DR. ROBIN NICELY: South African dolphin biologist and paddler

south-africa-1        A perennial contender in the South African Surf Ski Series, Robin Nicely was serious about racing the long, narrow, sit-on-top kayaks that had evolved from the wider and more stable craft used by Australian and South African lifeguards. Typically, he was on the water six days a week, in the gym strength training for two days a week, and, when his other commitments didn’t get in the way, running or cycling a few times as well. The unexpected phone call from Vee was just one of those other commitments.



Ten minutes later, Robin was back. David had tied down the boats and settled into his beach chair and a discreetly held Carling Black Label—watching the last flickers of the sunset battling with the black.

Robin grabbed the can of beer and swallowed what was left. “Get up! Bloody dolphins beaching on Bazarutu.” He crushed the can and threw it at David.

“Mozambique? Can’t their people handle…?”

“I don’t even know if I can handle it.” In addition to being a competitive long-distance ocean paddler, Dr. Robin Nicely was a world-renowned marine mammologist, the assistant director of Plettenberg Bay’s Dolphin Study Centre and founder of the Pan-African Marine Mammal Stranding Network—the organization responsible for investigating the beachings of whales and dolphins for most of the continent.

David folded his chair and tossed it in the back seat. “How many, brah?”

beached-whales 2           Shivering in his wet rash guard, Robin peeled off the skin-tight top—revealing a faded tattoo of a dolphin leaping over a kayak on the right side of his upper back. After pulling on a pilly, gray fleece, he looked at David and kicked a clump of sand. “Fuck!” Robin closed his eyes and ran his fingers through the salt and pepper crew cut stubble on his head. “Vee says at least 300.”

Learn more about this character and the others that play a major role in my epic novel, by reading Wendall’s Lullaby.

~ by kipwkoelsch on February 16, 2018.

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