EDITORS COMMENT 12
art feature Dodds Blom
Support local Community 29
Wellness In The Time Of A Pandemic Health
Seaweed Pickers in 4 2 the Eastern Cape The Reality Of Our Rob Anderson and Mark Rothman Water Situation SFPO Association
for kykNET Kwela Dorp van die Jaar 2021
Episode two by Melissa Volker
St Francis Bay Eastern Cape Finalist
Stand Up Paddle boarding in St Francis Bay
EDITORS COMMENT It is sometimes hard to keep the spirit up. We often have no electricity, will soon have no water, have no booze, can’t sit down in a restaurant, our economy is in tatters, and we have the omnipresent threat of this Delta variant forever looming. Yet what we do have is this beautiful little corner of the world and wonderful outlying districts rich in natural beauty and history. We also have the great outdoors and access to our beaches, oceans, hiking trails, waves, running tracks, wild sides, and secret spots all over. We have the option to get out
there among it all. We do not have the stress of living in a city with all the complications and dramas that come with that life choice.
O U R L I V ES ARE S IM P L ER, AND D E S P I TE S OM E D IF F ERENCES ,
W E DO H AV E A C O MMUN IT Y SP I RI T TH AT P U L L S TOG E TH E R WHE N TH E S H I T D O E S HIT TH E FA N . When fires break out, when flooding threatens and when security issues present themselves. We could have it a lot worse. The things that we would like to respectfully endorse at this time, though, are to be
as careful as you can when it comes to the virus, try to save water, and try and capture rainwater.
A P A RT FROM THAT, B E F REE TO LI V E Y O U R BES T LI FE I N T HIS LI T TLE NECK O F T HE W OODS . Editor: Craig
A L L PH OT OS © G UMBY
ART feature DO DDS BLO M
It was a chilly July morning mid-lockdown the day I first encountered the serenity of a Dodds Blom work. Trade Wind had opened for takeaways, and we had plonked our well-walked bodies down for a moment as we waited for our hot drinks. Swaddled in obligatory masks, headhugging beanies and down puffers, we defiantly risked our “clean slates” each day for the exhilaration of some crunch underfoot and a hint of spray on wind-whipped faces. These illicit walks under rigorous lockdown rule were tainted with angst, even as we thumbed our noses at the powers-that-be 12
It was a time of deprivation and prohibition. Our beloved beaches irrationally whisked away, and no beer or wine to dull the pain.
A D O DDS B L O M WAVE S CA P E O N TRA DE W I ND ’ S WA L L WA S A TH I N G O F BE A UTY PO ISE D UP ON M Y P AT H I N OTH E RW IS E H ORRI BLE A N D UNCE R TA I N T IM E S. I T PR O VI DE D A S E N S E OF I M ME DI ATE R E L IE F
A N D R ECONNECTI ON WIT H W HAT I M IS SED M OS T. And is this not the purposes of art? – to help us encounter something that is otherwise elusive – the peace, the freedom, the love, the beauty we find missing. Dodds has developed a signature style that captures the endless summer of our
Wayne Campout At Supers.
beloved St Francis Bay and Seals.
H E DOE S I T IN A WAY TH AT F E E L S QUI TE H E AV E N LY, A N D I N S O D O IN G , EMPH A S I S E S T HE P IE CE O F PA R A D ISE TH AT I S O U R P AT C H. His puritan wave sets under candyfloss clouds point to the perfection of Bruce’s
Beauties, a name given to the metered swell that peels through our ocean when the offshore blows. I recently had the pleasure of chatting to Dodds over a beer at the Full Stop. Handsome and quietly self-possessed, the doting father of two spoke of his other great passion. An accomplished self-taught guitarist, Dodds has worked as a professional musician
in all genres, including Classical and Spanish guitar. He currently offers guitar lessons in Cape St Francis.
“A N D Y OU CAN TELL T HE M THAT,” HE S AY S W I TH A S M I LE.
A FTE R MATR I CULAT IN G AT VI CTORI A P A R K H I G H I N PO R T ELI ZA BE TH , HE ST UDI E D AR T AT PE TE CH N I KO N FO R TW O Y E A R S, W H E R E H E S AYS HE LE A R N E D N O T HIN G .
However, his art took flight after meeting his mentor Mel Brigg during a five-month stint in Australia in 2002. Having only seen Dodds seascapes, I was astonished to see his abstract and portrait paintings, demonstrating remarkable versatility. His preferred medium is oils. 17
Dodds stunning wavescapes can be found at the St Francis Brew Pub in St Francis Bay. A pint of Wildside, some Jack Johnson tunes and a Dodds Blom seascape provide all the sensory chill you need at the end of a hectic day. For commissions or to view different styles of his work, you can contact the artist directly on 0606347451 Article by Jacqueline Jorgensen, a freelance writer who can be contacted on 0826533509.
