Hagen Engler
7 minute read
26 Sep 2021
5:01 am

Sailing as at least the illusion of escape

Hagen Engler

Buying a boat and braving the seas sounds like a pleasant escape from the realities of South Africa, but for now the Joburg summer is keeping Hagen Engler right here.

Sailors participate in the annual long-distance dhow sailing race, known as al-Gaffal, near Sir Abu Nuair island towards Dubai, on June 4, 2021. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)

I smashed back the curtains and sunshine poured into my flat. I opened the Trellidor and strode onto my balcony. Birdsong greeted me from the glade of trees that shades my complex. A neighbour’s cat looked up from a morning hunt in a citronella bush, now blooming pink flowers with at onset of spring. Snatches of an animated, but loving conversation in Kaaps floated across the electric fence from our neighbouring complex. It was 9am on a public holiday and the Friday lay spread out before me like a large neighbourhood park with lots of good walking trails. I wandered...