Whale Ceremony for 55 beached whales in Kommetjie

Lesley Rochat Photography - Whale Ceremony for 55 beached whales in Kommetjie

The emptiness and calm of Kommetjie beach belies the chaos and trauma that took place a week earlier when this little bay was scattered with 55 beached whales, most shot later that day to the horror of hundreds of onlookers.

Lesley Rochat Photography - Whale Ceremony for 55 beached whales in KommetjieYesterday late afternoon as a full moon begun to rise, a small crowd of about 120 people, including Kim Mc Klean, who had driven from Hermanus especially for the event, gathered to honour the whales that were shot on the beach the weekend before. Spiritual healer and shaman, Shelley Ruth Wyndham, spoke words of wisdom about the interconnectedness of all life, and our need to respect all Earth’s creatures. Candles arranged in the shape of a whale were placed on a platform overlooking the beach where the traumatic euthanasia of over 45 whales had taken place in front of hundreds of people, including children. Throughout the ceremony a few southern right whales swam directly in front of the crowd, which many believed was not a coincidence. After Shelley finished addressing the gathering, we all walked down to the waters edge, threw lavender into the ocean, while sangoma, Devi Hill, beat an American Native drum and incense filled the air. The sun sank into the ocean, the whales moved off and some people found closure for an experience that had shattered them, especially those who had for many hours so tirelessly tried to rescue the whales, but in vain.

Lesley Rochat Photography - Whale Ceremony for 55 beached whales in Kommetjie

Lesley Rochat Photography - Whale Ceremony for 55 beached whales in Kommetjie

  1. This is seriously the worst thing I have ever read. A sangoma is african, beating an American drum?

    You should really think about going back to doing what you did before this. You are not worth a conservationsts ass. To be frank, you care about nothing other than yourself. You mentioned yourself in the previous article so many times that I almost got sick.

  2. Lesley RochatLesley Rochat06-12-2009

    Lesley Rochat’s reply: Hi ‘curioustotry7@gmail.com’, you seem awfully interested in my work, I see you visit my site often, spent a half hour browsing my site the last time, and you are a ‘friend’ from Facebook, plus you give your URL as the Save Our Seas Foundation, the same organisation I work for – smacks of an internet stalker and professional jealousy. Regardless, I hope you will find peace with whatever it is you struggle with that compels you to keep up with what I am doing and at the same time slate me. Lesley Rochat PS: Africans can beat American drums, and blogs are largely meant to reflect and share one’s personal experiences.PPS: I see your email address is linked to smut and sleaze sites.

  3. NatureboyNatureboy06-13-2009

    Mr (or Mrs?) Curioustotry7, you seem to be quite a conservationist yourself, a conservationist of note. So what are you doing from a conservation perspective apart from having a dig at people who are pro-active and actually making a difference? Where is your blog or website so I can see what you are doing to tackle your cause? Before you attack people personally, perhaps you should question your motives. Whether you like it or not Lesley is doing amazing work, often with little or no assistance from people and organizations that should be supporting her. So give it a break and move on.

  4. MarcTMarcT06-13-2009

    One good deed is beter than the greatest good intention…. well done Lesley

  5. SwordfishSwordfish06-16-2009

    Lesley, I see we have some nasty seaweed floating in the water throwing negativity around. Take no notice of those that don’t like who they are. It’s their problem not yours. Keep up the good work and have compassion for that person. Let’s hope that he/she finds peace in their life. It must be hardcore being a misery. Eish!!

  6. Jeremy JowellJeremy Jowell02-15-2010

    Les… thanks for sharing some of your beautiful photographs and very moving writing.
    You are doing a great job in raising the awareness of everyone, young and old, about the ocean and the creatures who live in it and the difficulties that they face.
    You are making a difference and people are learning from you … so please keep up the good work…
    Jeremy Jowell

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