Ysterfontein Bay full of a red tide
I've just returned from a visit to Yzerfontein on the West coast of the Western Cape.
This lovely little village has its own fishing harbour and today seems to have been a good day for landing snoek, the favourite fish of many Capetonians.
Not only does the village have its own harbour but a lovely beach which is safe for swimming and also a favourite haunt for anglers.
This beach has its own white muscle beds which are a couple of metres offshore in the surf.
To get some muscles which are an excellent bait one has to wade out into the surf, twist your foot down into the sand until you feel the edge of its oval shell.
Once you have located the mollusc you bend down and pull it out of the sand.
Often however while twisting your foot into the sand you end up standing on a crab and get a big fright as it scuttles away over your bare foot.
The red tide looks like oil boiling in the surf
Today however the beach is being threatened by what looks like a nasty oil slick but most probably is a red tide.
Either way its problems for the muscle beds as oil will kill them and a red tide which may be toxic will cause them to become poisonous and not suitable for fishing.
When this happens many sea birds die as they eat the poisonous muscles.
This will be a shame as the authorities are busy preparing the beach for the summer season.