Posted by: catamarantwooceans | January 26, 2014

Sailing from Luderitz to Walvis bay

23.1.14 – Thursday – We were told that today was not a good day to go to Kolmanskop because a cruise ship was coming and the place would be full. Instead we walked around town, wandering among all those old German style houses implanted at the beginning of the 20th century in the middle of the desert.

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We went to the Diaz Café for their WiFi and then back to the boat for lunch. Dany was in the starboard head, trying to find the source of a small water leak while I was preparing an avocado salad. Looking out of the salon window I saw a dinghy close to some rocks on the eastern shore. Hey! It’s got a blue painted outboard cover! IT’S OURS! Dany, who tied it when we came aboard was flabbergasted. “I gave it three turns,each one with a half hitch” he said.

We gestured to a man near the runaway rubber duck to row it back to us but he was no seaman and could only hold it in place. Dany donned a wetsuit and swam over, bringing back the man, who requested to see “Two Oceans”. I gave him a thank-you bill and Dany took him ashore.

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Four years ago, when I was here with Zulu and Miri, their 53 foot Amel Super Maramu broke her mooring and drifted all the way to the main dock to be caught by fishermen on a trawler. Strange place, Luderitz!

At 1415 Heinz Von Schweiness (I hope I spelled it right) an electrician we were told about, came on board to fix the starboard bilge pump and shower discharge pump, which mysteriously stopped working. It was just a case of bad connections and the job was finished very quickly. Heinz is a real pro; if anybody needs a good electrician in Luderitz – his tel. is 0811283024.

24.1.14 – Friday – Dany went on the tour to Kolmanskop, an old German mining town, now deserted and kept as a tourist attraction: having been there four years ago I gave it a pass. He came back at midday: We sat down to plan the trip to Walvis bay, 242 miles away. We reasoned that with a forecast of a southerly of 22 knots we could count on doing 160 miles in the first 24 hours, so we decided to leave at 1730 and arrive Sunday morning. The wind in the bay built up with gusts of 35 knots. That’s the Luderitz standard for you. After lunch and a nap, we motored out and very quickly had to reduce sail to third reef. As we turned to follow the shore on a heading of 348 degrees, we needed to pole out the jib but I decided it was too dangerous to go on the foredeck in the raging sea and just furled the jib and continued with main only.

The following numbers will tell the story: max wind 42.8, max speed on the water – 14.6 knots with triple reefed main; crazy ride! Our wake  looked like the one a destroyer or a modern missile warship would have left behind.

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25.1.14 – Saturday – The wild ride continued through the night. At 0900 a change was felt and at 1000 we were sailing on flat seas with wind of less than 18 knots. The day passed pleasantly enough if you discount the cold; the Benguella current cools the air and made us wear two layers of clothes.

Some creatures like it, though; big groups of seals were hunting all around us, birds were diving for food and some dolphins took time to come and glance briefly at “Two Oceans”. Guess who did not catch any fish?

26.1.14 – Sunday – During the night we alternated between sailing and motoring. Morning dawned misty and grey. As we neared land more groups of seals were all around and on Pelican point, at the entrance to the bay, there were hundreds. If you look closely you can also see flamingoes in the background.

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We had to pass the commercial harbour to find the area of the yacht club; on the way a welcome committee of two big seagulls came to perch on our boom and a seal, barking jumped on the starboard stern the moment we dropped anchor.

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We’ll stay here a few days, touring the area and preparing for the next leg to St. Helena island.

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