The swim is done and dusted… finally, after weeks of preparation, the day turned out perfectly and 12 km is in the bag… so to speak. Here is a happy, tired swimmer, with a cap tan…
But the West Coast still needs our protection… and my GivenGain Project remains open for a couple of days… Massive thank you to my friends and followers who have supported my project. If you would like to help me reach my donation goal, then please just click on the image below.
Of course pollution is an ever growing Global Problem and affects the oceans and so life, wherever you are. The problem on our unique and beautiful West Coast is Mining… Massive commercial mining projects have encroached onto the West Coast, they block access to beaches for locals and their livelihoods, not mention travellers, adventurers and explorers. And if they do eventually leave an area, they leave an area too degraded for productivity… this unconscionable, unacceptable and the more people that know about it the better.
I donated my swim to Protect the West Coast… an organisation that raises awareness about the West Coast… and the mining situation. As a frequent traveller to the West Coast, and an ocean swimmer there… I want the whole world to know what is going on. Keep up the good work, Protect the West Coast, and kudos to them on raising awareness.
If you want to know more about their work, take a look at their blog:
And three of their recent blog posts:
- The West Coast’s Oil and Gas Frenzy.
- Assault on the West Coast: Inside the illegal diamond mining applications
- Miners are ripping up the West Coast
The Biggest Question folk have asked me is What do they Mine on our West Coast? The answer to that is basically everything, but really it is in their F.A.Q. How can you help… you can contribute to my GivenGain Project that is open for the next week, or sign their petition.
Let’s Talk About the Swim
In a nutshell… I loved it, I trained for it, got my head around it, and I went for it… the conditions were perfect, wind free, not too sunny… but warm enough and the current extremely favourable. Got to the lagoon on Friday evening and went straight to the finish line… I have been thinking about swimming the home straight since I saw it last year, and it did not disappoint.
A Big Bay Events Race briefing…
And the first time I looked at an actual map and realised just how far it actually is… from the very bottom of the map, to the very top of the map.
Gear check and sleep… normally I don’t sleep very well the night before an event, but the hotel we were staying in had the best beds ever and I got a really good night’s sleep in.
Team photo before hand is always a good idea… I love my team of swimmers from the Cape Town Open Water Swim Co.
Then onto the bus and off to the start…
The first half all I was thinking about was getting across the lagoon to Langebaan and after that, I aimed for the windmill at Mykonos resort and just kept on swimming. The water was kind, it was just incredible to be out there, birds skimming along the surface and I was ridiculously happy the whole way… What an incredible privilege it is to be able to swim Langebaan Lagoon, it is a place of unprecedented beauty and on a typical day there is a lot of boating traffic, but for the swim it was clear, we were well looked after and protected all the way. Honestly, I just can’t believe that I got to experience this… it was beyond a dream.
Down the home straight, which is further than it looks…
Goggle eyed, and extremely waterlogged… just over four hours later and I was done… not quite up to doing a happy jig, but thrilled nonetheless.
Where to Stay in Langebaan… Windtown of Course
The rest of the weekend was spent taking extremely lazy walks…
Around town and along the beachfront…
And chilling beside the pool at our team hotel…
And did we stay somewhere special… I have finally found the perfect place to stay when you are in Langebaan… The Windtown Hotel was extremely good to us, and we will definitely be back there… literally 300 m from the lagoon and the reason you would be visiting Langebaan. Their suites are airy and comfortable, opening on to a pool courtyard, the rooms come with breakfast from their in-house restaurant. I am going to whisper here (again), possibly the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in.
All the Covid protocols… I have to say that, our tourist industry has taken a terrible knock and it really is time to support them.
Not to mention “load shedding ready…” they still managed to put dinner on the table for a lot of hungry swimmers, despite it. (If you don’t know what load shedding is, it is a truly South African phenomenon where the power is turned off for a number of hours, it is a national supply and demand problem.)
The food at their in-house restaurant, Breeze, was absolutely fantastic… honestly, I would take the hour drive from Cape Town, just to eat there again. Absolutley the best food we have eaten forever.
And a roof top garden…
For sunsets and celebrating… what more could you ask for!!!
Honestly, so good to have a weekend away… it is so good to be able to travel around the country again. It is definitely time to support our local tourism industry again.