East African sailing trip – log 70

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November 18, 2004 

As the sun lightens the sky stretching crimson and bright orange rays to touch the delicate pink clouds above, we are pulling in the anchor and heading north. It is time to explore once again. Our spirits are up, gone is the gloom of yesterday, new optimism floods us in a cloak of expectation. 

The wind refuses to cooperate and we motor all the way to Ras Nungwi; finally it wakes up and gives us the added push we long for including the respite from the heat. Nungwi is by far one of the most beautiful areas on Zanzibar Island. Of course that is only my opinion and different folk may disagree. I love the dazzling white sand, the patchwork of azure, green and turquoise water, and the infectious electric atmosphere.   

The sea is crystal clear and the “buzz” and vibrancy of the people, from the tourists back-packing their way around the little village, to the affluent holiday makers staying in the fancy lodges, to the excited locals; everyone helps add ambiance and character to this beach laden resort. 

I am in my element – satisfaction overwhelms me, contentment fills my heart and a sense of happiness floods my being, permeating every cell. As we sit on the foredeck, sipping our sundowners we watch the action around us. Guests sail by packed like sardines in local Dhows, others play volley-ball on the beach and couples stroll romantically, hand in hand along the shore. 

We discuss our plan to move north to Pemba Island. Not sure what to expect we are excited and apprehensive. Tanzania has not disappointed us yet and with that thought fresh in our mind we enter dreamland, lulled to sleep by the noises of the revelers around the bon-fire near our anchorage.
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Tanzania is a relaxing and rejuvenating outdoor play area for those who love wild nature and hospitable people. 

The Island of Pemba is still one of the least visited Islands in Tanzania. It is green and lush with tropical flora. The west coast of Pemba is speckled with some of the most beautiful and interesting and Islands in East Africa.

Pemba is a place that serious divers daydream about. However, as a sailing destination it is virtually unknown, despite the fact that shelter for yachts is excellent all year round.

Pemba’s Mesali Island Marine Park is arguably the best location for snorkeling in Tanzania. The fact that there are few Hotels and Lodges means that most of the time the only boats you are likely to see are small local fishing dhows. Fishing is not an business in Pemba, you only see a handful of boats on any given time. The seas here are teaming with big fish; you are almost guaranteed to catch something fresh for your Barbeque or frying pan every day.

The isolation of this island makes it a perfect place for reducing stress and hiding away from the modern world. But, for a smattering of luxury a quick visit to the stylish Fundu Lagoon Lodge near Mkoani is decidedly endorsed.

For centuries, Pemba’s clove plantations and spice fields provided the Omani sultanate in Zanzibar with riches from trade. The island is still a major spice producer in Tanzania. We heard that at harvesting time, the schools close and all the children climb the trees to pick the cloves.

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