Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Sea

For a few months now I've felt the urge to be by the sea again, so, when the opportunity arose last week to visit Lüderitz, a short 300km drive to the Northwest through the desert, I grabbed it.

I must admit that, after viewing the recent horrific events in Japan, I approached the ocean with a small degree of suspicion.

We spent two nights in the old Lighthouse Keeper's house at Diaz Point, a few ks west of Lüderitz. The lighthouse is fully automated now but, the old house (right center in the pic with red wall and car is front of it), has been converted into an accommodation unit.

In the foreground is the camping area, the buildings to the left are all derelict.

There were many ghosts in the house and, indeed, the whole area - more about them in a later post.

There are a few small protected beaches close by, set amongst the rugged rock formations characteristic of this area.

After arrival, it took me only a few minutes to chill completely and, on the second day, I lay down for a few minutes nap and drifted into a deep, three-hour long sleep - it's been awhile since I've felt so refreshed upon awaking.

There were countless photo-ops around the weathered, abandoned buildings. With the mist coming and going the whole world seemed gray at times and pastel shades predominated.

A white sand dune with plant life seemingly climbing to the top boosted by smaller dunes around their bases.

A close-up of one of the plants which, like most of the creatures here, depend on moisture from the mist for their survival.

A seal colony on the small island opposite the lighthouse - it was fascinating to watch them frolic in the sea then try to climb up to drier areas, many of the smaller ones having to make numerous attempts after being washed off the rocks by big waves.

A crayfish boat passes, bringing back memories of when, in my youth, I'd worked on these vessels for a year.

This is so different to my normal environment - I spent a lot of time exploring rock pools.

The coastline here is rugged and forbidding - above is a 50cm thick quarts wall, exposed as a result of the weathering of the softer rock around it.

This wall, the colors in the surrounding rock and sand, the mist and a number of big round weathered quartz boulders combined to give this spot a distinctly magical aura - rocks of ages.

Flamingos wade in the shallow water - they would not allow me to approach too close.

There were also many Dolphins feeding - a bit too far to get a decent image.

This video mirrors my vibe right now - The two days I spent here were invigorating and relaxing at the same time and I wonder why I haven't done it more often - that old cliché "a change is as good as a holiday" is true ... I feel refreshed after my visit to The Sea.

Related Posts:

Kolmanskop Ghost Town
Colonial Architecture Of Lüderitz
Succulents On The Desert Coastline



  1. Once again you manage to capture stunning scenes in what at first blush looks to be a desolate area. You do have an eye for beauty. I just love all your photos. I live by the sea (much closer than you) and I hardly ever manage to get there to take photos anymore. If I did, it wouldn't be nearly as desolate as where you are. So glad you feel refreshed now.

  2. Ja that looks beautiful. I spent time around Kommetjie as a kid, lots of rockpools there too. I love the atlantic, not as swimming friendly, but, lol that's my ocean.
    I reckon Luderitz has just climbed my list of places to go, thanks!
    peace to you and yours :)

  3. I'm so glad you are back because your pictures and stories are always interesting. I love a rugged coast like that. I know you had a great trip.--Inger

  4. Thanks Penny - this coastline is desolate ... early explorers called it "The Gates Of Hell" ...

    Perhaps you could convince a friend and visit the sea for a day? ...
    ... looking out over the ocean frees my mind to wander.

  5. Howzit David - yeah, this whole area is stunning if you appreciate desolation ...

    ... be sure to let me know if you come this way.

  6. Thanks Inger - yes, it's strange how this ruggedness gives one a different perspective on life ...

  7. "Short 300Km" ? SHORT FFS!!

    And "We" ????

  8. Haha Dave - yeah, 300ks is just up the road ...

  9. I just love that barren desolate look. I would be in my element there. I am intrigued by the ghosts so look forward to the post about them.
    Sounds like you had a good sleep, so great to wake up feeling invigorated.
    Fantastic photos. Diane

  10. Wow!!!beautiful pictures..and great song :)

  11. Love the one with the quartz wall, really moody - and the seals. I'd never heard Morcheeba - I like her soft cool voice.
    I agree - 300 miles round the corner? Blimey!!

  12. Thanks Diane - I'll talk about the ghosts as soon as I've sorted all my pics ... sometimes I think I take too many ...

  13. Thanks Monica - if you like laid-back music then Morcheeba is a must-listen ...

  14. Thanks Caroline - yeah, I guess 300 ks is a long way if you have to travel by ox-wagon on an ill-defined track ... at one time the police used to get around by camel ...

  15. I enjoy the pictures. You mentioned the mist and I recall watching a show about how these beetles on the sand dunes raise their legs up to catch the droplets of mist. I'm sure it was in Namibia. So the sun didn't bake you there?

  16. Hehe yeah lisleman - it probably was a Namibian beetle you saw ... nope, the sun didn't bake me but I'm still brown as a berry from my time in the north ...

  17. Hi, great photos as usual, I have been browsing through a book about this particular area and I think I know what the ghosts are?!
    A whole tribe of Namibian people were put into concentration camps there and wiped out, I will have to read the whole book now.

  18. Thanks Peggy - interesting theory about the Ghosts - you're referring to a particularly dark (and largely forgotten) chapter in Namibian history - the Shark Island concentration camp, also known as a 'Death Camp' ...

    ... I discovered recently that my great grandmother was interned in a concentration camp during the Anglo Boer war, where she lost two brothers and a sister ...

  19. I listened to the music and you have transported us to the most foreign land. Stark-naked landscape, ghostly, yet so beautiful. It looked too lonely for me though but I am glad I got to see it;) Thank you Graham.

  20. Thank You Fazlisa - I once had some friends from New York who were actually afraid of the open spaces - when they visited they would insist on sitting indoors with their backs to the windows ... strange, but, I would probably freak out if I visited the Big apple ...

  21. I popped back here to check your post and am I glad I did! I think I had the ghost town wrong in my comment on your latest post, it's Kolmanskop. We will do a trip to Nam sometime in next year and look you up, Graham. It will be super to meet you in beautiful Namibia. Glad you had such a refreshing holiday at the sea!