They came in dhows. Hundreds of years ago, the Arabs came on Dhows to the Kenyan coast, and thus began a long, intricate history of the Omani sultanate and what was to become the identity of the Swahili in Kenya.
Dhows still exist today, and we were really lucky to be sent on a mystical dhow trip to watch the last sunset of 2016 by Malik, owner of Baytil Ajaib where we stayed in Lamu.
Captain Adam and his first mate picked us up at 4.3opm, and sailed us through Manda island as the dhow sail was lifted and opened – this is such a beautiful site. As the water of the ocean lapped on the side, Sam and I sat at the helm in utter bliss to be in this moment. The dhow eye sailed us into the direction it chose, as the winds blew where they felt.
Just when I thought this was as wonderful as it would get, the Captain steered to the left – to a channel , reminiscent of the Amazon. All of a sudden, the rough, lapping waves gave way to serene calm – water at peace with itself, and it felt as if the dhow was floating. I had my reservations about the dhow being able to fit in the channel, but indeed it did, and floated on as if pulled by Angels, coming out to the other side, and back to the darting sea.
As we sailed away, back to Lamu, the majestic sun said his goodbye for the year, and sunk into the sea for the evening, to be awakened the next day.
Once in your lifetime, try, sail away, be blown away.