Day 63 - Senegal
|Monday, December 11, 2023: We awoke a little after sunrise already tied to the pier in Dakar.
|The captain made an unusually early announcement about the concrete barriers running the length of the pier causing difficulty with the gangway, but that they hoped that they would be able to overcome the problem soon.
|We could see the start of downtown Dakar from our balcony. The rest of the city was obscured by haze.
|After a leisurely breakfast of pancakes and French toast, we heard the crickets again from our balcony. When we went out to investigate, there were only two carcasses from our kills the previous night. The remaining cricket was only mostly dead, and made the mistake of chirping while Tom was looking for him. We made sure this time that he was completely dead.
|We packed up our backpack and headed down to the pier to take the shuttle bus into the city and have a look around. There were colorfully dressed members of the local tourism board handing out souvenirs at the end of the gangway when we disembarked.
|There were lines of shuttles waiting for passengers, ...
|... but when we went onto one, it was filthy and we immediately spotted a mosquito. We changed our mind about going into town, ...
|... and headed back onto the ship before we were bitten.
|Back on board, we walked through the Gallery Bar, ...
|... and wondered where their art came from.
|Tucked back behind the casino, the Gallery Bar is a cosy little place with a gaming table that was flashing the logo for the Unreal Engine, recognized as the world's most successful video game engine. It surprised us that it was controlling games in a casino, but it probably shouldn't have.
|Back in our cabin, we looked at the souvenirs we had been given on the pier. They were wooden handicrafts with a business card from the tourism board.
|We headed up to the Lido to kill time while our stewards cleaned our room and our dead-cricket-filled balcony.
|From the port side of the ship, we could see much more of downtown Dakar.
|As we sat there, the staff captain led a group of Senegalese officials through the Lido. They were accompanied by TV news crews, and went out to the Sea View Pool. The captain had told us that the Senegalese government wanted to bring 100 officials onboard but the captain limited it to10.
|We watched as a ship came into our narrow channel and maneuvered to a berth near all of the parked cars and buses.
|An entire flight of these birds circled over the water, ...
|... apparently hunting fish in the water beside the ship.
|When we left the Lido, we noticed that the Senegalese officials were still on the pool deck, and you can see Captain Friso at the back of the pack. We learned later that they were doing an interview on national television, and that it was a first for the captain. How fun!
|Back in our cabin, we went out on our balcony to look at the newly arrived ship, and noticed a man on the pier scooping up garbage in the water.
|Here's a closer look. In all of the ports we'd be in on this trip, we'd seen a lot of floating trash, but this was the first time we'd seen someone trying to clean it up.
|It turned out that our cabin stewards only took the big bug carcasses off our balcony, so Tom used our little dustpan and broom that we'd bought in Durban and did a more thorough sweeping of the smaller bug carcasses we'd been collecting.
|For lunch, we went to the Italian station and got pasta, but then we also went to the Asian station and got spring rolls and sushi. It's so great to not have to commit to one region of food per meal!
|While we ate, we saw a huge school of silver fish swarming at the surface of the water. Were they feeding on something? Were they being attacked by something? We have no idea, but it was amazing to watch.
|LEGO Debbie and Tom were safe from shipwrecks thanks to the Les Mamelles lighthouse.
|In the mid-afternoon, we watched as trucks brought provisions to the pier to be loaded onto the ship.
|There were barrels and pallets stacked up, waiting to be loaded. The concrete barriers that had caused difficulty with the gangway were now preventing them from loading supplies onto the ship with forklifts.
|There were boxes of sweetened condensed milk, ...
|... and regular milk, ...
|... bags of potatoes, ...
|... and sacks of melons. Lots of good stuff.
|There was handwriting on this box indicating that there were ginger candies inside. Treats for the crew? Ingredients for desserts?
|This pallet had a mix of items including peanut paste.
|All of the pallets had numbered shore excursion stickers on them. Maybe that's how they indicated what should be loaded next?
|There were using a forklift to bring pallets over near the ship's loading entrance, ...
|... and then hooking slings through the pallet bottom and using a crane to transfer it to the ship. It was very time-consuming.
|A crew member walked among the pallets on the pier and compared them to a list of expected supplies. That's a pile of pomegranates behind him.
|We were fascinated and watched them for quite a while.
|We watched as a single box, one, was unloaded from the truck, ...
|... and carefully stacked on a pallet. Handle those Snickers with care, guys!
|Hatching eggs? Better use those up quickly.
|We were scheduled to depart at 6:00 PM, but around 4:30 PM the captain announced that loading the supplies was taking longer than expected and that he'd pushed back our departure until 8:00 PM.
|We went to the main dining room for dinner, ...
|... where we had tomato basil soup ...
|... and jumbo shrimp cocktail for our starters.
|We'd come here because they were serving steak and lobster tonight, ...
|... and while the steak was cooked perfectly, Debbie's lobster was unfortunately served raw. She didn't have the heart to send it back nor the stomach to eat it.
|After dinner, we murdered another giant cricket on the balcony. Cricket pro tip: don't chirp outside Tom and Debbie's cabin. You gonna die.
|The loading process was still going on, but they had abandoned the crane and were now loading the ship one box at a time. It seemed to be going faster that way.
|Still, there were a lot of boxes still to be loaded.
|Lots of boxes.
|Lots and lots of potatoes.
|When our cabin steward came to turn down our room, he brought us presents: two duffel bags that fold down to a very compact size, ...
|... but are huge when opened. They had roller wheels on one end and the Holland America Grand Africa 2023 logo on them. Yay!
|Back out on the balcony, there were lots of birds flying toward the trees at the end of the pier, ...
|... and a hint of blue sky peeking above the smog.
|We caught the tail end of the evening call to prayer from a mosque somewhere near the harbor.
|There was a pallet of something covered in silver insulation that they were preparing to hoist aboard using the crane. Frozen food, perhaps?
|A little before 8:00 PM, everything was finally loaded and the ship was maneuvering away from the pier.
|The harbor looked lovely lit up at night.
|We dropped off our harbor pilot as soon as we cleared the breakwater, ...
|... and passed the KARMOL LNGT Powership Africa as we departed mainland Africa, headed west.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy