April 10, 2002

    The most unique day with the most unique landscape we had today. First of all, the sunrise from African continent was very beautiful, with a little haze near the horizon but without any cloud. We continued to sail in the morning. During the lunch, the ship was sailing along a unique seashore, with blackish rock cliff, cream-colored sand and haze of sand dust. The town of Luderitz, Namibia, was on the rock and sand along a little bay with a pier, seemingly with no green and with a strong gust. Later we learned that strong wind would always blow in Luderitz, directions of which might be different. The rocks looked like volcanic lava, and they were all rounded by sand-blustering. It was the least inhabitable place I had ever seen.

    The ship docked alongside the pier around 2pm, and we got on a minibus for a tour to "a ghost town" of Klomanskop, or Klomannskuppe as a German signpost showed, several miles inland from Luderitz. This barren land of Namibia was a German colony before the World War I. As a late comer, Germany got what England or France didn't want to have, such as Namibia. But one day in 1908, a railroad worker found a diamond in the sand here, and the town of Klomanskop suddenly sprang up, crowded with 800 German people. In 40 years, it flourished and died. Thus the ghost town remains today, and the diamond company tries to make little money by inviting sightseeing visitors to the deserted town crumbling and buried in the sand. Nothing pleasing or nothing interesting in such a deserted town, except that we could see how Germans managed to live in this hostile environment.

    On our way back, we wanted and got off from the minibus in front of a curio shop in the town of Luderitz. No interesting items we found but we bought small things just for collection for memory. We returned to the ship with some sand in our mouths.

    Sue was asked by many people where she had been, since we were out for 2 night stay in Cape Town. It was puzzling but pleasing to Sue. We dined with Herb & Leah, and Gene & Betty. Shig took turkey and Sue took risotto. We enjoyed the after-dinner show by The Peter Grey Terhune.


 2pm頃船は接岸し、我々はミニバスでLuderitzから数マイル内陸に入ったGhost Townへのツアに出た。Klomanskopまたは現地のドイツ語表示ではKlomannskuppeという所だ。このNamibiaの荒地は第一次世界大戦まではドイツの植民地だった。出遅れたドイツは英仏が欲しがらなかったNamibiaのような土地を手にした訳だ。しかし1908年の或る日、鉄道員が砂の中にダイヤモンドを見つけ、Klomanskopの町が急に出現し、800人のドイツ人がひしめいた。地中奥深くの高温高圧で出来たダイヤモンドが溶岩に乗って地上に運ばれ、風化して砂に紛れていたのだろう。40年間にこの町は栄え滅びた。こうしてGhost Townが残り、ダイヤモンド会社は、この崩れかかった砂に埋もれた町に観光客を招き入れることで若干の収入を得ようとしている。楽しいことも興味深いことも何もなかったが、ドイツ人がこの厳しい環境の中でどうやって生きたかは分かった。あまり探しもしなかったが、とてもダイヤモンドが転がっているような様子ではなかった。


 スミヱは多くの人から、しばらく見かけなかったがどうしたのかと尋ねられた。Cape Townで2日間外泊していたからだろう。不思議なことだがスミヱには嬉しいことだ。夕食はHerb & Leah、Gene & Bettyと一緒だった。重悳は七面鳥を、スミヱはRisottoを食べた。食後はThe Peter Grey Terhuneの歌とダンスのショーを楽しんだ。

April 11, 2002

    The ship had some trouble in leaving Luderitz last evening and was 50 minutes late in coming alongside Walvis Bay this morning. The sky was heavily clouded and the weather was concerned. Later we found, however, the weather in the seashore is one thing and that in the inland desert was quite another. The cloud and fog in the seaside could not come beyond 50km inland. In the southern hemisphere, the sea current flows anti-clockwise. In the east shore of Africa, the current from the equator is warm and makes much vapor, which hits the mountain to make rain. In the west shore of Africa, the current from Antarctic is too cold to make much vapor, and there is no mountain to cause rain. This is the reason why the west coast of Africa is covered with desert.

