East African sailing trip – log 59

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October 28, 2004

Taking advantage of the extremely high tide we set sail early, we follow the Zanzibar coast- line northward, heading for Ras Nungwi. The north and west sides of Ras Nungwi have beautiful white beaches fringed with coconut palms. As we motor sail we zig-zag through a maze of ‘Madema’ (fish traps made from Bamboo, that are placed any and everywhere, buoyed with clear plastic water-bottles) they are so difficult to see; sometimes they are positioned slightly under the surface making them  impossible to spot.

The place is buzzing with activity; tourists and backpackers wander the little streets of the village the shoreline is wall-to-wall jam-packed with hotels, lodges and B&Bs. There is an excited energy and a true holiday feel as we stroll along the waterfront, taking in the dynamism and vitality engulfing this place.

We find an internet café and I send and receive emails. We spy an ice-cream billboard and make a beeline for it. Licking our cones we realise that we are famished so give in to the urge for ‘fish and chips’ which we relish at “The Fat Fish” restaurant, washing them down with an ice cold ginger-beer. Ice in our drink is a rare treat and, in this heat, one which we savour. Among yachties ice-cubes are also known as ‘Malibu crystals’ – and I feel they are even more valuable.
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Back on board we move away from the main beach choosing to anchor slightly south just off Kendwa Rocks Lodge. The temperature is sky high with not a breath of wind to offer relief, so we agree to go ashore in search of a shade. On the beach we meet a couple and their 2 kids, they are from Cape town and are traveling by road all the way to Nairobi where they will leave their car and fly to Denmark for Christmas. What a great experience for them.

Our hopes for a peaceful sleep are dashed as the partying and noise from the big bonfire on the beach keeps us awake until the early hours of the morning. Despite this, there is something comforting and reassuring being so close to other tourists.

We receive a call from our daughter in Canada and my joy is full to overflowing.


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