upwelling at The Pipe

My first job ever, was working as a technical assistant in the department of Sea Fisheries.  Fresh out of high-school.  My first task ever, was to plot masses of bathythermal data by hand because of course in those days, Steve Jobs was on the path to dropping out but had not yet had exploded into the computer world and well –  PCs were hard to come by.  The researcher I did it for was a very nice German man but heck-of dry (which I suppose is ironic) and he gave me my first experience of working under bad breath conditions.  Anyway the data I was plotting came from positions off the coast of Namibia which was still South West Africa and he explained something that I thought was quite interesting.

The offshore winds blow the warm waters at the surface miles into the ocean and these are replaced by deeper waters, causing upwelling currents which bring nutrient rich but freezing water from the deep ocean off the continental shelf.  The nutrients feed plankton which fed one of the richest sources of pelagic fish in the world.  And much of the research went into estimating stocks and regulating fishing tonnages.  Later I worked for a very pleasant German, in Walvis Bay,  called Fritz who correctly predicted the collapse of the fishing industry due to over-fishing.    But that is for another day.

Tonight I thought of the upwelling as I stepped into the water at the Pipe.  The South-Easter has been blowing for the last few days and the sea was a milky- blue-green colour and fereezing!!!

I had a few lekker waves as there were only two of us out there and then came to do a painting.  Actually, when I set up up on my little dune I sat looking at the mountains with a blank page on my lap, thinking about life and the story and what could have been.  Really, I could have just sat dreaming for a lot longer but decided to paint.  In the wind.   While I worked a girls school hockey team from up-country came down to the beach.  It was good to hear them loving the sand and the sea.  The driver came and leaned against a pole for just long enough for me to decide that he would stay long enough to star in the painting but left as I tried to get his red face right.

So here we go, an upwelling painting:

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8 thoughts on “upwelling at The Pipe

  1. I like the bus driver in the painting. I, too, could sit there day dreaming. There seems to be more dry brush strokes than usual in the sand in this painting. I like it.

    • Hi Carol – sitting in a private little mini-mal is really quite pleasant – sometimes we should just enjoy this. The wind has changed the beach-scape quite radically and there were ruts in the sand that I tried to capture – the poles were a bit absent minded – see how they fall off the bottom, which is also OK I suppose. thanks hey

  2. I like Carol, noticed the dry brushin in this. I have been practicing dry brush strokes on my scrap watercolorpaper. I don’t use much dry brush and need to start looking for places to use it. The ocean you painted here does look a lot colder. Nice choice of color!

    • Hi Leslie – the sea is still freezing cold – my wetsuit is full of holes so it takes some getting used to – but after a while it is just nice and refreshing. I don’t think about dry-brushing – it just seems to be thing to do to capture what I see. My current thing is about putting down the right value. There is a skill. Have a great day there – we are enjoy a respite from the wind – and a nice warm sunny day – life in Afrique is tough hey – heh heh (o: And I am listening to Boz Scags while I work – Cheers hey

  3. Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing some of your history. The day does look cold but it is great that you were able to capture the bus driver and his feeling of relaxation.

    • Hi Linda – thanks hey – I have been watching some of the other watercolour videos on YouTube – Alvaro Castagnet just goes wish wash wish and there is a person – Charles read the same – though in the cut that I watched he was working from a photo and was slower and very methodical – I want to do that in my paintings – cheers hey S

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