    Around 10am, we set out for a desert tour by a bus. First we stopped besides dunes 100m in height. Both Shig and Sue began to climb with difficulty because one step up resulted in half-step slide-down. We climbed half way. While we were driving, the bus stopped suddenly and the guide came back with a chameleon, which we saw for the first time. There were blackish glass-like lava rocks around. The guide called them "dolerites". Anyway, when the African continent was separated from South America by the welling up lava, these Cambrian rocks were formed. They were the base rocks. No wonder that diamonds were found around here. As we drove further north, we saw a "moonscape" where the Cambrian base rock was exposed and eroded by the water current some 400 million years ago. We drove into the moonscape and saw a strange plant of "Welwitschia mirabilis". We saw four plants there, two male and two female. They were called living fossils, not only because they were typically 600-800 years old and the biggest one in the photo was believed to be 1500 years old, but also because these plants were positioned at the root of the all botanical spiecies. We drove into Swakop riverbed to take lunch in the tree shades, and saw bushman's settlement. Finally we drove into the resort town of Swakopmund, for cake and tea in Swakopmund Hotel. We looked around the beach and headed back to the ship.

    After a short recess in the cabin, we went out again, this time for the all passenger special event of "Dinner under the desert stars". Big tents were situated in a valley between sand dunes, and we were welcomed by a group of local ladies in traditional colorful dresses, a chorus by male and female youths, and a herd of camels. Sue and Shig rode on the camel for the first time to walk around on the sand. Then we both climbed up to one of the dunes again, say 70m high. When we reached the top, the sky was almost dark but Shig took a good picture of Sue with lighted tents in the background. We took a buffet dinner in the tent seated together with Gene & Betty and two Fathers, listening to the beautiful chorus. After the dinner, when Sue came near the chorus in order to take some pictures, the chorus members began to dance making a ring, and Sue was involved in it. Shig regretted that he didn't have time to watch the stars there. The sky was clear and stars were beautiful. Shig thought that we could see the same sky on the roof of the ship with more time, but it was an optimistic mistake. The Southern Cross was seen on the ship, but not small stars.

 昨夜Luderitzを発つ際に何かトラブルがあって出航が遅れ、今朝Walvis Bayに接岸するのが50分ほど遅れた。空が重く曇っていて、天気が心配された。しかし後で分かった所では、海岸の天気と内陸の砂漠の天気は全く別だった。海岸の雲と靄は50km内陸には達し得ないらしい。南半球では黒潮とは逆に反時計回りの海流が流れる。アフリカの東側は赤道からの海流が暖かいため水蒸気も沢山上り山にぶつかって雨となる。アフリカの西側では南極からの海流が冷たく水蒸気が少ない上に山が無いから雨が降らず、砂漠地帯が続く。

 10am頃バスで砂漠探訪のツアに出た。最初に100mほどの高さの砂丘のそばに止まった。二人とも面白がって登ったのだが、一歩上ると半歩ズリ落ちるため登りはきつかった。半分くらいまで登った。バスで進むうちにバスが急に止まり、ガイドがカメレオンを捕まえて戻ってきた。カメレオンを見るのは初めてだ。 辺りには黒ずんだガラス質の溶岩があった。ガイドはこれをDoleritesと呼んだが、伊豆で見る玄武岩にそっくりだ。ともあれ、溶岩が噴出してアフリカ大陸と南アメリカ大陸とを押し分けたときに、このカンブリアン紀の岩が出来たそうだ。基礎岩盤だという。この辺りでダイヤモンドが出てくるのも道理だ。さらに北に進むと月面風景のようなところに出た。カンブリアン紀の岩盤が露出し、4億年前まではあった水流で浸食されてできた地形だという。月面風景の中に入って行き、Welwitschia mirabilisという名の不思議な植物を見た。2株は雄、2株は雌の4株があった。生きた化石と言われる理由は、典型的には600-800年の樹齢で特に大きい写真の株は1500年と言われているだけでなく、植物の系統図の中で根元の辺りに位置付けられるからだそうだ。Swakop川の枯れた川底の木陰で昼食をとり、ブッシュマンの家をみた。最後にリゾートの町Swakopmundに入り、Swakopmund Hotelでお茶とケーキをご馳走になった。海岸を見物してから船に取って返した。

