Monday, November 22, 2010

Off to a Damp Start!

The Beach Challenge kicked off this morning in the rain and wind at Kommetjie.
With a sea temperature of 15 and an air temperature of 19, it wasn’t the way we planned to start the Beach Challenge, but just after 10:00 and in the rain, we stripped  down to our costumes and made our way across the slimy rocks of our first beach, Die Kom.
The beach was empty except for Aiden and two of his mates - a couple of serious 10 year old fishermen standing in the shallow water in their gumboots and rain gear. 
The reason for the empty beach could have been any one (or all) of the following:
1.       The terrible weather;
2.       Aiden’s keenness to be left alone;
3.       The sign which welcomed us to the beach - “Warning:  Polluted Water – for health reasons swimming and recreational activities in these waters are at your own risk”;
4.       The write up the beach received in the beach guide published by the City of Cape Town – “This stretch of Kommetjie’s coastline is known as Die Kom… water quality problems discourage people from swimming here…”. 
To say that our first swim was quick would be an understatement.  Our first swim consisted of doggy paddle across a 4m stretch of ocean, a quick dunk of our heads and then a scramble across the rocks back to the car and out of the rain.  The water was this cold (––).
We dried ourselves off and were about to head off to the next beach or a coffee shop – we were slightly undecided and in two minds.  Suddenly, in the exact spot where we had just been swimming (and I mean EXACT) Aiden reeled in a shark!!!   The shark was an absolute monster… least 60cm…just a pity our cameraman  was still suffering from stage 1 hypothermia and wasn’t quick enough to get the camera bag open in time to record our near death encounter….1 beach down,  100 to go.
We moved on to Long Beach where there was a little more life.  Quite a few surfers meant that we weren’t alone on the beach.  Everyone was wearing wetsuits and there wasn’t much bare skin exposed by the surfers (or by anyone else).  We stripped down and charged down the beach, screaming all the way in and screaming all the way out.  The water was this cold (––).…2 down,  99 to go.
Noordhoek was next and definitely the coldest, about this cold ().  The weather was still pretty miserable and although the plan was to take a photo on the back of a horse and with the wind in our hair, it wasn’t possible.  All the horses were tucked up in their blankets at home…probably where we should have been too.  So, we didn’t get our action shot on the back of a horse but we did get an action shot of Matt riding an ass (you’ll have to look through the pictures to see the ass).  3 down, 98 to go.
We ended the first day of the Beach Challenge with a pub lunch at Skabanga’s in Noordhoek.  We were looked after by a waiter with cabin fever and a barman with an afro that hadn’t seen a brush or shampoo since the early 90’s.  The lunch was great, the coffee was strong and the staff were entertaining, but by 14:00 we were on our way home for a hot shower!
So, despite our concerns when we left home in the pouring rain this morning and despite the poor turnout for Day 1 of the Beach Challenge, we had a great time and have managed to tick off our first three beaches.  
Most of you that weren’t there today had good reasons – bachelors’ parties, hens’ parties, weddings and meetings (on a Sunday?) – this, together with the bad weather made your absence understandable, but we hope you’ll be there on Sunday when we’ll be taking on the beaches of the Cape Flats:
1.       Strandfontein – Blue Waters
2.       Mnandi
3.       Wolfgat Nature Reserve
4.       Monwabisi
5.       Macassar Beach
Bring your gorilla lock and pepper spray!


Pam said...

So super impressed with you guys and so glad you're still with us...sharks, pollution sounds hectic. See you Sunday!! x

Lelanie said...

very damp indeed. See you guys Sunday for stage two.....

Love the post. :)