Cape Maclear

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February 11th 2011
Published: March 2nd 2011
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Day 2


We negotiated with some of the local guys on the beach to hire a boat for 9 of us to take us to the little Momba island to go snorkelling (MK780 each) and then another MK400 per person for food which was a lot of rice, tomatoes and braai-grilled fish - it was really good. The snorkelling was so different to anything I have seen before - lots and lots of tiny fish - blues, yellow, black. It was so nice to be in the water and with fins and mask. After snorkelling they took us around to look at the Kingfishers. The locals throw fish into the water and call the birds - they then swoop down and catch the fish out the water - its incredible to watch.

Party on the Beach

In the evening we enjoyed sundowners on the beach. We were joined by David (another Brit Naomi and Jen had met in Lilongwe) who had come down to Cape Maclear to dive. At about 10pm we decide we would go to Gecko Lounge (another backpackers) to see if the party was happening there and to meet some more people. We found a lot of Brits, Scots and Irish med students from Blantyre and managed to convince all of them to come back with us to Mufasa's because we had music and a bar on the beach.

We spent the rest of the evening getting to know them, having a few drinks, debating which nationality drank the most and listening to music.

Day 3

It was a beautiful, clear day and we spent it in the lake, on the shore and in the swinging chairs and hammocks. At one point Naomi and David and I swam out to a neutrally buoyant boat in the lake and played around on that for awhile. We turned it over and sat in it like a bath and then turned it upside to lie on top. It was rather unstable and took ages to stop it from spinning, so most of the time was spent laughing at how ridiculous it was and how lame we al were.

Deep Dive

David decided he would join me on the deep dive that I was planning on doing - 30m down to a small wreck. While Naomi and Jen did their day dive, David and I did our deep dive. It was pretty cool - I didn't have any problems getting down and we got to see these massive catfish and the beds they make at the bottom in the sand (they look like tiny craters). I even got to explore the inside of the boat (didn't think I was allowed to do that on open water). I was having a little more trouble with buoyancy than usual, but after awhile I got the hang of it, I don't think I am used to so few weights (I only had 2).

Night Dive

We watched the sun begin to set while we waited for our night dive to begin. Out on the lake we took the boat out to the Aquarium and I got briefed on the torch and hand signals etc for the dive. I was actually a bit nervous but my excitement exceeded any hesitations. Being under water at night was definitely a different experience. You can only see what is in your light and almost feels a bit spooky - like you are in a movie and the shark or croc is waiting in the shadows. I really enjoyed it though and reckon I would enjoy cave and night diving a lot - at least I am learning about which specialities I want to do. As far as fish go I was a bit disappointed. I had hear that these Cornish sharks hunt in your light and its incredible to see, but in our lights they just swam away or did their own thing. We followed them for awhile and could hear then eating (sounds like tin on tin) and I saw one little one eat another fish. Not what I expected but I still really enjoyed being under water at night and seeing the colours.

Goat for Dinner

Back at the hostel Edward and Grant had spent the day hunting (figuratively) for food again and decided to buy a goat, spaghetti and salad (tomatoes & cucumber) for dinner. We all shared in the meal (kind of like the little family we had become) and enjoyed our last night (or so we thought) together under the stars, on the beach front of Cape Maclear. The meat was amazing and I ate myself absolutely full. I don't know if I had ever had goat before, but it was tasty and the cooks had cooked it to perfection. I really didn't think I would be eating meals like this in Africa that's for sure. Go Edward and Grant and their adventurous cooking cravings.

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