22 56S 14 29E

28 April 2013

We are just inside the Tropic of Capricorn. Mary, David, Jan, and Dave, trying to keep warm in almost all of the cloths that we can find, have just completed a sail from Luderitz to Walvis Bay that was full of the unexpected.

We spent Thursday near Luderitz at the abandoned diamond mining town Kolmanskop, where the wind blows the hot, dry desert sand into deserted buildings making dunes in the living rooms and classrooms of this community that was inhabited until the 1950's.

Dulcinea has normally sailed 200 miles per day for us. Sometimes a little less, or more with following trade winds. We set out on our 240 mile passage at 8.00 am, after a pleasant breakfast, expecting to to arrive the following morning. We have not seen fog here before, but the morning fog was burning off as we raised the anchor, leaving clear blue sky as we motored round the reef of Penguin Island and out to sea. We expected a clear day. Instead, we sailed into the fog and saw nothing further than half a mile (usually much less) for the next 40 hours.

The cold water of the Benguela Current brings nutrient-rich water up from the Southern Ocean. Within our little moving circle we saw petrels, skewers, gannets, dolphins, and masses of fur seals. The whales that were so numerous a few days ago had left us. The seals liked to "roost" on the surface and we would set up such a commotion as we past through that the water looked like rapids. The seals would behave like dolphins - jumping, playing, looking at us, and trying to swim along under our bows.

For most of our 40 hour passage, there was calm, and we huddled in the cockpit, motoring on one engine, knowing that the "Skeleton Coast" was out of sight to the right. The radar showed no coastline either, only once it showed a single blip of an old wrecked ship, as presumably the beaches were too flat to offer radar reflections. Occasionally some wind picked up, and last night, in 1 to 2 hundred metres of visibility, and no sign of the lighthouse, and our wind instruments hitting 30 knots, we lowered the mainsail (the most untidily flaked sail that you can imagine), and entered Namibia's biggest and busiest port without seeing lights until we were almost on them.

Dulcinea is now at anchor off a location marked on our charts as "The Yacht Club". We have yet to see it!

Love from us all in foggy Namibia at the edge of the dry Namib Desert.

Dulcinea and her crew