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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Saturday Day 4 to Namibia

After 36 hours of cloudy skies the haze burned off to make a beautiful sunset and moon rise last night. The stars were out in a clear sky and the wind has continued to push us steadily toward our destination. The temperatures seem very cold to us with a low of 58 degrees and wind chill reminding us that we've stayed well into fall but also making us assess our clothes and heat for our trip south later this season. Though 58 doesn't sound cold it is difficult to stay warm after 4 hours on watch in the cockpit at night.

The seas are just unpredictable enough to send the odd wave into the cockpit and to throw us around the boat ensuring that we're getting all the involuntary exercise possible. The boat is regularly rolling so far that traction on the cockpit floor is impossible. With a cockpit slightly too wide for Ginger to sit and reach the far side with a foot it's always a test of reflexes to react to a tossing wave before being tossed too far. The bilge pump continues to do it's job well and due to the wind strength we've spent most of the last 36 hours under jib alone which seems to slow the flow of water anyway. We have less than 200 miles as a crow flies to Walvis Bay (translated "Whale-fish Bay") and expect to arrive some time tomorrow.

We've spent the entire trip accompanied by albatrosses, petrels and terns. We have also seen whales and seals and are amazed by how much wildlife lives off shore of this coast. We were sad to leave the shy penguins behind not long after Dassen. So far no flying fish to scrape off the deck - yay!

Our AIS is showing us that there are more than 50 ships within a 300 mile radius - when propagation is good at night - and has also shown us that we are currently in the middle of a parade of about 20 ships heading north and south around us. Though we've only actually seen 6 ships since leaving Dassen Eiland we know that we've been passed by about 25 ships a day within 20 miles of us. Incredible! It's showing us how crowded these waters are and how close we have to be to see a ship. Last night we passed within 2 miles of the first ship we've seen this trip not transmitting an AIS signal - a large fishing boat - and so we're still vigilant with our watches. Thanks Adam for mentioning AIS with time to get one in Seattle.

We're looking forward to the sun recharging the batteries and warming us up with a sunny day today.

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