Misfits Mid Life Crisis Adventures in ………….. Mozambique.
Week 24, Saturday 29 to Friday 5 December 2014.
This week I have mainly been listening to….. Morrissey, Lana Del Ray, Kate Bush, Narvana, Foo Fighters, Kate Nash,
And have been watching…. Fringe (Season 3)
Still reading…… Morrissey’s Autobiography
Special Happy bday mentions this week to, MOZ, Hel, SAZ on 2nd Dec & Nico, Siani Price, The Mighty Chris all on 5th Dec.
Saturday, today was a day of cleaning and painting. Last night started to write dive site names on the wall map, however as I did this it was decided that the turquoise of the sea should be extended a little so the map looked a little more even. I quickly repainted sections going over the names, this meant that this morning as the paint was dry I was able to rewrite what I’d covered up and added the remaining dive site names, it looks ok. I then started to paint the wall outside round the back; It’s got various fish in silhouette (continuing the style from the main counter at the front of the shop). Anna left today, we all said or goodbye, I got a post card which we all signed and gave it to her, another lovely person leaves Liquid and Tofo. This evening outside the house I found a snake pressed in the sand, not sure if it’s just the skin or the whole snake took pics.
Sunday, today was a day of more odd jobs, I continued to paint my latest NON masterpiece on the wall outside by the loo’s, which includes an orange oblong which will have “Toilet” written in white, this is so I can clean the brush after. If I use black paint I can’t clean the brushes properly, to stop them from going stiff and hard I have been leaving them in the paint pot with the handles wrapped in paper most of them are still usable. I have an idea to paint an octopus will speak to the bosses. This afternoon there was a dive to “Mikes Cupboard” I lead a customer around this interesting dive site, we saw an Octopus (always a delight) a Moray and plenty of other reef life. However the excitement began about 20 minutes in to the dive when the guest appeared to be having trouble breathing, he was being sea sick at depth. I changed his regulator for his alternative regulator (the Octo) but he continued to be sick and indicated he was still having trouble. I decided to give him my Octo this was when he gave the thumbs up to surface. He was definitely relieved to be on the surface I felt. This evening we had pizza with Cindy and family who have moved to their new house today.
Monday, the old lagoon behind Liquid has been set on fire, this is done in sections to kill off old vegetation, help promote new growth and naturally fertilize the ground (or so I have been told). The problem is its not patrolled and produces a huge amount of smoke that just drifts over town when the winds in the wrong direction. All day there have been curtains of smoke wafting out of the lagoon. Every now and then you’d stop what you’re doing to watch it’s actually quite beautiful in a strange way. The bosses liked my idea of painting a large Octopus on the wall, with legs carrying on past the glass door and round the corner, I think it’s worked and looks quite good even if I say so myself. This evening I have got the water colours out as tomorrow (2nd Dec) is my baby sisters (Hel and SAZ) and best friend MOZ bday, I have made little cartoons of them and will put these pics on FB (no proper post here remember). Jenny is off to Maputo for a few days and my trip to SA looks sorted as I have a lift with a man that she knows.
Tuesday, started a little earlier than normal, Nadia and Satu and I went on a rekey to see if we can do a snorkelling trip. When I was in Tofo in 2013 with Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF) I went on a couple of snorkelling trips to the estuary to count and identify different types of reef life. Today we drove on some very bumpy sand roads past small settlements with lots of people already up working in fields, loads of children running around, pigs asleep and chickens chasing each, this was all happening before 7am. The drive really was like something out of Top gear Africa, with us bumping along slipping and sliding in the sand, good thing we were in a 4×4 that’s built like a tank. We took longer to reach the location, which meant that we arrived after the ideal tide so were coming back tomorrow. Got back to the dive centre and the lagoon was on fire again this time right behind the dive shop, the smoke was thick and flames strong with banana trees just going up in smoke in front of you. I felt for all the animals in the lagoon who didn’t or couldn’t escape, this included BIG Frog/Toad who I put there last week after he was rescued from the swimming pool overflow pipe. When the flames looked like they were coming our way Michael, Jon and Satu and I used water, sand and things like spades to beat the flames out. However the fire then continued to make its way past us towards a small settlement of house next to the dive centre (at the back). Being good neighbours we checked on the people there who really didn’t seem bothered that the Banana trees metres from there small wooden houses were on fire. Went on a dive to Clownfish reef on the new Liquid boat, very nice. Alfie a rather well known dog was brought to the centre as we were closing; he nipped me on the finger, ouch.
