Day one to St. Helena and bye bye Luderitz…..

Day one to St. Helena and bye bye Luderitz…..
May 24th-25th, 2013 (Eastern Hemisphere) +1 on GMT

We wanted to get checked out of Namibia early in the day as it takes lots of time to organize and do last minute \”boatie\” chores before departure. We also had plans to have dinner out at Barrels Restaurant, a local pub style place with a good reputation with Steve and Pat of s/v \”OZ\”. (Clearly, we\’re not in Kansas anymore Dorothy!).

Of course, yet again, Immigration was the only mini hassle in the ointment. It\’s funny how it\’s never customs, but always immigration that seems to be the bigger deal. The young lady assumed that if you were on a \”boat\”, it\’s just like a \”ship\” but smaller. You know, we have 20 crew back onboard doing all those last minute chores and when we get back, we can just turn on the motor and leave…..NOT!

She wanted us to come back just before we wanted to leave. I explained to her, that there is several hours worth of work, Nikki soothed both her and me when she blurted out that we would leave in three hours. This assuaged our \”jobsworth\” (as our English friends say) and she stamped us out.

We then did indeed start the last minute departure chores of food shopping, etc. When we got back to the boat, Steve said he\’d pick us up for our dinner ashore and hence I could put the dinghy away which actually takes quite awhile; to get it ready to go to sea. We always carry the dinghy on the stern davits with the motor attached. MOST boats have to take the motor off, lift and store their dinghy\’s on deck. This is a great savings of time for us, but still, the dinghy has 4 ways it\’s held to the boat to prevent chafe, etc. so it takes….time.

We went in for our last supper in Luderitz and did indeed have a lovely time at Barrels where we met Heiku and Diane. They own the local charter cat business and had previously sailed around the world on there schooner which is still moored at Luderitz. Heiku sounds Japanese, but it the masculine form in German of Heike! We learn something new every day!

We had socked in fog at 8 a.m. when we wanted to leave, but everyday here is like that and we waited till 9 a.m. and had about 7-10 miles of visibility…Good enough to go. Today there is a fishing tournament in Luderitz and literally it\’s the biggest event of the year and the town is closed. Glad we checked out yesterday! We also discovered why we did not have internet the last 18 hours we were here…. The power has been shut down since last night. Remember….we ARE in Namibia!

The weather was cooperative, the winds a bit light, the seas calm. We started with a full main and geneker and by dark, had enough wind for the genoa poled out to windward on port tack. This is how we\’ve been the last 24 hours, varying winds of 12-20 knots, boat speed 5-9 knots depending. Mostly in the 6 knot boat speed range.

Last nights highlights were passing two sets of what we believed to be dredging vessels. That would be dredging for diamonds!

The first set was the 50-60 foot variety, but the second set was no less than eight \”factory ships\” at around 250++ feet. They were lit in a pattern I\’ve never seen. A green light over a white light over a red light. It\’s not in the navigation rules. Nice we had a full moon and good visibility as we sailed through them like a fence.

It\’s nice to start a passage off like this; calmly. The wind predictions are that by tomorrow, it will start to get \”breezy\”; the good news is it will be from pretty much right behind us.

We did a pedestrian 160 nautical miles – for Beach House, just a leg stretch…
Scott and Sleeping (off watch) Nikki