Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bawe Island

Dar Es Salaam, 21 August 2010

I woke up on Zanzibar this morning at a great hotel, which unfortunately was full of the Mosquitos in the am. I ate breakfast on the beach and watched a pod of dolphins swim bay, 20 yards from the sand. After i checked out from the hotel i wandered around stone town and made my way to the port and bought my ferry ticket back to Dar es Salaam for 55,000 Tanzanian Shillings. I got to the dive shop at 8:30 and got my gear easy and we were on the boat by 9:15 heading out to Bawe island, a 30 minute boat ride away.

The instructors wore a shorty wetsuit over their full wetsuit to keep warm since it's winter in Tanzania, but the water was still 28* C so i wore a 2mm shorty wetsuit- huge improvement over the 7mm i wore in Monterey. The visibility was also way better at 25 meters. For the first dive of the day we dove to 17 meters (about 60 feet) and swam around a coral reef for 34 mins.

For the second dive of the day we rode out another hour to Fungu Reef and explored the wreck of a ship that sank in 1941 while laying telephone cable between the islands. The hull was still there and there were a lot more fish in this area. At times i was enveloped in a cloud of hand-sized cloud of blue and white fish.

We were back in Zanzibar by 1 pm and I walked around the back alleys and narrow side streets that were flooded with tourists and vendors selling the same wares out of every nook and cranny.

I was on the Sea Express ferry by 3pm and were were underway by 3:30. The seas were pitching the twin hulled express shuttle so 15 minutes into the trip they distributed sea sick bags and within 45 mins passengers were lining the rail or filling their bags. The trip lasted 2.5 hours and there were many miserable passengers that were happy to disembark in Dar es Salaam.

The cab ride from the port to my friend's house in Dar was interesting because i agreed to a cab ride with one person that spoke English very well, but who jumped out of the cab 5 mins later and left me with a cab driver whose English was very poor. Before he abandoned the cab the driver gave him 5000 shillings, so i assume that his job was to set up the cab rides for those who don't speak English well and gets a cut of the action. The ride cost me 20,000 shillings so the driver made about 15,000 shillings for the 20 minute trip. We still had to stop and ask for directions a couple times, but it all worked out in the end.

No comments:

Post a Comment