Paulo and some of his friends were going on an all day boat and snorkeling trip called Safari Blue on Sunday and he invited us along. Tanya and I decided to go and Jaclyn passed so she could go to church in the morning. Paulo picked us up at 8:45 and we drove to the southwest corner of Zanzibar, which is a small peninsula. We waited for the other guests to arrive then all of us (about 35 people) were divided into three groups and we walked out into the water to the boats.
We first motored out to an area where dolphins frequently hang out and we got to see a few surfacing and jumping out of the water. Sometimes when there are more dolphins around people get in the water and swim with them, but not this time. They were really fun to watch though.
Next we headed to a sandbank and got snorkeling gear and dropped off our bags. We got back in the boat and went out to a reef to snorkel. The water was very choppy and I was starting to feel a bit nauseated but I felt a bit better after I got in the water. It was quite cold and I had to swim hard to stay warm. I saw all kinds of cool fish and corals and eels. I can’t really name any of them and I couldn’t take pictures in the water but suffice it to say that if the fish was in “Finding Nemo” I probably saw it. The visibility was not so great though and the water was really rough so I got out a bit early and had the boat take me back to the sandbank.
We hung out at the sandbank and watched the tide slowly come in and cover our area for a while then we had the option to snorkel some more or to hang out. Since I wasn’t feeling so great I decided to hang back. After talking to some of Paulo’s friends for a bit, I decided to walk from where we were to the island where we would have lunch along this shelf of coral reef that was still exposed in the low tide. I had an amazing walk along the coral, watching all of the crabs scurry away from me. There were so many of them that I could hear their claws clicking at me. Some were tiny but others were the size of my fist and they came in many colors. I also watched some fishermen bring in their catch and some women gathering seaweed to dry in the sun and sell. It was a great walk and I really wished Jacob was there because he would have enjoyed it so much.
The walk took about 40 minutes and I only waited a few minutes to meet up with Tanya and company. Then we were served a delicious seafood feast! For lunch we had lobster, prawns, calamari, two kinds of fish, rice with two different curries and a whole array of tropical fruits for dessert. It was so good and so filling.
After lunch we explored the island a bit (it’s pretty small) and saw this huge Baobab tree then climbed this observation deck to get a nice view of the surrounding area. The observation deck was made out of small trees lashed together with rope and was a bit scary to descend. It was not for the faint of heart. Next we swam in the super warm water near the beach then got back into the boats to head home.
On the way back we stopped in a large lagoon that is surrounded by mangrove trees and we went swimming some more. The tide was not high enough for us to go into the trees but it was really pretty.
Since the wind was good, the mates hoisted the sail and we sailed back to land. My stomach did not like the movement of the sailboat however, and I started to feel quite sick midway back. I made it to shore without throwing up though and I immediately felt better after getting onto stable ground.
By the time we drove home it was after 6 pm. It was a very full, adventurous day.