As I mentioned earlier, geography has always been fascinating for me (since grade school!) and for some reason there have been some special places on this earth that captured my imagination and have always seemed more exotic and so far away that I felt I would never see them in my lifetime. Perhaps this was because they were half a world away, and thus, these places seemed as unattainable as the stars.
The Indian Ocean has always been one of these places, along with Madagascar. You see, I have dreamed of Africa for a very long time! And while we did not see Madagascar on this trip, we got to see the Indian Ocean!
And, well, we were not far from Madagascar, but I swear we could see it from the fishing boat !!!!! That is going to be my story!!!! Yeah!
And we did not just see the Indian Ocean, but we felt her cool beach sand beneath our feet, we played in her warm waves, we fished and ate for supper her gifts to us – fish that were beautiful, exotic, and extremely good eating.
On the eighth day of our safari, we had arranged for a half-day of fishing on the Indian Ocean from a chartered fishing boat. We arrived at the marina just after noon, yet the skipper of the craft did not feel it prudent to take the boat out of the harbor that afternoon. The seas were very wild and rough, the wind strong, and leaving the narrow and rocky mouth of the channel with rough seas was dangerous.
So, then, we opted to take a river boat cruise up the Kowie River, and the river wound through steep river canyons lined with hillsides treed with exotic species that reminded one of Jurassic Park. The boat trip was relaxing, and dusk on the river was beautiful.
Returning from the river boat cruise, we all frolicked and danced on the beach. We were told NOT to go in even to our knees, for sharks were always about!!!!!
Happy girls, on the beach !!!!!
The following day, the weather promised more favorable conditions, and we were at the marina before dawn. We boarded the boat, skippered by Mark, and his mate, Justin. We made our way down the channel toward the mouth of the ocean, and saw the narrow and rocky opening we would negotiate to get out to sea. The opening was narrow, with huge rocks on either side, and the surf was high.
“Hold fast,” we were told, as the boat entered the incoming boiling surf at the mouth. It was rough, and the boat was lifted up and dropped down as we passed through the waves, and then we were safely past the rocks, and on our way out to sea!
The fiery sunrise on the Indian Ocean was as beautiful as I had imagined.
The boat was steered North, and we anchored and threw out our saltwater spinning lines. Even though the boat was anchored, the current and wind was too strong, so we brought in our lines, and moved closer to shore. The shoreline was breathtakingly beautiful with the sandy beaches, the dunes, and the lush green thornbush that extended close to the beach.
Using frozen baitfish, we began to catch fish. Several sharks were hooked, and let off, and we moved the boat again.
We began to catch a number of fish Mark called “daggarade,” and maybe this is a regional name for the fish, (and perhaps I am not spelling it correctly) but these fish were a beautiful apricot and cream colored striped fish, squat and roundish, instead of long, and their mouths had teeth. They put up a heck of a fight and were fun to catch. Mark stated these were good eating, so the legal sized fish were kept, and the smaller ones released.
Cindy….smiling, as usual.
Mark, the skipper, holding one of my ‘daggarade.’
Michelle, from Oregon, caught a beautiful black and gray striped fish Mark called a Musselcracker, but released it as it was not of legal size. This was a gorgeous fish, and if photos come to me, I will post them here!
We also caught iridescent blue and lavender fish that were released. The fish were so beautiful and their colors were unlike any salt water fish we have caught on the East Coast. Every one of us caught our limit of fish, and we took the legal fish back to camp!
The fish were eaten for supper the next day!!!!! And they were delicious!
On the Indian Ocean! A childhood dream come true! How lucky can one be ?????