Cape Town

Surfing, Women, and Superheroes!

This morning I was thinking about the awesome experiences I've had while in Cape Town. When I dig deep though my most meaningful experiences have been centered around the people I've met. Two of these people are women and they competed against each other in the South African Longboarding Championships. They are Roxy Davis and Tarryn King.

Roxy Davis and I at Surfer's Corner in front of Surf Emporium and Roxy Surf School. 

Roxy Davis and I at Surfer's Corner in front of Surf Emporium and Roxy Surf School. 

An image that I made of two Awesome friends and great people, Shani Du Venage (L) and Tarryn King (R)  At XpressionOnTheBeach

An image that I made of two Awesome friends and great people, Shani Du Venage (L) and Tarryn King (R)  At XpressionOnTheBeach

Both of these individuals have become my friends and I hold them in the highest regard.Actually, if you've ever seen them surf, especially at the same time they are like Surfing Superheroes I am still amazed every time I see them in the water and see the things they pull off. And not just in a surfboard either. Also on Stand-Up-Paddleboards. On top of all that they occasionally throw some top tip my way. Whether it is a small detail from Roxy that changes everything about my surfing to Tarryn encouraging me to "commit! She says, you must commit to get that big wave!" It is rare that you have World Class Athletes giving unsolicited advice to a novice. I consider myself very lucky. I can say that whenever I do miss a wave I think to myself that, from Tarryn, I did not "commit", or from Roxy, that I am still looking down at my foot position too long. My most unforgettable and best lesson was by Roxy. I'd been bugging her for a coaching session. Then one day, out of the blue she asks if I'm busy the next day. I planned on surfing so that's what I told her and then she asked if I wanted to meet her in the morning before the shop opened for a private lesson. Without hesitation I said I would be there. I learned so much in that one lesson. I learned that I was looking down at my foot position too long. That my paddling frequency was not fast enough to catch bigger, faster, stronger waves, as well as other tips. It was small details, not necessarily big things, but small things that made a "big" difference. To give you some perspective here, Roxy is a 7 time winner of the South African Longboarding Championship and has represented her country on the International surfing scene. How many athletes have the ability to win something 7 times! She is foremost a Mom, a wife, an entrepreneur and an incredibly humble and generous person. She started out renting beach umbrellas on Surfers Corner as a teenager. Then progressed to renting surfboards after being sponsored by Roxy S.A. She eventually opened her store, now Surf Emporium in Surfers Corner on Muizenberg Beach. She is involved with charities and sits on the Board of Shark Spotters. But do not be fooled, this woman according to her husband William, is a fierce competitor and hates to lose. Not hard to believe from a professional athlete. Then there is Tarryn King, formerly Tarryn Kyte, who married a great guy and SA Champion in his own right, Thomas King. Tarryn is a really sweet woman and an unbelievable athlete who works at XpressionOnTheBeach directly next door to Surf Emporium. She was also a student of Roxy's and learned to surf at Surf Emporium. Tarryn as well, is one of those people that you would never guess is a professional athlete from her humble and welcoming nature. She is a tremendous surfer and is now touring with the South African Surf Team and competing in the SUP World Championship in Mexico. Tarryn won the Final at the SA Longboarding Championship in which Roxy also competed. Here lies the dilemma. Both are my friends, but both cannot win. I cheered them both on, and hoped that their trip to SA Champs would be filled with camaraderie, and good times. Alas, there could be only one winner, or maybe not? If you go back to the beginning, could there be one thing, skill, behavior, or technique that was passed on by teacher to student. What if the initial experience with surfing was so awesome that inspired the student to continue and achieve great heights. Frankly, I don't know how long Tarryn was taking lessons with Roxy, but I know that in my own experiences, I have always been able to take something from every lesson in whatever topic and apply it to future skills. Talent and a lot of hard work have paid off for Tarryn to become the Champion she is. She will be a Great Champion. I congratulate her in her achievement. I feel that the Women's South African Longboarding Championship will remain on that adjoining porch on Surfer's Corner between Xpression's and Surf Emporium for a long, long time. It matters to me not which way it goes on that porch. Just keep it on the porch!  And I'm also sure that Roxy can look over with a smile and be happy. What better person to win against you than a former student and friend.

Walk on a Fiery Sunset - 248/365

I continue to post my 365 images as I get to them. It was tough enough to make the images let alone post them everyday. To that end I am still catching up and I plan to make a small book of all of the images. I'll have more information on that as soon as I get some information on details and possible publication methods. I want to get back to real photographs that you can hold in your hand and not just see on the computer. Nothing beats having an album.

I made this image one evening when I saw this beautiful fiery sunset and there were a couple of people walking on the beach. I wanted to convey how nice and simple life can be by just taking a walk with a loved one. I made this with my Fuji camera and I made three exposures and combined them to be able to get the bright light of the sun and the shadows in the same image.

Walk on a Fiery Sunset

Two of my Favorite People in Cape Town - 236/365

These are two of my favorite people in Cape Town, specifically, Muizenberg. I have a very good business and personal relationship with a couple of the surf shops in Muizenberg. These ladies Shani and Tarryn work at Xpression On The Beach. I go and visit every time I go to "the berg." Shani runs the retail store on Sunday and when Tarryn is not competing out of town for South Africa somewhere she is there also. Both of them give Surf and SUP lessons. Very cool chicks! Had to snap a pic of them eating a piece of homemade cheesecake I got for them at Yoffi Falafel. Yes, they are probably going to kill me!


I Love Photographing Stormy Weather 194/365

I went on a photo walk with my photography group in Cape Town. We visited a wine estate called Hillcrest. Hillcrest Estate is a boutique winery nestled in the Tygerberg Hills. We hiked around a bit and got to the top a hill just in time to see a storm moving in. I just love the photographic drama of storms!


Whales in my Backyard

I woke up this morning to an ocean, that for Cape Town, almost looked like a lake. Though there were small waves, it was very calm. I knew that if I just looked carefully enough during these conditions, it would not be difficult to spot the Whales. I opened the blinds and I did not have to search. They were about 50-100 yards off the beach. Right in front of my place. The last time I saw them they were much farther off. I made some photos of what I saw this morning and you can see those below. What I tried to emphasize was perspective. I wanted to show their size and how close they were to shore. These are the Southern Right Whales. They come close to shore between June and November to calve and feed their newborns. As such you do not see them breach (jumping out of the water). It paid off being patient though. The last few images were of the tail. Enjoy!