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“Couple waves out there ai.” Photo: Johan Evert

Cape Town turned out to be quite the vortex. After two weeks spiralling closer and closer to the eye, Johan pulled us out of the water and into his Freelander 2. From there we made it along the coast to Jeffrey’s Bay without a scratch. Or a stab wound, as so many were sure we would acquire. Then again, it is early days. We may be stabbed thoroughly yet.

The wave at Jeffrey’s has been so heavily mythologised the place no longer seems real. Though I can assure you, it is real. As real as an abandoned water park. As real as salty dreadlocks. As real as Billabong jeans slipping over cracked heels. As real as Fox hat beanies and surfboard letterboxes. At a time when the surf industry is supposedly floundering, there are no signs of struggle in Jeffrey’s. In fact, this place might be single-handedly keeping surf brands alive.

One does not have to look hard to find a scaly sea dog smoking a scoobie. Some of the locals here would smoke Nimbin folk under the bong-covered coffee table. “My eyes are stained red from the stiff south-easterlies,” they say as they slide their mull tin under the car seat.

Some of the locals are placid. Some are aggressively territorial. Tom had a run-in with some disgruntled men on our second day here.

“I jumped off the point, paddled straight out to where everyone was sitting,” he said

“I didn’t really barge in, just sat at the back of the pack and was going to wait my turn and just instantly got bailed up by like three guys who told me to get the fuck down the point.

“Who did I think I was? Sitting up there with them. A bit of localism.”

Tom and Hugh share a wave at J-Bay. Photo: Johan Evert

Nobody warned us about any localism before we came here but it is clearly present.

How many people warned us about sharks before we came? Many, yet the only sharks we’ve heard of have been at home.

No stabbings, no shark attacks, no water shortage. Safe to say we are immune to Africa’s deadly threats.

Then again, it is early days.


H.F. Peniston