Oysters and champagne

Added 13 Apr 2015

We are due on the road at 7.45am today so there is a queue waiting for the hotel restaurant doors to open at 7am. Unfortunately one of the trainee staff spills something on a table cloth at the last minute and the manager insists the whole table is reset to ensure the high quality the Hansa Hotel is well-known for. Having to wait until 7.05am for the doors to open almost causes panic amongst some hotel guests – not Furlongs clients of course as they have been so well fed on tour, they could easily go on a food-free diet for the next week or two!

Our driver, August, has the coach ready for us and we set off south to Walvis Bay. Richard is reading the Namibian daily newspaper on route and notices the result of last Friday’s rugby game in Windhoek. We had met the South African team on our flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek on Friday morning, and we’re now reading they won the game 44-0. We are happy for them but we better not celebrate as the local Namibian team will clearly be disappointed.

On arrival in Walvis Bay we head for the sailing club to join our privately chartered catamaran called Silversand. We’re joining a Walvis Bay Harbour Wildlife cruise. Captain Mike greets us and our guide is Monique. No sooner we set off, we find a sea lion and a couple of pelicans on board with us! The sea lion is very well behaved, has a few fish and, after some encouragement, takes off towards another boat. The pelicans are rather more disruptive! One jumps onto Monique’s arm and then stands on her head. They try the same act with some of our guests too! Monique interprets what we see and she's great fun, so this is educational in a light-hearted way.

We sail towards the point, passing the lighthouse and spending some time watching the young sea lions practising their swimming techniques and back flips in front of us. From here we continue into the open sea to try and spot dolphins. On this occasion we are not lucky, and Richard and Dawn think it is time to bring out the bubbly. Guests have already enjoyed tea and coffee, a Namibian sherry (or two) and a beer or fruit juice. Now the serious refreshments begin! In the ship’s lounge the crew have prepared some tasty snacks including fresh Walvis Bay oysters. They are delicious!

Captain Mike kindly raises the sails and we sail back towards the quayside, merrily eating and drinking on the way. It is amazing what a few bottles of bubbly can do. By the time we make it back to base Richard, Dawn and Monique have persuaded everyone we saw umpteen dolphins, a few whales and the Loch Ness Monster.