No rest for the weary, after getting into Vilanculos last night, we got some food and pretty promptly went to bed. Another early morning awaited us today. We met at 5:30 in the lobby of our hotel and headed to the marina (if you could call it that, it was basically a bunch of boats all moored in the same place).
This morning we were headed to Bazaruto to search for Dugongs. Similar to manatees, dugongs are slow, gentle, herbivorous creatures with a large stout grey body, two short limbs and a body that tapers into a dolphin like tail. They are highly endangered and very hard to find. There are only a few hundred here off the coast and that is considered the largest population in East Africa. At one time they roamed all along the coast of Southeast Asia up to Japan, but due to their low reproductive rate (some females only give birth once in their lifetime), tasty flesh and slow lumbering speed, they have all but disappeared from many of their traditional habitats. Leave it up to humans to muck it up .
The boat ride to Bazaruto Island was about an hour and it was very choppy. The weather has been acting up and we are getting nervous. With another three days of shooting and a lot of work left, we canâ€™t afford bad weather. We arrived in a popular dugong feeding ground full of healthy seagrass, their only food, but we found no dugongs. After a whole day searching, we gave up and headed north. This story was up to me and Lucy, and despite the frustration at not finding any, we all kept a level head. Paul and Tooni were all up north in another area, Paul searching for dugongs in a spotter plane and Tooni by boat. They had a bit more luck and did find some, but with the weather kicking up, the visibility underwater was terrible. All in all, it was a very frustrating day and the weather is only supposed to get worse. Weâ€™ll see.