Our family of 9 adults and 3 children under 12 met Rogerio (the worlds best Dhow chef) and Matteus (the most unflappable skipper) on the beach in Vilanculos at 8.30am one morning last week. We jumped aboard, made our introductions and headed out into the crystal blue waters of the Bazaruto Archipelago, on a course plotted for Magaruque Island. As the wind was in our faces we pottered at a very relaxed pace under motor (a small outboard attached to the back) away from the shore and out towards the islands. En route to Magaruque local fisherman in their dhows could be seen carrying on with their daily lives out in the archipelago - a scene that probably has not changed much for hundreds of years! Rogerio kept the kids amused by making then Mango hedgehogs for them to eat. When we arrived at the island we all jumped off the dhow into shallow water and soft sand and waded up onto the most perfect and people-free beach, whilst the Matteus anchored a few meters out. We spent the rest of the morning wandering on the beach, sunbathing and snorkelling, while Rogiero lit the coals in the sand-pit in the back of the dhow (how cool is that!) and started to prepare lunch. As the tide went out we all jumped in the dhow to move it into calm waters the other side of the reef. I must add at this stage that another small motor boat was making the same manoevure had to be pushed over a sandbar while Matteus managed to steer us through the smallest of channels whilst Rogerio continued to cook lunch! What a lunch it was too!! Chargrilled marinaded King fish (possibly the best barbequed fish I have ever eaten), and mild but perfectly spiced potato and tomato stew and rice, washed down by ice cold beers. The most juicy Mangos and sweetest bananas for pudding and then more snorkelling around the dhow which was now surrounded by hundreds of colourful tropical fish (parrot fish, angel fish, breams, sgt. majors to name a few). After the most perfect afternoon we hoisted the sail (the wind now behind us) and headed for home, munching salty popcorn from a huge bowl made by Rogerio on the embers of the fire! I could not rate this experience highly enough!! It is the most relaxed I have ever seen the family!! Three cheers for Rogerio and Matteus for the most excellent adventure!!
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