East African sailing trip – log 58

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October 26, 2012

More days spent in paradise! We are filled with exhilaration and happiness – Zanzibar has captivated us with its enchantment and charisma. Throughout our travels up the coast of Mozambique we were constantly plagued by locals approaching our yacht demanding sunglasses, fishing tackle, hats, fins, masks and various other items. We always felt uneasy leaving the yachts unattended.

How different it is here in Tanzania and especially in Zanzibar. The only communication with another vessel is from a Dhow packed with passengers, who sail past us shouting, “”Good Name” making reference to “Karibu” which in their language is a greeting meaning “Welcome, or literally, come nearer” We felt absolutely safe here,  no matter where we sail. The locals showing respect for our privacy and for each other, at no time demanding we hand over anything to them.

We love their laid-back relaxed and friendly attitude devoid of the aggression we felt in Mozambique.

We spend glorious days exploring Stone town, and the surrounding areas, sightseeing and walking the interesting markets, the quaint streets, and attractions; savouring the great hospitality; taking in the distinctive atmosphere of this old city; and interacting with some of its skilled merchants.
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The whim to move gets us up early and has us heading north. We follow the shore-line appreciating the new scenery. The clouds darken the sky but not our spirits, we decide to make our way to Tumbatu Island finding an anchorage minutes before the squall hits us.

Out comes the shampoo and toiletries and we relish in the refreshing rain-shower, soaping up in the warm air and feel of pelting rain washing salt from every inch of our bodies… we fill our water-tanks and several extra containers.

The sky clears and we enjoy the peace and tranquility of the anchorage; however the bottom is hard with many coral-heads which are difficult to see as the water is murky due to sedimentary run-off. The anchorage is exposed and Wolf decides not to say there overnight as he is not sure of the holding should a strong wind come through.

During the 12th century, Tumbatu Island was home to one of East Africa’s most important settlements. The ruined town of Makutani near Jonwe show evidence of a thriving population of sea-farers and their knowledge of navigation and sailing skills are still evident today.

At 3:00pm the wind swings back to SE and we head across the Mkokotoni bay searching for a more suitable anchorage. By sunset we are bobbing securely at anchor in a lovely new setting – it is full moon and we have ensured that we have enough depth under the keels should we swing in any direction during low-tide.

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