Think turquoise water with just a whisper of a ripple, yachts and houseboats moored not far from a wooden jetty, hardly a breath of wind on your hot skin and the only the sounds of water-skiiers, boats and seagulls to be heard. Around the corner, near the hole in the rock formation ‘ preekstoel’, a kite surfer takes advantage of the flat water and a swimsuit shoot continues uninterrupted as the water laps around the model’s feet. I’m not sure how long it took me to realise that hadn’t left the country or the continent. I hadn’t set my bikini clad bottom down on the white sands of the Maldives or floated in the warm, clear ocean of Mauritius. I was just on my way home from a weekend in Paternoster and driven into the West Coast National Park, only to find a sheltered bay that I wish I had known about earlier.
With water I usually dream about, whose temperature immediately agreed with my body and a higher level of salt that I’m used to, I sunk beneath the surface and hoped that I would’ve ever have to leave. For my boyfriend, this beach was a childhood reminder of family holidays aboard a houseboat. But for me, this was a seemingly untouched bit of paradise just discovered. Sure the Park’s board ‘owned’ these waters and used it only to make money and plan to not allow anymore holiday visitor moorings here. But there wasn’t a hotel, guesthouse, beach bar to be seem for miles around. And due to the fact that this is a natural preserved area, I hoped it would remain so.
It’s probably one of the last beaches you can go to without having to practically sit in your neighbours lap or beneath their umbrella. Where you can enjoy silence or just the sounds of the ocean and not noises of maddening crowds commandeering an area of sand. Where the only other people on the beach are far off and out of earshot and enjoying this bliss merrily to themselves.
Where the bay almost begs you to be a bit quieter so you can enjoy it fully. Until you start experimenting with continuous shooting mode whilst your boyfriend dives, jumps and bounds into the blue. I now have a favourite beach, but shhhhhhh, be sure to keep this secret just between us.