The life and times of the unemployed boats of Mafia island:  A Photo Essay

This is just an opportunity to share some photos which were taken last April during a last-minute weekend trip to Mafia Island. Ended up jumping on a flight and finding myself another piece of Tanzanian paradise sitting about  a 45 minute flight south of Dar es Salaam. We found ourselves on a beach the second day with a few hours to wait until the tides came in and we could leave on a snorkelling trip we just negotiated (the horrors!). The beach and shallow waters were littered with a number of boats in various states of use and disrepair and I spent the next little while trying to capture a bit of this with the camera. Without any further ado…my photo essay (and slightly disturbing accompanying captions) on the unemployed boats and dhows of Chole Beach, Mafia Island, Tanzania.

If you want to check out more – the full slideshow from this trip is available here on my Flickr account.

Academic Note: The recession link is probably unproven – not sure how closely the fishing villages out here are linked to Bear Stearns, AIG, and Citibank – I just took a lot of pictures of boats not in use – but that could have been because of the tides…

A very cool reason to go back:

When we visited last year in April it was unfortunately not during one of nature’s coolest spectacles which occurs off the coast of Tanzania every year – the visits of the whale shark to the feeding grounds of the Rufiji delta.

“Very little is known about the world’s largest fish. Weighing up to 35 tonnes, the whale shark has poor eyesight and relies on its sense of smell to track prey. Off Mafia Island, whale sharks congregate in large numbers in order to feed. Some may travel as many as 13,000km (8,000 miles) to visit rich feeding grounds. The water is enriched by nutrients that have washed out to sea from the African river deltas.”  - BBC Oceans

Apparently it happens every year from October -March,  so I hope to take advantage and make the trip this year. I’ll update you if it works out and see if I can find one of those underwater cameras here in TZ.

From: http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagedisplay/img_display.php?pic=071231-r-whale-shark-02.jpg&cap=Whale+sharks+are+the+largest+shark+and+largest+fish+species+in+the+seas.+Credit:+Brad+Norman&title=Whale+Sharks+Thrive+in+Australian+Waters&title=Whale%20Sharks%20Thrive%20in%20Australian%20Waters