Posted on the 10th August 2018

On our arrival, on a beautiful clear but very crisp morning, the BLO members were welcomed at the Great White House by Brenda du Toit for coffee and muffins, while she gave us an overview of the activities around Dyer Island Conservation Trust and Marine Dynamics. She also mentioned the history of the Birkenhead shipwreck, with the display of the artifacts recovered and the annual memorial cruise coming up later this year.

We then drove back to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary and Volunteer centre, where we were guided around the amazing organic vegetable garden, with Marie and her daughter who are the chief growers showing what can be achieved in a smallish area- the crops are utilized by the restaurant, but in future they would like to expand into other markets.








Off then to the centre itself, where the interns and global volunteers are accommodated, and there we had a fascinating and informative power point presentation by Brenda on the work done not just in the conservation of Great Whites, Whales and Penguins in particular, but the whole gamut of marine conservation and the many challenges that conservationists face trying to preserve fast diminishing marine life. We were also shown by Grant the courses that will be offered by the new Marine Academy, mainly for full time guides, but also short courses offering studies in Fynbos, Geology, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Astronomy etc, which was of great interest to many of us and I'm sure he'll have some new students!

A visit to the actual Sanctuary then followed, with interesting input from the staff there, who are doing an amazing job caring for sick and young penguins as well as other sea birds.







An excellent lunch back at the Great White House completed a fantastic morning - many thanks to Brenda and the other dedicated members of the DICT team.
Di Parker

Brenda du Toit then forwarded some handy links and other information for those of you wanting to investigate some of these issues further:
So lovely to have spent the morning with all of you. I do hope you enjoyed it. I have attached the team photo taken at the penguin sanctuary.
I have added some links for reading and video that some of you will find of interest.
Corporate video:

Dyer Island Conservation Trust Report:

Penguin pledge: Please note we welcome old towels and newspapers. 

The shark population study: This shows the fin ID software.

How to tag and track a shark: 

The orca video: 

You can of course also have a look at our websites and for more information.









The Wild Shots photography event information can be found here: The Cape Town event is on the 1st December.
I have copied in Grant and Gillie here so you have their contact information. The one thing we didn’t really discuss is if any of you feel drawn to helping us in any way in terms of volunteering. We have locals – Gansbaai and Hermanus – who work at the penguin sanctuary and assist us elsewhere.
Gillie heads up our volunteer team and we appreciate any support such as the below:
- You could offer to assist at the penguin sanctuary (this requires commitment and training). This could also include front of house guest education and/or , shop support if that is your strength.
- Assist at events. We have a fun run later in the year and need marshalls and other support. We also appreciate anyone helping us at our whale festival stand to talk penguins etc
- Administration skill – we haven’t really called upon anyone for this task but it is good to know if anyone is available to do this.

Grant can send more information on the courses in due course.

(Images by Riaan, Anton, Brenda and DICT. More images will be posted once these are received from participants);
























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