KENYA

February 28, 1978


I woke up at 06:00, washed and got to the beach early with rising tide. I walked southward to take another profile, but found that there was a stone seawall, so I went back to approximately 500 ft south of the Gilani Hotel, opposite the Tourism and Fisheries Offices, and took the sample EMP-90228-01 listed in the table at the bottom of this daily record.
Again, there was much debris and straw, and I watched the crabs emerging shyly from their almost perpendicular holes - what else can you do when the rising tide floods your home?
At 07:30, I took breakfast, this time egg with toast and coffee. Next, I went upstairs, packed, settled my account and departed for the Lawford Hotel. There I appeared to be the only taker for the ks 40 snorkel tour. Since they professed to need 6 customers, I sat down on the terrace to write and also tried my hand (mouth?) in vain to recruit two girls in the pool to go snorkeling.
I noticed that there was a lecture going on in the Karibu Bar, perhaps when that was over some people might join?
At 09:45 I walked to the tourist office, now manned with a bony talkative British lady who showed me some large sketchbooks with colo(u)red sketches of local reef fish. A man named Tom joined, a cartographer of the USGS in California, now attached to UNDP, as well as German couple with a real Brigitte. They each paid ks 40, but I agreed to pay ks 20 and to transport them to the Marine Park. It was still unsettled which boat we were to take and whether I would have to pay the entry fee of ks 2.5, but then another two German young men showed up and paid ks 10 each. One was a bookseller at the Munchen Railway Station.


Finally, we drove off to the Marine Park,
past the monument erected by Vasco de Gama
who was here in 1498
(after the Chinese Eunuch Admiral
Zheng He in 1410)


Once there, we embarked on a glass bottom boat heading for the reef. There was much eelgrass, but the visibility was poor. We moored on one of the six buoys marking the tourist coral garden area - glad to see that we did not anchor and rip up the coral. Some of us used a snorkel for the first time, and Brigitte had brought bread and fish to feed the fish or whatever. There was a shallow reef, 3/4 dead, but well populated with fish including aggressive small blackies, Abudefdef sexfasciatis, Tridacna, Porites, lettuce coral, green coral, and Fungia scutaria - .


Abudefduf sexfasciatus
scissortail sergeant

Fungia scutaria
mushroom coral

Tridacna gigas




We swam around for an hour, then we had a farewell drink and I took the nice gang back to the Lawford and started on my way to Mombasa, some 120 km.
About 18km south of Malindi I turned off to a nice beach, Watamu, which had, however, recently been affected by tar pollution, leaving tar"pancakes" as large as 20 cm (8 inches). (See Table at bottom for EMP-80228-02)
It was getting hot and before I moved on I loaded water, finished my avocado and a coconut about to start decaying, as well as some Maria biscuits that had known better days.
It was a pleasant scenery again with huts and women carrying loads. I passed lovely and dreamy Kilifi and took a photograph from up high of a Navy boat far below.
Next, I took the ferry across the Rare River, together with a well-equipped Landrover. On the other side, I drove past several English looking houses as far as a type of sisal processing plant near a cemetery. I parked here and walked to a cliff affording a fine view of the coast, but no beaches. I walked back and drove on to a hotel/harbor complex and steep road to the dock along the river. I walked past several mushroom like rocks and took another profile (EMP=80228-05, see below) A Zodiak raced by, picked up a bikini-clad girl (I had missed) and took her to a yacht anchored in the rivermouth. I walked along with a Norwegian family which lived in Khartoum, and had just returned from a vacation in the Seychelles (by coincidence, my good friend Erik from Norway, married Rosemarie from the Seychelles!) and he recommended Northwest Beach and Fisherman's Cove. After farewells, I had a coke and saw the preparations for a little feast. I ran into the Norwegians again who had in the meantime collided with a goat which cost him ks 60. Their three little blonde boys spoke excellent English and were scheduled to go to the USA this fall to go to school.
I picked up an English teacher on her way to Mombasa to visit a sick friend. We stopped at the Post Office and I also took profile EMP-80228-06 at a hotel, which had quite some tar pollution. She told me the tar pollution increased towards Mombasa. Then we ran into her boyfriend who took her off my hands and made off with her on a motor cycle. I drove on by myself but stopped at the Hotel Coraldine, north of Mombasa, where I got a cottage for ks 56.
Here I noticed a white lady washing a Ford motor living van, who later proved to be one half of a Dutch couple that had been traveling all this way (except the Sudan) for 7 months, and now were ready to embark on a ship bound for Venice! I took an ice cold bath, then discovered there were no towels (yet). Next, on the terrace, I enjoyed a fine curry, which I washed down with beer and milk. I chatted with some of the other guests, including a group of five men who vied over the favors of a rather lose German girl. By then, it was 20:00 and I was ready for bed. This was the end of February, so I discarded my twice used MSC wristwatch calendar, and again forgot to take down the odometer reading. But let me hasten to provide the promised table regarding to-day's tar pollution samples:


Sample #
EMP-80228
Location: Transect
L x W in ft
Tar Weight
in grams
grams per
square meter
grams per
meter coast
01 500 ft S of
Gilani Hotel
100 ft
x 4 ft
07.9 0.212 5.32
02 Watamu
Beach Hotel
330 ft
x 5 ft
48.0 0.313 31.475
05 Kikamhala
Beach Hotel
115 ft
x 3 ft
47.3 1.478 51.694
06 Kilifi
Hotel
60 ft
x 3 ft
75.2 14.491 82.186


Tar Pollution of Beaches in the Indian Ocean, the South China Sea and the South Pacific Ocean - Native Onlus

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