page 9 - November, 1963, South West Africa, CDM, Oranjemund
Ben Oostdam's Autobiography

November 7, Thursday: Met Messrs Morrow and DuToit about use of a draftsman and facilities. Then with Mr. Venske to workshop, where I met his brother. They had once built a small scale surfcrawler using a drawing from Popular Mechanics, and thought it a good idea to work with a full-size version. After lunch I visited Mr. Seldon in Geo Lab, and later that afternoon, we went to a waterhole to experiment with pumps and jets.

November 8: Security picked us up early: we only had to deposit our bags and coats, but did not have to go through Xray. Then by bus to the airport. At Capetown airport, we used an intercom to get Mr. Marx, who dealt in pumps and arranged for us to be picked up at 14:30 by another "facilitator", Mr. Derman. We checked into the Grand Hotel again, had lunch, and went to the OSESA office to meet with Dave Smith and John Hoyt.Later that afternoon, Derman's cousin took me to the registrar of Capetown University, who proved very helpful in explaining programs in oceanography , geology and engineering. I took a double decker bus back to the hotel where we had an elaborate dinner and ended up in the "Navigator's Den" till midnight.

November 9: In the morning, we called on the pump people and made our purchases. Late in the afternoon we took a bus to the Cable Car. Had a nice chat with the Director, who had fought in North Africa. Took many picts from the top, including 3 D's. Wrote p.c.'s home and to Rose. Saw the famous "Sabrina". Walked to Dave's for drinks and met S.A. diver. Dave took us to the hotel but we dined elsewhere. Visited a so-called "mixed bar" and an expensive club on the 22nd floor. Late night.

November 10, Sunday: We slept late, then met a busy, unshaven Dave in the office working on the progress report. I viewed my minox-photographs and looked over some of John Hoyt's charts and sections. Dave took us to his home for a mid-afternoon lunch. We called Marx and Derman and asked them to ship the pumps we had selected to Port Nolloth on board of our chartered vessel "Xhosa Coast" on Monday. Next, we had a lonely and quick dinner, followed by an evening walk through the native quarters. A group of them surrounded us and complained about apartheid, stating that they preferred staying in their present hovels to the forced choice of moving to an "independent" Transkei. I had a long discussion with that with Francois on the way back to the hotel.

November 11: After an early breakfast, we picked up Bill Routen at the Tulbach Hotel and took a long busride to the airport. Back in our CDM office, we had some calls and telexes about the sick captain of the "Xhosa Coast" and the pumps. The workshop presented the results of their surf-wheel experiments, and later, we had meetings with Stocken and Shand. At dinner, Francois and I quarreled a bit but made up before going back to the office to discuss the near-future schedule.

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