Feeling the blues
A swansong swim at Miller's Point.
On my second last day in South Africa, when I really ought to have been studiously working1 on the first big assignment for my sustainable development programme, I instead went swimming at two tidal pools in the southern reaches of the Cape Peninsula.
Here’s a three-part study of Miller’s Point pool near Simon’s Town. When we swam there, it was deserted2.
Swimming, along with mountain walks3, are two of the things I love most about spending time Cape Town. And yet, despite those pre-departure dips4, I’d spent shockingly little time in the water during the rest of my Cape sojourn — and not just because I was adrift in a sea of academic journal articles about sustainability transitions. I’d also been scared off by headlines about water quality — and, indeed, soon after braving Sea Point Pool’s sublime cerulean waters, I came down with a vicious weeklong tummy bug that seemed to justify my hesitation5.
One other watery highlight was a visit to magical Bainskloof. A short walk from our cabin at McBains was this swimming spot:
Now that we’ve moved from Northern California’s coast to about an hour’s drive inland, I no longer live within quite as easy reach of wild swimming (something which has offered much solace and reinvigoration in the past). These recent immersions, however, have offered a powerful reminder of the balm that water offers, and have inspired me to seek out as many opportunities to take the plunge as possible in the weeks and months to come. How easy do you think it would be to create (DIY-style) a swimming pond in the backyard?!
Other procrastination strategies have included reading Middlemarch, listening to the Huberman Lab podcast, and revising my novel-in-progress.
Save for a My Octopus Teacher wannabe (not pictured).
The other dip, earlier in the day, was at the Bordjiesdrif pool near Cape Point. As far as I know, both are quite far away from the sewerage pumping stations that are at least in part to blame for Cape Town’s water quality woes.