"Our mission is to advance medical expertise and care in Tanzania through the training and education of local medical personnel (the Train-Forward model). Through this model we will improve health care and medical autonomy by investing knowledge, skills, and time, rather than dollars, into the Tanzanian healthcare infrastructure."

 

 

 

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An update on the Zanzibar Channel kayak crossing attempt

Dear all, 

An update from my attempt to cross the Zanzibar channel by kayak; The plan was to leave at 0400 in the morning to avoid the stronger winds that develop during the day and beat the predicted increasing swell (1.3 M - 9Sec.). 

It was a good plan. Unfortunately a 14 knot wind was already blowing steadily from the south East at 0400. The wind was also at angle with the current and the combination created very choppy conditions. My "waterproof" lights failed after several flooding events where waves found their way into my kayak causing  me to capsize 8 times and leaving me exhausted in the pitch black (new moon). The subsequent hour left me practically trying to navigate the waves blindfolded in a rough sea trying to keep my balance and the sea out. After having covered only 12 km of the 40, I had to admit defeat by the elements as motion sickness kicked in. The rescue boat took me out. At that moment the sun peaked over the horizon between towering cumulonimbus pillars as a pot of 20+ bottle nose dolphins greeted us. 
The picture is the only one I took of the trip
and not a very good one - I know, sorry.
If you look very closely you may find
the dorsal fin of a dolphin...
Each year, there is only a small window of opportunity to attempt this crossing. The prevailing wind is from the North East which is not good. During the raining season the wind shifts 180 degrees to the South West. Though the storms prevent a crossing. Right at the end of the raining season when the storms ease off and the sea calms down an just before the the shifts back to the North East, there is small window to attempt this. Unfortunately this year this coincided with new moon. Alas. 
All in all, a great experience. And next year, in hopefully slightly better conditions, I will attempt this again! 
Thank you for your support! We raised enough money to train 15 cardiologist in life saving techniques. 

 

See you next year. Let me know if you would like to join in the attempt, you are most welcome. 

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