Whale Sharks and beach breaks

Trip Start Jan 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 06, 2011

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Flag of Mozambique  , Inhambane,
Saturday, October 9, 2010

After a few nights in Maputo we made our way by chappa to Tofo. The journy was reasonably easy and took about 6 hours. On arrival in Tofo we noticed the soil becoming sandy and the wind was caryinh salt. We we were back by the ocean and keen to relax for a few days.

Tofo is a small beach side town that is known for its diving, surfing and snorkel safaries. We checked in at the cheapest place we could find and dropped our bags in our reed walled thatched roofed hut. It was a very basic hut with a crappy bed, bamboo floor and a mozinet. The lack of creature comforts were irelevent when you consider the location. Our hu twas literally on the edge of the eroding sand dune. Although there were no windows in our hut, from outside you had a fantastic view of the whole beach.

The wind was very strong when we first arived and it carried over to the next day too. We were really hoping to go for a swim with the whale sharks but the wind would have made the trip very uncomfortable. Sarah and Mike (an English couple we had been chatting to on the bus) were staying a few huts away. We shared a few beers and dinners over our time at Tofo and got to know them quite well. We had many funny travel stories to share and we were suprised how quickly one can get comfortable about talking about toilet misshaps, a common occurance while traveling. We will spare you the details!!!

On our last day the wind dropped off so we spent a few hours swimming in the tropical clear water and lazed on the beach. We stopped in at one of the dive centres and asked if they had any trips going but they were fully booked. Sarah and Mike came back around midday after an amazing ocean safary where they saw dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks. They showed us some photos and we were very impressed. We decided to stay another night so that we could book a water trip the next day. That afternoon I hired a surfboard and had a great time sufing the Mozambique beachies. It was such a beautiful experience and the whole beach was empty so I had all the waves to myself.

The next morning we got up and had breakfast before making our way down to the dive shop to fill in the paper work and get an overview of the safari. We watched a video showing the appropriate way to approach a whale shark. After a few questions and answers we were on our way down to the beach were we pushed to boat through the small breakers so that it was deep enough for the driver to start the engines. With speed we made our way around the point where we began to look for big dark shaddows. It was not too long before our giude told us to put our masks on and get ready to slide into the deep water. It was whithin seconds before I was face to face with my first whaleshark and it was massive!!! I was right in front of its path and I had to tread water and to to keep my body bouant so thatit could swim underneith me. It was only on the surface for a little while before it swam deeper and out of sight. The boat picked us up and we continued to search for more whalesharks. I was so impressed with Kailey as she was one of the first to jump in each time. We ended up swimming with 6 whalesharks in total. Some were smaller and younger ones, others were huge. A few of the sharks let us swim alongside them for minets as we swam down so that we could be at eye level. Their tails were incredibly big and it was an effort to keep out of its way. 

There were stinging jellyfish in the water and a few of us got stung but one girl in particular was stung multiple times and she had big welts on her arms and legs. She got really worked up and began to go ito shock. She was having trouble breathing and she was loosinng feeling in her arms and legs. On our was back we were headingout in the large swell to take a closer look at some hump back whales but the poor girl was going downhill fast so we made a quick return to shore where she was treated with some vinagar and a shower. After a busy and excitig morning we made our way back to our hut to have a rest so that we could have the energy for a surf later on in the afternoon.

As the sun was lowering and the incomming tide made the waves better, Mike and I hired surfboards and paddled out into the tropical water for an beautiful furf. Mike was still learning and had had a few lessons in the past but he did really well and stood up a number of times. It was another beautiful afternoon in the water, once again no one else in the water so Mike and I had the beach to ourselves. There was a local kid who was watching me surf the day before and he came to the surf shop to hire the boards with us. Mike was sharing his board with him while I was out the back and then when I came in I gave him my board to use and pushed him onto some waves. He was a natural and was able to stand up on a few waves that he rode to the shore.

The surfed capped off an awesome day and added to our very memorable time in Tofo.

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