Support Local CO MMU NI T Y
Our goal with this publication was to always avoid negativity and click-bait headlines about Guptas, our stolen money, and how the rest of the country is suffering because that other doos gave the pandemic money to his sister. I T DO E S BE C O M E QUI TE H A R D AT TI ME S TH O U G H, B U T W E N E E D TO F O C U S ON PO S I TI V IT Y. For now, our restaurants will be taking a big beating up until 11 July, and who knows 24
what will happen after that. We would like to once again promote a vibe of supporting locals. Our restaurants make lovely food, coffee, and other such sumptuous delectables. Most restaurants will be offering takeaways during the next
few weeks. Some will be offering deliveries.
SO A LL W E N E E D TO DO I S TO UNDE R S TA N D T HAT BY S UPPOR T IN G LO CA LS , W E A R E H E LP I N G O U R O WN TRI BE A N D N O T T HE BI G CO R PO R AT IO N S . TH E FA M I LY RE S TA UR A N T S A N D TH E SM A L L E R CO FFE E S HO P S
A N D R ES TAURANTS A R E ALL GOI NG T O N EED OUR S U P P ORT, EV EN I F I T M E A NS REHEATI NG S O M E FOOD AT HO M E OR DRI V I NG S O M EW HERE TO P IC K S TUFF UP. The support would mean a lot to our restaurants and the wonderful people who own them or work in them. We could get through this with
minimal job losses and no restaurants forced to closed down if we all do our best.
T HE IR S PECI ALS ON FA C E B OOK HERE -
TH E R E A R E A F E W RE S TA UR A N T S TH AT H AVE A DVE RTI S E D T HE IR TA K E AWAY M E N U S A N D S PE CI A L S I N TH I S I S S U E , A N D FO R M O ST OF TH E O TH E R S , YO U CA N F IN D YO UR FAVO U R IT E RE S TA UR A N T S A N D
Also, don’t forget all the recently -opened restaurants in our area. Unfortunately, they do not have existing clientele, so they will be even harder hit. But you can always give them a try.
T HE Y W I LL BE S O G RATEFUL.
Seaweed Pickers in the Eastern Cape RO B A N DE R S O N A N D MA R K R O T HM A N
We may worry when we see people moving across the rocky seashore, removing things and putting them in sacks. However, when the people are picking the seaweed Gelidium pristoides, we are looking at one of the most sustainable extractive activities on the South African coast. Gelidium is one of several red seaweeds that produce agar, a polysaccharide with remarkable properties. It contains a gel is used in many foods, cosmetics and other products.
MO S T I MPO R TA N T, I T I S E S S E N T IA L I N M E DI CAL PATH OLO G Y A S A N E UTR A L MEDI UM O N WHIC H
T O C ULTURE B A C T ERI A, FUNGI A N D SOM ETI M ES V IR U SES : THERE I S N O SUBS TI TUTE FOR A G A R I N M EDI CAL R E S E ARCH AND P AT HOLOGY ! G. pristoides is our best Gelidium species because it grows in the intertidal zone (so it’s easily collected) 29
contains high-quality agar.
LO CA L S PE C IE S H AVE BE E N H A RVE S TE D HE R E SIN CE TH E E A R LY
1 9 5 0 S , AND I N T HE 1980S PUBLI C C O N CERN LED TO M U C H RES EARCH O N T HE EFFECTS OF HA R V ES TI NG.
A Gelidium picker in identifying yellow tunic 30
Scientists from Sea Fisheries and Rhodes and Port Elizabeth Universities (as they were then) produced reports and more than ten peer-reviewed publications. The research was summarized at an international Gelidium workshop in Spain, where our Gelidium pristoides emerged as one of the most thoroughly researched
commercial Gelidium species worldwide. A typical shore is visited 1-3 times a year and the seaweed picked by hand, leaving the well-attached basal parts to rapidly regrow. Only about 20% of the overall biomass is removed, and recovery takes 3 months in summer and 4-5 months in winter. Even after intense, experimental harvesting at
Gelidium pristoides is found only in South Africa, from the Cape Peninsula to the northern Transkei. 31
the same sites for 3 years there was no difference between harvested and nonharvested (control) sites.
A LL I N TE R T ID A L SEAW E E DS CO N TA I N M A N Y TI N Y A N I MA L S : CR US TA CE AN S, BA BY M US S E L S, N E MATO DE S , E T C . A careful study showed that only 3% of those live in tufts of G. pristoides, and none are restricted to this seaweed species. So picking 20% of the Gelidium biomass removes less than 1% of small animals – an
ecologically negligible effect. Bags of Gelidium are carried to a bakkie. At the East London factory it is dried, sorted and baled for export.
