East African sailing trip – log 32

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September 16, 2004

Mnazi bay - morning stroll
Mnazi bay - morning stroll

Day breaks in its usual spectacular way, adorning the sky with shades of  brilliant orange, burnt umber and cadmium yellow, truly a living painting.

We sit in the cockpit sipping our morning cuppa and by 5:30am we are strolling along the secluded beach.

We spot some unusual sea urchins that have been stranded on the shore by the ebbing tide.


snorkeling towards the coral heads

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As we swim out to the coral heads we see the wreck of an over-turned dugout canoe that made its final resting place – right-side-up on the sand about 100 meters from the beach. The locals carve their canoes from mango-tree trunks and they are never completely waterproof.  One notices them way out to sea and they are continually bailing water.

Coral Head teaming with fish
Coral Head teaming with fish

At 11:00am we move out of Mnazi Bay and sail 15nm to the Mtwara harbour. The port was built in 1951 by the British to accommodate deep-draught vessels and provide direct loading facilities for produce and sisal. We decide to stay on the other side of the harbour away from the town. The Port Captain radios us for our particulars; he is extremely friendly and helpful.

Once he noticed where we planned to spend the night, he called us on the VHF radio and asked us to move closer to the wharf as a precaution against theft.

We reluctantly lift our anchor and proceed to the designated small craft area. This anchorage is directly exposed to the weather and we resign ourselves to another bouncy night with the noise of water slapping the hulls. Thankfully by 8:30pm it is calmer and the night is peaceful.

Our little ‘bucket-aquarium’ is growing – we now have our pair of baby clown-fish, an anemone (home for them), some colonial anemones and a small piece of bubble coral; we suspect that the baby coris formosa-wrasse became an dinner for the anemone- it’s disappeared. Wolf changes water every 3 hours to replenish the air and nutrients.

Mtwara collage - various photos
Mtwara collage - various photos

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