Arriving in the Gambia by Sailboat; from crazy formalities to calm creeks

To our surprise there was no wind on our trip from Dakar towards Banjul in the Gambia, so we had to motor through the night, making it difficult for me to sleep while Esben was on night watch. “Vibe, come quick!” he suddenly yelled. “There’s nets all around!”. I hurried up, and he was right, there was flags everywhere, with maybe 10 meters between them. We agreed that Esben would go to the front of the boat and try and find us a way through with the light, while I steered. We did not at all feel like getting the prop trapped in a net, having to cut it out and discussing with a group of angry fishermen. The risk of getting trapped isn’t great as we have a long keel that protects the propeller, but we were not ready to take a chance. For a couple of hours, we worked together to maneuver in the maze, but finally we seemed to be away from the nets and I went back below to get a bit of sleep before I was on watch. We realized later that it was the water by the entrance to the Saloum river where the many nets had been. Continue reading

Thoughts about trash

During our stay in Dakar we had been very aware of the pollution of the water. The air always had a slight smell of sewage, and on one of our walks we had seen that it was indeed true that the sewage from the city emptied directly out into the anchorage; a small river of a thick, black substance, which it was impossible to walk past without gagging. Plastic was everywhere; in the streets, on the beach and in the water. Looking through Instagram, it appears that a whole bunch of people in the west seem to think that buying hair brushes made of wood and stainless steel water bottles and posting it under hashtags like #RefuseReduceReuse and #ZeroWaste will solve the world’s problems. Continue reading

A little oasis in a city on speed

We had heard that the anchorage in Dakar was located where the city’s sewage washed into the sea, that it could be so smelly that you wake up from it at night, and that you must wash your hands if you accidentally get any of the water on your hands, not to contract som illness or infection. And yes, the water was pretty much the filthiest we had seen so far, so we were happy that the CVD provided a ferry shuttle that would sail around the anchorage every couple of hours and pick up the people who would like to go on land. Continue reading