Across the Desert to the Sea by Katherine McClain
We have packed up our bags for the last time. We said our goodbyes to our tents, the toilet, showers, kitchen and library and head through the gates one last time. I stared through the window of the car and watched Wereldsend become a small green dot in the middle of the desert. Wereldsend; our home, our oasis was fading away before our eyes but never from our hearts.
After leaving Wereldsend we headed west toward the Skeleton Coast for our last bush camping extravaganza. Once we arrived in Mowe Bay we all decided to explore the rocks along the coast. We sat a watched the waves crash against the rocks causing a huge explosion of water only meters in front of us. The cape seals would worm their bodies through the water and we enjoyed getting a glimpse of them as they jumped in and out of the water. We were all so excited to finally be looking out into the ocean, it was the first time we had seen any large body of water since coming to Namibia.
Our second day in Mowe Bay we went exploring to the seal colony that was not too far away from camp. The smell hit us first. As we approached the smell of death and feces overpowered us. We looked to the water and saw tons of seals chasing the waves. They looked like they were having a blast riding the waves into the shore. We followed the stench over some rocks and found the culprits. There they were, hundreds and maybe even thousands of seals wiggling their fat bodies over the rocks, scrambling to try to get away from the mysterious creatures that had just appeared out of nowhere. We watched them clumsily trip over themselves on land then flop into the sea where they quickly glided away. The seals that once had occupied the shore were now in the sea popping their heads up to stare at us, waiting for us to leave. Lisa said it looked like the ocean was boiling with seals and it really did it was insane. After the seals we decided to head over to the shipwreck that was a 45 minute walk north of camp. The remains of what I’m sure were a very large ship, is now just a mere pile of rust. The oceans’ unrelenting waves and rocky shore now possessed the ship reminding it of defeat with a slap of every incoming wave.
We all climbed up and found a spot on a rock right next to the wreck overlooking the sea. We sat in silence as we listened to the rush of the ocean, the bubbling of rocks being led in and out of the shore. We looked out into the endless ocean all knowing what was on the other side. In just a couple more days we would cross that ocean taking our first big leap back into society. We all got up from our spots and headed back to camp. A confused feeling of bittersweet sadness washed over me as I looked back toward the ocean. I turned to look back at the sand dunes to the left. Somehow, someday I will come back here.