OCEAN GIFTING – PART I
20-24 March 2006
UP TO A SLOW START – DELAYS AND OBSTACLES
About a year ago we received a generous gift from Steve Baron in Toronto. A few boxes with Dolphin Cups. (Orgonite gifts specially maufactured for ocean gifting) The idea was for us to distribute them along the coast of the Indian Ocean.
Almost half of the cups I sent to our friends in Walvis Bay in Namibia who own a freighter that goes up North along the Namibian and Angolan coast and they pledged to distribute them along that stretch.
So far this seemed easy and straight forward.
I started investigating ways of getting on a boat and gifting the stretch from Durban to Daressalam (Tanzania).
I checked with various freight shipping companies that service that route, but they all don’t take passengers.
I became member in various “sailing crew wanted or offered” forums etc.
In the meantime the boat of my friends in Walvis Bay had hit a mysterious underwater obstacle and sunk within minutes. Luckily all crew got into the inflatable life saving raft in time. Was it torpedoed?
As all that came to no result, I started looking at luxury cruises as possibly the only means of getting on a boat without too much hassle. And bingo, that was to be the way.
A new cruising company was even offering my preferred route from Durban to Daressalam and Zanzibar. But before I could even come up with the money, the company was liquidated and the ship seized by the sheriff of the court.
It seemed like all hell was mounted in resistance to our endeavour. I reckoned that this ocean gifting project must be really important when so much is happening to prevent it from taking off…
FINALLY GETTING STARTED
Luckily we were able to get at least started now with a “Luxury Cruise” from Durban to Bazaruto which is about half way to Daressalam.
Thanks to Steve Baron again, who sponsored the tickets for that cruise!
This first leg covered approximately 1150 km on sea.
The itenerary of our cruise. Every blue dot is an ocean gift
The goal was to lay out a string of gifts spaced approximately 10km apart over the whole stretch.
Of course some of the distance would be covered at night time.
But looking at the cruising schedule we figured that we would be able to cover those stretches at our way back during daytime.
SInce I’m marking all the gifts with a small handheld GPS that also has a map function, it was not so difficult to insert those missed parts on our way back.
The GPS was also used to always determine the traveled distance from the last throw.
Since the average cruising speed was approx. 30 km/h we had to be ready to throw every 20 minutes.
I can tell you maintaining this for the whole day from 6 in the morning until after midnight without skipping a single one keeps one busy, even if it sounds very easy.
Please note the date imprint on the pictures is wrong. The first day of our cruise was the20th of March
Cruise Ship Rhapsody waiting to be embarked
Leaving Durban harbour in the rain
The weather in Durban was overcast and rainy. The first night we busted until just after midnight. We had a constant drizzle and it was quite cold outside at night.
On the morning of the 21st (second day of our cruise) we saw large pods of dolphins accompanying the ship on 2 occasions for about 1/2 hour in each incident.
They were diving under the ship, jumping out of the water and they were there in great numbers. (50-100)
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a picture of them because the digital camera works with too much delay. When it clicks, the dolphin is already gone…
We overheard a conversation between crew members who said, that this massive sighting of dolphins was very unusual for the season.
Find the dolphin
Sunset from our preferred throwing station…
I was still suffering from a strange fever that I got after the vortex buster tour with Kelly and which lasted 2 weeks with temperature constantly 1-2 Cº above normal. My foot left foot was swollen as if from some strange spider’s bite and so the generally lazy atmosphere of the cruise was very welcome.
Still feverish, but relaxed
On the morning of the 3rd day we approached the Mozambican Island of Bazaruto in the early morning. This was the destination of our trip and the whole fu-seeking crowd of some 900 guests was to be ferried across in zodiacs for a day on the beach…
Kika @ breakfeast
Bella @ breakfeast
Friederike @ breakfeast
Letting the Zodiacs down
Rhapsody anchored near Bazaruto
Passage to Bazaruto
Of course we dropped a few more gifts on the passage to Bazaruto but no more dolphins showed up. We spent a lazy day at the beach with much swimming and snorkeling, looking at the abundance of colourful tropical fish at a nearby reef.
Slightly sunburnt but generally energised and and relaxed we returned to ship in the late afternoon and left for the return leg of the trip shortly thereafter.
The sea was getting very rough over night and the next day vomiting bags were distributed all over the ship and a lot of the guests were looking very pale suddenly. The typical high consumption of alcoholic beverages with most of the crowd may have been a contribting factor to the prevailing sea sickness…
Slipstream and choppy seas
We returned to Durban on the morning of Friday the 24th. We would still feel the swell of the seas under our feet for the next 3-4 days, a very strange sensation.
Back in Durban: Strange transmitter tower
Africa’s biggest harbour in action
Pilot ship Umloti
At the insistence of the kids we visited “uShaka Marine world” a theme park related to all types of marine life with Aquariums and open pools, featuring sharks, tropical fish, dolphins, turtles and penguins. Here we had the dubious pleasure to watch some captive dolphins performing all kinds of gimmicks for a few sardines. Even though it’s a fairly controlled environment we managed to slip a gift into the large dolphin show pool.
An hour later when we watched the feeding of the penguins, we saw one of the wardens showing our gift to anther, making very worried faces…
Obviously they did not know what it was. One of the dolphins must have dived for it and proudly presented t to their warden…
Too bad for us, we had to settle for the second best option and place a gift near the inlet where they get the water for the whole sytem of aquariums and pools from.
EVALUATION AND OUTLOOK
If you don’t have an ocean going craft yourself or chose to do ocean gifting from a small airplane, booking into fun cruises is probably the easiest option to get large stretches of ocean gifted. It tends to automatically become a family holiday because single passengers pay almost as much as 2 and the kids travel for free in off peak season. So I think this was not the last one even though I find the fun factor a bit disappointing, mostly due to the uninspired cooking on board and the huge crowd of loud, drunken and dumbed down fellow travelers that you can hardly escape on board of a confined vessel. But these are minor flaws of a great way to start covering the oceans, our new frontier, with orgonite.
Other than with our usual tower busting tours, there were no immediate visual confirmations, except one wants to count the massive showing of dolphins which could of course be coincidental.
A second leg is now lined up in the form of a sailing cruise starting from 07 April, that will cover the stretch from Durban to Cape Town. (approx 1500 km without the deviations due to tacking against the wind). This is a result of my research into “crewing” websites on the internet.
The next leg of our ocean gifting effort is going to be on this beautiful boat…
Of course I’m very excited about this one, expecting much more involved encounters with our friends the dolphins from this much smaller boat.
In October another opportunity arises for a “luxury cruise” from Cape Town to Walvis Bay.
Then would at least have the whole southern Tip of Africa covered and hopefully our friends in Walvis Bay will have a new boat by then to continue the work northward.
The picture above shoes the accomplished and planned ocean gifting routes.
Leg 1 is the one we just finished a few days ago. (indicated as a string of blue dots)
Leg 2 is the upcoming sailing cruise from Durban to Cape Town, indicated as a violet line
Leg 2 is the planned cruise in October 2006 from Cape Town to Walvis Bay
02 April 2006