Che Shale to Kilifi - Leg 3
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.
It quickly became evident that the wind was going to come, but it would come in late. A decision was made to leave the 3 fastest kiters at Che Shale and for the rest to proceed under motor towards Malindi. We waved goodbye to friends and family on the beach and set off, leaving Justin, Boris and Jason behind.
The wind came through at 1pm and the guys put up their kites and set off on a broad run towards Malindi. By the time the boat had reached the south end of Malindi Bay and dropped the remaining 3 kite surfers and 2 windsurfers off to rig up on the edge of a shallow lagoon, Justin, Boris and Jason appeared. They had covered Che Shale to Malindi in quick time The team then re-united, we set off together through the shallow lagoon, across Mayungu and on towards Watamu.
This stretch of coast took us past a number shallow coves guarded by coral cliffs and stacks, the kiters made fast progress, but the wind surfers found it hard going in the light wind.
With the kiters making such good progress they charged ahead to Watamu for a planned stop on the beach to meet with amazing team at Local Ocean Conservation. The support boat hung back with the wind surfers.
An amazing welcome party received the team into Watamu, and as a number of turtles had been rescued that morning, the advance party were very privileged to release them into the lagoon.
A quick pizza courtesy of little Charlie Cahill (with some help from his mum, Maja) was a welcome snack for the boys before they charged on towards Kilifi.
A long and tiring stretch in the afternoon chop, but at least the winds were blowing stronger, the guys dug deep and made it into Kilifi creek late in the day where they received a warm greeting by their new hosts on board Hideaway, a beautiful Catamaran, which the team will be using as their base until Zanzibar.
A swim in the creek, and a piping hot shower, followed by a few cold beers set the team up for a night out at Distant Relatives, a wonderful eco lodge tucked into the hills above Kilifi creek. Dinner, and a bed for those that wanted to chill out and enjoy the cool, friendly atmosphere in the bar, ended another long, but thoroughly fulfilling day.