I love the ocean and for ocean lovers there is probably no better place then the Cape Peninsula, it has two*. I’ve been in my happy space the last two days. Yesterday at Cape of Good Hope, the Atlantic side, for my first open water freedive. And this morning surfing at Muizenberg, False Bay side, the birthplace of South African surfing.
Learning to freedive has been on my to-do list for a couple of years, and it was only last week, hearing about Trevor Hutton’s courses that I realized Cape Town would be the place to do it. I only found out he has held two world records talking to him during the course.
Monday was spent in the lovely Sea Point Swimming Pool learning to breathe (I’ve done it wrong the whole time), about free diving equipment (not that much, but pretty important) and equalizing (getting the pressure in your ear and in the water equalized, like when you’re in an airplane) and putting it to practice in the water. It turned out I have a good static apnea (almost 3 minutes), but some trouble with equalizing.
Yesterday was the real deal, diving in open water, after driving around to find reasonably clear water (a common effort for divers here), we (Trevor and his spear fishing buddy Craig) got into the water in the Cape Point national park (crossing hartebeest, bontebok, ostriches, baboons, turtles) and in the water at Cape of Good Hope.
Freediving here is not the “yoga freediving” (as Trevor calls it) in its birthplace the Mediterranean, you have to face the elements (Cape of Storms), fauna (sharks) and flora (kelp forest). This being the spot for my first dive at the same time spoiled me, since it’s an amazing place. Swimming under the kelp forest is both amazing and claustrophobic scary. And even though there was only about 1.5 meter swell, I got quite seasick after an hour, which was a first for me.
Despite the seasickness and my equalizing problems keeping me from diving deeper then 5 meters, I have found a new passion, that might come on par with surfing. I will make the best of the 3 months until I fly back to Europe and get as much time as I can under and on the water.
* Any Capetonian will tell you the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet at Cape Point, and not at Cape Agulhas, no matter what Wikipedia says.