Search and Rescue? 21st January

By this morning we all had fear in our hearts for the guys. No one had seen them. One group reported a small red yacht in Shimoni but Ibis is white with red anti fouling. We reckon that one would be a couple of French guys we met. The only phone still working is Mary’s!
We pulled the anchor and steamed round the corner to Shimoni, where Mary’s nephew lives. Once we’d anchored there, the local police arrived, three of them, one with the regulation AK47!
One thoroughly searched the boat with Josh and the others stayed talking to us. Mary is fluent in Swahili and Bea speaks pretty well, while I’m limited to greetings. So when they started laughing and looking at me, I demanded a translation. Turns out all the men wanted me for a wife and thought I’d be happy to choose one of them. Not withstanding I’m old enough to be their mothers and I have Igor at home, two of them were damned fine looking lads!! However amid much laughter and Mary translating my ribald responses to their suggestions, they left, without me or the bribe they wanted!! Also, thankfully, without finding Mary’s stash of bufti!
Mary’s nephew, Abdul, collected us and took us for a tour of the slave caves in their town, from centuries gone by. Beautiful caves with stalactites and stalagmites, but such a grim history. Human capacity for inhumanity to his fellow man is terrifying. We wandered the village and bought drinking water. Then Abdul took us to meet his new wife, who’d been preparing lunch for us.
She is adorable, and obviously expecting!! Lunch was Soooo good. We all ate far more than we needed!! We were invited for dinner too and accepted, having decided to return to Rangi and have baths in the sea, returning in a more respectable state later. We also wanted to find out if there’d been any news of Chapsie and Ali.
There’s wasn’t, so using Mary’s phone we started getting to find pilots willing to do an air search for us. There’s no real maritime SAR here. Plus with the search area so huge and bordering Kenya and Tanzania, it gets tricky. But they were more than a day overdue and we were desperately worried.
Then about 5pm Mary’s daughter called and she suddenly whooped in joy. They were safe. She and I burst into tears of relief. Mary picked up Bea and hugged her. Josh picked me up and swung me in a bear hug!!
What a great feeling. We bust out the champagne we’d been saving.
We went for dinner with lighter hearts and will have the first decent sleep this week, tonight!!
BTW, I’m writing this retrospectively, since I’ve only just charged my phone, and have no photos from those nightmarish days.

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