The weather forecast says rainy Sunday. Just what we need to dash any hopes of a cable car ride to the Table Mountain. But not enough to cancel the boat ride to Seal Island in Hout Bay. Inevitably, my mind goes autopilot to remember those stinky, hysterical seals in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. This time around, we sail from the pier in Simon’s Town, brave the swells of the not too calm waters of Hout Bay, up to this island where seals are pleasantly quiet, either swimming not too far from that tiny patch of land stones clustered to form an island, or simply basking in what’s left of the sun on this cloudy day.




The Seals of Hout Bay



It took some effort to remain calm. At one point, I was up front when I felt “lifted” as the boat passed a swell, momentarily up in air, before bouncing back to let hull meet water. Thank God that was just ONE moment. As the boat rocked, I anxiously and gingerly walked back to join my group. I never ever imagined myself as a sailor but I managed to hold my breakfast during the entire ride.




Rough. Bumpy. Wavy.





While I thoroughly enjoyed the inflight movie “Dark Tide”, I wish I saw it AFTER this Hout Bay episode. By itself, the boat ride – swells and all – was fine. It’s just that the movie reminded me that these are shark-infested waters and I worried for a while if those great white sharks may prefer me in my “tourist’s outfit du jour” over their typical meal of seals. Yes, you may call me paranoid. But try watching that movie! (Movie is about shark encounters and I don’t mean whale sharks. It’s the real thing, baby. Give the great white sharks some respect, honey.)