The day before leaving is always a mad scramble ... as if we didn't know we were planning to depart. So many things have to wait till the very last minute … official check-out , final freshies provisioning, scrubbing down the dinghy bottom and stowing it on the foredeck, engine checks, propane top-up, final showers and laundry … the list goes on. We were up early and tried to be as efficient as possible and set up an orderly progress of chores for the day. David had the engine checks done and I had the laundry on the line before 0800. We had to revive ourselves with a cuppa … too much energy expended, too early in the morning. It was blowing 30 knots, but the forecast insisted it would be calming soon. We headed into shore by 0900. David wanted to scrub the dinghy bottom on the beach and I had last minute shopping to do … bread, chicken and freshies.
I had the last of our Namibian cash and was intent on spending it all before we left. I did well … only N$6 left ... about US 48¢. The only problem? There were no fresh carrots to be had in either of the supermarkets in town. Freshies only arrive once a week and evidently there'd been a run on carrots. Who would have guessed it? I phoned Liz with my tale of woe. “Any carrots?”, I asked. “I've got a fresh, unopened package in the fridge and you're welcome to them.” Gotta love, Liz!
We made the rounds of the officials in the afternoon. They were closed between 1-2pm. We returned to each office … Immigration, Customs and Port Authority. Immigration would not check us out until the next morning. Really? We wanted to leave extra early. “Sorry, but you need to check out on the day you depart.” She was firm. We stopped in Customs … same response. Port Authority issued our clearance papers, but we'd have to do the rest the next day which would delay our departure. Does it really matter? Nah! Go with the flow. We'd head back in the morning. The wind still hadn't calmed in the least. Maybe this checkout delay was for the good.
We headed to Pupkewitz's Hardware for a propane fill … a bargain here at about US$10! We gave the guy who filled the tank our last N$6 and he was pleased. Then to Ian's for a final hot shower and a farewell hug. We showered, had coffee with him and said our goodbyes. And then to the Safari shop to say goodbye to Liz.. She had our carrots waiting, plus a small remembrance gift of Luderitz. We hugged and promised to stay in touch and then we headed back to Nine of Cups.
The wind was still howling, though the sun shone brightly. There was a definite chop in the bay … whitecaps all around. The birds were all hunkered down, their heads tucked under their wings. It was a wet, cold ride back to Nine of Cups. We reviewed the weather forecast once more. It still insisted the winds had calmed down. We're sure they had calmed somewhere … just not here! We spent a quiet evening aboard … except for the howling winds.
During the night we woke … no wind! We rose early to check the weather. It was a go! The wind had calmed to a manageable 20-25 knots and the seas were subsiding. Now the mad rush began once again. I began preparing the passage soup and made a coffee cake and some sandwiches for the first days of the trip. David prepped and stowed and lashed. We headed into shore at 0800, checked out with Immigration and Customs without a hitch (or any fees … hooray!). We were back aboard by 0830 and hoisted the dinghy for stowing on the foredeck.
While David did the dinghy stowing, removed the sail cover and washed down the deck one final time, I finished up down below. We were on a roll. We had a final cuppa, threw off the mooring lines and we sailed off into the sunny, cold day. St. Helena Island beckons.
Saying goodbye to our friends in Lüderitz has been especially difficult. It's amazing how quickly friends bond and though we've said goodbye many, many times before, it's never easy. So … to sweet Liz, Doris and Ian, JC and Carol, Evaldine and all the many other wonderful people we've met and with whom we've interacted … thanks … you'll be remembered most fondly.
Come along on this passage with us ... Days 1-2