Also before we knew it a seal was on board! He and his buddy were also fed fish. At least we saw them up close and personal!!
|Lesser - Pink, Greater - White|
|Our Harbour Cruise Boat|
We saw the oyster farms in the water, an oil rig, and lots of boats used for all sorts of things. Some of the boats are waiting for the price of crude oil to increase so they can start pumping again, but in the meantime they are waiting on the boats.
This harbor cruise was nice, but not wonderful in comparison to other harbor cruises we have been on.
|Can you find the Dominate Male|
|Rachel with the friendly Pelican|
|Lunch served on board the boat|
After we returned to the dock we were met by 2 - 4x4 vehicles for a trip to Sandwich Harbor. This is a location along the coast where the German’s in the late 1800’s had hoped to develop a harbor, but it did not work. They did not understand the ocean currents and the amount of silting that would occur - the same for a harbor at Walvis Bay.
We saw flamingos, hundreds of them, both the Greater Flamingo and the Lesser flamingo. The Lesser appears to be more pink in color.
The 4x4 cruise was wonderful. We drove on the highway for a little while going south of Walvis Bay. Before we turned onto a sandy road that was in low dunes, set back away from the beach.
|Our 4x4 for the Dunes|
|Driving through the low dunes|
|Driving on the Beach|
Our first stop was to overlook a salt plant. They have numerous lagoons into which they pump ocean salt water and allow the water to evaporate. As the salt concentrates it become pink in color due to red algae growing in the salt brine. The salty water is pumped into different lagoons until it is allowed to completely evaporate, after which it is loaded onto trucks and taken to the central processing plant. 80% of the salt is for industrial use and only 20% is for human consumption. Most of the salt goes to South Africa. We saw numerous trucks coming through Swakopmund hauling salt from the plant.
Next we were driving right on the beach! At first the tall sandy dunes were away from the beach, but after a while we were driving on the beach with tall sandy dunes on the left and the ocean on the right. You can only do this at low tide. Tours are planned in accordance to the tide schedule, and only licensed operators are allowed in these areas with vehicles. We continued driving on the beach until we reached Sandwich Harbor. It was a beautiful drive.
|Rachel enjoying the Beach|
|Driving on the Beach beside the Dunes|
At Sandwich Bay/Harbour most of the group climbed one of the dunes – including Cal. It was a difficult climb because your feet are constantly sinking in the sand. The view from the top made the climb worthwhile. The drivers set up a picnic table with champagne and snacks while we were climbing the dune.
|A Shanty that is left at Sandwich Harbour|
|Climbing the Dunes - Cal on Right in blue and kakie|
|Cal at the top|
|View from the top of the Dune|
|Tea on the Beach at Sandwich Harbour|
On the way back to town we drove in, around, and over the tall dunes! The drivers had a lot of fun showing us what they could do in the sand. We saw springbuck, ostrich, flamingo, seals, and a beached whale that died a while ago. To drive the 4x4s through the dunes, the drivers reduced the air in the vehicle tires from 2.5 atm. to 1.5 atm., then later to 1.0 atm. when we were driving in the taller soft sandy dunes at the end. The reduce air pressure gives more traction in the soft sand.
|Cal enjoying the Beach|
|At the top of a dune face ready to come down|
|Coming down the dune face|
|A Springbok in the dunes|
For dinner we went to “The Jetty Restaurant”. This is a restaurant that is located at the end of a pier that projects around 600 yds. into the harbor/sea. We are at the beginning of high tourist season, requiring reservations to have a chance for a table. Rachel had fish and chips while Cal had mussels. The white wine mussel sauce was wonderful.