The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sun 15 Oct 2017 05:58



21:49S  035:27.48E


We’re anchored in Benguerra, Mozambique, waiting for a weather window to head south towards Richards Bay, which is still 500 miles away.  Here's what we did yesterday.


14 October 2017   Benguerra Sand Spit, Mozambique

The wind blew at 20 knots all night, but the anchorage is well protected from the south-east, so we slept like logs.  I downloaded the latest weather forecast, which now shows a small chance of leaving in the late afternoon on Wednesday 18th. The southerlies that arrive in Maputo on the afternoon of Friday 20th build up slowly, so we might be able to sail on a reach into Maputo with 10-15 knot SE winds, before stronger 20-25 knot winds arrive on Saturday morning.  We’ll wait and see.


The sports fishing boat, “Big Bob” arrived and anchored close by us, so Graham and I went across to have a chat.  He told us that this is a good anchorage in NE and SE winds, so we’ll stay here until we leave for South Africa.  I asked if he had any fish and was delighted when he dragged out a couple of kilos of frozen Spanish Mackerel and didn’t want any money for it.  The skipper told us that there’s a freshwater lake over by a large sand dune to the south of us that has Flamingos.


In the afternoon, we went for a walk with “Red Herring” and “Luna Blu”, aiming to find the flamingos.  It was tough walking on the soft sand and after an hour or so we’d only walked 2 miles and had reached some buildings on the island at the beginning of the sand spit.  This turned out to be a conference centre with two beautiful buildings constructed from traditional wood and reed.  It was deserted apart from two guards who were very friendly and told us that the flamingos were normally on the sand flats, but weren’t there at the moment.


We decided to head back to the boat and, on arriving back at the dinghies, found that the beach had been invaded by 20 or 30 tourists that had been brought from some of the lodges.  The guys from “Big Bob” were having a beer on the beach as well and told us that the sand spit is often busy being a popular day trip from all the lodges.   Apparently, we should have walked a mile further along the east shore to find the flamingo lake - it’s something to do another day.