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Ocean Privilege

Dear Friends,

I hope you’re keeping well and had a well rested weekend of sorts,

Let me roll on and vent my frustration here as we find ourselves back in Cape Town, cupping the fragility of privilege between our hands - I must express my upset.

Access to the Ocean is a privilege, it assumes a few things,

That your parents were home to take you and be there with you to experience it recreationally - read swim in it, surf in it, explore the little life that lives between the rocks and maybe, just maybe, even know what the little critters were, if not parents, in an environment where you could explore in this way.

It assumes you lived close to the ocean so you had endless access and if not close, had means to be able to access the ocean, that might mean your family did a trip to the coast a few times a year where the explorer in you could emerge.

Access to the gear, the time, the finances, the knowledge, the resources to be and enjoy this space.

It assumes that you could swim.

And if older, you are able to afford the equipment, took yourself for swimming lessons, have time to surf before work assuming you work close to where you live and don’t have siblings and family to tend to before and after work. It assumes between trying to hang on to life, there is time to express your joy in the privilege the Ocean is.

If you experienced the Ocean from a young age, you probably had someones mother packing your lunch for your adventure while ensuring the house was clean and everything was in place for your return while her children mothered themselves. I’m not fighting the job sector, but context and history is important.

I share this because its an interesting thing that in South Africa, we constantly must circle back to the old ugly.

So this weekend, was a gratitude for the older woman who finally explained what some Capetonians meant when they asked for the beaches to open. Also, that she doesn’t mean to cause any trouble, just for the government to open the beaches so the surfers can surf and she can walk her dog but of course they don’t want the masses there. She mentioned how the Malls are full and its those people who we should be concerned about.

And then the heart wrenching, the young one. Questioning if we are even moving forward at all.

This is how Privilege exists and demands that rules look to isolate its existence and comfort over everyone else, that leisure time or coping mechanisms come in hierarchies and because the one is exclusive while the other is not, look to police the masses not this little community of socially distanced surfers and dog walkers.

Someone wrote to me saying

‘This behaviour is so disappointing but not surprising. White people feeling entitled to hold space that they have restricted others from for >400 years. And admits a global pandemic where hundreds are dying daily, going to the beach and surfing is a top priority… there is so much disconnect from reality. SO little regard for others. So much continued oppression’

And the most, messages around the endless discussions around white privilege and then white fragility and then fatigue from the constant, and then ‘you realise you’d be living around these people if you move there right?’

The question that stabbed my heart was, you always say not all, where is the rest when such is happening?

This is a rant.


My guest last week on the live was the beautiful Danel Wentzel, a Water Woman based in Cape Town, she is a Marine Biologist, Scuba Diving instructor, underwater Photographer, Freediver and all round nature human, read more about her below and listen in here.

Danel Wentzel > @mermaid_danii < is a 22-year old PADI Scuba diving Instructor with an Honours degree in Marine Biology, currently living in Cape Town.

She is a passionate about exploring and protecting our oceans and sharing knowledge with others. Besides diving, she is a coach for the I am Water Foundation, where she works towards connecting children with our ocean.

She enjoys participating and planning beach cleanup events as well as working towards protecting our oceans through conservation and education. ’I live, work and breathe for the ocean and want to share my passion with others with the hopes it inspires them to want to love and conserve it like I do’

She runs a PADI scuba diving school called Capensis Diving @capensisdiving( and enjoys staying fit and healthy!

Happy Monday all,


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