Lat: 20 25.402′ S
Long: 36 00.475′ E

Quelimane certainly was an experience, and looking back, it seems to be one of those times on the trip (like when I started the bottom job in N.Z.) that we got by with a little help from our friends. Although we spent most of our time on the boat, each time we ventured out into the city (usually accompanied by Garth), we felt more comfortable with our surroundings and the language and a little more savvy. And as usual, the negatives (e.g., getting charged 50% more the second day I went to buy bread from the street vendor) were easier to swallow with a spoonful of humor.

We motored back out of the river around 4 p.m., and most of the fisherman had returned to their villages with the day’s catch. We could see hundreds of people milling about the villages attending to their afternoon chores. Meanwhile at least 50 children were by the water’s edge taking turns jumping off of the wharf. We threw a couple of soccer balls in their direction, which seemed to be a big hit.

village A busy village

swimming A good day for a swim

After a very windy night at anchor at the mouth of the river, we weighed anchor around 6:00 the next morning in very calm winds. We motored out of the partially marked channel with care as the channel itself is only 10-20′ deep and surrounded on both sides by sand bars and breaking waves. By nightfall the wind had picked up and from the ESE, and it carried us southward through the night. Today it has moved farther south, but at the moment we are sailing close-hauled at 7 knots in calm seas with the main and jib. Not too shabby! So far we (or more accurately, Dallas) have been able to find opportune weather windows for getting farther south, thereby avoiding the southerly busters that are known to produce large, steep seas here in the Mozambique Channel. We should be able to ride this one out for 2-3 more days which will get us to Inhambane or even Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Once in Maputo we will be able to breathe a little easier knowing that we are out of the cyclone zone, and we’ll be only a hop-skip-and-jump from Richard’s Bay, South Africa! There is a game park near there that looks quite interesting…