Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An African Angel...

The first week of my South African adventure has been spent primarily in Capetown and Gansbaai with my fellow Shark Angel, Alison. I am staying with Alison, her fiancĂ© Mourne, and two petulantly delightful Staffordshire terriers – Blue and Bruno. I have missed Alison so. As soon as we met last year, it was like we were all sisters who had grown up together forever, the three angels. With her so far away, it has been difficult to stay in touch, so we spent days catching up – chatting over endless cups of coffee and biscuits perched in her loft with the dogs snoozing between us.

A few short days later, we set out for Gansbaai to meet up with her fiancĂ© Mourne and his uncle, Mike Rutzen. I was so excited to see both – and more importantly, have the opportunity of a lifetime: the ability to get into the water and free dive with the whites. I had been begging Mike incessantly for months like a child desperate for some candy…

The weather, unfortunately, as it always seems to do in South Africa when I visit, did not cooperate, and a trip to sea resulted in nothing more than Alison and I becoming pounded unnecessarily by the brutal South African seas. Visibility was just not good enough to get into the water as Mike and Mourne understandably, take no chances. I must admit though, based on how cold I was, getting into the 14 degree water was not too appealing at that point anyway!

We made the best of the next three days, which we all spent together in Gansbaai. The four of us made dinners including my new South African favorite “Beer can chicken” (don’t ask where the beer goes), went offroading driving precariously up mountainsides to discover beautiful lakes and valleys, and of course in the true South African spirit, consuming quite a bit of the spirits. It was great fun. The stormy seas and the howling winds were actually quite enjoyable… under my feather duvet in a snuggly bed at the Rutzens – the world’s most generous hosts!

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