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Monday 5th of May, Zanzibar, 2008

the first mate stitchingYesterday, at John’s suggestion, we rented a dowh and sailed to one of the sandbanks. The sea was gentle here and welcoming, not at all like our arctic waters around Cape Town. With the  the warm wind in our hair the waves lapping aginst the wooden bow, arms dangling to catch the spray, we enjoyed the moment. Once we reached our destination,  our skipper went on top of the roof to perform his prayers, and we went for a swim. The water was christal clear and turquoise, it was refreshing to splash about in the waves. The sandbank was only slightly visible in the breakers . . . it was still high tide. Crabs apeared as if from nowhere, scuttling over the emerging stretch of sand.

The boat stayed anchored for some time, toggling in the sea while we sat, drapped in our damp kikoys, relaxing against the railing, watching the waves - with not a care in the world. On the way back we passed other dowhs, some transporting cargo, some Muzungu’s. We were told Mzungus, was more profittable.  As we set course towards stone town our first mate set the sail . . . they have to unfasten the haliyard and slip it through a hole in the floor, before they can change the sail to the other side of the vessel - very basic, but I am amazed with how few interventions, like ropes and toggles, a few pullies, they manage to manouevre the boat. That all done, the first mate sat down on a upsidedown bucket, unpacked his needlework and proceeded to embroider  . . . much to my amazemnet!

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