Misfits Mid Life Crisis Adventures in ……. Mozambique
This week I have mainly been listening to, Ladyhawk first album (on constant repeat), more Lana Del Ray, both albums by Santigold plus a hint of the 90s Britpop from the wonderful Suede.
I have mainly been watching the dark and strangely funny in places, True Detectives.
People really don’t forget do they? On Saturday I kept bumping in to this kid selling coconut bread rolls. He remembered me from last year, I bought from him then. I tried to fob him off saying “I’m here till November……” but everywhere I went he appeared. I half expected to see him when I was on the run (I did it Sat morn instead of Fri eve). In the end after buying bread rolls and bananas from the market, I bought a bag of his rolls, he wanted 150 mts (about £3), I didn’t have much cash so got them for 70mts, but the change I got meant I paid 80mts. After that he was happy and didn’t even acknowledge me later in the afternoon when I passed him. I have had a number of people i n the market come up and say hi, it’s a nice feeling.
Sunday we did 2 dives, the afternoon one was a shallow dive about 9 metres, and we practiced at depth and surface rescue tech, I don’t think I was very good. Bobbing about in the ocean trying to give rescue breaths to your “victim” while undoing all there equipment is really not easy.
The dive shop kitten is doing really well, everyone taking turns to love hug and squeeze her, feed her and poop here (rub a cloth under her tail and she poos, its how mum would have taught her). Her eyes are fully open now. A sadder note there is a dog called Tie, but he was run over by a non-stopping driver, the poor thing was not well and in in pain. He didnt know whether to sit or lay down, his breathing is laboured. It was so upsetting to watch him struggle. Tie was put to sleep Monday late afternoon; it would have been cruel to have let him struggle on longer. Maybe if we were in Maputo the capital he might have had a better chance, but in Tofo there is just not the facilities. There is very much a different attitude here to animals and health. In UK we would go to the vets (and there would be plenty of them with in reach) and get meds, but here there aren’t many vets and any meds would costs a bomb. There are a lot of dogs wondering around and im sure that many become road kill; it’s very sad way to think about the animals you see wondering about daily. On Tuesday I was escorted to the dive shop by a dog from the beach, looked a little greyhound like, with the small waist but I don’t think it was.
Talking about dogs, I had to go in to a hotel on Saturday night as I was walking home from a friends about to go down a pitch black section and my torch batteries weren’t good. There was a HUGE (ok not that huge) dog barking and Iit scared me. If I’d gone backon myself it would have taken much longer to get home. So I wimped out and asked a nice man with a large torch and a stick (I didn’t ask him to bring the stick) to walk me back home.
On Monday I didn’t go near the water, but I felt sea sick and nauseous, so stayed at the dive centre and watched the world go by. I was sick twice, just thought I should report the facts.
Tuesday 2 dives, the first didn’t go as planned, I was given the buoy line at depth, but the current meant that I couldn’t swim with the reel, Mikki one of the other DMT tried to help but he couldn’t either. Once we lost site of the other diver’s bubbles we made our way up to the surface. Dive time 11 minutes, oh well we live and learn. Later in afternoon we were doing rescue techniques at depth and on surface att a reef called Clown fish, all went better than Sunday. Felt more confident, even with a strong current, we were only at about 9 metres.
It started to rain here on Tuesday about 5pm, there was not one person rushing around with a brolly, like at home. Oh something I hadn’t realised, but its winter here. During the day it’s about 25 to 27c and at night it’s about 18c. I’ve always said I don’t feel the cold, well here there is no such thing (unless you’re in the drinks cooler I suppose.)
Wednesday was a rainy day, the only real difference was that the rain was warm(ish), very refreshing really. Again not a brolly in site, but did see a couple of people with plastic bags on their heads, but then again ive seen that at home so it’s a universal way of keeping your head dry. The DMT’s did our rescue exam and rescue scenario in the sea. The exam is multiple choice pass mark 75%, I scraped by with 80%, third place behind Sissi and first place Mikki. In the rescue scenario we had to find Jimmy at depth (about 7.5 metres) and bring him to the surface, all went well, Jimmy survived, woo hoo. Then Sissi, Mikki and I swam the 400 metres from the boat to the shore, and yes I came third again. Third place Lucas is my new name.
Everything that you buy in Tofo market comes in a black plastic bag. Plastic bags have become a big eco issue in the UK, so much so that many more shops will charge you for them. If the people of Tofo market were to charge for their bags they would make a killing. In the UK we are being made very much aware about what happens to plastic bags when they become waste/rubbish. And how many of them are getting in the sea and causing problems with marine life. Next to Tofo beach is a market that is giving plastic bags out by the skip load. There is a litter problem here, people throw things out of car windows, when I do my run there are plastic water bottles, crushed fizzy pop cans and other rubbish stuck to the grasses and verges like fuzzy felt.
You really lose track of the week here, a couple of times I have heard people ask what day it is today, everything happens in Tofo slowly, nothing is rushed. So the week passes by slowly but nothing drags. Thursday morning dive didn’t go as planned, the buoy line snapped and we had a little engine trouble. When I was floating on the surface waiting for the boat to pick me and others up, I thought, is it a bad time to think about the film “Open Water”, lol……(IMDb it if you haven’t seen it). The second dive on Thursday was at a location called Marble Arch, a circular reef with lots of nooks and crannies really enjoyed it. When I think of Marble Arch, I remember travelling on a London Transport Routemaster bus, hanging out of the open door way going round Marble Arch at speed, loved the rush the feeling you got as you linked your arm round the poll that went from floor to ceiling. Tofo Marble arch is prettier…..
Friday, one dive this morning, 34 metres deep. Mikki, Leo and Andrew and I was clinging on to the surface as the current whooshed passed up, it was the strongest current so far. After about 10 ,ims with the others not reaching us we decided to surface. We all let go and got carried by the current, you really feel like flying. It reminds me of film from the Apollo landings of the Luna module travelling over the bleak surface, I really felt like i was on a spacewalk drifting in the nothingness of the ocean. I spent the rest of the day with Leo in the shop reading my Dive master manual, yes im a swot, don’t forget im 3rd place Lucas so I need to swot.
I have been here 2 week Sunday, its gone quickly, am having a great time. Tomorrow im on shop duty again so no diving, Sunday I’ll have a day off.