Sometimes I like to just make a Selfie and always try to make it different from the last.
While it served me well, my old triathlon wetsuit had to go. Not warm enough for Cape Town. Especially the Atlantic side! The funny thing is that in all the years I owned it I used it here for surfing more than use in all of my triathlons. It was also starting to tear. Not tough enough for surfing. Fortunately the Billabong store had a 20% off New Wetsuits if you trade in an old one. The really good part was they they reconditioned and repaired them and gave them to those less fortunate. Way to recycle Billabong! Plus, now I am warm! The Old Wetsuit Had to Go - 177/365
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!
A herd of Springbok at Night that I encountered as soon as I opened the door leaving work one evening. A quick snap with the Iphone was all I could manage before they took off. They were probably more surprised than I was. Since it was an Iphone image you can see how close they were to me. My365Project: Springbok Night Encounter - 170/365.
A Night Scene of the town Melkbosstrand (Melkbos Beach) where I live.
I am fortunate enough to have my office in the middle of a Nature Preserve. Since there are virtually no buildings around, I have an unobstructed view of Table Mountain. View of Table Mountain from Work - 161/365
Cape Town has First Thursday's, which is an Art Walk night in the City Bowl District. Art Galleries are open late, clubs open early. The wine flows because it's almost cheaper than water here. Stopped into a club and listened to an all-ladies metal band just off Bree Street. My365Project, Band at Cape Town Art Walk - 156/365
Since we moved into a brand new Training Center, my offices are almost a mile from the site that you see in the distance. That puts our offices right in the middle of the Nature Preserve. There used to be all of your typical African Game in this area until the last Lion was hunted and killed in the Cape Town around 1910. Shame. This image was made right outside of our offices. The animal you see is a Springbok. Delicious, uh, I mean beautiful. They are very plentiful here and they are served in restaurants. Not as a paying customer but on the plate. They also make excellent Biltong, which is South African Smoked Jerky, only 100 times better. The Springbok is also the National Sports Mascot, or was until the current government wanted to remove all vestiges of the past in every way shape and form regardless if it was innocent of past disgressions or not. Now the only Springbok Team is the Rugby Team. The Cricket Team are the Proteas (a flower), and the Soccer Team is Bafana Bafana (the boys, the boys) huh? Anyway, so nice to work in a Nature Preserve. If you get hungry, just go hunt down a Springbok LOL! Springbok at Koeberg Nature Preserve - 154/365
When surfing in the Cape Town area i.e. somewhere near the Cape of Good Hope a wetsuit is essential. It's not just a nice thing to have. It is what you get when you get a surfboard. Booties on the other hand are not always necessary especially if you primarily surf in Muizenberg where the water is warmer than the Atlantic. Since I live on the Atlantic side they are necessary. My first surf at Big Bay with no Booties resulted in having to come out of the water every 20 minutes because I could not feel my feet enough to be able to stand on the surfboard. Notice that they are Reef Booties and Proudly South African made. Had to get with "The Booties" - 153/365
I saw this Surf Fisherman on a cold afternoon run on my beach. No idea what he was fishing for. I made several images. Most did not show his hand with this gesture. It added interest. The others bored me as it just showed his body with the fishing rod sticking up.
This is an all too common scene all over Cape Town and South Africa in general. I usually do not make images of the homeless because they are gratuitous and a way too easy way to get some emotional response for your image. I do, though, need to add this to make the visual images that I make about my time here real. It can't be real without the ugly reality. Why does this situation exist on such a vast scale here? Well there are a lot of reasons for it, but most of it is literally uncontrolled illegal immigration from other African countries. There is virtually no immigration enforcement unless of course you attempt to do it legally. Then there is a vast network that has to be navigated. A blind eye is turned toward the illegal immigration. Mostly being self serving. The public statements are that these individuals cannot be aggressively pursued because their home countries assisted the ANC (Afican National Congress) during the fight against Apartheid. The practical reason is that every Black African that comes to South Africa somehow finds a very expeditious way to become a citizen just prior to elections and are able to vote. Most of Black South Africa votes for the ANC. This guarantees that they stay in power. So over a period of time the ANC has systematically moved a huge population of Black Africans to the Western Cape with the promise of jobs, economic prosperity, a better life, and has not delivered. Anyway, my discussion on the crazy history of this place could go on for a long time. More than my blog could stand, but I thought it important to discuss because the reason the man is flat on his face sleeping in the street at night is not totally of his own doing, and there are tens of thousands like him mostly living in the squallor of crime ridden squatter camps that would be an outrage in the USA. Very sad. The Ugly Side of Cape Town - 149/365
An image of the Lifeguard Stands in my town of Melkbosstrand. Melkbos is a Milk Bush and Strand is Beach in Afrikaans. It's like a little fantasy village. Unlike any other place in Cape Town. It was actually voted the best place to live in South Africa. A surf town. Neighborhood Watch. Kids walk and ride their bikes to school. People run and walk their dogs on the beach. Police and Armed response patrols are always somewhere close. Couldn't think about living anywhere else while I'm here. Lifeguard Stands at Melkbosstrand - 142/365
Sunrise at Koeberg Station and Nature Preserve. They truly are spectacular.
I spend a lot of time at the gym so it is natural for me to see image making opportunities there. While I will always maintain everyone's privacy, I frequently see still life image possibilities. This was one of those. I made the image with my iphone. I quickly twisted it while pressing the shutter. This was the result after many failed attempts. Abstract Art at the Gym - 140/365
The surfboard in Hawaii has a deep and spiritual history. In this modern era of mass produced popout boards, the custom Hand-Shaper is an increasingly rare breed of artisan who continues to respect the importance of carrying on the Hawaiian tradition of constructing sacred craft. Bill Foote… is one of those legendary Hawaiian surfboard shapers… where quality, innovative design, and customer enjoyment of his boards is what he really cares about and focuses on. Bill’s constantly evolving designs are borne out of a rare and unique depth of experience that spans over a 40 year period as a well respected and world renown Surfboard, Stand Up Paddle, and Sailboard shaper. My surfboard was designed by Bill Foote, cut out to his specifications, then sent to him for correction and approval prior to covering with material and then epoxy. Pretty cool actually. The company, Signature Surfboards was started by Neil Esterhuizen here in my town of Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa. He coordinated with famous surfboard designers around the world and created this line. I wanted to make sure to buy local and this was the best of all worlds. My Bill Foote Designed Surfboard - 139/365
Here I am after a day of surfing at Big Bay. Big Bay is a surfing area in a neighborhood called Table View due to the Table Mountain view behind me. It's a really nice beach with a boardwalk, restaurants and shops. It was a beautiful day with nice beginner waves. After a Day of Surfing at Big Bay - 138/365
This project is all about experimentation. What's good about not being in Miami is that I have the freedom to dedicate all of my time to personal projects and try things I never concentrated on. I made this image in Cape Town City Center while waiting for a burger at one of the best burger places in the city: The Royale Eatery. 133/365