“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Skeleton Coast Haven

by Richard Crockett

The headline “Skeleton Coast Haven” piqued my interest and as I read it I began to realise that it may well be an exciting expedition for the more intrepid Holiday 23 owners who don’t succumb to the dreaded “mal de mer”!

The Skeleton Coast is not the most inviting of seas for weekend cruising. However, some of the members of Walvis Bay Yacht Club have discovered one spot which provides a completely safe overnight anchorage at what is probably one of the most magnificent natural havens in the world – Sandwich Harbour.

For centuries after the Portuguese explorer, Diego Cao, first sailed into Sandwich Harbour in 1486, it offered a “skuilplek” for smugglers and explorers. But gradually the sea and sand exerted their dominance and the bay was formed into a lagoon (approximately 9 km long and 3 km wide) creating a natural sanctuary for a huge variety of bird life.

Outside the lagoon, however, there is still a low-lying spit of sand (not shown on any charts) which provides a completely protected anchorage for deep-keel yachts.

The bay lies south of Walvis Bay, about 48 sea miles from the club moorings.

But of course as this was written in 1986, it would be worthwhile checking that the passage is still possible, and how things may have changed. There is a good possibility that modern-day charts may give more information on accessibility.

There are a few bonus features today with a report on the following events:

• Chelmsford Catamaran Champs
• Paterson Masters the Paper Tiger
• Syfrets Spring Regatta
• Cape Optimist Interschools
• Sail Training Camp

READ IT ALL HERE:  Pages from 1986 12 – SA Yachting – OCR

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