Saturday, May 24, 2014

New Kiko

Kikos last moments were undignified and all hands available battled to save her. It was a mighty storm that took her, 2m waves broke 150 metres from shore and there was nowhere to hide. Our rugged faithful friend soon become another piece of beach furniture. We grieved her loss and will remember her services for years to come.

A replacement for Kiko was commissioned to be built soon after shutting and leaving the camp in March. Boat builders in Ujiji have been building the camps boats since the very beginning.
These Africanised versions of a traditional sailing dhow have crossed the oceans for possibly 3000 years. Some theories suggest they came originally from China, then India, Arabia and more recently Africa.
 We have decided to put one of the beautiful, graceful lateen sails on our new boat for added romance and peace while enjoying your afternoon drinks and pulling fish from the lake.

A break on Mafia island gave Kerrie and I a good opportunity to sail and learn more about these excellent boats.
Kerrie checks comfort levels aboard our Mafian dhow
Learning the ropes
We are adapting some of the coastal design to our new build. Mainly the upper deck for lounging, sunbathing or diving from into the pristine waters of lake Tanganyika.

After milling of the planks, the whole boat is built using only hand
tools. An incredible and very traditional craft.

The new boat is just a few weeks away from completion and
looking mighty fine

A team of  skilled and resourceful locals install the upper
deck members

I was sent to Ujiji this week to inspect progress
and discuss some of the important details that will help our new Kiko sail well. Much time
was spent looking at keel design, rudder positioning and rigging. Photos on my laptop from the coastal boats intrigued our lakeside Fundis (craftsmen).


We are very excited to see the progress that has been made. Our guests are sure to enjoy time aboard a very historical and elegant vessel when we take delivery of her in just a few weeks.