THIS PLACE IS MADE OF THE OLDEST MAGIC.
IT’S AS IF THE MOUNTAINS TAKE ALL THE GLORY. THOSE WHO DO SPARE THE OCEAN A GLANCE IS TO CONFIRM THAT IT IS STILL OR STORMY, CLEAR OR MURKY – AS ALWAYS, STARING AT SKIN.
On a very popular road to a very famous place you park on a small gravel patch next to the tar and get changed. This is not blue water. This is warm wetsuit and gloves country. We suit up, add some extra weight for the thick suits and shallow water, slip n slide down the incline to the rocky shore. Mask, snorkel, fins in hand gauge the swell and jump! No time to sit on a rock like Lorelei and slip on your tail, no. Here it is all about timing the waves and the surge, entering without breaking anything (fins, camera, self). This place is not called the Cape of Storms for no reason. The cold water spikes your heart rate for a few breaths, slow down, slow down, slow down… longer exhales, heart returning to normal. I blink to get my eyes used to the mottled dark light beneath me. One deep breath, a couple of kicks down and the light becomes golden as it filters through the sun-seeking kelp fronds at the surface, I drop down the thick trunks and find my place. Bright pink and purple urchins smile up from the rocks under me, like spring flowers beneath an oak grove on land. Bronze bream fish flit in and out of sight, silver sides flashing as they try to understand if I am friend or foe. Friend, friend, friend I think at them. Clear water days here are not blue but crystal, transparent water suspending life. Up to the surface to breathe, slow kicks down, another dive. I know they’re here. This is their home we love to visit. Up and down I move through golden light searching, until yes. Moving without a care in the world, swaying to a rhythm purely aquatic; the three-meter sevengill shark swims past me. Her round eyes follow me as we drift in silence. Once you see one you see them all, silently ghosting through the forest. This place is made of the oldest magic. That which you find in wilderness when you look deeper than skin.
Written by Hanli Prinsloo