Monday, March 7, 2016

YOLO in Luderitz, Namibia Mar 2016

Luderitz, Namibia has a bit of color in these huge jellyfish.  They wash up on the shore with one tide and are gone with the next.  This is on the sand in front of the dinghy dock.  The tentacles get broken off and are floating by themselves.  The center blob is like hard Jello and doesn't sting.  We don't know if the tentacles sting or not and weren't game to find out by touching them, but we don't think so.

They really are a pretty bright red and orange color.  The starburst shape in the mantle makes them look quite decorative.
There were also the clear moon jellies that washed up occasionally and there were small box jellyfish in the water that we needed to watch out for if we needed to get in the water for any reason.  We beached the dinghy at the club to load/unload stuff, so I always kept an eye out for the floating stingers.
Walking along the shore to get to Agate Beach.
Carlos, a Peace Corps volunteer from Springfield, IL and me sitting at the braai tables at Agate Beach after walking the shores for rocks.
The landscape across from Agat Beach.  Pretty barren rock and sand, but just imagine walking around here and picking up diamonds off this ground.
We are walking in behind a wall of barber shops to a hidden restaurant the locals are taking us to for fish lunch.

Carlos and Kathleen, his friend that drove us out and picked us up,  We are at a tiny fish restaurant in a township mall.  There is only room for one customer at a time, so we waited for the man in blue to get his lunch.
The lady cooking the fish.  In the blue bowl are 'fat balls', fried sweet dough balls.  You grab what piece(s) of fish you want out of the plastic tub, add a fat ball or 3, squirt some chili sauce on the plate and move outside to eat it with your fingers.  No utensils are provided and the drinks are served in glass jars.  The local drink is moshikundu, a maize or millet beer that is not yet fermented, so is drunk like a soft drink.
Myra enjoying the fried angelfish and a fat ball.
Myra and Paraic of Saol Eile in the coffee shop on the waterfront.
Looking out at the yachts from the top of the walkway at the dinghy dock.
Looking back down the dock towards the Luderitz Yacht Club and the waterfront plaza.
On the other side of town, this disused dock is falling apart in Second Harbour.  The bay is quite shallow except in the middle and we didn't see boats in it.  We had to pass it to get to the proper anchorage bay, Robert Bay, where we are moored.
A view across the commercial dock towards the yachts. That's YOLO on the left and Saol Eile on the right.  The diamond processing plant is behind us on shore.  Luderitz reclaimed the land between the town and Shark Island and that is now the port land these containers sit on.
Looking up the hill from the rocks on Shark Island.
The tugboat wanting this boat moved.  This yacht dragged anchor the night before and the folks from YOLO and Saol Eile saved it from being blown across the bay into the rocks.  Jason, Brian and Paraic took our dinghies out, boarded the locked up yacht and let out more chain to stop it from dragging farther,
Jason is using our dinghy to act as a motor and the other men are trying to manhandle the chain and anchor to get it up without a windlass so we could move the boat back to safety.  The tug is now standing by, but the yachties did all the work.
Pulling up chain and anchor by hand on a big yacht without a windlass is hard work.
The dinghies are being used to maneuver the yacht back to the moorings.
The yacht got quite close to Saol Eile before the guys could get a mooring line on it and the mooring ball and get it pulled up enough to not bang into another boat.  Myra is putting out fenders just in case it hits.
Success.  The owner returned and gave each yacht a bottle of rum and many thanks for the troubles and help..
I liked the old door and window frames that decorated this coffee shop.  They came from the owner's grandfather's home.
Waiting for breakfast at the Garden Cafe.
A local at the yacht club with his catch of crayfish for the contest on a Saturday afternoon.  Lots of big folks around here.
The slipway next to the yacht club has a few disabled boats that will never leave under their own power.  They are damaged and just sit on the sand at the shore here.
Left high and dry but damaged, these fishing boats now just take up space.  We don't know why they don't move them or discard them for salvage.
The Luderitz Yacht Club.  There are only 38 members left and there doesn't seem to be a yacht owner amongst them.  It's really just a social club where you can get cheap drinks and talk to people.
The yacht club beach between the grounded boats and the dock.
A crayfish ready to be cooked and eaten.
They had a table for local oysters, too.  This guy was just getting ready to shuck them by hand.  You could get 3 oysters and a glass of champagne for 30 rand, about $2.
Myra trying to buy the catch from a contestant who was too late to be included in the competition.  He was a bit drunk, several hours late and not a happy camper.  Myra finally got him to understand she just wanted to buy his lobsters for us to eat on the boat that night.
The lighthouse at the point on Shark Island.  
There seemed to be a lot of placques and memorial crosses and such out on Shark Island.  It is now a campsite, too.
Looking back along the rocky shore of Shark Island.
The rocks are white from bird poop.  They once called the guano 'white gold' and collected it to sell for use in fertilizer.
A jellyfish in one of the cracks in the rocky shoreline.
Floating above the green algae, it makes a pretty combination.  If the tide doesn't carry it back out to deeper water, it may end up dying and drying out here.
A diamond dredger offloading its bags of diamonds at the dock near us. The guys toss the bags onto the sluice and a guy dumps the bag into a container that pumps the rocks to the building on shore.  Two guys then make sure the bag is empty and they stack them and fold them and put them back on the boat.
A diamond dredger that took up a mooring right behind us after offloading his cargo and crew.  They work 21 days on and 7 days off.  The crew splits 40% of the take--the diamonds they suck up out of the mud and gravel down at the mouth of the Orange River.
The big tubes off the back hang off the boats while they are moored.  They suck up the gravel and they put it through some initial screening on the boat.  Lots of bags partially filled with goodies came off that boat.
The 'blue house' is now white.  It belongs to a diamond company executive and is open to the public for viewing a couple of hours a week.  It sits high on a rocky hill in Luderitz.  There are lots of good examples of traditional German architecture in this town.  Many buildings have the dates on them from the first decade of the 1900's.
A lamp had these tiny abalone shells hanging as decoration in the bar/coffee shop next to the car rental place.
The railroad line in a rocky ditch in Luderitz.  They have been working on restoring the rail lines for 10 years and hope springs eternal that they'll resolve some political issue that keeps the trains from actually running here.  We saw huge dunes of sand that have blown across the rail lines now, so they have a big job to keep the sand off the tracks.

