Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 9

by david on April 6, 2015

Part of our replacement passengers had arrived when we made it back for lunch. The rest had been delayed for some reason. After all, this is Africa and some things tend to take on a life of their own. Janice and I remembered how hungry we were when we first came aboard, so we elected to wait for the rest of the passengers. It turned out not to be too long of a wait as they made it onboard about 30 minutes later. Lunch was pleasant and the conversation was lively as we got to know our new shipmates. There was a family of four from Germany and a single lady traveling on her own. The German family had two daughters, who were, once again close to the age of my daughters. I was now really regretting not bringing them along on the trip. The single lady was taking a sabbatical from work to be a park ranger/tour guide and was using to boat as a stop over and rest up before continuing her trip. I found myself wishing I had the nerve to try something like that, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Janice would change the locks by the time I got back.

The afternoon expeditions had Janice scheduled for game viewing and photography, and for me it was round two with the tiger fish. Victor and I arrived at the fishing hole about 3:30 and it was on. It was definitely easier to fish with just the two of us in the boat and the fishing was definitely better. For whatever reason, I was not up to the task of getting a tiger into the boat. This afternoon was a definite improvement as I hooked five, saw four, and got three to the boat before they unceremoniously bid me a premature farewell. Nonetheless, it was a great afternoon and I was acquiring some experience under my belt for the next trip.

It was completely dark as we headed back up river to where the POZ was tied up for the night. The ride was spectacular in a completely different way. I was relaxing with a cold Tafel and kicking back when we left the light pollution from Kasane behind. As my eyes began to adjust to the absence of man-made light, the stars became brighter and brighter. A few moments later, I could see the river and the river banks. I could even detect movement along the banks but could not tell exactly what was there. I settled back once again and let my gaze wander skyward. The night sky was sharp and clear. With no light from any artificial source, the stars were no longer one big blob. Each star, no matter how small or far away, appeared clean and crisp, even to the naked eye. I was so enamored with stargazing that I almost spilt my Tafel when the boat bounced across a swell pushed up by the wind. When we returned to the POZ, I grabbed Janice, her camera, and tripod and headed to the deck to try and get some pictures of the sky. Captain Norman noticed what we were trying to do and cut the lights for us. He was an old hand at photography, as well, and helped us get some of the best pictures of the night sky I have ever seen taken with a non-telescoped camera. The mate even brought me a brandy and coke while this was going on, and I decided it could not get much better.

We introduced our new shipmates to our newly discovered tradition of sitting next to someone you do not know at dinner, and once again the conversation was the better for it. Even though I was heading for hunting camp tomorrow, I was truly sorry that Janice and I were leaving the boat. The new folks looked like a lot of fun to be around. I was having a great time, even though I had so far been skunked when it came to tiger fishing. One interesting side note was that, since we had tied up here two days ago, an elephant had died on the bank of the river close to the watering spot. Norman thought there was a very good chance we would see lions there in the morning. I guessed that if I had to get up early, it would be a better reason than most.


The night sky unencumbered by light pollution.  (click on the picture for a better view) The night sky unencumbered by light pollution. (click on the picture for a better view)


Makes me want to take up astronomy so I can identify what I am looking at.  Makes me want to take up astronomy so I can identify what I am looking at.


Wednesday: Headed to Hunting Camp


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