The interest for my freediving courses up here has been tremendous, from surfers, to spearos, to water gazers who want to become water users. Advanced days have brought past pupils back for deeper dives, and on shark dive days I've dragged some reluctant, some fearful surfers into sharky waters, to see their eyes and hearts open to these majestically misunderstood fish.
But not this time.This time, it was about people. Myself included.
It's been a tough two weeks. I've felt myself challenged in ways I haven't been for a long time. I've felt small, lost, sad and vulnerable. The confusion of being so incredibly happy, fulfilled, surrounded by so much beauty, and just wanting to crawl into a deep crevice and hide there. Luckily the crevices at my disposal have been guarded by people who love... love me, love others, love sharks. People who love. So yes, this trip has been about people.
A couple of highlights:Last week Wed the 7th, I went to a HUGE banquet at the Durban ICC, where 4000 people came together to show their moral and monetary support for LIV- Lungisisa Indlela Village.
And then there is Wolf. Wolfgang Leander is a man I have known for two years, I say known, but I only met him once two years ago in Struisbaai, where we were united in a dream to freedive with Great White Sharks. Neither of us did, on that trip. But we were equally excited to have met each other, and since then a heartfelt, if geographically challenged, friendship has developed. Wolf lives in Bolivia, and spends his time and money on Tiger sharks... wherever you can dive with them, Wolf has been, will go to, or has been to, and is returning to. And when you see him diving with them, you understand why. This man GETS Tigers... like really GETS them. His love for them is palpable... in his eyes, in his words, and when you see him underwater interacting with them, you know. This is true love. With his so-damn-old-it's-retro-cool 35mm stills camera slung around his neck, he hangs around at about ten meters, waiting for his striped ladies to come in, strokes their bellies, snaps pics of their gentle eyes and comes up out of breath and fulfilled. I love diving with him, he inspires me to keep loving the sea and her children as I do.
But it's time to go home. Cape Town is where I need to be. I have a week there. Before coming back up this way for a Wilderness Trail in a game farm. 5 days on foot in the Wilderness, what an experience. But for now, the Mother City needs to hold me close for a few days, I need to rest.