 Illinois Centralという帽子をかぶった人を見かけ、驚いて聞いたらその社長を務めて引退した人だった。Illinois大の側を通る思い出深い鉄道会社なので話がはずんだ。

 船室で少し休んで直ぐまた出かけ、今度は"Dinner under the desert stars"という全船客招待の催しに出掛けた。砂丘の間の谷に大きなテントが設営されていて、色鮮やかな伝統ドレスの現地のおばさん達、男女若者によるコーラス隊、駱駝の一群に迎えられた。スミヱと重悳は初めて駱駝に乗り、周囲を一回りした。それから2人で70mかそこらの砂丘にまた登った。午前の砂丘より勾配がゆるく足元が崩れ難いためいくらか登り易かった。頂上に達する頃空はほとんど暗くなっていたが、灯りのともったテントを背景にしたスミヱの写真を重悳は撮ることができた。コーラスを聴きながらバイキングの夕食をテントでとった。Gene & Bettyおよび牧師お2人と一緒だった。夕食が終わってスミヱが写真を撮ろうとコーラスに近付いた時にメンバが踊り始め、輪ができた。スミヱはこれに巻き込まれて写真そっちのけで踊った。重悳は星空観察の時間がとれなかったことを悔やんだ。空は晴れて星は綺麗だった。同じ空が船の屋上からもっとゆっくり見られるだろうと思ったのが大間違いで、南十字星は見えたが小さな星は見えなかった。

April 12, 2002

    Before leaving by bus, Shig walked through stall shops on the pier and bought malachite wrist rings and necklaces quite reasonably. We left by bus for Swakopmund again, this time for shopping. The town was developed as a port town by Germans and bacame recently a sightseeing town. The first stop was a carpet weaving manufacturer. We didn't buy anything in fear of making the baggage any bigger, but watching weaving was interesting. Then we stopped at a crystal and stone shop. There were a couple of things we liked to buy for souvenirs, but we didn't buy anything here, either, because stone things were all heavy. We visited a tannery and then a curio shop near Hansa Hotel. We walked along a street to a plaza where stall vendors were selling handcrafts. There we bought many items very inexpensively. We headed back to the ship in time for the aboard time of 1:30pm.

    After all, the country of Namibia was found a desert country with a little green but much mining resources, with German language, culture and deligence everywhere. But Walvis Bay, where the ship came alongside, was more Afrikaner, because it was a part of South Africa until 1994.

    There were two lectures; one for sightseeing information on the next port of call, St. Helena, and the other was on the personal history of Napoleon. Shig found it interesting that Napoleon had been far from invincible. He seemed a lucky ambitious man.

    It was an "Informal" evening. We were seated together with Dr. Bill & Dorothy, and Mark & Pat. Sue took salmon fillet and Shig took shrimp tempura. After dinner, we enjoyed a show by an Australian male singer, Stephen Fisher-King.

 バスが出発する前に重悳は埠頭の露店を一回りして当地特産の孔雀石で出来た腕輪とネックレスを非常に安く買った。バスでドイツ人が港町として発展させ、最近は観光で食っているSwakopmundの町に再び行った。今日は買い物が目的だ。最初の停車場所は絨毯製造工場だった。荷物が重くなることを恐れて何も買わなかったが、絨毯を編む工程の見学は面白かった。次に水晶と貴石の店に行った。鉱物がこの国の特産だ。お土産に買いたく思ったものも2-3点あったが、石製品はみな重いのでここでも何も買わなかった。しかし世界最大の水晶の塊(Cluster)を見た。革製造工場を訪れ、革ではなくバックルの良いのがあったので買った。1匹分の小動物の革が\500くらいからあった。Hansa Hotelの近くのお土産物屋に入ってみると、店の人がドイツ語で話していた。町の看板もドイツ語が多い。通りを抜けて手工芸品の露天が並ぶ広場に行った。ここではかなり安く色々なものを買った。急いで船に戻り1:30pmの乗船時間に間に合った。

