Monday, February 24, 2014

Drinking sea water

WARNING: don't' try this at home! Seriously, it's potentially dangerous!

Every time we go to the coast, my house-lady at home asks if we'd bring back sea water for her to drink. I have grown up with this request from our house-help and we've been doing it for that many years. People upcountry don't often get to the sea (I don't think Emily has ever seen the sea) and because it's a remedy that's been passed down through the generations, we're always asked for seawater when we merely mention going to the coast. When we return from a trip, we always bring a memento of our travels to Emily. She accepts this with gratitude. Yet, you cannot imagine the jubilation when Grant hands her a five-liter container of seawater.

To find out why this commodity is so sought after, I decided to Google it. I found a rather long-winded  loquacious account by a photographer who was seeking for authentic stories with a cultural idea behind it. He made a video of a young Eastern Cape gentleman who explains exactly why people drink seawater. (Yes, you guessed it, it's primarily for health reasons) 

Please click here  and read all about it.

The holiday before last, we stayed over in the Oyster Box Hotel. Although the beach was directly below our bedroom balcony, the weather was very bad that weekend and we didn't get to stroll along the shore. On the morning of our departure, I phoned reception and told the young Zulu man my needs. (He knew exactly why I wanted seawater to take home) He came to our room and collected the car keys.  I also explained that if he entered the underground garage parking, he wouldn't have a problem locating the large silver SUV with number plates which said "HEDGES". Inside the car, he'd find an empty five-liter water bottle  etc etc. 

After he'd completed this task, he placed the container of seawater in the car and returned the keys to me. I  tipped him for doing this very important job for me.  BTW The Oyster Box is a five-star establishment and nothing is too much trouble!(Think Beverley Hills Hotel in the movie, Pretty Woman)

When we were at the sea in January, we walked down to the beach from our Guest House early on the morning of our departure. Grant filled the bottle to the brim with seawater and added about an inch of seasand. This is apparently very important. I wondered if this was because innocent people have previously been duped by being given "salt water" and not genuine seawater or was there another reason. The young man in the video above explains this as well!

Unfortunately I only focused on Grant collecting seawater, which he says is not as easy as it looks! There were at least a dozen people in the waves near him also collecting water but I missed that! 
 Grant collecting seawater for Emily  
 Mission accomplished! (Wet shorts, gritty legs and all!)

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.


  1. Lovely shots of the ocean. You've got my attention with the health angle. I will have to follow your link and learn all about it. I'm wondering if they are the same benefits my mom used to talk about in terms of drinking water made with sea salt. I don't remember now what she used to say. I only remember that the water tasted horrible to me then.

  2. I remember when we were growing up we spent every holiday with my grand parents in Paradise Beach near JBay and I was always amazed how the "Vaalies" went to get bottles of water to take back with them for their workers.

  3. I have not heard of the benefits of seawater..It does not sound good. I have heard of rinsing with salt water but not drinking it. Emily will be very happy with her seawater. Thanks to Grant.. Have a happy week, Jo!


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