Cool Surfer Dude November 25, 2014

Upon arrival at Thonga I ask “Who is the cool surfer dude around here?” Every respectable beach lodge should have one, and Clint Morkel at Thonga Beach Lodge fulfills all the surfer dude-inous criteria – hair bleached blond from the sun, tanned, fit and with a love of all things marine. I ask about his idyllic day, and with a laid back “Hey, yeah, you know…” he describes a day in paradise – clear, calm waters, launching out on the Ocean Experience boat trip, looking out for the Island Rock dolphins and swimming with them, spotting some whales, coming back to do a dive. Maybe go for a surf or do some kite surfing.

Clint Morkel (Manager of the Marine Centre, and skipper)

I inquire about his previous experience and as I listen to his ten year resume I find myself thinking that this is not just a laid back strandloper (beach walker). Clint has run the Barra Dive Centre at Inhlambane and he previously ran the Dolphin Swim Centre in Mozambique. I look around at the Thonga Marine Centre, and see further evidence of his professionalism – rows of dive equipment are lined up in categories and in order of size, labelled and spotlessly clean. A large, flat-screen television plays an instructional dive DVD. Well referenced books on marine creatures and diving maps line the shelf.

I look at him with new eyes and ask “What brought you to work here then?” But the ocean-lover is back as he smiles, explaining “The water is incredibly clean here and the beach is pristine and it’s one of the only lodges right on the beach. I love all the varied ocean activities. There is a lot of wildlife here too, associated with Lake Sibaya. The people working here are good and they stay for a long time. And the lodge is not too big so you can get a feel for the guests – it’s more interactive. It’s a cool job,” he ends.

“Yup” I think, “and so are you.” Thonga is lucky to have someone so organized and dedicated to his craft, with the ocean in his heart and eyes.

thonga-beach-aerial-1

 

Posted in
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed for this account. New posts will not be retrieved.

There may be an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Your server might also be unable to connect to Instagram at this time.

ISIBINDI_IAL MAP_web
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.