 結局Namibiaは砂漠の国で、緑はほとんどないが鉱物資源が豊富で、ドイツ語とドイツの文化と真面目さが至るところにある国だった。但し船が入港したWalvis Bayは別だ。元々南アフリカのAfrikanerが開発した港町で、1994年にMandela大統領が大決断してNamibiaに譲るまでは南アフリカの領土だったから、Afrikanerの文化圏だった。

 今日は早くも次に備えて2つの講義があった。一つは次の寄港地St. Helenaの観光案内、もう一つはNapoleonの前半生だった。Napoleonは常勝将軍だったように理解していたが、決してそうではなかったことを学び面白いと思った。運の良い野心家だったようだ。

 今晩はInformalの日で、夕食はDr. Bill & Dorothy、Mark & Patと一緒だった。スミヱはサケの切り身を、重悳はエビのテンプラを食べた。食後のショーはオーストラリアの男性歌手Stephen Fisher-Kingの歌を楽しんだ。低音から高音まで、pppからfffまで美しい声を持つ歌手だった。

April 13, 2002

    By yesterday, we have completed "Africa series", and we are crossing the Atlantic Ocean for "Brazil series". On our way, we'll stop by at St. Helena Island, which is an isolated island in the midst of the Ocean. Three days to St. Helena and five days to Rio de Janeiro. It is interesting that there is no island on the Atlantic except St. Helena, while there are many on the Pacific. We may feel bored.

    For the first time on board, Shig went to the Beauty Salon on the ship for hair cut. Shig doesn't usually care about hair cut in Japan, and his specification to the barber is usually only "Please cut ordinarily". But Shig thought that it would not work here and he referred to the dictionary to learn words like "hairline" and "sideburns" in advance, but he forgot to remember the word "clippers". Therefore he had a hard time to discuss clippers. Shig was proud that he could specify how to cut after all. Hair cut in English was for the first time since he was a graduate student in US. Hair cut fee was $40. Everything is expensive here on board.

    We attended two lectures today, one on Napoleon again, and the other on jewelries of Brazil. Sue found the latter more interesting. We enjoyed a pre-dinner show by The Peter Grey Terhune singers of 1960's songs.

    It was a "Casual" evening. We dined with Professor Martin & Renee Glassner, and Bill & Phyl. Both Shig and Sue ate Japanese Sushi as appetizer and meat spagetti as the main course.

 昨日までで「アフリカ・シリーズ」を終わり、「ブラジル・シリーズ」を目指して今日から大西洋を渡る。途中で大洋にポツンと浮かぶSt. Helena島に立ち寄る。St. Helenaまで3日間、Rio de Janeiroまで5日間の旅だ。太平洋には沢山島があるのに、大西洋にはSt. Helena以外に島がほとんどないのは面白い。飽きるかな?「大西洋は初めてか?」と聞く人が居て、「Cruiseが初めてだからOceanは全て初めて」と答えたらびっくりしていた。

 船に乗って初めて重悳は船のBeauty Salonに行って散髪をして貰った。日本では散髪に気を使わない重悳は、通常床屋で「フツウ」というだけで散髪してもらっている。ここでは"Ordinarily"は通用しないのではないかと「生え際」とか「もみあげ」とかの単語を辞書を引いていったのだが、「バリカン」を調べて行くのを忘れ、こちらは苦労の末現物主義で通じさせた。予想通り色々「専門用語」で議論することになったが、結局意思を通じさせることができたぞと重悳は自慢した。重悳が英語で散髪したのは留学生の時以来初めてだった。$40取られたが、とにかくサッパリして良かった。これで帰国までもつだろう。

 2つの講義に出席した。一つはNapoleonの後半生、一つは半ば宣伝でBrazilの宝石についてだった。スミヱは勿論後者の方に興味を持った。夕食前に行われたThe Peter Grey Terhuneの歌手4人による1960年代の歌のショーを楽しんだ。

 ”Casual"の夕べだった。一緒に食事したのはProfessor Martin & Renee Glassner、およびBill & Phylだった。重悳もスミヱもAppetizerの寿司とメインのミートスパゲッティを食べた。

'02/ 4/13 Namibia    若い黒人の国Namibiaは、砂漠と砂丘と鉱物の国だった。

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