My love for the ocean keeps growing as I am becoming more adventurous and putting fear aside. I am healing from a lot that has happened throughout my life and relishing in moving my body, especially while outdoors and preferably with an ocean breeze present.
A few weeks ago after an anxiety episode, an acquaintance posted about her kayaking experience on Instagram and I thought that it’s time to step out of that comfort zone again (just the previous weekend I decided to climb onto hubby’s surfboard and attempt to surf – it was fantastic even though I haven’t managed to stand up yet!).
The booking process with Kaskazi Kayaks & Adventures’ was seamless. They have a variety of options for Guided Tours departing from Sea Point to Maiden’s Cove, Granger Bay and for those of you keen on fishing, they have a package for that too. We opted for the beginner Guided Kayak Adventure to explore the Table Bay coastline.
On the site, it’s as simple as selecting your date and time, make payment and pray that the Cape Town weather plays along on your chosen day. And boy were we in luck!
We woke to what may have been another moody Cape Town morning with some cloud cover and a cool breeze. We got a notification from Kaskazi that there is an running event held close by their premises on the Sea Point Promenade and it advised that we leave a little earlier to provide for traffic. Hopping on the scooter with my mermaid leggings and K-Way jacket, off we went to be at their office at 8am (30min before our due start date).
Initially our guide, Billy, set us up with a life safety vest, splash protector and gave us safety instructions and what we could expect when going out on the open ocean. We walked down to the beach, prepared our kayaks and Billy assured everyone was comfortable before we were pushed off into the ice cold Atlantic.
There was a slight delay to starting our tour as some of our fellow kayaking enthusiasts were late, but it did not impact the duration of our experience. It actually ensured that the timing was perfect for us to experience a pod of dolphins on our adventure which was easily one of the most beautiful moments of experienced in my life.
We started off smoothly paddling along a few metres off the Sea Point Promenade coast, spotting a seal beautifully moving through the still ocean. At this point, some strong emotions hit me and I could not help but feel this intense admiration for this sea dog, playing to its heart’s desire in the ebb and flow of the water. We usually see a lot of seals at the Waterfront but there’s nothing quite like seeing it in it’s natural habitat.
A few km’s along, we spotted the first few dolphins leaping out of the water for a breath of fresh air. You could hear them taking the air into their lungs and reminded me to breathe in as well as we took in the beauty of these mammals with the stunning view of Table Mountain as their backdrop. And then we spotted the pod!
The rush of magnificent creatures swimming in a line along our kayaks, causing a raucous in the water, an absolutely breathtaking sight to behold. Billy, our guide, explained a few different facts about the breed, told a few tales and you could see his passion for the ocean through and through.
As we headed back and spotted more dolphins and some penguins, I felt a great amount of gratitude in my heart for our beautiful city. The fact that on a whim, you can experience the ocean life and chill out away from technology, is pretty damn awesome.
Fitness: The paddling will require some level of fitness but is appropriate for most people. Generally, so this could be an activity whether you are in a group or on a mission of solitude. The paddling did not make us break too much of a sweat, and it’s easy to get into the rhythm of rowing.
Cost: The Guided Adventure costs R400 per person and lasts about 2 hours. It includes the life vest, splash cover, paddles and kayak. The guide will take you through all the nitty gritty as you go along and take epic pictures too which gets uploaded onto their Facebook page and is free of charge.
What to wear: Clothes that can get wet (even with the splash protector my leggings were pretty soaked but that was also due to my stroke being way too hard as we paddled!); sunscreen; a cap or hat; a wind breaker. Shoes are not required. Also bring a towel and change of clothes as there are facilities at their offices to clean up afterwards.
A great thank you to Kaskazi Kayaks & Adventures for the epic experience. We will definitely be making this a more frequent outing in the coming months.