The Gambia

1st Oct - 14th Oct, 2021

We arrived in Banjul, The Gambia, after a fast and fun passage from Gran Canaria. It took us 6.8 days. And we averaged 6.3 Knots. We mostly had 15-20 knots beam reach. We saw lots of dolphins and pilot whales.

Now some nerdy fun facts!

The shortest great circle distance is 859 Nautical Miles. We sailed 1026 Nautical Miles to get here. We deliberately stayed 150NM off of the coast of Africa to avoid the shipping lanes and "local interaction".

We ran the engine 38.5 Hours (23.4%) during the passage. Mostly at the end after we've entered the ITCZ (The Intertropical Convergence Zone, known by sailors as the doldrums or the calms because of its monotonous windless weather).

We got 208.6 Ah/day from Solar, 17.3 Ah/day from Wind, and 135 Ah/day from Hydro, a total of 360.8 Ah/day during the passage. Which is what was needed to fill the batteries every day.

First Sunrise over Africa

Fresh fish delivered on the the deck overnight, straight from the ocean

Breakfast is served :-)

We also got a squid on the deck

We suddenly got a free passenger, a cute bird. I don't think it was a sea bird. I gave him water and crackers and he seamed happy about that

We also got company from dolphins and Pilot Whales from time to time. They always cheer you up :-)

Happy at anchor in Banjul, The Gambia

Anchored in Banjul. Hopefully better anchored than the half sunken ship in front of us

Banjul is a busy commercial harbor and the Capitol of The Gambia. No marina for pleasure boats. So we anchored right outside the guarded Coast Guard dock

The clearing in process to The Gambia took five hours and lots of walking around to different authorities in the harbor. Our local agent, Mohammed, was a hero we could not have done this without him.

After the health authorities, that went really fast, next stop was immigration two doors down. We spent at least an hour here to wait for the Boss who was the only one who was authorized to stamp our passports. At least they had air conditioning here which was very nice

We walked around the harbor area making our way around all the trucks and big water puddles since it rained on and off to get to the Customs office

Outside the harbor area we came across the Swedish Consulate. It is on the top floor of the tall building

At the Swedish Consulate in Banjul, Gambia

It is also the Norwegian Consulate. But they didn't have a Norwegian flag

The local car mechanic "shop". Cars everywhere

We visited the OCC Port Officer of The Gambia, Samba Sey, in his home. Here we are holding up the OCC Burgee. Samba is very helpful and the best host

This man came up to us outside Samba's house and started to talk perfect Swedish. He's been living in Sweden for many years. Knew the names of more cities than we do in Sweden

Interesting dock to the dinghy

Ready for the mosquitos in The Gambia

We got these two boxes of medicine from Augustin Martin, the OCC Port Officer i Grand Canaria. We committed to deliver them to a doctor in Banjul, The Gambia

After our arrival in Banjul we finally arrived at the hospital where we will deliver the medicine

We handed over the very welcoming medicine to Dr Alieu, in the Banjul hospital. Samba Sey, The OCC PO and Mohammed our agent came along

On our way up the river. Our friend Samba Sey happily took the wheel right away

Our anchorage by the Senigambia bridge.

We closely checked the tide to make sure we timed the lowest tide

Beautiful sunset on our way back to Horizon in our dinghy

The bridge by night

We were out scouting in the dinghy in the evening when it was suppose to be low tide. We brought our range finder to try to measure the bridge from the water. We also checked the level on the pilings next to the bridge so we can compare tomorrow morning when we make our attempt to go under

This was the piling the next day. Very similar to last evenings low tide

Perfect beautiful calm morning for our adventure, to clear the bridge.

The current is still pretty strong though, as you can see in the picture

Anders is the scout up the mast to check the clearance to the bridge

And I am down below steering Horizon safely under the bridge with the guidance from Anders at the top. The marriage savers are a great help here so we can easily communicate

We cleared the Senegambia bridge with 5cm to spare to the Windex, whilst the VHF antenna was scraping the bottom of the bridge... thrilling.. Great to have Samba Sey guiding us up the river.

Time to celebrate in Jägermeister! Well accomplished mission :-)

Next were the power lines, but they where 45m up so not to worry, Pjuh

Our friend and guide, Samba Sey, happily steered the boat the whole trip

And here is Samba happy in his cabin

The water got fresh but really muddy when we got further upstream

A typical fishing man in his canoe, they call them Pirogues

A typical village along the river. Happy people waving to us, and kids jumping in to the water to cool off

The ever changing sceneries along the river...

