Leg 9 - Pangani to Nungwi
The team woke up aboard Hideaway anchored off the quaint old Pangani town at the mouth of the Pangani River. The catamaran had to head out of the river mouth early into deeper water, as with the full moon, the fast dropping spring tide would leave us high and dry. A hearty breakfast prepared by Jess was enjoyed anchored off a small beach south of the river mouth.
Day 8 - Tanga to Pangani
Waking up in on our mooring in front of Tanga Yacht Club, the team were visibly subdued - the previous day’s exertions in storm-force winds and wild seas had taken their toll. After a breakfast of eggy-bread, cereal, fresh fruit and Kenya coffee, the daily routine of patching wounds began - bandages, iodine and duck tape applied to blistered feet, fin cuts and coral grazes.
Leg 7. The EPIC. Shimoni - Tanga. Straightline Distance 67km. Distance kited 117km. Hours on water 5 (nonstop). Highest windspeed 37knots!
There is no way to keep this blog post short, too much happened today. The day seemed to have bad juju right from the start. From the minute we woke up we were out of synch with our planning, our timings and the weather, Having all slept on land for the night it was a mad rush to get down to the beach for 7am to catch our boat to the Catamaran for breakfast. The cat would have to leave at 8am to make it through the shallow tidal waters of the creek. Within that time we had to eat breakfast, prepare our day packs and radios, apply our bandages and plasters and choose the surf kit we would need that day. Let’s just say it wasn’t the most relaxing of breakfasts.
Leg 6. Diani - Shimoni. Straightline distance 47k. Distance Kited 54km. Hours on water 4.
Unsurprisingly it was hard to leave our luxury digs this morning, but Shimoni was calling so we all had to snap into gear and prepare for the 47km leg ahead. We’re getting to the business end of the expedition now and the toll it’s taking on our bodies is tangible. George had to get himself to a clinic to get his hip graze seen to and get drops for his aching blood red eyes. Al has lips that are so dry and cracked they’ve got blisters on them. Stef was walking like a matador at a toledo, but not out of choice. Marc has third degree (sun) burn on this arms. Justin has a constant look of pain on his face but to be fair that’s the way he always looks. Boris is losing his hair but that’s because he’s getting old. Even photographer Nic is hobbling around but that could just be out of solidarity. Jason and Craig seemed to made of rubber and are absolutely fine.
Day 5 Mombasa - Diani. Distance covered 33km. Distance kited 54km. Hours on water 3.5
As always the day would begin early, at around 6:45am. Nic, ever the pro, would be up an hour before everyone else editing his photos from the day before. We hope you’ve been enjoying Nic’s daily photographs capturing the Kenyan coast, it’s people, and our expedition (picking up a bruised cheek from his camera after hours of photography on board the bouncing skiff). It’s a very special feeling for us to have our trip documented in such a wonderful way, and we owe Nic a huge debt of gratitude for giving up his time to join us.
Day 4. Kilifi - Mombasa - Straightline distance covered 53 km. Kited distance 65km. Hours on water 4
The thing about starting an expedition with three, frankly, ridiculously, long legs, is that when you get to a regularly long one it seems easy in comparison! Today’s objective was to cover 53km from
Kilifi to Mombasa. We met up on our new home for the rest of the trip - the 44ft Catamaran ‘Hideaway’, to plan the day’s journey. Following the issues with the slowgoing windsurfers from the day before we decided to split the group. We hired a basic skiff with a 15hp engine as a rescue/transport boat for the day. It dropped the kiters onto Bofa beach (north of the creek) whilst the windsurfers, needing at least 5knots more wind than the kiters to get going, remained on the cat to sail for a few km down the coast until the wind picked up - in the interest of time.
Day 3. Che Shale - Kilifi. Distance covered 77km. Kited distance 102km. Hours on water 5.
It was clear from the minute we all sat down for breakfast that everyone was feeling excited about the day ahead. We were finally coming into the stretch of the coastline that most, if not all, of us were fairly familiar with. A 77km stretch from Che Shale, through Mambrui Bay, Malindi Bay, Maungu, Watamu and onto Kilifi. It’s where the dark, oft murky red soiled water, would transform into the turquoise green lagoons Kenya is so famous for. The questioned remained however, would the wind gods play ball? In short: no.
Captain of the day - Justin
Captains Log - Day 2 - Kipini-Che Shale - distance 90km - Hours on water 8
The theme of the day was: pragmatism. We woke up in Kipini to a breathtaking sunrise, with the local fisherman making their way out to sea over mirror flat waters. As we all sat and enjoyed our breakfast of mandazi’s and meat samosas (or in Nic’s case combing the two to make a mandosa) Justin and Boris were less relaxed. Their intuition on the conditions they are so familiar with were giving them cause for concern - this would not be a windy day. Oh….and it was also our longest day in terms of distance to cover.
Reflections on leg 1 from George Issaias
Captains log (George) - Day 1 - Lamu to Kipini - 59kms - total distance covered 90km - hours 6
And….they’re off. After months of planning, discussions (read: arguments) and a couple of sleepless nights, the Lamu to Zanzibar expedition finally became a reality. Our team of 6 kite surfers and 2 windsurfers gathered on Shela beach at midday day on 5th Jan as the wind finally kicked in. With friends and family on the beach to see us off, the whole team felt great and with the wind in our sails we set off for Kipini, followed by our support boat Katisa of Kilifi Sport Fishing under the expert guidance of Captain Rossano.
The whole team finally got together on the 3rd of January. A number of the guys had spent New Year in Shela, Boris and Justin drove up from Che Shale, which took them 4 hours, Craig and Nic were scheduled to fly up on Jambojet, but given their recent track record of delays and re-routing, decided to join Rossano for the voyage up from Kilifi to Lamu onboard Katisa, which took nearly 10 hours, due to rough seas and strong Kaskazi headwind for which kicked in when crossing Formosa Bay.
EABR's Boris Polo has uploaded a video teaser to the Lamu to Zanzibar 2017 expedition
EABR's Jason Rogers was a member of the Kite The Reef team that Branson generously supported in 2015
'Outside my family and the Virgin Group there are two things that I love most: kitesurfing and supporting a good cause. You can therefore understand how excited I am about Kite The Reef – an epic 10 day journey across the Great Barrier Reef, to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease (MND/ASL) research.' - Richard Branson
Or is George pioneering Barefoot Kitesurfing?
Planning has started to get serious, especially for Craig.
Productive first meeting with most of the crew around the table or dialled in.
Video - April 2016