Sunday, September 5, 2010
We were pretty beat by the time we made it to Mombasa. The previous week’s safari activities combined with the 20 hour train ride and not having had a shower in what was approaching 48 hours had taken their toll and we were ready to do nothing. After settling into our room we had a late lunch and decided the next day would be spent with our rears parked in beach chairs armed with a book in one hand and a Tusker in the other. After a short stroll down the beach we went for dinner in a modified cargo sailing vessel cum restaurant and then quick withdrew to our room thrilled there would be no alarm clock involved the following morning.
While most sane people consider rainy weather at the beach to be epitome of bad luck, Catherine and I found the week of gray skies and incessant showers to be very useful in justifying our laziness. We stuck to our guns and got very good at enjoying our days taking shelter underneath the outdoor bar/patio while enjoying books, pen, paper, some music, and of course Tusker.
There was a dive shop located at our hotel and I inquired about making a couple of dives. They were all drift dives taking place two at a time each morning. So, in an effort to get another cool stamp in my dive log book and say I actually did something productive in Mombasa, I signed up for two dives just before we left. I didn’t know what to expect (a feeling with which I am becoming quite familiar) and shrugged off the fact that no one checked my certification or required me to sign a complete waiver of liability. Even with the negative foreshadowing the dives turned out to be really cool. Four of us donned our gear and fell backwards off the side of our boat in 6’ seas that were doing a number on my stomach. We descended quickly to 18 meters and I was immediately taken back by how strong the currents were. One of my fellow co-divers had warned us on the boat that it was often necessary to hang-on to something if you wanted to get a good look at a particular specimen of wildlife. Every few seconds you would be pushed 3-4 meters from your existing location and then swept back. I was actually really cool and a lot of fun even though it did require a lot of kicking to manage to control your point of navigation. We saw 4 beautiful white tip sharks (average size 5 feet), two very playful sea turtles, and the most beautiful school of unicorn fish I’ve ever seen. After we resurfaced from the second dive one of the boat crew yelled out claiming there was a whale shark nearby. We hurried into the boat and took off all looking for any sign of a large dark object beneath the water—no luck.
We got out of our hotel after paying an egregious laundry bill which came out of necessity having not done laundry since before we left on our Turkey hiking trip! The flight to Nairobi was easy and we looked forward to trying the infamous Carnivore for dinner.