Posted by: powellpjc | March 5, 2013

So Long, Africa.

Namibia. Dunes and seals.
I’ve spent about 10 days here in Walvis Bay (a form of Whalefish Bay). The whalers dragged everything they could get their harpoons in and cleaned out the whale population in these waters back in the whaling days. The seals, however, are doing well. Thousands and thousands. Each year there is a seal cull where the biologists decide on the numbers of males, females and pups and go to the rookeries and club them. Not quite the same as the Newfoundland seal hunt—no Brigit Bardots or Greeners making a stink.
The seals do make a stink, though, along with the cormorants. I am moored just downwind from a floating boathouse and when the roof is jammed with cormorants the stench is quite something.

This is a boathouse in name only. It is really a bird shithouse.

This is a boathouse in name only. It is really a bird shithouse.


The seals have taken over one catamaran and there are often a dozen or so lounging about, fighting and stinking. The owner of the cat put up a fence to keep them off but they just chewed through it. Mess, whew!
Still a lot of German influence here and more so up the coast at Swakopmund which is kind of like a German retirement village on the coast. I was up there (35 km north) a couple of times where I flew my paraglider—finally—in the dunes but the flying was no hell. Too much work for Pete, struggling up the sand to take off.
The ride up from Cape Stown was sporty and at times, fast.

The ride up from Cape Stown was sporty and at times, fast.


Some big waves.

Some big waves.


The usual boat jobs, of course. Rebolted the wind vane, I think properly. Got some good advice from Freddie Bates back in Portland, a guy who knows a hell of a lot about a hell of a lot.
I tied the wine vane to within an inch of his of its life.

I tied the wine vane to within an inch of his of its life.


Also, yesterday, I was up the mast 4 times restringing a spare mainsail halyard. Even in a protected harbour there are ship’s wakes and the rolly rolly at the top is unnerving. Incompetence required the multiple trips but I got the job done.
Walvis Bay seems to be a popular stop off for cruise liners heading back and forth from Germany to Cape Town. I guess the desert dunes are the attraction but they don’t come close to the beauty of the Chilean altiplano.
A line up of adventurers from the cruise ship.

A line up of adventurers from the cruise ship.


Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.


The streets are wide with proper street lights (called robots) and the old street naming system was simple. 6th street and 7th road, for instance. However, Namibia is a young country (‘94) so as the heroes of the various wars of the former German West Africa, then Southwest Africa, now Namibia die off the street names are changing to ‘Samaman Manajunga’ and other unpronounceable names. It’s their country.
The usual suspects at the club bar.

The usual suspects at the club bar.


One of the chaps gave me a passel of fresh oysters. Punctured my thumb a number times but it was worth it. Yum.

One of the chaps gave me a passel of fresh oysters. Punctured my thumb a number times but it was worth it. Yum.


A squirt of lemon and a band-aid or two and tuck in.

A squirt of lemon and a band-aid or two and tuck in.


The world sail speed record was set here a year ago. 65.45 knots. Some brave boy (1) on board.

The world sail speed record was set here a year ago. 65.45 knots. Some brave boy (1) on board.


They dragged this used drilling platform down from Nigeria. This part of Africa used to be attached to Brazil and they have found a lot of offshore oil in Brazil recently, so the Brazilians are running this venture looking for the same oil deposits.

They dragged this used drilling platform down from Nigeria. This part of Africa used to be attached to Brazil and they have found a lot of offshore oil in Brazil recently, so the Brazilians are running this venture looking for the same oil deposits.


The Skeleton Coast. Many good men have lost their lives here but I'm leaving with skin on my bones.

The Skeleton Coast. Many good men have lost their lives here but I’m leaving with skin on my bones.


Waiting for the next cruise ship.

Waiting for the next cruise ship.


A face only a mother could love.

A face only a mother could love.


Where there is a sea coast, there are weekend fishermen.

Where there is a sea coast, there are weekend fishermen.


Pete's having a traditional 'braai' or BBQ with steak, Boerworst and bacon. When in Rome...

Pete’s having a traditional ‘braai’ or BBQ with steak, Boerworst and bacon. When in Rome…


Walvis Bay is in Pelican Bay, for obvious reasons. Feeding the pelican for the tourists.

Walvis Bay is in Pelican Bay, for obvious reasons. Feeding the pelican for the tourists.


When the food is gone so is Mr. Pelican.

When the food is gone so is Mr. Pelican.


This critter flew on for a visit. Couldn't tell which way faced forward. He had fake eyes. Tricky little critter.

This critter flew on for a visit. Couldn’t tell which way faced forward. He had fake eyes. Tricky little critter.


A lot of flamingos. If you saw this in Canada it would mean someone was having a 60th birthday party.

A lot of flamingos. If you saw this in Canada it would mean someone was having a 60th birthday party.


Adios, Africa.

Adios, Africa.


Setting sail tomorrow for Salvador, Brazil but may stop at St. Helena to peek in Napolean’s old house. Likely a 5 week sail.
Out of Africa, for good.

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Responses

  1. Rommel’s panzer division lives on .
    simpman


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