Pi­geon tech­nol­ogy still flies high

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

THE other day an in­ter­est­ing snip­pet com­par­ing old com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy with the lat­est in in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity.

A 4GB stick was loaded with in­for­ma­tion and at­tached to a pi­geon, while at the same time the same 4GB file was loaded onto a com­puter.

The file was to be sent from one t own t o a not her i n S out h Af r i c a , across a dis­tance of about 100km.

The com­puter was ac­ti­vated and the pi­geon re­leased. The pi­geon ar­rived at the des­ti­na­tion in just over an hour, but the com­puter file ar­rived nearly a day later.

I face the same prob­lem prac­ti­cally ev­ery day as read­ers sub­mit pho­to­graphs and ar­ti­cles.

I now send my file then fol­low up with re­peated phone calls, a waste of pre­cious time.

Years ago, in the early 1970s, the first Cape to Rio yacht race took place. There was much fan­fare and, nat­u­rally, the press was in­volved in ev­ery as­pect.

Back then there were no dig­i­tal cam­eras, lap­top com­put­ers or in­ter­net con­nec­tions.

Our group had a pho­tog­ra­pher and re­porter on board one of the yachts sail­ing to Rio and we had spe­cial per­mis­sion to place an­other pho­tog­ra­pher who could swim and had an un­der­wa­ter cam­era on board for the start.

The only rule was that the pho­togr apher had t o j ump of f t he yacht be­fore it crossed the start­ing line. Any yacht car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers not in­volved in the crew­ing of the yacht would be ex­pelled from the race.

The pho­tog­ra­pher was picked up by a pa­trolling ski boat and rushed back to the news­room with pho­to­graphs of the action as the yachts raced to the start line.

The pho­tog­ra­pher and re­porter sail­ing to Rio were also equipped with a minia­ture cam­era as well as sev­eral hom­ing pi­geons.

Each day for the first three days of sail­ing, the news­room re­ceived a roll of film and a hand-writ­ten story of daily life on board a racing yacht de­liv­ered by pi­geon.

We had great suc­cess as the Cape Ar­gus was t he only news­pa­per t o re­ceive up-to-date pho­to­graphs of life on board a racing yacht mid-ocean

To d a y t e c h n o l o g y h a s leapt for­ward and it is pos­si­ble to send in­for­ma­tion across the world at some­times su­per-fast speeds, but it can also be amaz­ingly frus­trat­ing when the elec­tronic ver­sion just seems to dis­ap­pear into some sort of black hole in space, and of­ten can never be found. CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Philip Morse for his pho­to­graph of Ever­est at sun­set. Philip wins din­ner for two at CinCin, where food and life are cel­e­brated with su­perb views of the Cape Town city sky­line, Ta­ble Moun­tain, and its pièce de ré­sis­tance, a 3m gen­uine Swarovski crys­tal chan­de­lier.

CinCin is syn­ony­mous with el­e­gance and am­bi­ence. The menu changes with t h e s e a s o n s , i n c l u d i n g a n u mber o f themes: the veg­etable gar­den, the sea, the farm, the veld and fyn­bos.

From the moun­tains to the sea, the colour­ful dishes re­flect lo­cal flavours; sweet, sun drenched, earthy, rich in taste and aroma. Visit CinCin at the Protea Ho­tel Colos­seum in Cen­tury City and al­low its team to re­veal the true essence of CinCin. What­ever lan­guage you speak, may it be a cel­e­bra­tion.

Our run­ners-up are Nicole Ger­sten­berg for her pho­to­graph of a Zanz­ibar lo­cal; and Bill Martin for his pho­to­graph taken at Loch Tum­mel in Scot­land.

Travel2009 will con­tinue to pub­lish the pop­u­lar read­ers’ pho­to­graphic com­pe­ti­tion, with a prize of a din­ner for two for the win­ners each week.

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