In general March was a quiet month with the impending war in Iraq and the nervousness associated with that situation. We did have some interest in the March Specials we were offering, particularly the Sunset Cruises over to Bongoyo Island. We provided a sumptuous seafood buffet, which proved very popular, all washed down with drinks of our guests’ choice. Whilst it was a quiet month Eric and I took the opportunity to brush up a little on our Swahili by studying every morning at the Slipway for 3 weeks. It was good to review many of the things I learnt some time ago, but the only way really is practice, practice, practice……
families out from UK visiting friends and relatives based here in Dar and from the commendable reviews we received in our Guest Book, we are sure they all enjoyed their cruises with us. Prison Island
successful day out on St. George’s Day with Vodacom entertaining their clients and the Royal Palm Hotel providing an excellent spread and BBQ on board. The feedback was all positive and we are looking forward to their next visit. We welcome other corporate entities to provide their clients with the unique opportunity to sail & dine aboard our luxury catamaran.
Captain’s Log February 2003
Since our last Newsletter we have been down to Mafia and Kilwa and visited a number of the many reefs and islands between them.
Whitebait were in abundance and fascinating to watch as they darted in their enormous groups, almost in formation, in and around the coral outcrops as we swam between them. These were particularly evident in the Bawara Banks, which are a group of reefs stretching two and a half nautical miles across and are described in Delwyn McPhun’s East Africa Pilot as “a snorkeller’s paradise”.
An interesting observation that we made on this trip was the existence of the hard coral acropora, not only in abundance, but in pristine condition. This was a surprise as much of it has been destroyed in other parts of the Indian Ocean since the 1998 El Nino year. It was an exciting discovery and we hope to have more opportunities to dive further south in the future as our discoveries in this region demonstrated that many of these reefs and islands are equally as impressive as Mafia with their coral diversity and marine life.
We felt privileged to be in an area, which is unique in that it is relatively untouched with very little evidence of dynamite fishing. However we did discover a huge number of Crown of Thorns starfish on Afisi Reef to the south of Simaya Island, not far from the mainland. It was incredible to witness the number of these creatures wending their way like a spiky carpet across the reef, destroying it as they travel. This was the only reef in the area where we saw this destructive sight.
Simaya Island had a fascinating array of marine life, particularly the abundance of whip coral, which gives one the feeling of swimming through an underwater forest. On our second dive there on the way back north we had very poor visibility, however in the right conditions this island is an excellent dive site with beautiful beaches and a good anchorage in a natural harbour on the north side.
We had a very friendly welcome at the Kilwa Lodge from James and Kerry, who are looking after the watersports there. We took a trip with James and some of the other visitors through the mangroves in search of the resident hippos. Unfortunately we missed them but we were assured that they are around and it would certainly be a great location to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of the area along with the birdlife within the mangroves.
After our trip south we returned to Dar and were delighted to receive a copy of the latest edition of the UK publication “Country” (the magazine of the Country Gentleman’s Association) in which there is a fabulous 4 page full colour article all about us. To view article click here.
We have begun to note our guests comments on our Guest Book page – Enjoy!