20 Mar 2008 04:54
Subject: Second Ocean Gifting “cruisade”
I thought I should get this out before I embark on my next one, which is tommorrow.
2nd Ocean cruisade
At the end of January 2008 we embarked on the “Royal Mail Ship St.
Helena” in order to cover the stretch from Cape Town up the Atlantic
coast to Walvis Bay in Namibia.
The St. Helena is a combined passenger and cargo ship that regularly
serves the outlying British Possession St. Helena, the Island were not
only Napoleon but also the Zulu King Cetswayo were held as political
The St. Helena in Cape Town Harbour
We took some 180 TBs (as much as you can carry on an airplane
without paying for overweight) and other water gifts with us in order
to be able to put out at least one gift per every 10kms.
The ship had a problem with it’s radar and our departure was therefore
delayed by one night.
We should later discover that that was a blessing in disguise because
it saved us one night watch.
We were only going one way and that meant that in order to cover the
whole distance we had to stay up for two nights.
Night watch on deck
Of course we did that intermittently, Friederike taking the first
turn until 2 am while I slept for 4 hours from 10 and then I took over
from 2 am into sunrise, which was fun.
The crowd on board was “very British” and very 65+, so we stayed
mostly to ourselves, basically spending 90% of the time in the
deckchair reading. Of course we made sure that we were close to the
railing and could drop our stuff totally inconspicuously.
Location is important!
Only when we took alternating turns to stay out in the drizzle at
night while every normal tourist was sleeping, did we arouse some
curiosity with the crew and one female officer became very inquisitive
at 4 in the morning the second night when she found me in the drizzle
on my deckchair after having observed Friederike in the same position
I think she was the security officer.
I told her I found the cabin air a bit stuffy and I’m sure she thought
I must have some marital dispute with Friederike, to spend the time out
So, luckily the inbred British respect for other peoples privacy
prevailed over her professional curiosity here, but I’m sure another
night on deck would have provoked serious scrutiny.
So, I guess the cruise model only works well if you go back the same
way and can fill in the gaps on the way back as we did on our Bazaruto
cruise in 2006.
Or you have to accept those gaps and just be happy to throw out
orgonite at “normal” times.
Approaching Walvis Bay
Dry dock in Walvis Bay
Cape Town to Walvis Bay – busted
Southern Africa – busted
If you remember our first Namibia tour “Operation desert rain” you
know how puzzled we were about the coastal desert that is basically
covering all of Namibia’s coast line. Even though unusual rainfalls
have been recorded all over Namibia since our tour in September 04
including some flash floods in desert areas, the desert is still a
desert. I wonder if our sea gifting effort will be able to change this
anomaly on a more permanent basis.
Despite all the learned explanations from people schooled in
conventional metereology, it doesn’t go into my head why all these
clouds are hanging over the sea, just offshore and yet almost no
precipitation reaches the coastal desert.
We spent 2 nights at our friends’ in Walvis Bay, reconnecting after
3 years where we only had occasional email and phone contact.
They subscribe to a bunch of Namibian newspapers and I was amazed to
find a lot more in-depth reporting on the weather situation in Southern
Africa there than in the South African Newspapers.
While weather data for South Africa are readily available on the
internet, that is not so for the neighbouring countries. Here we only
get sporadic news reports about extreme weather situations like
droughts or floodings, often with a very manipulative slant.
All the articles I found in Namibia confirmed abundant rainfalls in
the wider Zambesi catchment area. Most of the articles were based on
reports of NGOs (Non Governmental Aid Oganisaitions) working in
those areas who have a natural interest to “cry wolf”, meaning their
funding depends on finding ever new miseries to report to the donating
So it is no wonder that they are reporting these rainfalls as
There has been flooding of some low lying areas, but these are the
floodplains and wetlands that used to always be seasonally flooded.
One more insightful article quoted a district governor from Zambia
saying that people stayed in these areas deliberately because the had
become “addicted” to foreign donor money and relief goods. So staying
in these areas where their ancestors would only graze their cattle in
the dry season was actually making good business sense for these people.
Recent flooding in the wider Zambezi area
I noticed earlier, that the “Mail and Guardian” and “The Star” were
using the same picture of a woman and her child at the somewhat flooded
river banks of the Zambezi (nothing unnormal about that) to underpin
their weak story of catastrophic flooding in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The general trend of the last decades has been one of increasing
dessication and desert forming in Southern Africa, before we started
So my impression is that these articles are a desperate attempt of
subliminal “propaganda against rain”, if you know what I mean.
This is actually the environmental healing that has to happen and
it’s happening on a large scale.
In South Africa itself rains have also been abundant and farmers are
expecting a bumper harvest.
As we are entering the autumn season now, it is astonishing to see
how green everything still is.
Normally the surroundings of Johannesburg look like a dry savannah
at this time of the year. But not this time. Instead of yellow-ochre
and the red of the soil, you see al different hues of juicy green. And
this is being reported from virtually all of Southern Africa, including
Botswana, Namibia and of course Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
My feeling is that the Zambezi tour in Easter 2007 facilitated this
massive and profound turnaround after a short spell of relative drought
from January to March 2007.
If you have followed my reports, you will remember that that short
drought after a few years of ever increasing rainfalls motivated us to
take up water gifting on a massive scale and I think the results
confirm this decision.
Doing it all over Africa and sending it out to the world