Bluff, Durban – Of friends fishing life & other things

SA Venues accurately describes the Bluff as follows: The headland known simply as “the Bluff” – a thick green belt that has a strong attraction for those who steer clear of the built-up beachside areas of Durban, Amanzimtoti and even Umhlanga Rocks – is a collection of suburbs that cover the stretch from the military base in the north of the Bluff to Treasure Beach in the south. The Bluff also forms the gateway to the South Coast with its many seaside resorts and other attractions.

The Bluff offers stretches of unspoilt beaches with dunes, rock pools plus favourite fishing, diving and surfing spots that provide sport and recreation for the adventurous. Ansteys Beach with its paddling pools and surf spots is popular with the local residents especially the surfers, body boarders and kite surfers.

A dear friend and ex-work colleague let me into his secret a few weeks ago.

Roscoe and I cracked the nod to join him for some good clean early morning fun – coffee, after the “exploration”, from my friend’s stainless steel flask was mandatory.

The sunrise that greeted us from over the Indian Ocean was magnificent.

A few fishermen were already busy on the beach trying their luck to catch Shad, the best bait being Natal Sardine.

Whilst Shad can be caught using Sardine and a unique trace, my friend and I decided to keep our hands clean and use the spoon method.

Roscoe, pictured below, was patient with us (well for 30 minutes or so..). This fishing expedition did not involve long walks, meaty bones or a warm blanket.

We joined a large bunch of fishermen, who were trying both spoons and bait.

It was a hive of activity.

The great thing about fishing is sometimes, if not always, just being at the sea, making an elaborate trace, constructing an amazing trace, smelling the fresh salty air, mingling with good friends,  taking a break physically and mentally, pondering, letting the cold water run through your toes and feeling the sand underfoot.

The fisherman below, “Basil”, was in the action.

My friend below, although going through very trying times right now (times that would make lesser men crumble), was full of fun, optimistic, energetic, encouraging and set a fine example as to what the rest of us should do under such circumstances.

I know my friend as a wise level-headed gentlemen, who I first met in 1989 or so. At that time I heard of his great work accomplishments and my aspirations were then set.

I wish him and his ex-colleagues the best of luck with the challenging times ahead. The good they have done in our community is etched in our history; no-one will take this away.

For all of us I record the words of Mary Anne Radmacher below:

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen Hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

And when a hard day nears its end ““Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.”

Or better still “I will do again tomorrow!!”

A drawing below by grade 5 (standard 3) children, aged 11 years or so, is golden advice to end this post.

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