East African sailing trip – log 65

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November 10, 2004

Jurgen (Wolf’s brother) and Brigit, his wife, have arrived – we hear that they are staying at a lodge on the eastern side of the island. We make arrangements to meet them. They are booked on the Spice Tour, and will stop at Mtoni Marine en-route.

The tide is extremely low and to lighten the dingy we take the outboard motor off, opting to row ashore. Not knowing whether we are going straight into Stone Town, we carry the dingy up the beach. We meet them on the road as planned and the reunion is made sweeter because we had asked him to bring us a few luxuries.

It’s like Christmas – we feel blessed that he has brought everything we asked for, with the exception of squid lures. New arrangements are made to meet them for lunch at Africa house later.

Laden with goodies which need to go into the boat before we can go to town, we traipse back to beach, attempting to find a place away from the beach to put our bags while we begin the strain of lifting the dingy and carrying it back to the water. My hands still ache from carrying it up the beach. The nylon rope handles have left them sore but I grin and bear it towards the sea. |I hold the boat while Wolf fetches the bags and we row back to Karibu; hot, exhausted and drenched in perspiration.
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We offload and stow our precious supplies, try to freshen up and repeat the earlier task of rowing ashore. As we approach the beach the sky grows more and more ominous and the thunder sounds menacingly in the distance. We hurry as quickly as we can – half carrying – half dragging the dingy even higher, knowing that we will only be back late and that the tide is going to come in quite high.

We secure it to the Mtoni Marine boat hoping that if theirs needs to be moved they will move ours too. By this time we were soaked – the rainclouds have emptied their liquid mass onto us. There is nothing else we can do but catch the taxi into town dipping puddles wherever we go. Fortunately the sun pops out and dries us just as quickly.

 After a pleasant lunch together Jurgen and Brigite go exploring and we decide it was time to buy a few more souvenirs. Our first purchase is a basket woven from coconut rope, next is a BOA board and then a “Rungu” a wooden throwing club or baton, bearing special symbolism and significance in the Masai culture, especially with the male hunters. It is carried as an accessory these days but is used as a hunting weapon.

The rain continues through the afternoon and Wolf who was carrying the souvenirs decides to keep the rain out of his eyes by wearing the rope-basket on his head. He has me in hysterics and walking at least 10mt behind him lest anyone would even think I know this crazy ‘mzungu’ (white-man) but the strange thing is that everyone who passes him stops… looks at him… then at his basket headgear before telling him they like his hat.

“Good hat” or “I like your hat” or “very nice hat” are some of the comments; which appear sincere and truly genuine… even taxi drivers passing him call out admiring comments about his great hat. It is a really fun and memorable day.

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