Day 726 – Camps Bay

You’d never go there as a Capetonian, because it’s tourist deluxe, but we had a nice wander along the beach – which wasn’t too busy – and a lovely lunch there today. Because we too were tourists for a little while.

We’re approaching the end of a Covid-disrupted holiday season, so it wasn’t packed, but there were still a healthy number of foreign accents and languages around, enjoying the sunshine and the weak Rand.

We were too early for most of the Cape Town rich and famous post-“work” party set, although there was a noticeably loud table full of surfwear-clad 20-somethings laughing and slapping each other’s egos, every sentence beginning with “100s!” and ending in “bru” or “am I raart?”.

The beach was hot, the water was (as is traditional) very cold and once we avoided the sunglasses salesmen, (who were surprisingly respectful today), we had a pretty chilled few hours.

Two panos

I’m not a huge fan of panorama photos.
Well, I like the idea, but all too often, the actual product never really matches up to what I was hoping for (or even expecting).

Unless you’re going to plan ahead and take your own individual photos and stitch them in lightroom, it’s not going to be a great result.
That said, if you’re willing to acknowledge that you are using a mobile phone and not a DSLR, then your pano app can be fun for sharing a scene on whatsapp (or… er… a blog).

I popped the Mavic up above the early morning mist at home this morning and got this. It’s 21 images stitched together by the DJI software, but then you only get a 0.6MB image.
Still, what a shot (though I say it myself)…

One of those occasions where you really wonder if anyone would notice if you sent it up another 80m.

I didn’t. Obviously.

And then this, from Camps Bay this lunchtime. We had a spare half hour and so we grabbed a quick ice cream and a walk on the beach.

Full size here (10928 x 3520 nogal).

We’d forgotten how amazing Camps Bay can be out of season.
It was nice to be reminded.


UPDATE: I went back the next day and took a real panorama. You… well, you can see the difference. ūüôā

Parting shot

Given that IT’S THE MIDDLE OF BLOODY WINTER!!!!!1! here in Cape Town, we thought we’d take ourselves and the kids down to Camps Bay yesterday evening and enjoy some sundowners on the sand. A million (really? – Ed.) other¬†people were also there, snapping away with their smartphones, because it was just that sort of beautiful evening which required instagramming, facebooking and twittering.

I refrained from doing any of those thing, but don’t think you’re going to get away without seeing some sunset action.

Here’s my last shot from my phone as we left the beach:


And there are several more on the camera just itching to be downloaded and shared, but the camera has gone to a crocodile farm with the wife and kids today. So you’ll just have to be patient.

Still. At least you’ve got a nice view while you’re waiting.

UPDATE: Here are those photos.

Crustal evolution assistance

Ooh – incoming email:

Dear 6000,
I am a geology student from the UK and I am looking for some assistance with a project on the geology of Table Mountain. Since you mentioned this subject in a post recently
[I did? Oh yes. I did. – Ed.] and you are based in Cape Town, I wondered if you might be able to help me out.
Specifically, I am looking for a photograph showing the effect of cross-cutting faults separating multiple peaks of Table Mountain Group sandstone on an eroded granite basement together with some indication of the proximity of this phenomenon to the Western Seaboard of the Cape Peninsula.
I really hope you can help.
Best regards,
Steve Green.

Woo. Toughie. You’re asking for a lot of detail in one photo there, Steve.

Fortunately, I have scoured the 6000 miles… photo archives and found the perfect image for your project, detailing everything you require.

There you are Steve, I hope it meets your needs.

Oudekraal statue mystery

A statue has appeared on the rocks on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard and the local newspaper¬†and residents are getting unduly excited about it.


Alien. Tribute. Mime artist. Religious statement. Mummy. A gift from God.

These are just some of the suggestions offered by baffled onlookers as to what could be gracing rocks beyond Camps Bay Beach.
A large white statue, in the form of a man with his hands outstretched, has for the past few days stood on the rocks just outside the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Victoria Road near Oudekraal.

Let’s take a closer look at those possible options, shall we?

Alien: Completely plausible. A little disappointing after all these years of waiting to find that visitors from another world have finally made first contact and then instantly frozen, arms outstretched, on a rock just off the South African coast, but you can’t have everything, now can you?
Tribute: What? This was a newspaper reporter interviewing you about the weird statue on the rocks there, not your psychiatrist asking you to¬†say the first word that comes into your head when he says “Bj√∂rn Again”.¬†Idiot.
Mime artist: Er… it’s been there since Tuesday. David Blaine might try a stunt like that, but there would be a million cameras and paramedics there. And me, throwing rocks at him. Therefore, I’m putting this one down as unlikely.
Religious statement: Again, I find myself a little confused by this suggestion. But then, I find myself a little confused by religion.
Mummy: Doesn’t look like my mummy. And sure, this is¬†Africa, but we’re about as far from Egypt as you can be and still be in Africa. No.
A gift from God: Brilliant. This must be it. And it’s just what we always wanted. Yes, this lovely white bloke on some rocks near the sea¬†more than makes up for the misery of famine and disease¬†across the continent, war and attrition in the Middle East, global warming, that tsunami he sent down a few years back and Gordon Brown. We should be writing our thank you notes¬†right away.

Of course, this rampant speculation could all be avoided if only¬†the local¬†hotel’s financial controller, Heather Blackie,¬†had seen¬†a statue on top of a car as she was driving home on Tuesday. But wait!¬†Read on!! What’s this????

The hotel’s financial controller, Heather Blackie, saw a statue on top of a car as she was driving home on Tuesday.

And then, the moment when readers realise that Heather Blackie should have been a detective, rather than a financial controller:

Blackie said she didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when she saw the statue out on the rocks she made the connection.

It must have been a moment of pure genius. Enlightenment. An Epiphany, appropriately enough.
You can almost see/hear/smell the cogs grinding away in Heather’s brain.

Strange white statue¬†on rocks… Oh Christ, did I leave a note for the maid about the ironing?…¬†Strange white statue looks similar to the strange white statue I saw on top of that car on Tuesday… I wonder if there’s any chocolate in my handbag?… Hang on! ¬†Maybe it’s the same statue!… Oh cool – 3 squares¬†of Fruit & Nut – and not too fluffy… [sounds of chocolate being devoured]

The local authorities aren’t happy though:

Paul Sieben, head of Table Mountain National Parks marine division said permission had not been given to place any structure on the rocks, about 300 metres from the road.
If permission had been sought for it, it wouldn’t have been granted, Sieben said. Any structure proposed for below the high-level mark needed to be subject to a complete environmental impact assessment.

Paul – are you forgetting that this is a gift from God? Lest we forget, he is omnipresent and omnipotent. He can do magic. He can even override the need for a complete environmental impact assessment. But he does it without paying the committee shedloads of cash, unlike like everyone else.

But I have to leave the final words on this fantastic figurine, this rock-bound riddle, this… this…¬†“strange white statue” (thanks, Heather), to Bernard Schaefer, Camps Bay resident (and member of it’s community policing forum): Noting that the rocks on which the statue stands¬†are completely surrounded by water, he deduced, Blackie-style:

Someone with a boat must have done it.

Brilliant, Bernard. Mental agility such as yours cannot be quantified by the lowly means which we possess on this planet. We are truly not worthy.
Did you put it there? Are you God in disguise? But with a boat?