Pomene (Photo Diary)
Watching the sun rising over Pomene’s palm fringed shoreline, it felt as though we had woken up in a Bounty chocolate advertisement. What a paradise! The night before, under barely an eyelash of winking moon, we had rolled in over the dunes towards our friend Pat’s remote reed-walled hideaway. The morning’s rays brought straight backed locals, balancing baskets of vegetables, fruit and warm Pão (bread) on their heads for us to buy.
Lachlan could not eat anything and quickly became worryingly ill. We tested him for malaria twice. Both results were negative but he took a course of the malaria treatment, Coartem, anyway. (We have decided not to take antimalarials because we are in malarial zones for such a prolonged period of time and they have nasty side effects. Instead we try not to get bitten and carry test kits and Coartem.)
At Pat’s place, there is no cell phone coverage for miles but luckily she was able to use her yacht radio to contact a doctor. He advised us that it was probably amoebic dysentery picked up in dirty water from a rural village somewhere along the way. The experience taught us a valuable lesson and we now purify all of our drinking water using our Lifesaver jerry can, no matter how safe it looks.
While Lachlan recovered, Pat and I swam in the turquoise lagoon, explored the bays on kayaks alongside fishermen in their dugout canoes and went for long soul-charging walks across the white beaches that stretch on forever.
Thankfully, a few days later, Lachlan was well enough to sail with us and explore the mangrove swamps. Pat explained how these special sea adapted trees provide refuge for many creatures, making this particular estuary one of the most pristine and precious in the world. We kayaked ashore to meet the people who co-habit this unique ecosystem and were fascinated by how they live.
The clean sea air seemed to do Lachlan a lot of good and sailing back he took the helm. As we gazed out over the purling ocean, our solitude was shattered by the sudden breaching of a giant manta ray, like an alien spacecraft emerging from the deep.
A honking flamingo flies past Pat's catamaran which is called SHE.
The greater flamingo has mostly pale pink plumage but flamboyantly shows off red and black wings in flight.
SHE has sea horses for figureheads...
and curled tails at her stern.
Love many, trust a few and always paddle your own canoe.
Squeaky clean sand beneath our toes. (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
Dare we make footprints.
Conveniently, Jack Shoping Centre is open 24/7.
Green finger painting.
Local women making their daily commute to and from the well.
Fringe benefits that help to keep out mosquitos. (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
Inside Pat's rustic reed walled chalet.
Hauling in their jumping nets.
The night watchman.
Listening to the breeze soughing through the brachystegia trees at sun rise.
Estella and Isaiah arrive with fresh Pão (bread). (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
Just what the doctor ordered. Lachlan should be better in no time. (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
Dugout anchored by a Singer sewing machine.
Lagoon swimming pool. (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
Drying out takes one day at a time...
you've just gotta hang in there.
Good morning, lazy bones.
Blissfully unaware that Pat's organic seaweed shampoo had turned my barnet GINGER.
Yo ho ho.
Cave with a view.
Bursting with rage.
According to Pat, you should never wish a fisherman luck. Instead you should say "I hope that you touch the tale of a koggel mannetjie."
Mangroves are trees that grow in sea water along the coast. Their roots provide refuge for juvenile fish and protect the coast from Tsunamis by dissipating wave energy.
Mangrove seeds drop in to the water and float along horizontally until they find a suitable place to take root.
Then their density changes and they float upright giving themselves more chance to stick in the mud.
Mangrove crab catcher.
A cashew tree full of mini boxing gloves.
Every cashew nut comes from one fruit. To remove the little nut, the fruit is burnt off. The oil that the fruit produces when it is burnt can be used to paint on wood in order to kill termites.
Babe latched on boob and hacking at casava roots while her unhelpful hubby watches on.
Bespoke tailor ant nest.
A local delicacy that tastes and looks a lot like snot.
This man is almost ninety years old. He approached us on all fours because he is going blind.
Mangroves have special roots which stick up out of the soil like straws for breathing.
Rocked to sleep by Neptune's hand. (Picture taken by Captain Pat.)
“Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” (Mark Twain)
Pat's chic shack is solar powered.
Tea towels hang on twigs in Pat's organic kitchen.
On our way...
Pat’s chalet is available to rent. She also offers sailing lessons and has all of the equipment you could possibly want to have a wonderful holiday. Just don’t borrow her organic seaweed shampoo.