A cute tortoise at the local Montessori school.  We went looking for a lady that rented cars and doubled as a school principal.
Even Luderitz gets a cruise liner to visit.  This one only stayed about 7 hours, and we didn't see many new faces in town while it was here, so we figured they were all off on a pre-arranged excursion, probably to go see the diamond ghost town of Kolmanskop.  Not much else here you could do in a few hours.
A mass of roots of a local palm planted in the waterfront plaza.  The stone wall has disappeared along this side of the berm, but the roots retain the shape.  There is a water tap in front of the black box in the upper left corner that we used to get water for our boat.
A local 'township' that we passed though just outside of Luderitz.  'Township' is a word used to indicate where the poor black workers live, much like we'd use 'ghetto'.  They aren't safe places for us to walk at night.
Many of the homes in the townships are corrugated tin strips or 55-gallon barrels with the ends cut off and hammered flat to make metal sides.
A little better class of homes as we moved closer to town.
Some exhibits in the Luderitz Museum.  It is only open for 1 1/2 hours each weekday.  They had lots of aritfacts from the local tribal cultures that used to live in the areas around here.
More interesting stuff in the display cases.  I have a small woven plate made from coiled grass, much like the one hanging on the wall there
More interesting items on the Herero and Hanaman tribes. The Herero were hunted to near extinction by the Germans and the hats and dresses on the women in the photos are pretty unique.
Sean, Brian, Jason and Myra on Saol Eile.  I made chicken and cheese quesadillas for all of us one night.

Thousands of purple-blue shells from mussels along the beach.
Pretty designs on the piles of sand on the beach.
Looking for agates on Agate Beach.  We only found very few, but it is a very long beach and we didn't walk the entire length.
Jason walking on the causeway between town and Shark Island.
Looking back on the causeway towards town.
The squiggly layers of gneiss rock make some pretty interesting patterns, reminding us that this rock was once liquid.
The bar in the coffee shop next to the car rental place is made of nets and traps and floats from the local fishing and diamond boats.




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