Tuesday, 19 November 2013

WALVIS BAY NAMIBIA Tuesday 19th November

Arrived in Walvis Bay at around mid-day on Sunday 17th motoring in a dead calm fog. The trip was a distance of around 830 nm. It was necessary to go well offshore to avoid the heavy fogs predicted for the coast and up to 50nm offshore. 

Weather was almost always light with a lot of the wind below 10 kn, abeam or astern. We motored for 70 hours of the total trip. Altogether pleasant sailing / motoring. There is plenty of fuel available here so we will top up the tanks before we leave. Auto pilots are playing up so David is sorting that out before we take on the South Atlantic. 

Our clearance at the Customs, Immigration and Port was the easiest yet. 

The city is flat and surrounded by either water or sand hills. It's clean, well laid out and easy walking. People are very friendly and helpful. There is a fairly busy port here and a cruise ship followed us in so Monday and Tuesday were busier then usual here.

Quite a few charter boats operate day trips to the huge sea lion colony and it's funny to watch the sea lions swimming along behind then jumping aboard for their feed of fish on the foredeck with the tourists. There are big Pelicans which also land on the boat or the patrons for their free feed on each boat too!!  During the whale season there are lots of whales here too apparently. 

We will take a short trip to Swakopmund up the coast by hire car on Monday. It's a tourist area and apparently a nice spot. Just a day trip. There is not a lot to do in Walvis Bay apparently but everything seems to be readily available here. The Yacht Club just ashore on the point is very convenient and has good facilities. 

For a good Taxi driver we recommend Bongani on +264 (0)812837863

Jaun Ree has been great company and a very good crew member making the journey remarkably easy with 8 hours off each between watches. He has left us by bus to head back to Cape Town to continue his RYA qualifications

Jaun-Ree, our skipper for the run to Namibia. 
We have actually had a pretty awful week! Well no…. not as bad as working for the man I guess, but still shitty for cruising life!
The auto pilots.....one is dead.. A transistor or something in it is cactus…...the newer one probably has a faulty rudder sensor, which they say are the thing that goes and you usually expect to get about 4 years out of it.  But they hate sitting idle! Darn! Anyway we have a new complete unit coming with DHL from OZ. And hope it gets here before the place closes down for Xmas! 

Another awful discovery is that our 2 yr old TROJAN deep cycle lead acid, golf cart type batteries are less than 50% good, so they won't make it to Caribbean without help! Great place to try to replace batteries! NOT, Sigh! .... We think we will end up with truck batteries and hope they will get us out of the poop for a couple of months till we get to US or Caribbean   

Very annoyed about battery life. They were purchased in Phuket and one had to be returned with a faulty cell the others were all very down on their charge. (Not as bad as that Cape town one we just got.) They tell you you just have to charge them hard from dead flat and they come back to life.... What they don't tell you is that their life can be less than half of expected number of cycles.  Looks like thats what's happened to our Phuket ones.

That's the problem with marinas..... You never really know how your batteries are unless you go out for a week on anchor or somewhere and there is nowhere to do that near Cape Town. Guess the moral of the story in future will be to spend a week in the pen with the shore power turned off before we leave to go anywhere.
We have a car booked for Monday and Tuesday so I guess we will spend the time touring battery suppliers! 

At least we have good coffee aboard thanks to The Little Guy!
More PHOTOS Namibia

This little sea lion pup got onto the dingy with David then onto the boat! Very friendly and likes a scratch!