East African sailing trip – log 66

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November 13, 2004

After waiting around Mtoni Marine for a few more days it is time to move. We sail past Stone Town and Zanzibar Harbour then on to Pamunda, heading on past to Miwi Island. We decide this will be a good place to beach Karibu in order to re-glue the anti-cavitation rubber around the drive leg, to scrape the hull, and to do change the gear-box oil.

We anchor off a little bay to see the beach at low tide. It looks perfect, nice and flat and will be a great place to come out. Our daily chores complete we lie down for our afternoon siesta waiting for the tide to float us off the beach.

By 13:30pm we are in Kizimkazi where we have arranged to meet Jurgen once again to take him out to the Bedford banks for a day’s spearfishing. It is early and we notice coral-heads not too far from the yacht – off we go once again lost in a watery world of colourful corals and tropical fish. We did not intend to stay in the water long but get back onboard as the sun is making its hurried exit over the horizon. 

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Next we notice our dingy air-pump floating away from us. Wolf’s reaction is like lightening! He is in the dingy and zooting off at top speed to retrieve it. Suddenly the outboard engine cuts out… it’s now almost dark… I am at the helm, Karibu is surrounded by fish-traps… under us coral heads stand dangerously tall under the surface…

I see Wolf with the outboard tipped up untangling the painter rope from the propeller… he’s drifting further away… I hear him yelling for me to look for a sandy patch to anchor and to move there quickly… from where I am in the cockpit it is impossible to spot a sandy patch – what’s he thinking? 

I decide it is better for me to head toward him, in case he can’t get the rope untangled. Luckily he has manages to free the rope, he starts the motor, retrieves the floating pump; heads back; fastens the dingy to Karibu; takes over from me as I rush forward to try to find a patch of sand.

It is dark – only the slightest remains of daylight linger on the fringes of the horizon. Fortunately the water is crystal clear. We have one chance at anchoring or it will be too dark to find another spot… I find the patch, we drop the anchor – it settles beautifully onto the sand and sets securely.

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