a Bettys sunrise

When was the last time you experienced a sunrise?

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It’s not something you just see, its an encounter and each one a privilege. Let me tell you a secret, there is no better place to see the day break than on a Bettys bay beach. It is absolutely magnificent and no words can really give it full justification. It is something you have to experience to understand.  You literally feel closer to your maker and words of praise and joy just boils up inside of you.

The moment that deep bright orange begins to appear over the mountain you know its going to be a great day! Daybreak brings promise. Yesterdays life “blank” is all forgotten and the yellow sun rays gives you hope for the coming days. It’s a day that holds so much potential. Anything can happen and just maybe today you will catch that elusive Galjoen. Each sunrise looks different but it carries the same positive message of new beginnings.

My mind always tend to wonder off into a daze when its quiet next to the water. It’s fantastic me time and important to get my head cleaned up. Erase all negativity and reset the positive rocket. My heart rate probably drops to about nothing and I turn back time and become a little younger with each sunrise. In the background, with the gentle beat of the waves, “Hate me today” from Blue October turns into “Happy” from Pharrell Williams.

Then, TAP! Suddenly all tranquility and peaceful reflection is gone. “Byt weer jou fokker!” is the closest thing to a happy thought you have. Tap, Tap….”Take it, Take it” race through your mind while your knuckles turn white from your firm grip on the rod. You know he’s going to “sak” because you could feel in his aggressive bites that he’s hungry. That few seconds of anticipation before your rod dips is nerve wrecking. Sometimes nothing  follows the inquiries and you are left dumb struck. But then, on a perfect day everything goes to plan.

The fish stormed away with my bait with that typical ferocity, like a Galjoen only can. I hit and the fight was on! For the first couple of seconds the fish stood still, bumping his head in disapproval. My adrenaline pump went into full throttle because only the bigger fish can do the rocker head shake. The fish went left, then right and left again. Gallies are hard tough fighters that can comfortably rival a Staffy hanging on a tire. I pulled with all I had to keep the fish clear of the the kelp and it didn’t help that there was a strong outgoing current that worked to the Gallies advantage. Luckily in an attempt to shake the hook the fish moved out of the current and I could put more pressure on him.

With each pump of the rod the day was getting better and better. About 20 meters out I saw a silver flash, wow! “Come now, play nice, stay on, I promise I’ll braai you with only the best Red wine I have” was some of my distorted thoughts. The Gallie seemed to be able to read my mind as he went on another mad dash, showing his disapproval of being tanned on hot coals.

With the fish almost at my feet I had to lift him through a kelp bush and onto a flat rock in front of me. This is where the turned back clock of a few minutes ago starts to speed up again and you get a little older with each tick. If the fish is hooked firmly in the mouth then he should stay on the hook. But if he is hooked in the lip the pressure of a dead lift will surely make the hook pop for freedom. It helps if you can wait for a swell to come through but this fish wasn’t one to give too much chance. I said a little prayer, reeled in some line and went for the pull. The Gallie breached the water with majestic flare and dropped perfectly at my feet on dry land. Yes please!

With the next cast I was in again. Although smaller than the first fish he gave me an even harder pull. I really though for a second I was stuck until the rock started swimming. My stunning morning came to an end with two fat Gallies on the side.

As we started walking to the car I said to Burtie: “Nou moet die bokke net wen!” We lost 20-26 to Ireland but not even the Boks poor performance could steal the piece from my hart.

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In summer hunting Kob
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Wind still winter morning
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Just after sunrise
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On the grid

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