SAS SPIOENKOP visits Walvisbaai

Article and photos by Petty Officer Kevin Maytham

On a very misty Friday morning 11 October 2013, SAS SPIOENKOP made her maiden visit to the port of Walvis Bay. With the help of a very capable Harbour Pilot and tug boats, SAS SPIOENKOP was brought alongside almost effortlessly.

As soon as the brow touched the quayside, preparations started for a cocktail function to be held that same evening. With the help of every available hand, the hangar was decorated, serving tables set and the awning erected on the flight deck.

Col M. Mari welcoming the guests to the cocktail function

After a luncheon with a few Namibian naval officers, Officer Commanding, Capt M.A. Boucher was taken on a courtesy visit to the Municipality to meet the Deputy Mayor of Walvis Bay, Counsellor Benson Uakumbua as well as the Chief of Naval Operations, R Adm(JG) S.N.B. Nghipandwa at the Naval Base.


 Counsellor Benson Uakumbua

 Counsellor Benson Uakumbua and his wife

The cocktail function was held in true naval tradition as the officers mingled well with all guests attending. Among the guests was the South African High Commissioner to Namibia, Her Excellency miss Y.M. Myakayaka-Manzini, who welcomed the SAS SPIOENKOP and Ships Company in her speech. Apart from the outstanding hospitality, the guests were also treated to a spectacular Ceremonial Sunset Guard on the flight deck.

 During the courtesy call to the Naval Base

Officers and Guests mingling in the hangar during the cocktail function

SAS SPIOENKOP enters the misty port of Walvis Bay

 The Namib Desert has a certain beauty that has the ability to take your breath away

Saturday was reserved for some ships husbandry and the very much anticipated soccer and volleyball matches. Unfortunately a last minute venue change meant that the volleyball had to be cancelled. Luckily the soccer got underway without any problems and went really well with both teams finding the back of the net twice, until the home team snuck in a late goal to beat the SAS SPIOENKOP 3 - 2. The goal scorers were WO 2 T.G. Makwale and AB M. Fundi. The game was thoroughly enjoyed by players and supporters alike.

LS T.E. Matlabe clears the ball away from the box with a header

AB L.B. Phafuli using some fancy footwork to confuse the opponent

To make the visit to Walvis Bay even more memorable, the Ships Company was afforded the chance to go to and clime Dune 7 (One of the highest sand dunes in Africa, if not the world) and also to Swakopmund to do a bit of sightseeing. Some of the so called “adventure junkies” even took on the mighty Namib desert with nothing more than a helmet, goggles and a quad bike.

The Sunset Guard on a windy and chilly fight deck

The two teams and managers before the match. SAS SPIOENKOP in the maroon kit

With liberty expiring at 20h00 and all personnel present and accounted for, the pleasant stay in Namibia drew to a close as the Ships Company started to prepare SAS SPIOENKOP to sail further up the west coast of Africa on Monday morning.

 Lt Cdr M. Tabo out quad biking in the desert outside Walvis Bay