MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Monday, October 9, 1995

Africa Journal - Camp Okavango

Monday, October 9, 1995

Camp Okavango - Cathy Gets a Big One

Edward has taken the Beast and left. He will meet us Wednesday at our next (and last) mobile camp in the Kalahari. We board a six seat uncovered powerboat for a three hour cruise through the delta to Okavango Camp. I am reminded of an airboat tour through the Everglades, but as I watch the towering grass and papyrus fly by, the comparison fades. This is truly a strange and wonderful place.

 The water is crystal clear. Giant storks and cranes are all around us. We startle crocs and hippos as we speed past. Around a bend we encounter an elephant, standing belly deep in the channel.

And clearly visible under all that water, the white sand of the Kalahari, silently absorbing the entire flow of the river, until it ultimately emerges less than a 100 kilometers distant, a dry and desolate desert.

The Okavango Camp sleeping tents are almost identical to Camp Moremi. The dining area, bar, and lounge are open and on ground level. The bar is better stocked and is manned by my new best friend Obie. After lunch we encounter Brutus, a tree monitor that patrols the camp.

Cathy's Fish - Wayne hangs his head in shame
That afternoon Sigrid, Manfred, and Amy decide to stay in camp and rest while Cathy, Wayne and I go fishing. Letto is our guide. Fishing consists of trolling a Mepps #3 behind the boat while Letto navigates the narrow waterways. A lot of time is spent reeling the lure in to clear snagged weeds. Wayne gets the first strike but loses it when the line breaks. Then Cathy lands a beautiful bright yellow-green Tilapia, which gives her First Fish and, as it turns out, Biggest Fish honors. I then bring in a Breem. The way he fights I think I’ve got a monster, but he is little more than half the size of Cathy’s fish. Finally, Cathy brings in a small Tilapia to finish the day and earn Most Fish honors - a clean sweep. Wayne got skunked.

My Fish
Cathy Celebrates Her Triumph

Back at camp, I celebrate my catch at Obie's bar with an Abelours (12 year old single malt scotch) served neat. Before dinner, I toast Cathy’s success with another. More South African red with dinner. We converse mostly with a Spanish doctor and his wife from the Canary islands. When I tell them my occupation, they want to talk about Bill Gates. They are stunned to learn that he is a trans-sexual. I am compelled to tell them the whole inspiring story, so familiar to all Americans in the high-tech industry. How Bill (then Wilma), a comely, curvaceous, and brilliant young programmer, finding her ambitions blocked at every turn by a sexist, male dominated computer industry, dropped out of college, flew to Sweden, and had the operation. The rest is history. The doctor is skeptical, until I ask him if he has ever heard Bill’s voice. He wants to know if there was a malpractice suit. I am amazed at how little they know about Bill in Spain.

That night I wake to see an elephant, in the light of a full moon, walk by the front of our tent, then pull down branches and eat them just outside of Wayne and Cathy’s. In the morning I learn that this is Bigfoot, a 42 year old bull elephant that has taken a liking to the trees in the camp. We are the same age. I wonder if we have the same birthday.


 This is a back-post / cross-post from my first on-line journal/blogging effort - a journal of our Southern Africa Tour in 1995. Originally posted to an abandoned domain (, the term "blog" had not yet entered the parlance. I am migrating the original posts to this blog. Links to the original journal Date Index or Africa Tour Home Page will likely eventually disappear. The images from the original post were graphics and screen caps from video which I am leaving in it's low-rez glory for historical integrity. My intent is to also add some of Sigrid's higher quality scanned photos to these blog back-posts.  The difference in images should be obvious.

No comments: