Sunday, September 24, 2023

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine


Trek to the wreck

With safety in numbers, our hiking group set off from the Kom to take the shoreline route to the wreck of the Kakapo, beached high and dry these many years after its captain took a wrong turn before Cape Point. Only two weeks ago, with a storm surge battering the Cape, the sea was washing past the wreck and creating a lake up to the far dunes, but today all was back to normal – dry sand and mounds of seaweed and the rusted boiler and rudder the only landmark.

After a few weeks of muddied waters as an after effect of the storm, it was lovely to see the clear water tinged a gentle aquamarine as it rushed up the beach. An almost complete absence of waves made for ideal conditions for stand-up paddling, something that doesn’t seem to have caught on as a sport to the extent enthusiasts might have hoped, but it is a peaceful, gentle pastime and soothing to watch. The sand was soft and the going difficult, so I took off my shoes and paddled along the shoreline wherever possible. The normally icy Atlantic was not that bad, and a number of brave souls were floating in the shallows, no doubt assisted by a certain amount of rotundity.

Swathes of mist came and went across the bay, but the sun shone down on us as we enjoyed the influence of the cold water on the air temperature, and a gentle southerly wind kept us cool most of the time. Soft sand certainly requires a bit more effort than a gravel track or mountain trail, and every leg muscle was well exercised after the almost 8km walk. I suspect the gluteus maximus also had a good workout – tomorrow will tell.

Swallows and martins swooped in and out of the dunes and even over the sea, feasting on the thousands of insects that have appeared in the hot weather, and fattening up for the long flight home in a few weeks’ time. A healthy population of African Black Oystercatchers dotted the landscape which is an established breeding site for them. The very green waters of the nearby Wildevoelvlei were emptying out at the corner where Klein Slangkop abuts the sea and it was a bit of a relief to be able to jump the river rather than wade through what could be suspect waters! The odd stench betrayed the presence of a dead bird or seal, something that is always present along these shores.

A beach walk, particularly with bare feet, is invigorating and healthy for the feet – after all, racehorses are trained further along at the Noordhoek end, and if it keeps them in fine fettle, imagine what it can do for us!

2 thoughts on “Trek to the wreck

  • Brian Moore.

    Usual high standard of our hike Pamela, many thanks. Brian.x


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