|Wednesday 29th August - Tanzania - Zanzibar - Jambiani (Day 2)
This morning we went on a snorkel trip at the reef, perhaps a mile out from the shore. The tide was out, so we first had to walk through the shallows to reach the dhow and from there we sailed out to the snorkelling spot. The walk was interesting - we criss-crossed our way on a sandy route through coral rock-pools. In the pools we saw sea urchins, crabs and a variety of shells. Close to the dhows a number of women worked in the sea, tending their fields of seaweed. Seaweed is harvested for food and for use in medicines apparently. I had thought that harvesting seaweed would be a haphazard affair just walk into the sea and collect it where you find it, a bit like collecting whelks back home! I was surprised to see that seaweed is grown in an organised way, in defined areas, in rows not quite ploughed furrows in a field, but certainly not haphazard.
Wed never been in a dhow before and the hull was narrower and deeper than I had expected it was as slim as a canoe, but standing in the boat, the sides came up to my waist. The sail was erected in a few seconds and soon we were skimming along. Dhows seem simple and elegant to me.
We were all kitted out with snorkelling gear even Naomi had flippers and a mask. Unsurprisingly she didnt make use of them. After a very brief dip in the waves she decided she would much prefer to sit in the dhow and eat Pringles. Keziah snorkelled with her Dad a couple of times, excitedly pointing out the fish shed seen. She then retired to sit beside Naomi and eat the other half of the Pringles tube.
The rest of us took turns to sit with the girls or snorkel. It was lovely. The water was clear and we saw a large variety of fish, a sea-snake type of thing, starfish and sea-cucumbers. After a couple of hours we got back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the day. We may do a repeat snorkel trip before we leave here, it was certainly a good way to spend the morning.