beach to see what's happening. The police have set up a road block to prevent cars blocking access to emergency vehicles, so we had to leave the car up on the bluff. We walked down the nearest path to the beach, but the sea was very rough and the path to the ship was very rocky and slippery. We then climbed back up again and took another road, which took us nearer to the ship. It was an amazing sight, especially when a helicopter came to deliver supplies for the salvage crew.

We managed to get closer to the ship by taking a different route.

 A helicopter appeared, carrying gear for the salvage crew.

It hovered over the ship as it tried to land its cargo.

The load was delivered safely before the helicopter flew away. Later, 
we heard that this was one of ten runs made by the helicopter.

Although I was extremely tired after having flown from Istanbul to Jo'burg, and then straight on from Jo'burg to Durban, it was well worth the effort just to see this extraordinary sight. But, unlike the mythological Phoenix, this one will never rise again.


A Cold, Wet, and Windy East Anglia, England

It's a summer's day in July, and the weather is cold and damp, I can only be in England! Although, to be fair, the miserable conditions are only here, in East Anglia. The weather forecast for the rest of the country is dry and sunny. Just my luck!

Jessica, second from the right, sets off in the 100m sprint.

Notwithstanding the weather, we had fun at Jessica's school sports day. Jessica enjoyed taking part, and Clare won the mother's race (not entirely unexpectedly). We also had delicious strawberry and cream scones for tea.

Jessica carefully balances her egg on the spoon,
as she races to the finish.

Jessica runs her hardest in the relay.

Clare, second from the right, sets off
in the mother's skipping race.

Clare romps home ahead of the rest.


The IWI and German Club Cruise up the Bosphorus

 Our vessel, with the captain on the bridge
Cruising along the Bosphorus is a wonderful way to escape the heat and bustle of the city. On Thursday, I joined the IWI (International Women of Istanbul) and German Club's boat trip. During the summer months there is a tour every Thursday, all the way along the Bosphorus to a sheltered bay near the opening to the Black Sea.

 Once we had moored in the bay, Naz wasted no time 
before diving in to the clear, green water.

Naz was quickly joined by others

Here's a crab, plucked from the sea floor...

...and a fistful of conch shells, 
(yes, that is a man - husbands are welcome too!)

Everyone is asked to bring something to contribute towards lunch or afternoon tea, and as a result, the variety of food is amazing. We all had a marvelous day, although I must confess to having eaten way too much as everything was so delicious!

Relaxing after a delicious lunch.

At teatime, we just had to sample every single offering,
it was our social duty!

Teatime was a serious affair, we just had to try all those cakes!

Homeward bound at the end of a glorious day.

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I couldn't resist this one!