Day two.

So we get to Hermanus nice and early and the sun is shining but there’s not a whale in sight. Coffee-shop man says you need to go out on a boat to see them, look over there where all the boats are, that’s where they are, I’ll arrange it for you, you leave at noon.

Noon finds us at the harbour,  eager beavers ready to board. Well, I was less than eager since going out to sea in the middle of winter is not very high on my bucket list. But hey, this is work.

After an interminable time on the high seas the boat shows no sign of slowing down. And we’re way far from the boats we saw from shore. Actually we went right past all of them, they were friendly and waved .. fishermen are like that.

We were almost at Kleinmond when we went very close to shore and there they were, masses of whales doing all the fun stuff that whales do and which gets tourists and photographers very excited. I took a few poor photos then decided to just watch the show. It was my last moment of pleasure for the day. Not counting bath and bed.

We had gone so far out that the skipper was in a rush to get back. He hit that throttle with a vengeance but no warning and we were treated to shower after shower all the way back. Not a single person escaped it, we were drenched, we were sitting in water, we had water trickling into every sleeve and collar, two small children were terrified (their parents took it very well and laughed a lot, the Dutch are strange that way, good sports and all). We huddled in misery.

By the time we got back we were too late for our posh wine and food pairing, we were wet and cold, we had no spare clothes and we were hungry. I was mortified, these are my clients!!!! I marched to the booking office to ask a few questions. Okay, it was more of a squelch than a march, but I got an apology for the crew not letting down the side canvasy things that would have kept us dry, and a partial refund. But we were still hungry and wet and cold.

We trooped into town to buy socks and fleecy tops from hawkers and walked into a sushi restaurant where a waiter by the name of Desire saw to our every need, including placing us near a heater. We ate lunch in sopping wet trousers.  The chairs were mock ostrich, not fabric – we checked before sitting.

We drove home with the heater on full blast and luckily Clarence Drive is so beautiful that it helped us get over the trauma of the wettest whale watching ever.  My guests are now in Botswana on safari, hoping the lions are easier to see.

This is the last photo of the day, the setting sun making pink mountains. No photos of whales, I’m a bit off them now.

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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