Is this it? Have we done it? Is our circumnavigation complete? Sailing offshore in the South Atlantic Ocean we cross the most significant line of our 6 year trip so far, but is it the finish line?
STORM bound then FOG bound drifting and BECALMED, we finally sail out into the trade winds only for the BILGE ALARM to go off at 3am. 500 miles from anywhere we are taking on water mid ocean. The start of this South Atlantic Ocean passage was not an easy one.
Sailing in dense fog and dodging through ships with a BROKEN RADAR. The fog is one of the main challenges of sailing up the coast of Namibia. The wildlife is undeterred though, as we are surrounded by hundreds of seals leaping out of the water to get a better look at us. With the cold temperatures in this part of the ocean it is hard to believe we are in Africa.
The Skeleton coast has a fearsome reputation as a ship graveyard, Shipwrecks and skeletons litter the coast here. The pilot guide recommends staying at least 6 miles offshore, but we found an isolated anchorage amongst the dunes to get ashore and go skeleton hunting.
Namibia’s natural environment is inspiring on a grand scale, exchanging ocean waves for sand waves we make a road trip to the sand sea. Driving through herds of zebra and oryx we reach the red dunes of Sossusvlei. Climbing a towering dune to watch the sun come up and almost getting our 4×4 stuck in the sand were just part of the adventure.
STUCK IN QUICK SAND, whilst hiking the 2nd Largest Canyon in the world. Having sailed to Namibia we could not set off across the ocean without exploring the amazing natural environment that we found ourselves in. Exploring the Namibian interior with cruising friends we took on the challenge of the Fish River Canyon hike, we found stunning landscapes and crazy desert night skies.
Sailing into Namibia at dawn with the sun rising above the sand dunes was magical. Just inland we found an abandoned town in the desert. The height of luxury in its day, it is now being reclaimed by the sand. Join us as we explore.
Waves breaking into the cockpit to flat calms, Sailing 500 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean on our way to Namibia gave us quite an experience. 30 knots of wind and surfing at 10 knots in the middle of the night was balanced by a flat calm beautiful sunrise over the desert dunes. It feels amazing to be out sailing across oceans once more on our voyage around the planet. The start of a new adventure.
NO ENGINE sailing past Table Mountain to Cape Town in the ocean swell. We move to the start-line for our Atlantic crossing and share the story of an inspirational man circumnavigating the world without using an engine.
Boat work is a major part of any sailing circumnavigation. A broken VHF radio, broken bilge pump, life raft needing a service and rusted anchor chain needing replacement. These are just a few of the maintenance challenges we have to tackle for Florence to be ready to sail on across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean and then onward back to England once more.