Friday, January 29, 2010

On A Summer's Breeze

Have you thought about kites lately; those joyous things that sail on the breeze on a warm summer’s day? We have, several times.

This week is a week of warm, strong breezes with clouds rushing by overhead. And at Blauberg Beach, the kite surfers are out in force. I counted 26 kites sailing on the breeze. It was an amazing sight, especially considering how frigid the Atlantic Ocean water is. The kites are attached to a harness which is attached to the surfer’s body. The surfing board is just that. The surfers use the wind to surf across the waves parallel to beach, then toward the beach and back out again, and amazingly rarely do they seem to fall off their boards.

On the beach, yellow and red flags flap in the breeze cautioning swimmers. Because the water is so cold, people wear wet suits to get in the water. People in wet suits look like seals, and the great white sharks have been sighted often lately. Several swimmer and boaters have died. But when there are strong winds, the board and kite surfers come out in full force, traveling the huge waves, throwing caution to the winds.

Blauberg Beach is across Table Bay from Cape Town, in the area of the Reitvlei wetlands and Milnerton Beach. When strong breezes blow and storm clouds roll, the freighters that anchor in Table Bay waiting to get into Cape Town’s port have to be careful. Even now there is a freighter stuck in the shallows on Blauberg Beach. It was grounded in a storm last August. It contains coal and the local gossip says that at some point all of the coal will be off-loaded and then the freighter will be taken apart by hand, or should I say torch, piece by piece. The work hasn’t started yet. You can see from the picture of the grounded freighter and rocks just how treacherous the area is, and yet the kite surfers dodge the rocks and each other’s lines with no problems.

The mountain in the background across Table Bay is Lion’s Head, a famous Cape Town landmark.

This week we also experienced a day of strong, steady breezes, the best kind of day for the huge kites that fly from the grassy areas along the Sea Point boardwalk in the area of Three Anchor Bay, which is on the Cape Town side of Table Bay. (Can you guess why the name?)

There is a red and white lighthouse there that mournfully sighs when the bay is foggy, warning ships coming into Table Bay of danger. There is also a kite vendor who advertises his wares by flying large kites in the air. He can get an amazing amount of kites on one string. He puts them up in the air, and then attaches the string to a weighted rock, and the kites stay up there. We have often wondered how he does it. What child, or grandparent, for that matter could resist trying even one when he can get so many in the air at one time?

And like children everywhere, this boy had to use his cell phone to take a picture of the biggest kite of all. Wonder what his picture looked like.

Do you think it looked like mine?

PS, we loved walking under the dragon. It was awesome!

And the face was especially amazing!!!!!…..

Love from Cape Town,
Betsy and Floyd