A taste of the west coast

wavesThursday, 24 July 2008

The mist has been hanging for days now, a twilight zone. One can hardly make out any land mark as the mist seems to wrap everything in a fine gauze film. Every now and then the sun manages to burn a hole in the haze and the beauty of the coast unfolds before you. Ahead lay the Veldrift harbour and the swollen brede river mouth, the wind gusting, now and then we would catch a glimpse of a large fishing ship bobbing on the muddy water swirling with debris, logs and piles of reeds with birds perched, squawking as the passed by and out into the channel to the ocean.

Reaching the harbour wall we could now see the small boat and the skipper who was to ferry us over the river. Wet slippery and smelling well fished we boarded the boat. A splutter and the outboard roared into life as we lurched out into the river and mist, buzzing left and right we rounded the stern of and old wooden trawler and onward we putted. Black ribbons of seabirds wound around us as they majestically wove a line into the mist ahead and out to their feeding grounds at sea.

Firm ground finally under foot we plodded on down the coast towards the more well known Paternoster and Shelly point. All going well and a good 12km per hour plod we pushed on, rounding St Helena bay we picked up a gravel path just above the high water mark and onward to Shelly point, relating stories to Braam about the years as a child I had spent here with my grand parents.

wavesRunning, pointing out a factory suddenly it all happened. For 10km in each direction there was nothing, but just here, at this point where my mind was somewhere else, a mole hill. Of all the places the mole decided to push his mound right here in front of me. My left foot hooked into the mound of sand, just long enough to get my upper body to go past that tipping point. My leg seemed pegged to the ground as my upper body picked up speed racing towards mother earth, I managed to get my hands out in front as I crashed shoulder first into the best shale and gravel the west coast could offer. My foot came loose and seemed to shoot my legs skywards as I impaled myself like spear into the ground. My body now contracted like a spring recoiling, I could feel my ribs touching each other and then the spring shot open again, my body extended all the force going forward, grinding and sliding my face along the path as every drop of air was expelled from my lungs, finally impaled everything came to a halt, my left eye studying the coastal path in fine detail. Groaning I rolled over, cautiously eying out the area like a chameleon to see if any one had witnessed my coastal frolic as I bounced to my feet and trundled on as if nothing had happened.

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