Month: July 2012

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 6

Blog written by Seb & Nora

What an eventful day! Off to a not so great start for our first day on PANGAEA, with wind speeds of 40 knots and 20 foot high waves!

Just about everybody was bedridden throughout the day with seasickness, not a pleasant sight or smell.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was at dinner time, we’d managed to rouse everyone for some pasta and just as we all came out to the conference room about 3 people started spontaneously throwing up, so much for dinner, that sent everyone right back to bed. Luckily though neither Moose, Dima or Richard were around to capture that little moment for the Moose cut.

All duties for the day were cancelled, including the watch system, and Mike, Tristan and Jacek took control of the boat for the day.

Geberit School Project South Africa – DAY 6

Today was an exciting one as it was our first day working with the kids back at school after their school holidays!

After a successful morning presentation on Pangaea message and our current Geberit Project at the big community hall, we gave a presentation on hygiene and tooth brushing to the younger children before we joined together with all the school kids to do a massive school cleanup! We were all amazed by their energy and enthusiasm in getting involved with cleaning the environment! One hour, and FIFTY full black bags of rubbish later, we were all so proud to see the school evolving into a cleaner and more beautiful area!

While some played soccer with the local children, other prepared for our community murals by painting the walls. We were all relieved to see the food garden healthy and in place after the torrential downpour over the weekend! Everything is looking great and we are excited by our steady process as well as the growing involvement of the school and surrounding community!

All in all, today was an excellent one, Involving the kids and making cleaning our environments fun and worthwhile!

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 5

Blog written by Anika and Robert

After a stormy night, we woke up early and drove to Walvis Bay to see Pangaea for the first time. The excitement had built over the three-day trek and we couldn’t wait to see what would be our home for the next two weeks.

After unloading our gear and settling into our tiny bunks, we took a brief tour of the boat and then headed back to land to see Dune 7. The highest in the world and over three million years old, it was quite exciting to climb to the top and and look upon the barren desert that stretched in every direction. After sprinting down the face, we boarded Pangaea and set sail south towards the Orange River.

As the sun set, we motored out of Walvis Bay into a huge storm.

Sailing South

36 hours of rough seas – a rather difficult introductiion to sailing for the Young Explorers as they sail south down the Namibian Coastline towards Cape Town. The seas have now calmed down and the Young Explorers are learning the ropes of crewing on board Pangaea.

Geberit School Project South Africa-Day 3

By Theresa and Livio

Today was a special day because it was Quentin’s Birthday. At 5 past mid night we woke him up by singing Happy Birthday and bringing a tasty chocolate cake. After a short celebration we went back to bed.

When we arrived in the school this morning the workers, parents and staff from the school were already working on the food garden, which is our main project for the next few days. We really appreciate the effort the local people are bringing into the project and so we could progress even more than we have expected.
During the morning some of us were working hard in the garden and other went organising all the supplies we need for painting the walls. Even if we are at the school only for a few days we are working all together like a big family. Also the kids are helping us during the holidays and we had a lot of fun together by painting the walls and even sometimes ourselves ☺.

Before we went to Port Elizabeth we didn’t know how much the community will help us with the project but today we realised that with our presence and initiatives we can start the project in which everyone from the community supports us and thus makes it not only our project but also their project. We are very happy about this because we know when we aren’t at the school anymore the project will go on.

Today we left the school a bit earlier to go to Jeffrey´s Bay where the Billabong pro surfing tournament took place. It was incredible to see how they danced with their surfboard over the waves.

As the day before we had a lot of new experiences especially culturally.

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 4

Blog written by Kate and Laura

The day began with a bit of a surprise – instead of walking first thing, we went to a salt spring to soothe our aching muscles. After driving back past our campsite from last night, we arrived at the spring. The murky, green water was luckily warmer than we expected as shivering, we stripped off and hopped in. The high salt content of the water made the water especially buoyant, and also left our faces and hair white with salt! We kept Dima happy by making shapes in the water.

