Posted by: catamarantwooceans | January 7, 2010

To Namibia

2.1.10 – Saturday – The exit formalities as well as other last minute tasks made it impossible to leave before four or five pm. This meant getting to Luderitz in the dark which is undesirable. We’ll go tomorrow.

3.1.10 – Sunday – We left the yacht club at 0630. It was foggy and grey. A merchant ship behind us started blowing its horn, perhaps signaling that we are in her path. As the port receded behind us some creatures of the South Atlantic showed up: penguins, sea lions, and flocks of Cormorants. A little later we saw two couples of Humpback whales.

Our destination lay a little less than 500 miles away. We had no real wind for the first 50 miles and then a southerly sprang up, right from behind. The Amel has a unique sail arrangement, with twin poles for flying two head sails in those conditions, the regular jib and one they call a “Balooner”. They also have a Balooner for the mizzen mast. Zulu flew the jib on a pole and I was surprised by the speed achieved. The difference between the monohull and the catamaran was immediately obvious. The mono ROLLS! One has to move carefully and take care that everything is properly placed otherwise it will slide or fall. I suppose I’ll get used to it in time.

4.1.10 – Monday – Wind still from behind and getting stronger. We were making good speed, 7-8 knots, under jib only. The day passed with no special occurrences.

5.1.10 – Tuesday – In the morning we had visitors. A pod of dolphins entertained us for half an hour before breaking away. A funny phenomenon was the seals that seemed to be asleep, lying on their backs in the water, flippers and tip of the nose protruding. The moment we came close, they woke up, turned and dove quickly out of sight.

seal asleep

The wind became lighter and Zulu experimented with some interesting sail combinations: Drifter only, Drifter and mizzen Balooner and finally the twin headsails arrangement. By the time we rigged them the wind fell down completely, we furled the headsails and let the four cylinders Yanmar do the job.

wing and wing

6.1.10 – Wednesday – Morning brought some wind and the twin headsails were at work again. As the wind rose to 15 and then to 20 knots our speed over ground hovered at 7.5 to 8 knots with occasional surfing down waves at up to 11 knots. Turning into Ludritz harbour the wind suddenly rose with gusts of 38 knots making it a slow progress to the anchorage. A few yachts were at anchor, probably locals and we found a spot near them. A guy from one of the yachts came over and said that if the port authority will ask us to move we could take one of the moorings to our left.

We took the dinghy to check it, tied a mooring line with a small fender to its chain so it will be easier to pick up and went back to Windmiller. The wind was too strong to affect the maneuver so we decided to wait for a lull.

Miri took our laundry – yes, they have a washing machine on board!  Hopefully the wing will let us go ashore in the evening.

First impressions of the town: Desert all around, everything is arid. The strong German influence in the area is evident in the local architecture. We’ll get a closer look when we get ashore. One more thing – Diamonds are a big industry here and one of the methods of finding them is by dredging the sea floor. We could see some of the boats used in the trade near us.

Diamond catcher

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