Monday, 16 August 2010

Departing Togo...

At around 11h30 yesterday (Sunday, 15th August) the M/V Africa Mercy pulled out from the quayside in Lome, Togo, bound for Durban, South Africa.

The day started with the Deck department loading our four remaining vehicles on to Deck 8, followed by the lifeboat muster in which all crew were accounted for prior to sailing. Shortly thereafter we embarked our pilot, lifted the gangway, and headed towards the open seas. But prior to exiting the safety of the harbour we tested our starboard lifeboats and then sailed out of the Port Autonome de Lome. We were honoured to have a naval escort from the Togolese Navy for our first hour upon the open seas.

So we are now sailing a two-week journey upon the Atlantic Ocean (and then the Indian Ocean - when we round Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of the African continent) headed for Durban, South Africa. Please pray for safe travels and calm seas as the Africa Mercy heads into the southern hemisphere for the first time. And as we sail please also remember the country of Togo in your prayers. We were blessed by our time in Togo and may God bless this special country.

The boat muster on Deck 7.

Tug Lome stands by.

Pulling away from the dock that has been our home for the last six months.

Leaving our dock behind as we prepare for our lifeboat manouvres.

Testing the lifeboats.

The pilot boat approaches as we leave the tugs behind.

Clearing the breakwater and heading out to the open seas.

The pilot comes alongside.

Togolese Navy inshore patrol vessel P761 "Kara" follows us as we make our way along the open seas.

And escorts us for the first hour of our journey.

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