A B O U T 80-90 T O N S OF THI S S E AWEED LEAV E S A A NNUALLY. G E L IDI UM HA R V ES TI NG I S C O M P LETELY S U STAI NABLE AT C U RRENT L E V E L S , AND P R O V I DES W ORK F O R SOM E 30-
5 0 P I CK E RS - A N D VALUA BLE F O R E IG N EX CH A N G E. The harvesting, like all “fishing” operations, is controlled by the Marine Living Resources Act, administered by The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. The commercial Gelidium right in this part of the Eastern Cape is held by Taurus Chemicals Cape Kelp (Pty) Ltd. A sub-contracting company contracts the pickers, mostly women from poor communities near East London. The same pickers are used rather than locals at different sites because they need regular income and skill and experience. Also, they must be trusted not to poach: if they collect other marine organisms the right-holder and their contractors face severe penalties. So next time you see a group of workers in yellow tunics picking seaweed give a thought to the humble seaweed that will end up in Japan. And to the
amazing properties of agar that give these workers a living, improve many of the products we use and are vital in medical pathology! The authors Dr. Robert Anderson (now retired) spent 36 years as a marine scientist at Sea Fisheries and was involved in most of the Gelidium research mentioned. Dr. Mark Rothman heads the Seaweed Research Unit at the Department of Forestry Fisheries and the Environment. He and Rob were colleagues for more than 15 years.
Wellness In The Time Of A Pandemic BY CR A I G J A R V IS
There was a meme going around when we first went into lockdown that posed a question, ‘Hunk, Chunk or Drunk?’ It was referring to what a long term hard lockdown will do to people. They would emerge from the lockdown either: - Looking better than ever after a million push-ups and sit-ups. - Looking chubby from eating bread-based meals and sitting in front of the TV along with their misery. - Addicted to all the alcohol that they bought on the black market. 36
It’s actually a pretty good reflection, as people did change over lockdown. Some people changed for the good, while others changed for the bad. Some adopted a poor-me syndrome, while others worked hard on themselves and their mental and physical wellness.
As we hit another challenging situation in our lives in South Africa, it would be a good idea to try and adapt a good wellness plan. Even though we are fatigued by the pandemic and the lifestyle changes we have endured, now’s a good time to work on wellness. A few ideas would be to have a close look at your nutrition and make sure that you are
eating enough fresh food and unprocessed food. In the words of food author Michael Pollan,
“ E AT FOOD, NOT T O O M UCH, M AI NLY P L A NTS .” This sort of diet keeps the immunity system kicking, your metabolism up, and your health vibrant.
After nutrition, then exercise would be the next element in overall wellness. While there are so many topclass athletes in our hood, many people are reasonably healthy who just need to up their exercise output to achieve wellness.
TH I S MI G H T M E A N A WA LK O N T HE BE A CH , A C YC L E TO TH E S H O P S , O R A Q UI CK PAD D L E 38
IN T H E CANALS TO G E T THE M US CLES M O V ING. A yoga session or a visit to the pool or the gym (currently closed, temporarily) would also help along the way. There is no need to train for a marathon or to get prepared for an Iron Man unless you’re already that person, but a little bit of extra movement in a day is key.
TH I RDLY, YO U R MEN TA L A N D SP I RI TUA L W E LLN E S S IS CR UCI A L AT SU C H A T I ME A S T HIS, ES PE CI A LLY A S WE A R E G O I N G IN T O TH E H E A RT O F W I N TE R. This means that we do need to do whatever it takes to not
let the darkness in. We need not worry about society’s expectations as a whole in these times and need to do whatever makes us happy. There’s not enough time for much else. Spontaneity is also a great assist in keeping one happy and upbeat, and excited with life. We always have the option to surround ourselves in nature, and that is always an awakening when we need to clear our heads and live in the moment.
The Reality Of Our Water Situation SF PO A S S O C IAT IO N A N D N P C N E W S LE T TE R JU N E 2 0 2 1
When Day Zero was first mentioned a few short years ago, it was a terrifying prospect that Cape Town could be the first modern major city in the world to run dry. It was averted by stringent water saving methods, many of them still in play even though the dams in the Western Cape are healthily full at the moment. OUR DAY Z E R O IN TH E E A S TE R N C A P E I S N OW CLO SE TO A CE RTA IN T Y. K O UG A W I L L R U N OUT OF WAT E R I F W E CO N T IN U E TH I S TRA J E C T O R Y. TH E S I TUAT IO N I S DI R E , A ND IT IS W I DE S PRE AD . The Kouga Dam is on 3,98%, and should it get below 3%, 42
it will become impossible to draw water from it. There are no significant rainfalls expected in the catchment area for the next two weeks. When this happens we will be reliant on borehole water supplies. While some of us have Jojo tanks and water storage devices installed, many people don’t. This water shortage will have a crippling effect on these people.