Our anchorage at Bird Island

Sunset over the river Gambia, by Bird Island

Dinghy trip at Bird Island. So many birds at this tiny island. Now we know why they named it Bird Island ;-)

Horizon is anchored behind Bird Island

The highlight of the river trip was of course the Hippos. Unfortunately we didn't get very good pictures but the experience was just amazing. This Hippo is actually jawing, opening his mouth fully but to the other side with his back against us

Kontaur village is next to the Baboon National Park. Lots of happy people standing and waving to us. Some was washing clothes in the river, some was swimming and taking a "shower" in the river

This is the old, now empty and not used warehouses. Ships used to come up the river to get rice and peanuts, but now instead they come with trucks

Kontaur village at sunset

Baboon island is a National Park. The rangers came to us to explain the rules in the park, where we could anchor and we paid the fee for the park. They were really nice and helpful

We saw a lot of Baboons in the trees on Baboon island. Unfortunately we couldn't catch them with our cell phones

Beautiful colors on Baboon island

Lush green on Baboon Island

Horizon is anchored right outside the Baboon National Park. Baboon Island is right behind us

Birds nests in the bushes

Dinghy excursion in a side river. The Mangrove roots are pretty impressive

More impressive Mangroves

View of Horizon from one of the side rivers

In the side river with the dinghy. The mangrove changed into rice fields

We made it out! Not much margin this time either. Next new moon isn't until November 4th. So glad we made it. The extra thrill this time was that low tide and slack water wasn't even near each other. we had 2 knot current downstream, towards the bridge. Not much wiggle room... Time for Jägermeister

Anders is at the top of the mast, very close to the bridge

Interesting dock to Tendaba Camp. This is high tide. When we came in the next morning it was low tide and we could hardly get up on the dock

The new welcoming bar was closed, but beautiful paintings all around

The founder of Tendaba camp was a Swedish man. Here are some old pictures of him. So everyone here sees Swedes as family. This camp is known for Bore hunting and having bores on the menu.

At Tendaba camp. I fit right in

Beautiful paintings on the walls in Tendaba camp, explaining what they have to offer

Love this Bird Guide

Lots of these native sculptures around the camp. These are guarding the pool

A Bird Tree. The whole tree where full of these bird nests and small cute yellow birds

This is the beautiful Boss Lady of Tendaba Camp

Gambia has a lot of different tribes. Being a swede we laugh a little by this name. But once again beautiful paintings in the Tendaba camp

We found a crocodile

I have a hate/love relationship to this sign

Anders and Samba on the way out to the dinghy on this interesting dock...

This is the Fula man

Visited the historical Kunta Kinteh Island

History of the island of Kunta Kinteh

The ruins of the fort on Kunta Kinteh island

Oh No they are aiming for Horizon

On our way back down the river towards Banjul, we visited Albreda the birth town of Kunta Kinteh.

We stopped by the school to hand out some gifts in form of school supplies, soaps and more. It was a wonderful and very appreciated visit. The kids are the cutest, you want to hug them all

Going Native ;-)

Very Powerful statue in the village. Never again! Never Forget!

We visited the local school in Albreda to donate school supplies , soap bars and more

This is me with the two wonderful happy teachers

One of the two class rooms. There were probably 20 kids in each classroom. They were all so cute and happy, so you just wanted to hug them all

Outside the school house, time to say Good bye. A very memorable and appreciated visited. I am so impressed by the Gambian people, they always have a smile on their face and they are so helpful, thankful and happy.

We had another free passenger. A frog was happily rested on our windwane rudder

Karim, a very nice local, welcomed us and helped us with everything we needed. Here he is happily paddling away with our laundry

Karim and us on Horizon

We anchored in the mangrove river by the Lamin Lodge. It was a lot of boats, in different states moored/anchored here. Some pay for people to look after their boats when they are gone. Some don't. You can tell the different. We met a French guy who has have his boat here for five years. He has it as his vacation home

At the top floor of Lamin Lodge with view over Horizon at anchor

Lots of monkeys at Lamin Lodge. And I just Love the beautiful paintings

The monkeys were so cute and curious. You could have hand fed them

Karim organized a taxi to take us to a Supermarket. Very well stocked, and they accepted credit cards

Stopped by a local market to buy fresh fruit and vegetables

Walking back to our dinghy with all our groceries

This is were the kids cool off during the hottest hours. They came from Lamin Village. Swam and jumped in the water. Lots of laughter

We left Banjul, The Gambia on the morning tide and with first morning light

Next stop Cape Verde....

We started our day at the same time as the commuter between Senigal and The Gambia

And we also passed many local fishing boats, Piroges, coming back in after the night

Cape Verde here we come....