The season for whales…

2019 was the year I missed the whales in Hermanus. They were here. But I wasn’t…

This year I am and have spotted a few already! They are still pretty far away. I suppose they’ll come closer when its time to give birth. For now, they’re arriving and settling in to the bay. And I’ll drive back to Cape Town, satisfied that all is well with the world, despite the Corona virus and the chaos across the planet.

The first time I saw a whale was from the upstairs bathroom in a friend’s house here. I was lucky enough to see the magnificent creature breach right out of the water. It felt as if he stayed suspended for a moment or two, just for me. But I went downstairs, resolving not to say a word in case I’d imagined it. I’m known for flights of fancy, so it could easily have turned into a massive teasing session. Besides, there was someone I was keen to impress and it wouldn’t have done to make a complete fool of myself.

I needn’t have worried. By the time I joined my group of friends, they were all standing on a ledge peering out to sea. There was no space to squeeze in too, so I took a picture. It’s in black and white and features in my 80’s photo album – one of those sticky pages types. One of said friends denies that he’s in it as he never ever had a beard. Well, that weekend he did. I know ’cause I snapped the moment for eternity.

The path along the coastline is just as I’ve always remembered it. There was a time when I’d have jogged along it with a group of friends, before stripping off and diving into the icy water. But, for now, I’m content to stroll. I did pack a bathing costume, just in case… Along the grassy side, yellow and orange daisies are interspersed with purple ones. Bright fuchsia vygies vie for attention with flowering confetti bushes. Pincushions are in full bloom and even the King proteas are beginning to appear. A dassie crosses my path and disappears amongst the jagged grey rocks. Rain is threatening but I haven’t had enough yet. A few raindrops won’t spoil the magnificence. The sound of waves crashing against the rocks brings back memories of selecting fish for the braai, tossing a salad together and quaffing an ice cold glass of wooded Chardonnay as a friend strummed his guitar in the sunset garden. I try to remember which house was my friend’s, but now there are many more and renovations have swept away the old facade.

There are young couples kissing on the rocks. Music is escaping from a cell phone and I can’t help walking in sync to the rhythm. I can feel the first drops of rain. Perhaps it’s time to turn around and make it back to the hotel before I’m totally drenched. I zip up my jacket and remember the laughter as we all once dashed back to avoid a sudden shower and I know that we’re still there in a bubble in my heart. The whales are a reminder that life is a never ending cycle…

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4 Replies to “The season for whales…”

  1. Peter Sullivan says:

    I recall taking a paddle ski out and being right among them – not allowed now, I suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you 🙂 I’m right there next to you, holding your hand xxx

    Like

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