SIM I LA R LY, T HE K N O CK - O N E F F E C T OF A FA RM C E A SIN G TO OPE RAT E D U E TO LA CK O F WAT E R W OULD BE JO B LO S S E S , A N D N O CR OPS , CA U SIN G A FO O D S H O R TA G E . DR O UG H T IN TH I S A R E A WIL L BE A BS OLU T E LY DI S A S TR O U S. We are currently on a 50-liter rationing per person per
day. This has been broken down into a possible daily per-person consumption scenario.
D R I N K ING WATE R 2 L P ER DAY C O OK ING 2 L P ER DAY D AI LY H YGIE NE 2 L P ER DAY S H O W E RING ( 2 M INUTES ) 15L
DIS HE S & L AU N D R Y 17L TO I L E T F L U S H E S (2 DA I LY ) 12 L The Kouga Municipality issued a statement on Tuesday, 22 June. They stated that they would be forced to consider water rationing in the greater St Francis area should residents not immediately cut back on water usage. This means that water will only be available from taps for a few hours per day and will be shut off for the remainder of the day. According to information released by the Nelson
Mandela Bay Metro on Tuesday, the Kouga Dam is at 3.98% capacity, the Impofu Dam at 16.64% capacity, Groendal at 25.24% and Churchill at 19.55%. Please note: The use of hosepipes connected to a municipal supply is strictly prohibited. Municipal water may not be used to fill pools, fountains or ponds. Municipal water may not be used to wash paved areas, walls, roofs and buildings. The Kouga Local Municipality request that all water leaks be reported via the Link mobile app or on 042 200 2200.
St Francis Bay
EASTERN CAPE FINALIST
FO R K Y K N ET K WE L A D O R P VAN DI E JAAR 2021
Final voting round is 11 to 16 July. Max 30 votes per cell number. Cost is R1.50 per sms/vote/ The town out of the 9 finalists with the most votes will be the winner. SMS St Francis to 33157 to vote when it opens. 47
Stand Up Paddleboarding in St Francis Bay EP I S ODE TWO BY ME LI S S A V O L K E R
BOA RD S E L E C T IO N FO R FLATWAT E R The St Francis Canals and the Kromme River are the perfect place to find your SUP balance. The launch and entry via the banks are easy, and the fall into still water is forgiving, especially as many areas have a sandy bottom. Which type of board should you choose for this discipline? 50
FLATWATE R F O R BE G I N N E R S A big, wide, stable SUP will give you the most stability and boost your confidence. You could choose an epoxy or inflatable SUP for beginner use on flatwater. Start on your knees and when comfortable, stand up. If the tail goes under water when you stand up,
the board is too small. If you think you might want to progress to SUP surfing, hard boards like the Starboard Whopper or the Zeal Breeze are a good choice. They are long and wide, so the whole family can use them for cruising, touring, or even for yoga or Pilates. While you sacrifice speed for stability, you retain the versatility to opt for surf at a later stage.
FLATWATE R F O R I N TE R ME DIAT E TO A DVA N C E D PADDLE RS Would you like to get fit, get your heart rate up, cover some distance or maybe work toward entering a race? Then you need either a twelve-foot six or a faster fourteen-foot flatwater board. (In South Africa most races are on fourteen-foot boards) These boards come in different widths, but have a flat shape under the nose, i.e. no rocker.
The Coreban Phoenix, Starboard Allstar, Zeal Razor and the Naish Javelin are examples of these speed machines.
T HE NARROW ER THE B O A R D, THE FAS TER T HE Y GO, BUT THEY A L SO BECOM E L E SS S TABLE W I TH R E D UCED W I DTH. T HE SE BOARDS A R E P ERFECT FOR T IM E TRI ALS AND IN T E RVAL TRAI NI NG
I N TH E CA NA L S. YO U M I G H T E V E N BE A BLE TO K E E P U P W I TH A CA N O E IST FO R A FE W SECO N DS .
A Fractured Land: https://amzn.to/2QwxWIF coming soon: The Pool Guy (A novelette in an anthology)
With a wider, more stable version, you will be able to cover longer distance paddles comfortably, and progress from a 5 km canal loop to a strong 10 km river push or an advanced 15km distance SUP.
Goodreads To Be Read link Add to TBR:
In our next episode we will look at basic technique to get you moving.
MELI S S A VO L K E R I S A S UCCE S SF U L BOOK W R I T E R A N D A KE E N S UP E R . F IN D OUT M O R E A B O U T HER HERE: https://missmelissawrites. com/ Her books: Shadow Flicker: https://amzn.to/3agGhao 53