November 4, Mon: Up very early and picked up by DaveSmith and driver to go to
airport for flight on Marine Diamond Corporation
plane. Driver talks excitedly about the recent welcome party of the new MDC
There's a long line and we barely make it on board. A two hour flight along a sandy coast to Alexander Bay, passing several pronounced spits.
Had interesting talk with Mr. van Zijl of the Permanente Bouwvereniging (a kind of credit union) who tells me that there's some 3 billion Rands available for investment in S.A.; that on December 6, Transkei will become an "independent" Black State; that Terra Marina, owning 7 African companies, also ons 12.5% of Collins' MDC.
At Alexander Bay, we were picked up by Dr. Charles Stocken, the CDM geologist, who drove the 15 kms to Oranjemund, crossing a relatively small bridge over the Orange River into South West Africa (SWA) - the present-day Namibia. He was a fellow alumnus of McGill's geology department, pleasant but rather reserved.
Although in the middle of the Namib desert, Oranjemund surprised us with many flowers and bushes, because hydroponics is a favorite hobby here.
We were welcomed by #2, Mr. Neil Shand, who admitted that they had been unsuccessful in trying to pump water from the sea. A few minutes later, we heard the same from the Director, Mr.Stan Devlin, who had some good jokes with and on Dave Smith.
Dr. Stocken showed us his data on three of the four raised marine terraces, of which the highest dips towards the north. Dave got highly excited and said that we simply must publish these data (which appeared to make Stocken - who had been here seven years without publishing anything - shiver) and that he would be happy to serve as a co-author and prepare the first draft!
That evening, we went to a house-warming party for Dr. Jim Guest and his pregnant wife Barbara. We also met Joe Wright, another geologist, and a geophysicist also named Jim - all three belonging to Britt Brock's Ocean Research Group of Anglo-American. We had some good talks, though Dave started to annoy rather than inspire us with his excessive enthousiasm.