East African sailing trip – Log 11

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we see hundreds of these stately birds


July 26, 2004

Indigo Bay Boat house
Our wonderful place of rest, relaxation and fun

The day brakes in absolute splendour. Calm seas, blue skies and a gentle NE breeze. We make contact with Moonshadow who are still holding our ferrite beads, petrol and local currency. They are making their way to Benguerra Lodge to meet with the crew on yacht Manatee who have agreed to give them information on our next destination; Bartholomew Diaz Island.

Wolf and I decide not to stay here on the yacht doing nothing as she wallows in the swell and we wallow in boredom. He suggests we head up along the shoreline to a bay he has spotted on the charts.

Moonshadow & Karibu
Sisters at sea

We finish breakfast and raise the anchor. It is a gorgeous day. I stand on the bow watching for the shallow areas and directing him into through the channels. We arrive in 2 hours and spot a large flock of Pink Flamingos in the shore. We drop the anchor and lower the dingy heading towards them for a photo shoot. Naturally they are camera-shy and we have to use all the zoom power we can muster to capture them.

We motor back to Indigo Bay content at having spent the past few hours in total bliss. Wolf is not happy with the water-pump on one of the engines and strips it to find a broken impellor. Disaster as we not have a spare one!

As the sun is setting we are lying in the cockpit reading. We hear splashing near the yacht and are surprised to spot a couple swimming past. I call to them and introduce ourselves asking if they would care to come aboard. Liesel is the hotel nurse and Dave the community development officer, responsible for teaching locals skills to help make a sustainable living in the form of curios for the guests. (Like the little carved plane I received for my birthday)

They invite us to join them at the beach-house bar for a drink and chat

July 27, 2004

birthday cake
Tea on yacht Karibu

Wolf is trying to arrange for a new impellor to be sent to us from South Africa. We are stuck here until we get one. The maintenance manager gives us one off a 85hpw Yanmar but even after some modification it does not fit.

Moonshadow joins us and we celebrate a belated birthday enjoying a high-tea with cake and muffins which I bake. Tea turns into sundowners and a late evening on Karibu discussing the trip to BD Island (Bartholomew Diaz Island) Bill has a spare impellor… yippee! Another super day inParadise!
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July 28, 2004

We decide to treat ourselves to another breakfast feast this time with Bill & Jen from Moonshadow.

It is just as scrumptious. I hand a CD to Mr Grey with our resumes and Bios as the Rani hotel Group is in the process of accepting applications for 2 new hotels in Northern Mozambique.

We agree to leave for Santa Carolina Island ( formerly known as Paradise Island) We set sail in perfect conditions with spinnakers flying on both yachts, all the way across to Paradise Island 10nm from Indigo Bay Hotel.

sunset on paradise beach
sunset on paradise beach

We arrive at 2:30pm deciding to anchor on the NW point in 5mt next to a rocky islet off the point, with enough time to walk along the beach and enjoy a spectacular sunset before settling to a bumpy night.

July 29, 2004

At 6:00am we pull up the anchor setting a course for BD Island 32mn northward along the coast. The sea is calm but the gentle breeze not sufficient and we start the motors; we must reach the entrance to the bay at high-tide in order to cross over the sandbar. We have been told that crossing the sandbar can be risky as the waves sometimes break there.

map of Bazaruto Archipelego
map of Bazaruto Archipelego

We time our entry perfectly; without any incidents we cross the bar and are in deeper water. Once through, we sail up along the mainland along the inner channel and begin to look for our anchorage. The GP coordinates show the anchorage to be on land but as we approach I am on top of the coach-roof, to get a better view, and notice water behind a sandy beach.

Only then do I see the channel leading into this secluded little hole. We sail around and enter a protected hidey-hole just big enough for our 2 yachts to anchor. We are surrounded by sand-dunes and a few Casuarinas. A 3-4mt tide variance causes us to rise almost level with the top of the dunes at high-tide and way below when the tide is low. No matter which direction the wind decides to come from, we are totally sheltered. I call this place our “feather-bed bay”

Featherbed Anchorage
Featherbed Anchorage

On the way to BD Island I bake fresh bread-rolls and keep some of the dough so that I can make a big pizza to share with Moonshadow. After eating we explore the Island which has changed unrecognizably from what is shown on the chart. We would not have found this place without the information gained from Rhett Butler on yacht Manatee

We sleep soundly but wake to the sound of a SW buster. Wolf goes out to check and notices a blanket of mist which has settled over us. He checks the gauges; all is well. Through the mist he sees Moonshadow’s cockpit light. He comes back to bed satisfied.

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