Wednesday, was up at 5am to meet Nadia and Satu at 5.30am to go to the estuary again for another test snorkel trip. This time we got the time and tide right, once there we had a 30 minute or so walk until we found the area to snorkel. I had such a great time floating about the water, so many star fish with amazing colours on them, some of them were in mid stride (very slowly), others appeared to be like little arches with crabs or very tiny fish living under them. I spotted a Cowfish which is one of my faves, I didn’t find a sea horse this time even though I looked very carefully (I really did Nadia) amongst the sea grass, but I saw the ones that others found. While walking back we passed a number of people who were fishing for muscles and other sea creatures, this must be a tough job in waist high (or higher) water all day under that sun can’ be comfortable. Later went on a wonderful 64 min dive this afternoon to “Mikes Cupboard”. Highlights were more Cowfish that were swimming in an out of each other in sync, was this some sort of courtship, Chris and I just floated near and watched captivated. This evening I have been chatting with one of the landlords of this property (he has been staying a few days with his partner), really interesting man who flies helicopters, makes diving sound a little mundane…….
Thursday, and guess what back to the estuary again, the little children who go to a small community school at the place we leave the car must be getting to know our faces by now. Today was a real test as we had 2 paying customers (they knew it was very much a test trip). It turned out to be a great trip; we were taken to a slightly different area than the one we went too yesterday. This had some reef and small (and not so small) rocks at its deepest the water was maybe 2 metres. There were times however when you were floating in less than a foot of water. And yes I was again zoned in on Cowfish I saw so many I love them. I have never seen a puffer fish inflate and deflate before, today I saw a tiny (really a tiny) one who was already inflated when we saw it, suddenly deflate then puff up again wonderful. The star fish come in various sizes in amazing colours, Satu and I did pick one red Starfish up gently and rest it on our hands (it was on rock with just an inch of water flowing over it) once it was on your hand you felt movement looking under it you saw the hundreds of little legs coming out how amazing. I love the trip really I did. I found out today that my ride to SA has fallen through so once back at the dive shop I went to the local backpackers to ask about the bus that leaves for Maputo at 4am every day, I might have to do that but it’s going to mean that I will have to spend the rest of Sunday and a night in Maputo before I can get to Nelspruit. This way I might not be home until Thurs, will have to look in to the planning of this trip. The rest of the day was an off day so I just mooched about. I had some lovely Prawns and bread with the landlord and his partner this evening. Outside the moon is nearly full, it’s so bright reflecting on the sea
Friday, was originally to be a dry day as I got a text very late last night saying I was shop sitting. Once at the shop I discovered that I was diving (Yippee) a double tank this meant that I celebrated getting to Tofo 2014 dive number 120 (since June) before I leave for SA. First to “Manta Reef” we had 3 Mantas come see us. The second dive to “Simons Town” had amazing fish and small reef life, I did spot a HUGE fat sea cucumber it was a whopper. About half way in to the dive I hear Mike shouting I turn and there was a tiny (just over metre) Manta, I started to shout to the others who soon came swimming over to see what had occurred. This little beauty circled us completely twice while we just floated watching with mouths open (in our regulators of course). The little Manta hung about which was nice it could clearly see us and we were no threat to it, this is the smallest manta I have seen. The excitement just continued once on land. After hurriedly eating a pizza I was out on Ocean safari with a lovely group of people, with Mike leading. This was a safari of epicness, we had a Turtle on the surface at the start. We snorkelled with 2 Whale Sharks, one quite small compared to the second one. There was a 3rd Whale Shark but it dived so we lost it, but it was replaced by a Manta a huge reef Manta. The fun continued a little later with dolphins, this pod has 2 small babies, I saw them playing at depth, but the best part was the curtain of bubbles coming from the Dolphins around us, it really was beautiful. All the customers heard them communicating with each other clicking and squeaking. During the safari I got stung by a blue bottle on the top lip it stung for a while, then got a little numb but 20 minutes later there was nothing. I have a ride to Nelspruit, I’m leaving Sunday with the landlord and his partner, I’m relived really am; now I just need to get the new visa.
End of a beautiful week in Tofo, I totally feel in love with Cowfish, but had plenty of Manta and Whale Shark moments to balance things out. Next week will mostly be in South Africa, fingers crossed that the visa application goes well. Oh I might be getting a puppy….. More news soon.