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Old 22-01-2022, 11:40   #1
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Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Nambia's Skeleton Coast


The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region "The Land God Made in Anger"


Portuguese sailors once referred to it as "The Gates of Hell".


The above two quotes are from Wikipedia.



The Skeleton Coast........ an ominous name dating from long ago refers to the Coast of Northern Nambia. A deadly lee shore backed by seemingly endless desert. The coast is littered with shipwrecks, and of course planes, dead animals, etc. It is now a national park where visitors are greeted with the sign below. The NYT has an article about this long dreaded stretch of African desert coast that has cost so many lives...... worth a read:............... read and enjoy.



https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/17/t...road-trip.html


Skeleton Coast National Park, near the Ugab River, were guarded by twin skull and crossbones and towering whale ribs. The objects served as a warning: “Abandon hope all ye who enter.”



More Photos:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=skeleton+coast+national+abandon+hope&t=ffsb&iax =images&ia=images
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Old 22-01-2022, 12:40   #2
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Looks inviting...
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Old 22-01-2022, 13:11   #3
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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Looks inviting...

I guess I'm perverse........... Something about desolate remote places that are inhospitable attract me ;-) Interestingly the Bengula current flows northward, as does the prevailing wind according to charts. Unlike the Aghulas current in the Indian Ocean that flows to the south and often meets southerlies from Antarctica creating wind against current situations....... I'm not sure why that section of coast has such a record of shipwrecks.
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Old 22-01-2022, 14:13   #4
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Delos spent some time in the Namib.

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Old 22-01-2022, 14:56   #5
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Namibia is actually a very popular tourist attraction.

As per the above video, landrover expeditions are a popular way to see the place.

The coast is not a very friendly place, known as the "skeleton coast",with only a few towns. Tall sand dunes reach all the way to the ocean and sluff off, making landing by boat near impossible. There are only a handful of towns on the coast.

Surprisingly, the region has exceptional game reserves.

Roads are invariable dirt roads, but well maintained.

The southern part of the coast line is known for picking up diamonds of the beach.

At one time the Germans had a strong presence there, still felt in some places.

It's a pretty unique place.
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Old 22-01-2022, 17:48   #6
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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I thought it was the White House..

Most of us have very strong political positions.........Let's not inject them here please...
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Old 22-01-2022, 18:18   #7
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Five posts have been deleted for being off topic, political, or for quoting deleted posts. Please keep your posts relevant to cruising and sailing.


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Old 22-01-2022, 22:08   #8
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Post Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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Originally Posted by owly View Post
I guess I'm perverse........... Something about desolate remote places that are inhospitable attract me ;-) Interestingly the Bengula current flows northward, as does the prevailing wind according to charts. Unlike the Aghulas current in the Indian Ocean that flows to the south and often meets southerlies from Antarctica creating wind against current situations....... I'm not sure why that section of coast has such a record of shipwrecks.
In the winter it's a lee shore, with very strong NW storms. Ships used to just get pushed ashore, and because its so inhospitable the results were not great for the crews and vessel even if they did managed to get ashore.

The Benguela current brings very cold water north from the Antarctic, and that inhibits precipitation along the coast - the western shore of South Africa is also dry (although not as dry as the Namib desert).

(At least, this is what I was taught at school... hopefully its accurate enough)
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Old 23-01-2022, 05:26   #9
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Spit balling this, I watched a utube doc on the geographic disposition of the African content by an African American intellectual who brought up many a point raised here.

https://youtu.be/fof9xZA7dpg

The gist is that, it’s geographically challaged if you are looking to support human habitation and Trade. Verry interesting if you have 20 min.
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Old 23-01-2022, 17:49   #10
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Having spent a lot of time in Africa, I can attest to the video above. The coastline is not particularly suited for navigation or ports in general. Most all rivers meet the ocean in a myriad of moving sandbars.

Most people don't realize that Africa is quite mountainous, so few rivers run flat before there might be rapids or a river dam. Geographical challenged...for sure...for a yachtie.

There is little there for the ocean sailor as so few parts of the shore is accessible. Once you leave one port, the next one may very well be 100's of miles distant. Getting there is often a challenge.

For the globe girdling yacht, it's a stopover. A chance to see the hinterland of the continent, before moving on.

This applies to fishing boats as well. Fishing boats are usually launched thru' the surf from the beach.

But Africa has a magic and attraction that no other place in the world can match. Too difficult to elaborate in one or two paragraphs.
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Old 25-01-2022, 09:11   #11
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Only been to Luderitz in southern Namibia on our way north from Cape Town before heading off to St Helena. We were there in summer so sailing was fine and it is a good harbour. The town is safe and has decent provisioning and there are interesting things to see like a ghost town with sand dunes blowing into the buildings of what was a centre for diamonds until the 1930s. Luderitz is still a diamond mining centre. I say 'mining' advisedly because these are placer diamonds that are on the surface. You are not allowed off the roads (see sign below) because you can just pick up diamonds with no digging. This is easiest at night with a full moon because the diamonds have a unique reflection apparently. Today diamonds are recovered from shallow areas of the sea by ships with divers using giant vacuum cleaners that bring up diamonds and lots and lots of gravel.

There was only one other cruiser there and we got to spend some time with him, Peter Smith, the guy who invented the Rocna anchor. Interesting guy but very much in the iconoclast category. Doesn't like sailing in warm places and wintered numerous times in the Falklands and southern Patagonia. Didn't appear all the much into people either. He was in Namibia on his way from Cape Town to Greenland. His boat is a 53' aluminum cutter named Kiwi Roa, that he built himself. It may be the most impressive cruising boat I have ever seen.

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Old 25-01-2022, 11:08   #12
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

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But Africa has a magic and attraction that no other place in the world can match.
Just the word Africa has a aura about it, especially for all of us westerners growing up with Tarzan shows and tales from Roosevelt. However in general it certainly is not the same place as it was back in the early 1900's.

However when I went to Namibia on safari I had a bushman as a tracker. It was amazing how he would indicate plants which you could source drinking water out of, out there in the middle of dry brush. I still think it's a magical place and can't wait to return one day - the challenge is finding places relatively safe for tourists to travel to.
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Old 25-01-2022, 11:16   #13
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

Namibia is amazing. Highly recommend. Swakopmund has a lot to do and feels almost European in some ways (must be the German Colonial history). Lots of great animal watching inland at Etosha and Okokwejo. The beer is fantastic (Windhoek Lager).

While a bit touristy the area around Dune 45 is very cool, and of course you have to see Bushman (I don't know if he still is at work around there) but he is a German tourist who came many many years ago and stayed, married a Japanese tourist and runs tours of the dunes and Deadvlei. He has hardly worn shoes for decades. Very interesting character.
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Old 25-01-2022, 11:52   #14
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

A movie worth watching if you've nothing better to do for 90 minutes: A Twist of Sand.
It's an adventure film with a twist or two. Tells a wild story about smuggling diamonds out of south-west Africa, and the chance to make some serious coin. The diamonds are hidden in an old sailing shipwreck half buried in the sand dunes of the Skeleton Coast.
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Old 25-01-2022, 11:54   #15
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Re: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here

There was a time when you could join a jeep safari...it left from London, drove thru' Europe, then on to Cairo, and from Cairo all the way down to Cape Town.

Various similar safari's are still available today.

Game reserves are everywhere, one more spectacular than the next. It's hard to comprehend the size of some of these " reserves", they can stretch for 100's of miles. Think of the State of Florida as a game reserve. You can spend weeks in there and not see but a fraction.

It's an amazing content...and yes, " Windhoek Lager" is a damn good beer
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