Struisbaai Harbour Hot

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Fisher rowing boat by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick.jpg

The small fishing harbor at Struisbaai offers excellent opportunities for photographers as the small-scale fishers and line-fishers land their catches of fish. In addition, the harbour is well known for the Short-tailed Sting-rays that come to feed in the shallow waters on any fish offal.

Recently, a blind Cape Fur Seal has taken up residence at the harbour and is now fed by the fishers. The old wooden fishing boats or “Chukkies” as they are known also offer good opportunities for photography, particularly at dusk as the light softens and the lights of the harbour add mood to the scene.

Short-tailed stingray at Struisbaai by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

1 of 7: Short-Tailed Sting-Ray feeding in the shallows.

Red-stumpnose catch by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

2 of 7: Red-Stumpnose catch.

Line fishers and boat by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

3 of 7: Line-fishing boat and the remains of cleaned fish.

washing the catch by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

4 of 7: Washing the days catch.

Weighing the shark catch by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

5 of 7: Weighing the days shark catch.

Blind Cape Fur Seal by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

6 of 7: Blind Cape Fur Seal.

yellowtail preparation by wildlife and conservation photographer Peter Chadwick

7 of 7: Preparing and cleaning a Yellowtail from the days catch.

Photography

Best Time to Photograph
Fishers generally return to harbour during mid to late afternoon, when periods of good weather and calmer seas exist.
Type of Photography
  • People
  • Seascapes
  • Fishing Harbor
Best Time of Year
  • Summer
  • Spring
Photographic Tips
Work close to the fishers as crowds of onlookers often restrict views. Look for interactions between the fishers as well as being on the lookout for patterns created by the various fish species. Things happen quickly so you need to be able to work fast, trying different views and perspectives.
Recommended Gear
Mid-range zoom lenses and wide-angled zoom lenses together with a flash for filling in shadows give the best options for photography at the harbour

Highlights

Site Highlights
Short-Tailed Stingrays
Line-fish catches
Wooden Chukkies

Footnotes

Season and Weather
The climate is Mediterranean with warm summers and mild winters. Wind is present throughout the year with rain falling mainly in the winter months. Always be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. The summers are the dry and dusty months, whilst winter is the time when the fynbos is lush, green and in flower. The best months to visit are April and September.
Habitats
Other Activities
  • swimming
  • Surfing
  • Beach walks

Map

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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
About
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.