A Sailing Adventure...
       Last Updated: 2017-12-12
  

 

                          Exploring the Bazaruto Archipelago
                                       
On Anchor in Benguerra 
 

Saturday 26th June to Wed 30th June

We are back at Benguerra and have seen some dolphin in the bay between the islands and the mainland.   

Craig  from a neighbouring yacht,  popped by for an introduction and was very helpful in offering us the use of a mooring buoy they have put down at Bassas Da India.  Because Bassas is a collapsed volcano, the sides are very steep and it is very difficult to anchor safely as the slope is too great for the anchor to hold, so a Mooring buoy makes it a much safer option. I must say our fellow yachties are very friendly and helpful towards each other.

We have had lots of decisions to make, as we had expected to leave Mozambique around end June to head for Nosy Be, Madagascar,  because we had pre-arranged to meet our 2nd youngest daughter Jane and her husband Kevin (yes, another Kevin) in Nosy Be, Madagascar on 12th July. They are both pilots and need to book leave long in advance to ensure they get leave at the same time from their respective airlines.  Kev (my Kev) and I both felt that it would be too rushed, as we were quite keen on spending some time at Bassas D’ India as well as some of the many Madagascan Islands on route to Nosy Be. We decided to change the plan somewhat and told them that we would rather wait for them in Bazaruto and then sail with them to Bassas and back, so that they could fly home, and then we will continue on our way to Madagascar.  

Obviously they were exceptionally keen to rather do Bassas than Nosy Be as they only way to get to Bassas is by private boat.  The opportunity was just too great for Pedro (as there are now 3 Kevin’s, I’m going to refer to Jane’s Kevin as Pedro from now on. Don’t ask why, I just heard it mentioned at Jane Bachelorette). Pedro grew up in Mauritius and he is a beach boy at heart and seriously into fishing and diving so this is his dream vacation. They fly in on 13 July.

We now have a bit of time on our hands and we need to renew our 30 day ’free’ visa for Moz by checking out of the country and back in, which will expire before we finally leave Mozambique.

Viki (youngest Daughter) has decided to grab this opportunity and visit us while we wait for Jane and Pedro and is coming for an impromptu visit for a few days.  She and Dylan will fly in on 1st July.

Wow, now everything’s changed,  I better get my act together because the boat is not setup for visitors and we have been using all the cabins as storage space. 

The next few days were spent preparing the boat and re-arranging things so that at least 1 cabin was ready for Viki and Dylan. I am getting so fit from all the lifting and moving, I even have slight signs of abdominal muscles starting to show! What a benefit.

On Tuesday, I went to the lodge (Benguerra Island Lodge) and met the lodge owner and head of Finance, Phillip. They were very open to us using their facilities and we agreed to put down a sum of cash in advance and run a tab as needed. This suited us, as cash, credit card and handbag is not part of daily life anymore. They have a dive center, beautiful restaurant, swimming pool, helipad and chopper service (yes, this made me very excited, as luxuries are few and far between these days) and (no, i’m not a yuppie).   Little did I know that within a few days these people would become our mates and part of a regular 4 o’clock social scene! Well actually, I should have known, then already.

We have an agreement with the two old gentlemen that sail the dow out every morning to pass by Catatude on their return to trade wares. They are Francesco and Almera. I feel very sorry for them as they are at least in their 50’s, yet they leave early every day in their wooden dow with their  sail that consists of several pieces of nylon bags and tarpaulins, hand sown together to fetch fish for the village.  They even have a half drum (bottom half of a big steel drum, like the ones used for petrol) which is half filled with sand and has a few smouldering logs which they use to cook cassava (Starch filled root) for lunch while they are out at sea. Francesco is a fee diver and uses a spear to catch crayfish. They are always cold and tired when the return. We have decided only to support them and purchase fresh fish and crayfish from them everyday. Does your supermarket come to you?  

Sometimes we don’t even know what fish we are eating as Kev and I can't agree from the fish books which one we have ! Pot luck as long as its fresh.

We have had quite regular daily rain showers which has been very good for Catatude, because it has rinsed off all the salt that has collected on the sails and deck.

We are still struggling with the TV and hope that Multi-choice Africa will get their Multi-act together. We only have access to 6 channels at present which are History, News, Sports and TCM. We paid for and were promised all 27 channels! There are also several free-to-air channels that we get.  Its very difficuly to get things done by cellphone as the signal is very bad and 'Multichoice have that stupid automated telephone answering system.

We have been doing the 4 o clock social, meet at the beach bar thing and I am now on a first name basis with the barlady, Enya and we have met several other lodge employees as well as the pilot. Our constant companions are also Robert and Phillipa of Yacht Salty Dog.

Tomorrow we will head on over to the mainland on the incoming tide to fetch Vi and Dyl.

I received an email from Pepper

I am still using my South African Vodacom cell sim and I am sure I have hit 'Platinum accout status'. Sorry Annie!

Miss you all

L

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