Updated: Sep 22, 2018
I crawled out of bed at 5:00am.
As my mind cleared I could hear the wind gusting in the garden, slamming into the shrubs outside my bedroom. Day 5; shooting for his book on the Robberg Peninsular my friend and I, writer Galeo Saintz grabbed a quick coffee then into my baakie for the short dash to the peninsular car park. As I hauled out my tripod spits of horizontal rain tapped on the back of my jacket – we would not be here long. After 10 mins, westerly nimbostratus clouds obliterated the faint dawn light; we jumped back into the baakkie and headed down the hill.
The sun split the clouds as daylight broke across Plettenberg Bay; we cruised along the coastline in the now torrential rain looking at the sky for any sign of sunlight. After about 30 minutes we decided to head back to Galeo’s place and call it a day - I was due to leave, so a shower some breakfast, then head south for Cape Town. Just as we got back and into the house the sky gashed open in the southeast.
“Shall we head back to the Lookout”? - An elevated location above the bay 5 minutes drive away.
“Yep lets try,” said Galeo.
As we pulled into the car park the wind dropped; the sun was up but obscured by the Tsitsikamma Mountains and black, streaking cloud – it was freezing cold and getting colder. I set up my tripod as the cloud started to break up with the heat of the rising sun. The orb blinked through the cloud and cut an almost horizontal swath of light across the bay. The sun transformed the sea from grey unruly torment to a green/platinum orderly march of huge folding surf, its sheared surface stretched endlessly like grained molten lead. I quickly changed lenses and donned a 100-400 zoom. As I set up I groaned inward, the now almost blinding light destroyed the potential; then, almost instantly, it went dark as cloud obscured the sun – now the wait.
I turned to the bakkie to get my beanie and gloves and was startled to see we were now surrounded; hunched, flip-flopped, weather-beaten longhaired figures staring silently at the sea – no one spoke, or even glanced at me, they all stood, transfixed, focused on the huge surf in the bay – surfers! I went back to scan the bay through the lens as the light started to change again. As I turned to look for Galeo a voice with a thick Australian accent said,
“What are you waiting for mate”
I paused, looking at the figure in the murk.
“The light". I said slowly. "What are you waiting for"?
I slowly nodded and smiled, looking into his eyes, I thought, we are both the same. I turned as the sun split the cloud again, the spray turned gold, as I watched the gulls dance along the breaking surf – I got about 3 minutes of rapid changing light and colour - the following are some of my images from that cold morning.