On the way to work, Kenny Coskey sits next to the fireplace in Blue Shed Coffee Shop with a cappuccino in his hand and a puppy on his lap. This familiar face to the Mossel Bay area is known by many locals for his easy going and pleasant personality. In his true humble character, Kenny seems a bit nervous and unsure of the questions I have for him. He sips his drink and I promise an interview where there are no wrong answers. Who is Kenny Coskey? We both smile as describing oneself in as few words as possible is difficult but Kenny confidently responds “Aquaman.”
A lover of the water, Coskey first touched the ocean at the age of six and has never been the same since. Raised in Pretoria until before the start of high school, he hardly had an opportunity to experience the ocean and all its wonders. After moving to Namibia as a teenager, Kenny could pursue diving more consistently and this ultimately shaped his outlook. He knew that he could never live without the ocean in his life. So, what brought Kenny to Mossel Bay and what keeps him here?
Kenny Coskey studied engineering with a focus in electronics and hydraulics and currently he works as an ROV engineer in the oil and gas industry. His work is very important as his knowledge is used to service the underwater industry through remote technology. This work allows him to combine his work with his place of solace.
Besides his work, Kenny spearfishes in his free time. Using a mask, wetsuit and fins, he heads out early in the morning and swims out distances of about a half a kilometer from the shoreline. Inspired by the movie, The Big Blue as a teenager, he has developed an ability to hold his breath for three or four minutes at a time in the depths of the abyss. Using a spearfishing float to indicate his location underwater, he catches his fish and attaches them to the line before he continues his ventures. In more shark infested waters, he and others will go out on boats for their free dives to have a sentinel on watch for any sharks nearby.
Kenny takes a nearby piece of rope and entertains the restless puppy. The joy that such a small moment offers is contagious. He speaks of the various experiences he has had underwater, from schools of fish to pods of dolphins swimming by. Mossel Bay is an amazing place to explore. He has only had one terrifying encounter and it was not due to any unfriendly visitors. His arm once got stuck under a rock and after having tremendous difficulty in freeing himself, he almost passed out. It took full relaxation to calmly remove his arm and swim to the surface for air. It was a lesson and this narrative perfectly reflected his fluid disposition. He lifts the animal and faces me:
“Mossel Bay is everything I need. I’ve got a view of the mountains and a natural swimming pool. There’s nothing more I could ask for.”