We sailed with Proud Cat as we are both heading North to Kenya. We had dinner on the beach and then went off to look for some good dive sites. We had been disappointed with South East Asia and the Indian Ocean in general as the corals were bleached. We were hoping for better here. On our first dive Ian lost his weight belt so he had to head back to the boat which was a shame as it was fabulous with many different corals and fish. East Africa must have escaped the bleaching so common elsewhere. We headed round to a small island called Nnemba and did a couple more dives – Ian borrowed Mikes spare dive belt but we will have to get a other one before get to Kenya. We visited the village of Nungwi right at the top of Zanzibar and were surprised that all the kids were asking for money. No waves or smiles here. Zanzibar must have had tourism for a long time… the village was very run down with crumbling buildings and mouldy walls – there was sewage running straight into the ocean from the hotels which was obvious due to the colour of the water even though they said it wasn’t!
There are not many cruisers here at present. Most of them have gone onto South Africa to round the cape this year. As a result, we were made very welcome by Kilifi Yacht club as they are trying to encourage cruisers back to this lovely part of the world. They used to get about 50 boats a season and that went to 0 during the height of the piracy off Somalia. Now some of us are drifting back and boats are even going through the Red Sea again which enables them to get to the Med without sailing right round the bottom of Africa.
Kilifi itself is a small town, with a high percentage of Europeans still living here. It has one average supermarket and a plethora of hardware shops and phone shops but no shopping mall or department store. To get anything electrical or computers fixed etc you have to take the bus to Mombasa – 45 mins away – another journey where as many passengers as possible are crammed into a small minibus! They run all the time and there seems to be one every minute or so – you can just flag them down and jump on. Great fun…
We are spending our days running across to the other side of the creek in the local water taxi to Kilifi to do our shopping, and Ian is fixing up some glass work that needs doing in the forward hull. We will stay here in Kilifi for another month and then head up to Lamu when our daughter arrives for a visit so that we can do some diving and spend time on the beach.