Day 6 – Skeleton Coast – 25 Sep 2013

Trip Report:  Day 6
  • Sunrise at 06:49 am and sunset at 18:59 pm
  • Low tide at 00:15 am and 12:30 pm
  • High tide at 06:46 am and 18:59 pm
  • Moon overhead at 05:21 am, Moonset at 10:58 am, underfoot at 17:46 pm and moonrise at midnight.

Today’s entertainment started with a black-backed jackal eating his prey so close to where we were fishing.  He had no problem with us being there while he enjoyed his meal, tugging and pulling away at the seals flesh then running off into the distance with the seals blood all over his face.

It is the perfect habitat for their omnivore food survival as there are plenty of rodents, birds galore and a huge seal colony at Cape Cross Reserve which is just nearby.  They have kilometres of land to be able to roam freely.  There are so many carcasses that you come across while driving along the beach, skeletal bones of past feeds, giving a good indication that the circle of life is working at its best for them in their natural environment without them having a negative impact on the communities further down south.

They will dig a hole into the sand or on the edge of a small dune to hide out during the heat of the day and a place where they will sleep at night. They are endemic to Africa and are loyal to their mates as they will mate with only one for life and will do anything to ward off the opposite attraction from another black-backed jackal. 

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.001

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.002

The action in the sea wasn’t too bad either with a few dolphins calmly playing around and swimming down towards the south.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.003

The lapping of the waves around the corner of this beach was so enjoyable to watch. There are a few bays that stand out quite predominantly when you’re driving along the coast.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.004

We had experienced our first skeleton coast thunderstorm with the rain pelting down the night before.  The lightning was lighting up the sky abundantly, slowly making its way to land from far out to sea.  The eye of the storm hit land shore at around midnight. The thunder was incredibly loud, and one particular one made me jump at the sound! The rain pelted down, and the wind had picked up.

We aired out our tent and pitched our shade cloth wind break for some protection while I made a breakfast and Ian tried his luck at some fishing.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.005

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.006

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.007

We headed back to town in a southerly direction as there was no action in the sea.  The salt road/C34 was sopping wet from the rain last night.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.008

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.009

A car drives past while we were unlocking our hubs and I caught the wetness of the road in the picture below.  The coastal towns of Hienties Bay and Swakopmund were so happy that it was raining.  Their water is extremely precious and sometimes in short supply.  They don’t experience abundant rains during the year at the best of times.  We must have been their lucky charms.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.010

The salt roads mud sticks onto the chassis of your car in huge clumps!  It wraps around your tyres, decreasing your tyres tread and causes havoc to the body of your vehicle with all the salt pounding at it.  The rust factor and speed of growth on the cars body must be hectic for the people living around here.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.011

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.013

It feels like we are on another planet with its desolate landscape where everything has to strive to survive.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.014

We took a drive to the south side of Henties Bay to see the camping site there.  There are a few basic toilet blocks that have been built in-between some campsites.  They didn’t look too great when we popped our head inside them.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.015

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.016

We took the coastal road into town from the south side.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.017

Henties Bay.  We stopped for a few hours in Henties to stock up on some food, get some laundry done while we enjoyed a late lunch then waited for ages for the cue to be the next in line for the car wash.  They had a brilliant system going, and it was in full swing where they clean your car with two high-pressure hoses.  You drive up the ramp and stop for a while until your vehicle’s undercarriage gets cleaned, this took about 15 – 20mins per car.   Once your vehicle is clean, you drive over the top and down the other side of the ramp. The joy only lasts a few minutes though with having a clean car.   As soon as we were back on the road the mud started to cake up again.  It’s quite funny trying to get things from your vehicle while trying not to touch any of the sides with your clothing.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.018

We took a drive north of Henties to go down by the large dunes.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.019

The picture below is showing the plateau that you can drive on to try to get down its side to the beach below.  There are many gullies that one can take, down the plateau in-between the dunes to the beach below.  If its high tide there are areas that cannot be navigated too easily.  At low tide, there is ample space to drive.  There are many “outs” one can take if you find yourself stuck below but in places, you will be operating at a steep angle along the edge of the dune.  The famous Trappies fishing spot is just from the high plateau to the sea, along the side of the high dune.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.020

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.021

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.022

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.023

We stopped at this area as it had ample space to escape the high tide.  You can clearly see where the waves usually reach by the debris and driftwood left all on the beach.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.024

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.025

We opened up our tent to air it out again while trying our luck at some fishing during the sunset.

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.026

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.027

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.028

We were reluctant to fish for long as the thunderstorm was once again approaching the land, making it dangerous to stand with a rod in your hand.  Other fishermen tried for a while then packed up.  I managed to capture some of the lightning strikes while sitting in the passenger seat with a warm cuppa in my hand!  The rain started pelting down!

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.029

Day 6 - Skeleton Coast - 25 Sep 2013.030

The storm during the night was as fierce as can be.  The wind was so strong it was pushing the huge raindrops of water into some areas of our tent.  Ian jumps out of our tent during the night to readjust our vehicle so that it would be in the lee of the wind, therefore, stopping some of the water from coming into our tent.  It was an exciting nights experience we will never forget!

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