Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Luderitz, Namibia
The sail from Luderitz to Walvis Bay was magical.  We sailed along the coastline drinking in the foreign views as we whooshed by.  The scenery was absolutely stunning, the Namib desert being one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world.  The sand dunes went right down to the water.  We sailed into 2 different bays before we stopped for the night.  We seldom do that when passage making, this was coastal cruising at it's finest.  

Our last stop was Spencer Bay, as we approached we could see black things on a hill side.  Barry says I think they are seals, I scoffed, no, they couldn't be, they must be cormorants.Sure enough I looked through the binos and they were seals, mountain climbing seals at that.  The hill must have been 200 meters tall if not more and there they were laying around at the top.
The brown stuff on the rocks are the seals, maybe if you click and enlarge and then zoom you can make them out!
As we sailed around the corner a Johnny Depp wreck revealed itself.  It was a big freighter which had come to grief, it was sufficiently spooky looking to rate the name we bestowed upon it.  Along the beech next to the derelict were another congregation of seals, hundreds of them.  They are spread out all along the beach. 

As we came around the corner past the wreck we experienced an acceleration zone.  It had been blowing about 15 knots on the ocean, a great sailing breeze, as we came around the corner with full sails up, gusts of 25-30 knots blasted us.  We struggled a bit to get the sails down and Barry was leery about setting anchor because of the wind, but the anchor caught and stuck well.  I really wanted to go ashore but there were breakers everywhere and the wind was blowing  the tops off the waves.  It would have been  hard getting the dinghy in the water in that wind as well.  I thought about swimming ashore, but it was cold and I didn't fancy my chances in the surf.  As we were leaving at dawn the next day there was an island that was covered in birds, another boat told us they were penguins!!
Another reason for the magical passage was the wildlife in the water.  We had dolphins coming to visit, they were gorgeous, I had never seen the ones with white on their noses before. 

At one point Barry called me up on deck, it was very calm and we were motoring, a huge pod of dolphins were surfing on the waves.  As the swell would rise, they would power out of the top of the wave and then disappear to appear once again on the next swelling.  There had to be over 50, magical.  A wright whale surfaced and blew within meters of the boat, I am pretty sure he heard us coming, we had the auto pilot on.  The fur seals were all over the place, you would be sailing along and see this one flipper just sitting up in the air, just waving at you.  I am sure they must use it for stability but I would wave back and say hi every time I saw them. There were flocks of gulls, a V of cormorants gliding along the water, pelicans and when we arrived in Walvis Bay we saw flamingoes.  I am going for a walk this morning and will try and get some good pics. We plan to spend 4 or 5 days here before heading to St. Helena.