Captain’s Log June 2004

CAPTAIN’S LOG April to June 2004

Apologies for the delay in getting this latest log on-line. We had a busy Easter, followed by a quiet few weeks, then a sudden burst of activity in June and into July.

As a consequence it has been difficult to find the time required to do our latest updates. I have added a couple of photos of Eric’s new grandchild, Bayden, born in February. Luckily Eric was in Australia just a couple of days after his birth, so he was able to see his first grandchild.

Easter was spent very pleasantly with our friends, David & Bagita and their boys, who had joined us at the same time last year, although this year Grandma joined the trip too. We sailed across to Zanzibar. Grandma and the boys enjoyed their time together visiting the various sites of Stone Town and surrounding islands. Despite some overcast weather and a couple of good storms we had a great time exploring some of the local snorkelling and dive sites. Diving in the rain is quite eerie with the raindrops hitting the water above our heads, however the visibility was good enough for us to enjoy turtles in 2 of the dive spots. We also saw a huge moray eel as we went down the anchor chain at one site, he wasn’t too impressed as the chain was sitting right outside his hole and whenever he popped his head out to see what was going on he bumped it on the anchor chain. Sorry!

We took our guests into the lovely Kwale lagoon to explore the mangroves. This is really becoming a popular activity on our trips across to Zanzibar and well worth it. It is only accessible by dinghy and kayak at high tide, so it needs to be planned and can be linked in with a low tide snorkel at the Kwale sandbank. Kayaking in amongst the mangroves is a very special experience as it is so peaceful. On a recent trip one of our guests commented that it would be great to bring a picnic and bottle of champagne and just relax under the cover of the mangroves.

Another favourite activity is at Pamunda island where the mini lagoon creates a kind of ‘jacuzzi’ effect when you jump out of the dinghy into the water and the bubbles from the sand creep up your legs, a wierd sensation!

After Easter we had a few trips including some day trips with groups ranging from 6 people to 16. Some of them corporate and some private groups. In addition we had some overnight family groups. We would like to thank everyone for coming on board with us and we appreciate your support. The beauty of what we do is that it appeals across the board for groups celebrating all kinds of events. We offer unique experiences which are made particularly special as the parties enjoy these experiences altogether. We recently had a wedding party group. Family and friends had come from various places for the wedding, so the ideal way to spend a day all together was to go out on the boat. Probably the most popular activity for a day trip like this is to go out to Fungu Yasin sandbank for a swim and lunch, then stopping off at Mbudya for another swim and possibly snorkelling before heading back to the Slipway by sunset.

At the end of May, Eric & I flew to Arusha for the Travel & Trade Fair. It was good to meet up with various tour, lodge and safari operators from the region and share what we are all doing. Hopefully the networking will be successful for us all. The Fair was held in fields near Arusha airport with a stunning backdrop of Mt. Meru.

Whilst I was back in UK again in June helping my mother sort out more of her affairs and getting her settled into her new flat, Eric suddenly was inundated with work. It was quite a challenge to do the trips on his own, although he did brilliantly if the feedback I’ve heard is anything to go by. He did comment though that it was much harder being in charge of the galley and food preparation than he had realised! So it is good to share the responsibilities. Unfortunately we don’t have a huge amount of photos from our recent trips as Eric was busier taking care of the sailing, diving, organising the groups to go ashore in the dinghy and kayaks, plus doing all the cooking, so it didn’t leave much time for taking photos. We apologise for the lack of photos from certain trips. If you do take photos on your trip with us and want any on our website, please don’t hesitate to send copies to us to post on the Log.

In early June we had a group celebrating a 40th birthday. As it was all women and mostly with children at school, we suggested a birthday breakfast cruise with cocktails and a buffet being served out at the islands, then returning the group in time to collect the children from school! As I was away for this trip, our friend Pippa helped by doing the food. Thanks so much Pippa. I wish I had been there to enjoy your delicious brunch too!

On one of the June trips Eric had a bird enthusiast on board and arranged for him to go into the Kwale lagoon early morning whilst he took others in the party diving at Mwamba Ukombe, with the whole group coming together later at Pamunda. On another trip with some friends of ours visiting from Australia we caught a giant trevally weighing in at around 30 kilos. As it was too big to eat & freeze, we let it go. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo at the time, but I am hoping that we’ll get a copy when our friends’ have their photos developed back in Oz!

 

Towards the end of June I arrived back in Dar with my niece Bryony who was to join us for 3 weeks holiday.It was her first time to Africa so rather a culture shock. She had many comments in her first days with us about her very white ‘English sun tan’! She did manage to change colour slightly during her trip, but the main thing is she had a great time experiencing a whole different lifestyle and learning to kayak, drive the dinghy and meet new people from all walks of life.

Our friends, Howard & Yannick from Australia arrived a few days after Bryony with some friends of theirs, Bob & Marea, so all 7 of us did a trip across to Zanzibar taking in the usual sights of Pamunda, Kwale, the lagoons, sandbanks and islands, then the Stone Town & Spice Tours and a visit to Jozani Forest to see the Red Colobus monkeys, which are indigenous to Zanzibar. All in all a great way for us all to spend our week together.

More details of trips to come in our next log for July – September. I will endeavor to get that one out on time! Remember, if you are considering a trip on board with us this is a great time of year. The whales are out and about at the moment, there have been numerous sightings between Dar & Zanzibar and the weather is at its coolest for a very pleasant sail and for sleeping on board.

With that we look forward to seeing you on board soon.

Why not read our Guest Book page – Enjoy!

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