Maarten Schäfer

After exploring the harsh desert environment for two days, we emerge onto the Atlantic Ocean front. What a contrast – it’s like flicking from one channel to another. We have moved from the vast (apparently) lifeless sea of sand to a 100 percent liquid environment in the space of a just a few kilometres.

From Walvis Bay we take a boat northward to Swakopmund. The captain is called Franz, a name that is not uncommon in this former German colony. He’s a real old sea dog and we spend the journey listening to his heroic tales of storms and shipwrecks along the Namibian coast. He points to the boats stranded on the coast – they are constant reminders of the violence of the Atlantic Ocean. “I know the captain of that ship,” he says, pointing at a Russian vessel.

“We meet in a local pub every now and then and…

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