29 April 2013

Waddle for a Week 2013 – Day Six

Katja Rockstroh

Two Oceans Aquarium Environmental Education Centre P.A. to Head of Education Katja Rockstroh was on the road last week, live-tweeting and blogging from the annual Waddle for a Week for the African penguin.

It was the last day of the Waddle for a Week campaign of 2013. It had been hard work for our waddlers, covering 105km over the previous five days, and the last 15km was sure to be an absolute breeze.

A big thank-you to Belinda from Whalewatchers and Claire from Surfer’s Corner, for sponsoring our accommodation again! The view is magnificent, with Muizenberg beach right in front of our noses.

A big crowd gathered at Surfer’s Corner at 9am, making our hearts swell from all of the support.

All photos by Katja Rockstroh
The waddlers are ready to go, with lots of support from the locals and some previous waddlers, too

After a few final guidelines, in terms of how and where on the roads we should be walking, the group was off and heading towards St James.

Hayley and Nasmie taking up the lead of the group
The waddlers making their way into St James, while enjoying the views on the way
Several counts throughout the day revealed a group size of up to 160 people at one point. Thank you so much for all of the support and for the schools that made an effort to come through, too. Square Hill Primary and Wynberg Girls’ High joined us for the whole walk!
In no time, the waddlers had made it through St James and Kalk Bay, getting hoots all the way.

While we were waddling, Tracy and Art Fincham of Kaskazi Kayaks were paddling for penguins. They had done so from Gansbaai to Stanford as well, on the first day of the waddle.

Stacey and Art on the stretch of water between Fish Hoek and Glencairn

The trail of waddlers looked neverending as they rounded the corner towards Glencairn. It was amazing to see so many of them persisting, after reaching the halfway mark of the 15km walk.

We had known all week that Simon’s Town had prepared for our arrival, but what we found was beyond touching. It was truly penguin country, with penguin art made by Simon’s Town schoolchildren greeting us wherever we looked.
On behalf of all of the waddlers, thank you to the town of Simon’s Town for making such an effort, and for welcoming us so warmly. What a great way to end off the waddle!

Another surprise waited for us, however, at Jubilee Square.

Locals and tourists alike enjoy some arts and crafts set up by the Two Oceans Aquarium, as well as a closer look at some of our marine invertebrates, which were brought to the square by the Aquariums ‘Oceans in Motion’ outreach van

The Aquarium’s mascot, Samantha, high-fived all of the waddlers as they arrived at Jubilee Square, in recognition of a job well done.

Once all the waddlers had arrived, Hayley McLellan addressed everyone in Jubilee Square about the Waddle for a Week campaign and Penguin Promises, and why we did what we had just done.

Only a short walk on, and the whole team finally reaches Boulders beach
Hayley and Gabby, the founders of Penguin Promises and Waddle for a Week, spoke a few short words to everyone who participated and to thank all of our sponsors.
And just to end off the waddle in style, Hayley and Gabby were presented the PAAZAB Conservation Award by Stephen van der Spuy, executive director of PAAZAB, and John Werth of AKAA.

Thank you to Abigail at Boulders Beach Lodge for organising our welcome drinks, and for a lovely lunch. Thank you also for accommodating some of our waddlers overnight, and for giving them a relaxing night after a long week of waddling.

Since we have been keeping tabs on our car-to-hoot ratio this whole week, I am very pleased to announce that we had a 95% success rate on the last day of the waddle! Thank you very much to all of the motorists for being so supportive to our cause, and making our day 3 263 times – because that is how many hoots we got!

It has indeed been a great journey along the south coast of the Western Cape. As with the previous two years, I am always amazed at the hospitality and friendliness of the people along our coast and their willingness to help us create more awareness for the African Penguins. Thank you to all of our sponsors, because without you we cannot do this.

As a support driver, it is always hard to see any of my waddlers struggle through some of the walks, as some definitely can be strenuous and hot, and all I can do is supply some momentary relief for them. It was great to see some of the waddlers from last year again, and I have also made new friends. This is the case for all of the waddlers, and which makes these Waddle for a Week campaigns so memorable: friends, and the fact that we are creating awareness for a beautiful species of bird found nowhere else on the planet!

Get involved!

Waddle for a Week 2013 is done and dusted, but there will be more events throughout the year. Please follow Penguin Promises and the Two Oceans Aquarium on Twitter and Facebook for updates. Make your Penguin Promise and e-mail it to ipromise@penguinpromises.com. It does not have to be a huge change. Giving up the use of a single-use plastic bag is enough, or refusing straws at restaurants. Make a promise that suits you and take it from there. Small things make big changes!
Visit www.penguinpromises.com for more information.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Stay in touch: For daily Aquarium updates, follow us on Twitter (@2OceansAquarium) and become a fan on Facebook.

blog comments powered by Disqus