We left the desert, but the desert didn't leave us. It's interesting when the wind changes direction in Luderitz. If the wind blows from the south, from the Antarctic, the weather is usually clear and sunny, but windy and cold. If the wind comes from the north or west, the moist ocean air mixes with dry desert air and we get dense fog and higher humidity and lots of morning condensation. While we were gone, the wind blew from the east and with it, it brought hot, dry air (hooray!) and lots of desert sand (booo!). I found a satellite pic of a Namib Desert sandstorm as it blew over the Atlantic. It's pretty amazing just how far the sand can travel.
Poor Nine of Cups! She was absolutely filthy when we came back … and obviously ashamed. She's a proud girl. She had her stern towards us … wouldn't even face us. Her decks were covered in sand and grit and a few seagulls had found her all alone and let loose. So much for the parents taking off for a quick get-away without the kid.
It was too late in the day when we arrived to start washing her down. We consoled her as best we could, promising to give her a bath the next day. She pouted a bit, but in the end, I think she was glad to have us back aboard.
During the night, the wind changed to the north. By morning, the harbor was thick with fog and the sun was nowhere to be seen.
All that fog and condensation did wonders for the decks. Now, instead of dry sand, we had mud pies. Condensation ran down the portholes and ports and hatches, leaving a grimy, gritty trail behind. David started on the outside and I started on the inside, because, yes, the sand and grit had found its way below as well.
David scrubbed and rinsed and scrubbed and rinsed … first with salt water and then finally with fresh water. I swept and dusted and beat rugs and washed ports. Then the sun came out and Cups was looking clean and fine again.
Now … if we can only get the sand out of our underwear!