I generally do not make images of the homeless or the downtrodden, as I generally find it too easy and gratuitous. When I do though it is to add to the story or the description of the location. Sadly, this man is representative to a large population of Cape Town and South Africa. I found it ironic for him to be walking in front of the Mercedes with the two guys sitting inside with the blank stare. The image was not made to judge anyone in the image, but just to give a complete representation of the people of Cape Town. All three in the image are therefore to this city.
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.
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.
I've been trying to get a shot of the train pulling into Muizenberg for quite some time. I'm just not ever there at the right time. It's an old electric train, not very reliable, or safe, and quite run down, but very colorful, especially against the sky and the old buildings around the tracks. I like the fact that while some of the buildings have modern businesses, they've kept the old writingingnon the outside. The yellowish building at the side of the tracks has a surf shop and restaurant downstairs and a Backpackers (Hostel) above. This time I was approaching the tracks and the gates for the crosswalk closed.
Muizenberg is a special place for me. It's where I resurrected my love for surfing, where I made new friends, and where I started to understand South Africa a little better.
I was making some general images on Muizenberg Beach when this little girl that was playing with friends peeked around the corner. I love these happenstance encounters. I made it Black and White as the image was about her and her curiosity. The color would have just distracted away from the structure of the image. We must make choices when we are making deliberate images. Does the color add or distract. It'd up to the individual image maker to decide.
The white flag with the black shark indicates that a shark has been seen in the area and the beach is closed. The day before there had been an attack on a surfer. The detailed report is published here on Shark Spotters. The surfer escaped with relatively minor injuries compared to the size of the shark. One surfer was initially unsure whether the animal was a shark or a whale, but stated that b the size leaned toward thinking it was a whale. This is the first attack in Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa in ten years much of this credited to the success of http://sharkspotters.org.za/.
It never gets old seeing these Cabanas when I round the circle to Surfers Corner in Muizenberg, Cape Town, South Africa. They are the symbol of the Cape Peninsula towns of St. James, Muizenberg, and Khalk Bay. I really don't know how old they are, but you must walk gingerly on the planks of the steps as they seem like they'll collapse at any moment. I could photograph these cabanas all day and sometimes I do.
The beauty and look of the Old School Longboard is Classic and ageless. While this board may not actually be a longboard (greater than 9'1") the shape and look fit the profile. So does the gray haired guy carrying the board. Surfers here in Cape Town have surfed all their lives. Many were taught by their Fathers or Mothers and have passed it on to their kids and Grandkids. While there are many places with better and bigger waves than Muizenberg in South Africa, it is definitely the center of the universe for the sport in Cape Town. Everyone learns in Muizenberg.
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
Surf Emporium was the first place that I had my first private lessons and has also been the place that I continue to do so. The one thing I can say about the Surf community in Muizenberg is that while they all compete with each other for business, they are also friends. I bought my surfboard at Expression On The Beach. I bought some wetsuit repair glue and a shirt at The Corner Surf Shop. I purchased a carry bag for my surfboard at Lifestyles Surf Shop and that's after someone at Surf Emporium did not have the correct size and sent me there. Oh and by the way I went to Surf Emporium to get the bag at the recommendation of Expression On The Beach. So it's all like a family. And everyone is genuinely nice. My Surf Emporium Hat - 152/365
I made a couple of images of this Skateboarder while he was sitting. I liked the scene from behind him as he was looking out toward Muizenberg Beach, False Bay, and the Cape of Good Hope in the background. Yes, nothing but water between here and Antarctica. But I preferred this image as it is more dynamic. I like the way he is turning away, almost as if he is turning away from surfing to go Skateboard, while the girl in the bottom is entering the frame. Or maybe he has to go use the restroom LOL! Muizenberg is the beach and the town, however, False Bay is the body of water that it fronts. There is a small granite island in the bay called Seal Island, which is one of the main breeding sites for the Cape Fur Seal. The seals attract many Great White Sharks and some of the biggest sharks ever seen have been spotted in these waters. These sharks are famous for the manner in which they breach the surface of the water while attacking seals, sometimes jumping entirely out of the ocean. Despite this, swimming, surfing, yachting, scuba diving and so on are popular pastimes around the bay, at centres such as Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Smitswinkel Bay, Strand and Gordon's Bay. Shark attacks are generally uncommon but by no means unknown, with two deaths since 2010. Skateboarder on Muizenberg Beach - 137/365