East African sailing trip – log 20

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August 28, 2004

Thick Fog
We try to follow yacht Manatee in the thick fog

Awake and up by 4:45am hoping to get an early start on our next leg of the trip which is a long one 60nm to our next anchorage. By 5:10am we realize that the weather has a different idea. A thick dense blanket of fog has covered the bay.

We make breakfast and wait patiently. By 6:00am it has lifted slightly and we move slowly out through the channel.

By 7:30am it is glorious. We head north and pass many fishermen in dugout canoes – some in the water with spear-guns some on their boats with rods. As we pass them they hold up crayfish, octopus and fish.

Karibu us
The fog clears and the day is pefect

Wolf has his rods out and is trolling – soon he catches 2 cuda… we can only eat one and we see a lone fisherman out in the distance, we tie the fish to an empty 5 lt plastic bottle (also cherished in these parts) and we sail towards his. As we get close we throw it towards him and he is delighted.

We reach excellent speeds – the maximum recorded today is 9.9kt- the spinnaker is flying and both motors are purring – we are going as fast as we can attempting to reach our next anchorage Makoma before sunset.

Full moon
Full moon rising

By 6:45pm we drop anchor, cut the engines and breath in the stillness as we watch a huge moon rise over the horizon flooding the anchorage in a warm glow. We are exhausted and are soon drifting into sleep to the lullaby of the local fishermen singing in the distance.

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We wake to a start as we hear shouting and banging on the hull from Manatee as they sail past our cabin window.

Nacale Bay
Nacale Bay

Their radio is “on the blink” as Rhett puts it. They decided to get as early a start as possible, so still dressed in Pjs we yank up the anchor and head after them. We sit in the cockpit sipping hot tea and giggling like school-kids – There’s never a dull moment sailing in tandem with our new found friends. Our spinnaker fills the view in front of us and Karibu glides smoothly through the clear blue ocean.

We round the point of Ilha Mozambique (a place of fond memories from a previous sailing trip) heading up towards Pemba Harbour.

Nacale Bay
Young fishermen singing while they group together

We hope to make the bay of Nacale by nightfall. It is a strenuous sail – constantly tweaking sails to get the best speed, but it is all worth is when we drop anchor at 5:30pm just in time to enjoy the stunning sunset with the faint outline of the Montes Fragosos mountain range as a backdrop.

Wolf and I would love to stay and explore this bay and the port of Nacale but we respect Manatee’s wishes to head up to Tanzania as quickly as possible.

We see coral heads and signs of an interesting reef around the anchorage where we spent the night anchored in 4.5mts of water over sand. Only 100mt in front of us the waves are breaking over the coral reef.


Montes Fragosos mountain range in the background
Montes Fragosos mountain range in the background

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