Namibia & Mid-Atlantic Expedition: Rich Marine Life in Walvis Bay and the Infamous Guests of St. Helena
Continuing our Journey up along the western coast of South Africa we started our day with a catamaran experience through Walvis Bay towards Pelican Point, Namibia. About 50,000 Cape Fur seals live there year-round and at this time of year, most of the animals on the beach were females raising their pups. With the mating season over, most males are out at sea feeding.
Pelicans and flamingoes were seen feeding in the shallows of the Point and a few Bottlenose and shy Heaviside dolphins also showed up during our trip.
From Walvis Bay we set out across the Atlantic, three days at sea, to St. Helena, British Overseas Territory. Despite its remote location, this unique British colony has a long history of interesting visitors, including Napoleon Bonaparte who remained until his death in 1821.
As the sun rose on the third morning of our Atlantic Journey, The World approached this remote speck of land. Sailing around the south end and along the western shore to the settlement at Jamestown, we had lovely views of the rugged volcanic landscape in the early morning light.
Once ashore at the ‘landing steps’ we strolled down the pier past the many old stone buildings dating from the British East India Company’s long tenure on the island. The morning and early afternoon were spent touring the interior along the narrow, winding roads that afforded spectacular views of tiny Jamestown, nestled in a narrow valley.
Compared to the rather barren nature of the coastline, the interior high ground revealed lush tropical vegetation. Both Napoleon’s tomb (now empty) and his place of confinement, Longwood House, were surrounded by beautiful plantings and gardens.
Divers and snorkelers hit the water in the afternoon to find good visibility and an abundance of marine life. In the evening some attended a reception at Longwood House, hosted by the Honorary French Consul.
Our Journey continues tomorrow to further explore St. Helena Island by land and by sea.