running forward and trying to look beyond the beyond sometimes causes one to forget the incredible journey one has been through already. the wildetects have been given a great opportunity to create a life size great white sculptural shark for the aquarium in cape town.
so walking around the cape town aquarium yesterday and having an impromptu tour was extremely inspiring.
i woke up this morning thinking of the times when i surfed just about everyday of my life and the wonderful experiences i had with cape towns sea life.
in the 80"s i surfed everyday no matter the waves , conditions , weather. so i had a few chance encounters with the wild life around the cape.
once when surfing misty cliffs - it was late in the day, super glassy conditions, not very big waves and i was sitting at the back watching the sky put on its usual dramatic red sunset show. when out of nowhere i heard a sound like someone blowing a very strange musical instrument. i then felt raindrops on my face, which was odd as their where no clouds in the sky. and then i noticed this huge massive shape about 4m from me, silently gliding past. it was a freak big whale - to re-iterate, a really massive one - strangely enough i was not scared at all , i just sat their, and put my hands up in the air (i felt that was important for some reason) i also felt an immense connected feeling. i sat their for awhile mesmerized by how silent such immense power is. (well other than the blow hole noise) the whale was gliding surprisingly fast - it gave one more majestic orchestral sound and was gone. i could have touched it - but that would have spoilt the moment. the whale said, im coming through and it said cheers. what more could one want in life than have ones own conversation with a creature as magnificent as a whale. of course now that i understand basic whale - it actually said "touch me and you die."
on another occasion at kalkbay reef i was sitting out the back and suddenly i felt something latch onto my big toe. i looked down and saw these huge black eyes staring up at me through the water - it was a baby seal pup. i sat staring at it for awhile, but got an uneasy feeling that mom must be around somewhere, so i gently removed said seal pup from my big toe. it came back twice again before disappearing. i didnt think i looked anything like a mother seal but junior thought so.
cape clawless otters are incredible - very rare to see them and they love swimming in the sea. misty cliffs shore break waves can be rather intense, when i used to surf everyday - my favorite waves where thick bowling beach breaks , krons , danger beach shore break (left of the reef) waves like that, 5-6 foot pure bliss. so you can imagine my surprise when i paddled for a wave and at the last minute pulled back because it was sucking all the water off the bottom and just looked pure ocean nasty. however for 2 split seconds in the most hectic part of the boiling wave - exactly where the lip was going to grind a hole in the sea floor. was an otter. this little dude was on his back , flippers in the air and just having so much fun. i was , dude you gonna die. (look in my story when ive had a beer im sure he winked at me, however in this story i haven't had a beer, so no wink) anyway the wave exploded and unloaded on this little guy and i did that noise men do when they see another man get kicked in the goons. i looked at the back of the wave for awhile and eventually the little nut job otter popped up. he stayed in the exact same spot getting pounded by waves, for ages. i shouted , dude why you punishing yourself. but then i noticed each wave churned up a new morsel of chow, so i suppose the waves churn up the food and thats where you gotto hunt. in the extreme impact zone - takes some kahunas i tell you. imagine, here is your burger sir - and then BOOM - side swiped by a punching glove, very dangerous.
ive had huge dolphins swim around me in Namibia - i thought they where sharks but it was just super fast big dolphins. ive been pecked badly by a penguin and still have the scar on my lip. i noticed this penguin tangled in fishing line so i did the obvious thing and picked the little guy up and started freeing him. i managed to get most of the stuff off and then the little guy pecked me a shot. i couldn't believe it - i was still in that naive phase in life, that i felt if you help something the usual rules dont apply. anyway this penguin had not read that manual and left me with a kissing scar that i can still see if i grow my stubble. i freed most of the gut but after the bite the terms of our engagement kinda changed abit. i didnt hold onto the little guy and he escaped my efforts, i was sadly powerless as he zoomed out of their faster than anything ive seen. said i wouldn't kiss and tell and here i am spilling my guts.
i suppose the silliest story is when 2 of my friends and I where sitting far out at fish hoek beach. it was a big winter grey day and we where shooting the breeze waiting for a set. now back in the day fish hoeks reputation as being great white shark city central - wasn't entrenched yet. i mean we knew of the odd attack years before but nobody had ever seen a great white. so they simply lived in legend. anyway my buddy who was facing out to sea suddenly got this look on his face of absolute fear and gurgled SHARK!. we turned round and saw nothing, because he was always joking we didn't believe him. anyway he paddled in almost as fast as that penguin. myself and my remaining buddy re-enacted shark attacks for his benefit on the beach. if i think back now we should have just simply been eaten. he said the fin was about a 1m out the water. this brought on more fits of laughter. anyway anyone who knows fish hoek now, knows these men in grey suits regularly patrol the back line. on another occasion a diver urged us not to go in the water because he had seen a massive shark off clovelly - we paddled in anyway - brave as kids, stupid as fools. and obviously being skinny little guys fortunately didnt look edible enough for the johnny out back.
i have other occasions where the only aquarium i knew was the real one out their - however seeing all this abundance of incredible sea life at the aquarium sparked a few synaptic memories. the power of something sparking a memory. it was a great shot left and i enjoyed the experience and now im enjoying the synaptic memory moments. and moments are only half fore filled if not shared - so mom i know your the only reader of this blog - now you know what i did during my teenage years - i was studying marine biology. say hi to dad. (to the only other reader of this blog - if your not aware , my moms a biology teacher)