Onward to Namibia

Saturday January 1, 2022-Day 1, we departed Cape Town this morning for the country of Namibia. It is located on the Atlantic coast of Africa, the first country north of South Africa. At 10:15am, the bridges opened for us.

The winds were light all day, the most we saw was 7 knots, it was a pleasant motor sail.

In the afternoon we deployed Cody. It took a long time to unfurl, then we saw the the head swivel was not turning, we tried to lower the halyard a little to ease it off a bit, only to discover the halyard was all twisted at the top from unfurling it. Then it would furl! Dan detached the sail from the bottom furling unit and by hand untwisted the sail. So the swivel turned but apparently not when under load? How can we be the only ones which such issues with the Harken Reflex Furling system? Harken claims they’ve had no complaints or issues with the system. We took the sail down, bagged it up. We don’t need another precarious situation with it. The sail has also been modified twice by two different North Sails lofts. Did I ever mention Cody was a super expensive sail? Do sails and furling systems have “Lemon Laws”?

Cody all bagged up to be stowed away.

Sunday January 2-Day 2, blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Dan added whipped cream to his.

Totals nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours 143. The morning we continued to motor sail. By afternoon the wind finally filled in 17-25knots, cruising 7-10knots. waves 3-4 meters.

Atlantic Ocean Sunset
30 41.190S 16 41.500E

Oh my the stars! the southern cross, the Milky Way!

Monday January 3-Day 3, Total nautical miles traveled 330, 187 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours. The wind remained steady all day 16-20knots, cruising 5-7knots. By evening the velocity dropped 10-14knots with calmer seas.

Atlantic Ocean Sunset
28 08.111S 15 19.317E

Tuesday January 4-Day 4, Total nautical miles traveled 499, 169 nautical miles traveled in the past 25.5 hours.

Arrived in Luderitz, the anchor was dropped in the bay at 11:30am. First order of business, Port Health. We arranged to meet the officer on shore by the “Luderitz Yacht Club” , which is really a bar restaurant, however it does have showers for visiting yachts to use. As we tied off the dinghy, we were greeted by Andy who acts a liaison between Port Control and yachts. After our visit with Port Health, Andy walked us over to immigration then customs and the port captains office.

And so the mishap begins. We were a bit rushed off the boat as port control told us Port Health would meet us on shore soon to review our COVID tests taken in Cape Town. We sat around waiting, finally 1.5 hours later he arrived. As we were filling out paperwork at immigration, we received a call on our hand held vhf radio from port control that our boat was drifting, the anchor was not holding in the 25 knots of wind. Dan and Andy ran back to dinghy and quickly made it back to Trance, who had dragged at least 1/4 mile, where the anchor dug in and she rested unharmed to herself or other boats! Andy is on his boat everyday and controls the moorings. With his help, he and Dan attached to a mooring ball, in this much wind it was a bit difficult. Andy also mentioned the bay is monitored by cameras because of the Diamond mining ships.

Meanwhile I completed the immigration paperwork, passports stamped!

The ocean off the coast of Namibia are mined for diamonds. The world’s richest alluvial gem quality diamond deposits are off the mouth of the Orange River extending up to Luderitz. A vast area on the coast is restricted as well as and several kilometers inland. Public beach access prohibited as you can walk on the beach and pick up diamonds. De Beers who controls the world diamond industry sets the price in Amsterdam and New York by restricting the supply within the diamond companies world wide. It is illegal here to possess uncut stones, without a mining permit, punishment is 10 years in prison non-negotiable.

Wednesday January 5, Luderitz, it is a small coastal fishing and mining town with a population of just over15,000. Surrounded by deserts, there is only one road in and out of town. Established in 1883, it is known for its 20th century German colonial buildings. We walked around town to find the many examples.

16 thoughts on “Onward to Namibia

  1. Wow, quite a post. Seems you overcame the sail, dragging anchor, etc. issues OK. To accomplish your quest, problem solving on the fly is important. Africa seems like an amazing continent. I occasionally talk to fellow amateur radio operators there.

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  2. Glad the boat wasn’t damaged when it was adrift and that there was a moring ball available.
    Interesting about the plentiful diamonds and the penalty for finding one without a permit.
    Did you see any sharks near Shark Island?
    Sorry about the sail, sounds like a negative review is warranted. Enjoy more sites in Africa!

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    1. The anchor issue was a power struggle between Port Control and Andy who maintains the mooring balls. Port Control learned a lesson thankfully no harm was had. If you find diamonds you can turn them in and get paid for them, about $6 USD (100 Namibian dollars) per carat. I have ranted a lot online about that sail!

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  3. What an adventure. Glad it worked out. The diamonds!! But I really love hearing about the night sky. ❤️

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  4. Glad to hear that the boat is ok. Great stories to tell when you get home. Stay safe! Fair winds and calm seas.

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  5. Are you planning on visiting Skeleton Coast/ Beach to see the dunes and many skeletons? Delos anchored off the beach to do some walking, etc. Enjoy, you are back in the Atlantic.

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  6. It took me a few minutes to realize, yes you can view a sunset on the Atlantic “from your vantage point” !
    🙂

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  7. You’re traveling alone, again. No one ready to travel up the coast?
    It’s a shame that DeBeers has control of the government to make diamond laws that only benefit DeBeers !!
    Time to ask the President of the Cody Sail company for a prepaid Return label.
    Stay safe and healthy.

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    1. We will meet up with others in St Helenas. From what we were told, DeBeers gives the Namibian government 50% of the profits of what they sell. Namibia is the richest country in Africa.

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