Umadum stays 1 month in Durban to spend time with friends and Malaka Queen will continue its journey to Capetown. Lets hope there is a weather window, I want to leave Durban ASAP. The next leg is challenging: 255nm to East London and no place to hide when a low comes… I imagine riding the Agulas current as sitting on the back of a mad crocodile (not that I ever did that;-).
- We stay 2 weeks in our paradise Bazaruto Island because it is so nice but also because we decide to skip the first weather window to repair the mainsail car of Umandum. Most of the other sailboats leave so even more paradise for us. In the tropics we do not see any change in barometric pressure except the daily heating of the sun. Here the barometer really makes sense: if the pressure falls rapidly a low is approaching!
- Bazaruto Island is a big sand dune on the east side of the Bazaruto archipelago of islands and reefs. The entire area is a nature reserve. To reach the anchorage on west side we must pass a narrow channel between 2 reefs. The dunes protect against high winds except northwestherlies. all ships waiting for a weather window in the lee of Bazaruto Island When we go ashore some guys welcome us with a big smile at their local bar.
- The next day Des informs us that we can go, at least the 700 miles until Bazaruto Island in Mozambique. Our speed must be minimum 5 knots as there is a south westerly low expected in a few days. That should be no problem if we find the south going Mozambique current which gives us a “push” in the good direction of 2 knots. There are several strategies, one is to find the Mozambique current first by going west before south, a detour but finding the current early makes up for extra distance.
- The sail from from Russian bay is magnificent, there are many beautifull islands on this route and many cruisers explore this area. We glide gently on a steady seabreeze. When approaching Majunga which is at a major river mouth the water turns red! This is the sad result of cutting and burning the forests in the inland. Now there is nothing left holding the soil in place so every time it rains the fertile soil washes away and rivers turn red.
- We relax in the nice garden of a good restaurant near the port of Nosy Be. My friend asks: so whats next for you? I say: I hang around in Craterbay marina in Nosy Be for a while. She says, why don’t you go to Russian bay, your friends of Umadum are there. They go to South Africa. You know them well and I already asked them to contact you, it will be nice to see them again.
- After 3 colourfull days in Mafia Island (pitty we did not see the walesharks) we leave for Mtwara, another upwind passage. Halfway we anchor at Mzungu Beach for the night after making contact with those at home to inform them where we are. The passage itself is boring, most time motoring as there is no wind. But finally the fishing pays off! Too bad, a strange unknown fish so we will not eat it.
- We arrive in the evening from Mesali island at Dar Es Salaam slipway, an anchorage at a former boat yard converted to a western style hotel with shopping mall and restaurants. It is a good place to introduce newcomers to Africa, the airport is only 20 minutes away, a big supermarket and a good medical facility is 2 minutes away and it is also convenient to do some work on your ship here as there are many hardware shops near Slipway.
- Back in Tanga after a wonderfull week with my big family in Zeeland at the North sea. Its September again…That was the time I arrived last year in Tanga from Madagascar, its now time to leave. I agreed last time with a sailfriend from Tanga that we would go with 2 ships from Tanga to Madagascar. And so glad my other sailfriend comes again! Our route will pass Dar Es Salaam so I pick her up and get new batteries at the same time.
- Fellow sailors Jaques and Stephan told me that a member of the Tanga Yacht club organises swimwalks on a regular basis. Swimwalk, I asked? Just come and experience it. Lets go now, hurry, hurry because the tide will soon be favourable . There are pick-pickies waiting at the corner. We arrive in Mwambani near the shore and under the guidance of member Sibylle we start the “swimwalk”: First a walk through salt plains and mangroves ( a variety of bushes and trees that grow in salt water) then into the muddy water while swimming and floating through canals lined with mangroves.