October 2nd – Day Eight
The previous day most of us had agreed to go snorkelling and had all signed up and paid with the ‘Spanish Dancer’ diving company. Keryn was also coming out to go diving. We had our breakfast and all made our way to the beach to be fitted for flippers and masks, while Keryn got her tanks, wetsuit and other diving gear. Eventually we were wading out to the boat and then finding a seat onboard ready for the journey out to the atoll around Mnemba Island. The trip was pleasant, a small swell meaning we had a bit of movement but it was actually quite a smooth journey. We had a problem with one of the two outboard motors but the crew got that sorted and there were no other problems. We saw a dolphin in the distance and saw plenty of small flying fish shooting off from the boats bow wave. The island appeared in the distance and we slowly approached what really did look like a slice of paradise, a crew member told us that accommodation on the island costs around $1200 a day so we wouldn’t be setting foot on any land during this trip. The boat stopped at the first dive and snorkelling area and we were soon into the water and looking for fish.
Heading out to dive and snorkel
Keryn’s view while diving
We snorkelled around for a hour or so, seeing loads of fish, interesting coral and the odd diver travelling along below us. Highlights were brightly coloured parrot fish, black and yellow angel fish in small shoals and some clown fish swimming around a large anemone. Back at the boat we all ate some doughnut like things while the crew prepared for the divers to go to their next nearby site. So we did more snorkelling and the divers went off to do their thing. Keryn managed to see a turtle and get a few photos which was good. We have an underwater housing for her digital compact and its proving to be quite useful. Once the snorkellers were back onboard we set off to pick up the divers. As we were setting off a pod of dolphins was spotted so we first headed in their direction. As we approached the dolphins were diving and spinning out of the water, a fantastic site. They swam underneath the boat, clearly visible in the clear water with a sea floor a few metres below made consisting of white sand. They then slowly disappeared into the distance and we continued to pick up all the divers and tell them what they had just missed.
Fish from Keryn’s dive
Keryn’s turtle encounter
Everyone was soon onboard and we headed back homewards, having lunch along the way. Once back it was more relaxing before some of us took part in a rousing game of volleyball on the beach. Will, Maria, Roger and I were part of two teams battling it out for beach supremacy. Because of our low numbers we were joined by six locals making two teams of five. The team with Roger and I narrowly beat Will and Maria’s team, turning a first match into two straight victories to come out on top. The evening was spent with dinner at the slowest restaurant on Zanzibar – the mains taking nearly two hours to arrive. Thankfully the food was good when it arrived. Then off to bed with a bit of packing first as the next morning we left the beach to head back down to Stone Town.