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Namibia's Skeleton Coast, is a notorious stretch of water and greatly feared by mariners,it has a wonderful name and a terrible reputation.The unpredictable currents and sandbanks combine with impenetrable dense fogs that roll in off the sea,to make this a graveyard for ships and whales alike,whilst the unforgiving desert hinterland makes this one of the worst places in the world to be marooned.
Stuck hard and fast in the sand for nearly a century at Conception Bay,some considerable distance from the wild oceans that first stranded it there, was what remained of the corroded hulk of the freighter "Eduard Bohlen". The ships' crew lost thier way in the infamous dense fog so characteristic of this area,like so many mariners before them.Their final voyage ended tragically here as it ran aground in 1909.This used to be the original shoreline,but over the years the sand has migrated nearly half a kilometre westward out to sea, trapping it in the desert to rust slowly away into the sands.
This image for me personifies the loneliness and fragility of the human spirit in this unforgiving harsh environment.I can only image the growing feelings of desperation the survivors of the shipwreck must have experienced when they crawled up onto the beach thinking they had found salvation from a watery grave,only to cruely discover on climbing the nearest sand dune,an endless empty expanse of desert,with not much realistic hope of shelter from the blistering sun or finding fresh water.This coast of skeletons is full of bleached bones and very aptly named!
Also by Michael Diamond
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