23 April 2013

Waddle for a Week 2013 – Day One

Katja Rockstroh

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

We made our way to Gansbaai on Sunday evening (April 21), settling in at Saxon Lodge and the Great White House (there are 16 of us this year, so we had to split the group).

While the Great White House has been our avid supporter for all three Waddle For A Week events (a special thank you to Alouise Lynch for being helpful as always), Saxon Lodge is a new sponsor this year. Apart from offering accommodation, it also provided a great braai and lovely breakfast for all the waddlers. Thank you to Caron Lee and Dave Sawtelle for their great hospitality.

The team with Caron and Dave from Saxon Lodge. All photos by Katja Rockstroh
The team with Alouise Lynch from the Dyer Island Conservation Trust and the Great White House. David Grier also joined us and gave an inspirational talk on his journeys across India, China and Madagascar

The morning of day one arrived, and it could not have been more fitting as it was also Earth Day. Earth Day encourages people to think about the difference they can make, however small, for the benefit of our planet.

We all met up at Gansbaai Tourism and readied ourselves for the first stretch of the waddle.

The waddlers were supported by two paddlers, Tracey and Art, who decided to paddle from Gansbaai to Stanford for Penguin Promises
Thank you to Chrysler Jeep Newlands for lending us two vehicles for the week – a Chrysler Voyager and a Jeep Wrangler. We could not do the trip without these, and are very grateful

And we then headed off, holding our “Hoot for Penguins” signs high.

Between Gansbaai and Stanford there is a lot of open road, but the waddlers persevered
Part of the waddle involves counting the number of cars and number of hoots to get an idea of what the hoot-to-car ratio is. See how many we got at the end of this blog

Day one was a shortish waddle, with only 20km covered. It was a good warm up, though, since the distance will increase daily until Friday.

Four kilometres to go and our hoot counter was already more than we had hoped for. Thank you to all the motorists (and the rather scarily large trucks) who supported us!

Within record time (four hours), our waddlers reached Stanford.

Once we reached Stanford, we awaited schoolchildren from Die Bruyn Primary School, Okkie Smuts Primary School and Troost Homeschool. We also had people from the Stanford Bird Club and Stanford Tourism join us.

The waddlers with some of the kids from Die Bruyn Primary School
Gabby Harris from uShaka Marine World, who is a co-founder of Penguin Promises, talks to the children about the importance of conserving the African penguin

After walking through town of Stanford with all the children (and getting a few additional hoots), it was relaxation time for our waddlers, who were feeling the effects of the first day and needed to rest their limbs.

Join us!

Day two starts in Stanford and ends in Hermanus. Please join us on the Waddle – for the full 24km if you are keen, or even just for 1km, if so inclined. We would love the company. If you are in a car driving along this route, please hoot!

The total number of hoots on day one was 364, with 772 cars driving past. That is a 47% “success rate”. We will try to beat that every day!

For those of you unable to join us, please follow us on our Twitter page, or go check out www.penguinpromises.com and make your Penguin Promise.

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • Saxon Lodge – Dave and Caron: www.saxonlodge.com
  • Great White House/Dyer Island Conservation Trust – Alouise Lynch
  • Cape Nature
  • Two Oceans Aquarium
  • uShaka Marine World
  • Chrysler Jeep Newlands
  • Brands For Change

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

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