Namibia’s ‘Skeleton Coast’ is renowned for it’s, well, skeletons. Treacherous waters from the cold Benguela current coming straight from the Antarctic, which not only influence marine life but are also the main factor for Namibia’s deserted west coast. Hundreds of shipwrecks line the coastline. Even with modern-day technology, these waters hold a certain risk.
At least the cormorants make the most of their new breeding grounds. The name Skeleton Coast doesn’t originate from the ship skeletons, but from sailors that either drowned at sea or died of thirst along the desert coast.
Even marine life seems to struggle, although human intervention is a bigger threat to this coastline. This young humpback whale is believed to be tangled up in fishing nets and tragically drowned. The cold waters colliding with warmer waters sees an explosion of plankton, which then attracts all sizes of marine life’s food chain. It is a very popular destination for fishos in Southern Africa.
I arrived just in time at Walvis Bay international airport to meet my good friend Pieter Adendorff. We went straight to the coastline to give Zimba a spin on the beach.
A few months back in Newcastle, he kindly agreed to return Zimba to South Africa once my adventure came to an end. Combining this with a week’s well deserved holiday to spend a few days with me and fish fanatic friend Nico, who resides on fishing holidays in Henties Bay.
I had met successful businessman Nico briefly in Newcastle, when he invited me for a day’s fishing. Maybe he didn’t think that I would make it that far?
It was great to meet and greet my old friend Pieter, who I had last seen 6 months ago on the eastern side of South Africa. This is the remainder of my South African adventure and this is how the circle rounds up. The perfect ending to a perfect start. What better way to finish than with good friends at the ocean and a fishing rod in my hand.
It was a fantabulous day by the beach. Local fishing guides Franz and Johannes expertly baited the hooks and cast as far as they could.
We were chasing ‘Kabeljau’ or ‘African Salmon’. This species is well sought in Australia too under the name off ‘Mulloway’ or ‘Jewfish’.
Nico was the General of this fishing party, sitting on his esky and directing me and Pieter towards bending fishing rods. For a passionate fisherman to hold back and enjoying himself just as much as Pieter and myself handling the rods is a big statement. A truly humble gentleman. I was the luckier one catching most of the desired ‘Kabeljau’, whilst Pieter ended up catching a few sharks and ‘barbers’, catfish.
When all hands were busy, Nico engaged as well.
Although, this appeared a bit like a fish dance.
Up and down, over an under.
Pieter used all dirty distraction tricks to lure me away from fishing, pointing out local wild and birdlife.
This sun gazing seal was definitely worth swapping fishing rod for the camera.
I got a bit too close and the seal decided to retreat to the Arctic cold waters.
A large amount of cormorants along this coast reflects the abundance of fish.
Zimba was happily parked on the beach.
Eventually, we all caught a few keepers, which put a smile on everyone’s face. Nearby fishermen didn’t seem to be as successful, even though being only the distance of a cast away.
Leaving our fishing spot invited the seagulls to scavenge bait leftovers.
These seagulls were impressive in body size.
It was a very successful day on all ends.
Smiling faces all along whilst counting a few keepers.
I was lucky enough to catch the biggest ones. Lucky me.
A good day’s fishing and a few Jägermeister enhanced a truly happy atmosphere.
It was just one of those ‘you had to be there’ sessions, which are hard to explain.
Even though I didn’t understand much of the ‘Afrikaans’ jokes and stories, the vibe was simply contagious.
Everyone had a joke and story to tell, which left others in tears and stitches. The photos tell a better story then I ever could.
What better way to end an amazing day by the beach, as well to end my 6-month journey through Southern Africa with my trusty zebra wagon Zimba.
I will still come to terms reflecting on this magical mystery tour, but overall, it couldn’t have worked out any better then it did.
Pieter dropped me off at Walvis Bay international airport. We were all in good spirits, even though I had to farewell my reliable bakkie friend Zimba, as well as supportive great friend Pieter. The two will make the long journey back to Kwa Zulu Natal, where Zimba will get some TLC and is kept for my return. When that will be, for how long and where I will go is part of my master plan. I just don’t know! I will cross that bridge when I find it.
Having witnessed some unforgettable animal encounters, seeing some spectacular natural displays and having met so many incredible humans of all races, leaves me with an unexpected problem for my next adventure. How to explore new territory and revisit existing amazing friends and places in a certain time frame. This will be my biggest challenge next time.