After showers (yay!) we began hiking again. Starting after lunch, it was only a short walk, 20km, along the coast where we saw our first ship wreck of the skeleton coast and walked past yet another endlessly long and empty campsite! Mike told us stories of his adventures and we learnt more about the desert, landscape and vegetation we passed. It was after dark before we reached the campsite and the night was clear for a change (no fog) so we saw our first sunset and the Southern Cross. We eventually arrived at the campsite where it was blowing a gale, so after putting packs into the tents to hold them up, we built a sand wall to break the wind a little. We didn’t blow away, but it was a pretty noisy night!

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 3

Blog written by Anika and Robert

We got off to an early start at 8:00 A.M. and continued walking south towards Henties Bay.

After walking for 10 minutes, we noticed the 4×4 was stuck in the mud. For the next hour, we tried all sorts of techniques to free the vehicle from the “pudding.” Drenched in “pudding” and making no progress, we hiked off to the beach to take water samples.

Soon after, local fishermen and police showed up to help, but quickly left after deciding the “pudding” would likely ensnare them as well. We finally gave up digging and resumed walking for hours through unchanging landscape.

Sand seemed to stretch endlessly in every direction, which made it difficult to judge our progress. By 5:00 P.M., we came within sight of Henties Bay which appeared to be quite small but was actually vast in size. We reached our camp site, in someone’s back yard, and rushed to set up our tents before dinner.

Our feet were hurting and blistered so we looked forward to a nice rest because we knew that more hiking was waiting for us the next day.

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 2

Blog written by Kate and Sebastian

Up nice and early in preparation for our first day of hiking in the Namib Desert! Bags all packed we sent the majority of our stuff to PANGAEA and then hopped in the buses and drove, and drove and drove, past two police checks! We just kept going and this worried us, because over the next four days we knew we had to walk back that distance. Finally we arrived at Cape Cross and checked out the seal colony living there, 15000 noisy seals crowded the beach and swore at us as we took photos.

Eventually (at 2pm) we put on our packs and took the first steps of our long hike. Not more than 100m down the road we stopped, a local police car whizzed up and two men hopped out, where are you going, they asked us, after much discussion with Mike they told us that we had to drive back outside of the Cape Cross reserve before we could begin our hike…so off we went back to the main road, parked and began once again.
And once again only several minutes of hiking in a police car whizzed up to tell us off for whatever we were doing. This time however Mike successfully talked them out and we continued on our journey. We walked across salt flats and hardened sand and lots and lots of loose sand. Despite the desolate landscape we saw birds, flamingos, jackal footprints and even a springbok! Four hours and around 20 km later we arrived at Mile 72, perhaps the longest campsite in the world, with not a soul to be seen…anywhere. Head torches on we pitched our tents, ate some dinner and crawled into our sleeping bags for a cosy nights sleep.

YEP 12 Africa Expedition – Day 1

Blog written by Oliver and Nadja

It was hugs and smiles as we all reunited in the Johannesburg airport!

It was colder than we had expected but tucked up in our Mike Horn Jackets it was easy to spot one another and our group slowly grew to its full size. We did our best to catch up on everything that had happened in the 8 weeks since the Selection Camp in Switzerland before we had to hop on another plane departing to Walvis Bay Namibia.

Once on the plane we each tried to catch as much sleep as possible but on such a short flight that wasn’t much of an option. The view from the plane was somewhat of a spectacle. We were amazed and a bit confused as there was nothing to see but the vast continuing waves of sand.

The first thing waiting for us in Namibia was a long queue at the passport check. Dima and Richard were quite impatient so they tried to sneak through imigration towards us waiting in line. Their petty crime further halted the process of imigration and got themselves kicked out.

After meeting Luke at the airport, we went to leave our bags at the Bed and Breakfast that we’ll be staying at for the night.

All of us wanted to head down to the beach as soon as possible, so after a short introduction by Luke and Roswitha we got our cameras and went to the coast. The water seemed inviting so all of us took our shoes off and got our feet wet, which was very relaxing. It was also interesting to see jellyfish lying on the sand.

We’re looking forward to days ahead of us and can’t wait to go explore sand dunes that surround us. Welcome to Africa!

Mike is in a constant state of travel and adventure , so keep up to date on all his expeditions !