We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn at latitude 23°26′ exactly on the Winter Solstice. What are the chances! This is the time of the year when the Sun reaches its zenith at this latitude. For someone who studied Celestial Navigation this is a very interesting phenomenon. We are officially in the tropics, even if the temperature says otherwise…
After leaving Hottentot Bay we sailed close to the coast up to Spencer Bay, where we were hoping we could have gone to shore to visit the famous Otavi shipwreck. The Otavi was a steamer with a cargo of Guano that ran aground in 1945. Guano was found in abundance on Mercury island, right in Spencer Bay.
Same as the day before in Hottentoy Bay, by the time we arrived the wind picked up from 20 to 40 knots. We spent the night at anchor in hauling winds. The next day the wind was gone, but the swell left behind was too large for our little dinghy to attempt a visit on shore.
So we carried on to Walvis Bay. The coast was just spectacular.
We entered Walvis Bay in thick fog. This gigantic rig welcomed us:
We entered the harbor with style, on Christmas eve:
A huge pelican landed on our helm station roof, asking for our passports, as he works for Immigration:
Then a seal, from the Customs office wanted to inspect the boat.
The crew was happy to be able to start relaxing and get into the Christmas spirit…
The following day we visited Swakopmund, a very nice town north of Walvis Bay, an example of German colonial architecture. It was founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, and a small part of its population is still German-speaking today.
Dune #7 takes its name because it is the seventh dune one encounters after crossing the river Tsauchab. It is some 400 meters high. Many South African who served in the infantry may remember this dune because there was an outpost of the army right here and they had to practice on this dune.
Sandwich Harbour, part of the Namib Naukluft Park, is a place many have heard of but very few have ever visited. The lagoon, salt pans and the bird sanctuary, which form the Walvis Bay Wetlands are unique.
Giant sand dunes run straight into the ocean, creating breathtaking sceneries and unique landscapes.
We had a very fun day exploring this huge National Park in a 4X4 vehicle. Here is a shot video of the experience:
The view of the ocean and the sand dunes was spectacular:
This is a lunar landscape, with a beautiful oasis in the middle of nowhere.
New Year’s Eve
We decided to set sails for St. Helena on January 1st 2019. The first day of the new year. The decision was based on weather forecasts. We’ve had some unfavorable north westerly winds in the last few days, but according to the forecasts on Jan 1st the wind should be from the south again.
Big dilemma on board Oroboro: when is going to be midnight for us so that we can start the new year celebration? It’s complicated:
We are at 14 degrees 28 minutes East of longitude here in Walvis Bay. So technically we should be UTC+1.
However, Namibia keeps South Africa time that is UTC+2 (which is technically wrong also).
So to resolve the issue, as Captain of the Ship I issued an Executive Order declaring it is midnight right now at sundown, and the bottle of champagne was opened to keep with the tradition.
Happy New Year everybody!