A couple of nostalgic years ago, in times of the golden 4 month summer uni holidays, a group of ten of us decided over an ice cold tusker that our next so called adventure would be to journey up to Kiwayu, on the tip of Kenya's northern coastline.
After weeks of idle and non-existent planning work, with days slowly running out, we found ourselves with precious little hours to get our shit together and get on the road. Packed into 3 cars, with little but the threads on our backs, boxes of fruit and veg and numerous bottles of gin, vodka, koinage and the occasional tonic, we embarked on the odyssey.
Being able to 'borrow' a dhow for a few dollars for the week, manned by the most endearing Captain and his ragamuffin deckhand, we had the privilege of setting sail on a trip that i know i will look back on for many a year to come.
Armed with as many fishing rods as we could muster, a small speedboat, and the grand old idea that we would only eat what we caught, we set off in the early hours of the morning, navigating out of Lamu in the traditional dhow, beer in hand before the sun could rise.
Precious little times in my life can i look back at that sort of freedom. With every worry in the world left stranded back on the mainland, and nothing but golden sub-baked days in remote archipelago islands to look forward to. Freedom of the mind, of the body, and of the soul
Spending nights abroad Kilindini, on deserted beaches, we found ourselves in a place where few people have been before, down the road less travelled, away from the traditional Kenyan tourist trail.
Sailing through the islands, with lines out the back, beers in hand, mellow reggae blowing out of the dusty speakers, everyone lost in the own world, with the silence broken only by the occasional line being stripped.
Setting up camp late at night, with more sand in the tent than on the beach, and with the full moon illuminating the beach, we took to the dhow to witness the most amazing spectacle. Jumping from the bow into the dark water below, the water would come alive in a medley of colours as the body punctured the waters surface. Swimming in a pitch black sea at midnight with yellow glows around everyone in the water. Its magic.
Night at Day
Taking early morning and late evening turns to catch the lunch, we found ourselves happily getting by on fresh tuna sushi for lunch, tuna steaks for dinner, and snacking on red snapper during the day. It really doesnt get much better. Having to throw away plates of fresh tuna on the final day was testament to the bounty of the untouched ocean in Kiwayu.
I could write for years on the experiences we all had, the perspective it made us look at our lives at and the moments that took our breath away, but its easier to just summarise :)
Water, everywhere, deserted beaches, crystal clear water, snorkelling, fish, lights, full moons, no moons, dark moons, speedboats, sailing, laughter, treasure hunts, dhow parties, every sunset different from the last, cold beers, warm beers, no beers, tuna, snapper, music, reggae, house, incessant dance, nothingness, sunburn, eclipses, nudity, dancing, dancing naked, hammocks, donkeys, more hammocks, waterskiing, pirates, camping, sandy beaches, peace, shopping, bargaining, donkey races, milky way as clear as the movies, romance, fighting, homemade driftwood bars, barman, fires, barman in fires, gins, gins and tonics, crab races, mud wrestling, broken bodies, crashing the dhow, drunk captains, hitting sandbars, getting reels stripped, losing lures, making friends, the list goes on and on
I thank each and everyone of the people who came. Times like this come around way to rarely, and i cherish them everyday
Sten, Kristian, Skye, Guy, Mark, Alan, Kirsty, Sam, Jesslyn, Arnie, Tegan, Gerard