A story of two seekers…

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 splits the cloud – daybreak 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”?

“The surf”.

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.



  1. kate

    Your Plett story with Galeo and your pics are absolutely gorgeous – a treat to the eye. You write as well as you photograph!

  2. kate

    Now had time to peruse all your portfolio – lovely, lovely and in my humble opinion, you have an excellent eye!! Also your photos of Keurbooms River Game Trails farm are stunning – I know the area well having lived in De Vlugt and those mnountains and valleys and rivers are all there for the taking!! You’ve inspired me to charge my batteries!!

    • You have reminded me once again of that amazing 18 days on the Eden to Addo trail. I will be blazing another trail in October this year when I return to Rim of Africa to add another section and more images!

  3. kate

    O my goodness Peter, I have just googled Rim of Africa – wow! I also love that part of the world and know it quiet well having lived in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet and trekked into the Cedarberg fairly regularly – are you doing the whole walk – gorgeous, gorgeous area again – gosh we are blessed with the most magnificent wildernesses in this country.

    I have just posted my latest adventure in the Kalahari… landscapes will follow soon.

    • I have done the first 3 sections up to Ceres. Next will be 2 or 3 more sections I havent decided yet. Its incredibly challenging but if one wants to be in the wilderness where none or few have ever been then this is a unique experience. Once again I hope to document the event with images, the trick is to take the right gear bearing in mind the weight factor – quite a challenge in itself!

      I have just posted my latest adventure in the Kalahari… Landscapes will follow shortly.