This week’s article is a family affair and fits in with lyrics of one of my families favourite songs “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon”. When the moon is full or new, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun are combined. At these times, the high tides are very high and the low tides are very low. Every Full Moon or new moon when the tide is at its lowest in Sedgefield it is an opportunity for both visitors and locals alike to experience an unforgettable educational experience by doing the Moonlight Meander.
The Moonlight Meander is led by either Judy Dixon or her son Mark Dixon who both have extensive knowledge of Marine Biology. Being a shell collecting, beach going, nature loving family I thought this would be a perfect experience to have my husband and children join me on a natural experience.
With the full moon Big and bright above us we arrive at 7pm at one of our favourite out of Sedgefield’s 5 beaches and one of the Garden Route’s best-kept secrets Swartvlei, Gericke’s Point. Greeted by Mark Dixon, tourists, a local and her daughter as well as my colleague Amanda our lesson starts in the car park with samples of Coral, Sharks eggs and shells passed around with fascinating facts and stories behind each of them. We switch on our torches and head down the path towards the beach.
A friend and I took the lead so eager to hit the beach that we almost missed a slimy slithering olive brown water snake in front of our feet. My husband being the snake lover he is decided to pick it up and give the folks an added lesson on reptiles.
When we finally reach the beach we are first greeted by snails then jelly fish all with fascinating facts that Mark shares with us. Then we are told to turn out torches off and what I see next literally takes my breath away, the waves are glowing in a vivid blue colour. We were fortunate enough to be doing the moonlight meander in a red tide and with phosphorescence in the sea.
We continued to walk, the not so familiar and much more interesting than I could have ever fathomed, Swartvlei beach, looking on rocks, looking in rock pools, picking up greenies, sorry for my new educated mind I should call them “urchin” shells. In the rock pools we found sea stars (formerly known as star fish), shells, molluscs, Sea anemones and so much more all while Mark shared interesting and fascinating facts about them. Mark even got excited when we were lucky enough to see a rare cuttlefish feed.
Three hours on a beach in the middle of the night feels so short when it’s shared with interesting information, blue glowing water and the light of the silvery moon. I strongly suggest you contact the Sedgefield Information Office and find out and book a Moonlight Meander and experience this for yourself for the small price per person.