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Published: January 17th 2018
Pretty soon, it will be a full year since we moved to Shelly Beach. I have to calculate exactly the time we spent home, but I would guess it's around 5 months last year for me.
So if you are asking me, I have only one regret, that we did not move earlier. Simple life, simple days....amazing experience and great new friends would qualify our day to day routine!
Here is a simple day for me at home in South Africa. Depending of the wind conditions, we may meet early to be able to launch for the dive! This is the open Indian Ocean, sea and wind can be ferocious....so the calmer it is, the best it is. A normal day would be meeting at the dive center at 7am....for this, I wake up at 6.45am...brush my teeth, put lenses on, wet suit on...and cross the road to the dive center...that simple! Around Christmas, the place is way more crowded, so meeting time is an insane 5am....4.45am alarm clock for me! I try to put in 5 dives per week, more later on what we can see underwater!
Next, I'm generally back
home between 10am and 11am....this leave all the time for Tanya to start her own day at a leisurely pace! But 12, it's lunch on the terrace. Winter temperatures are 15 degrees during the night, 22-23 during day time, and in summer, it's 20-21 at night time, and around 28 maximum during the day. Add to this maximum 3 days of rain per month, and you can see the deal!
By 12.30 or 1pm, we generally make our way to the golf course. We have 7 of them less than 45 minutes drive from home. 5 of them are in the top 100 in South Africa! I tried to play 5 times a week...yes, that's a lot of golf! One of 2 of these rounds are playing with Tanya at Margate. 18 holes, after 2pm is 5-6usd per person...I'm not kidding! Wednesday, it's golf competition at San LaMeer, and Saturday, golf competition at Southbroom where I'm a member. Tanya gets he weekly lesson at Southbroom while I play another round. You add to this a round either in Wild Coast, Port Shepstone, Selborne or Umdoni from time to time...and I'm just a happy man...carrying my own golf
bag...so after a morning diving...and afternoon playing golf...life feels good!
Sunset here is always pretty early...5pm during winter times, just past 7.20pm at the best at Christmas....days are short here if you do not start early. I start early...so it's early dinner too. Not many amazing restaurants around here...but we have 5 supermarkets less than 3km drive from home. Fresh produces in this country are just amazing...and so cheap. Why bother with a restaurant when we can spoil ourselves in such a manner at home!
Wine, yes there is wine...but not only! South Africa produce also some of the best gin, and some truly amazing brandies, aka cognac that you can find around! Wine is just the best deal in the world here. Argentina, where I lived for one year produce great Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or Torrontes...here, they produce any grape in any style you want...just terrific for a great meal!
This is not the place where you go for a drink on a Friday night or Saturday night at 11pm...we are in bed by that time most nights....week-end including! But it doesn't stop us to have amazing friends. It's a
younger crowd when it comes to diving. You have the locals....and the internationals...as this it top world diving! For the golf, it's a much more mature crowd...the kind of people that are so fit at 75 years old that I only wish to be as fun and fit as they are at that age...I'm working on it big time!
Diving....well....did over 60 dives this year on Protea Banks. Few were boring....but most are just short of amazing! So many sharks, dolphins, rays and even few whales...but for good pictures of whales, you'll have to wait 2018! Next week, I'm reaching my 900th dive...so guess I know what i do underwater by now!
I'm not sure I would love being home 12 months a year....but 2017 has just been short of amazing! We are working on another amazing and special year for 2018....on the way for it! If you dive, play golf and like good food and wine, come visit. It's a simple life, but such a good one!
Happy new year to all of you...one last time!
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