I haven’t posted in a while and it’s been a nutty couple of weeks trying to figure out my job situation. But hopefully I will do a post on some job news soon!
A couple of weekends ago I got to go surfing at Coco Beach with some expats I got introduced to through one of Mike’s coworkers. Alex and her boyfriend Brad both surf and had an extra board, so I tagged along with them on a Sunday. Brad’s American but Alex grew up in Spain but spent 10 years in the US for undergrad + work. The surfing season is normally May – October, so we are at the end of the season now. You can only really surf when the tide is right since the tides are so extreme here. The best is usually in the early morning on the weekends (no late night partying for surfers!) on a falling tide. We met around 8am and some people were already out. You can park at the Oyster Bay Shopping Center and walk across the street to the break. All the masai guards at the parking lot know the surfers, so you just give them 1,000 Tsh (less than $1) to hold on to your car keys while you surf. There is actually a contingency of Japanese surfers here and they are committed to going out every weekend. Alex tells me there is one Japanese man who has been here a long time and has a lot of boards. So if you’re Japanese and you come live in Dar, Sensei will give you a board and teach you how to surf. Pretty awesome!
There are about 10 of us in the water (half Japanese) so it’s not crowded at all. The day we went, the waves were pretty small and not really strong enough to stand up on. There were a lot of teases: the wave would be coming and you think it’s going to break, but then it just dies down. But it was really nice just to be in the water. Water temp was perfect; a little chilly when you first get in, but totally fine once you’re in. Most people wear booties since there are a lot of sea urchins here. Not my favorite thing to wear, but I’d rather not get sea urchin needles in my foot! Luckily, Alex had a spare pair of booties that were about my size.
We stayed out about an hour and a half and I was happy since I caught a few waves. That’s all you really need! I didn’t have a rash guard with me, so I just went in with a T-shirt—I noticed all the women wear rash guards and board shorts. No surfing in bikinis here, you might get a few raised eyebrows on the beach. I noticed that too when the locals are in the water—no bikinis, most women wear shirts and shorts over their swimwear. No photos to share since I didn’t bring the waterproof camera along, maybe next time!