Indian Ocean – Dar es Salaam to Mafia, Tanzania

Words by Matthew Haden

Found in the 2024 Spring Issue

Day 1 – Dar es Salaam to Sinda

The departure was scheduled for 14:00, however we didn’t set sail until 16:00 and two out of the five would-be sailors had their heads in the Dar es Salaam Yacht Club’s toilet. Sea sickness was furthest from their minds, just regret from the fish they ate the night before. We had to make decisions quickly as we were losing light, and the waves were picking up. 

Matthew, the lead organizer of Jamie’s Sailing Stag Party, tried to push some fresh arrivals from the United Kingdom to suck it up for the 25 kms to the beautiful, deserted island of Sinda where the crew would make camp for the first night. The trip was to include 5 would-be sailors, split between two Windrider 17s trimarans traveling the 175 kms from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island. There was not a person in the group with anything that would be categorized as extensive sailing experience and definitely no one with an international license. There was a dhow (local sailing vessel) support boat captained by Simba with two 25 HP engines that worked intermittently and carried our tents, food and water. 

Even before we left the bay, the waves had picked up and water was splashing all over us. Matt quickly showed Jamie the ropes (literally) and Jamie took control of the Windrider. With this, his stag party had officially begun as we raced against the sunset to Sinda. When we turned the corner out of the bay and into the open ocean, the swell was picking up the boats considerably and there was much whooping and hollering in glee…..



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