When we were there at Pomene it had a derelict hotel on the point south from our camp site. The tide would move in and out great distances due to the very flat beach. The point just off the hotel at high tide was a great fishing spot. We would cast lures with bass tackle and catch some kingfish and other species on lures. The locals had a very interesting setup. They would use hand line, the lure was a slice of green paw paw. It worked I saw them catch many a king fish that way.
Getting the ski boat back on the trailer after fishing was interesting. The tide would go out far but due to it being so flat this would create quick sand and before you know it the Landy would be stuck, lucky we have experience with this kind of thing so managed to get out before the tide came up. Out at sea to the South of the hotel was some great reefs. It would rise from 30m to and 10m if my memory serves me correctly. You could see the current swelling on the surface, I wish I had a gps back then. Unfortunately the water was very cold and we did not have any luck, but I would imagine that would be an awesome fishing spot.
Behind the campsite is a big lagoon and going north you find the mouth to the lagoon. We went there in the ski boat. At the entrance to the mouth we did casting and managed to catch a few wolf herring. It was fun. Going further into the lagoon there was mangroves, which as the tide was rushing out so was the water spilling out. As I look back now we should have casted some lures in that area. I am sure we would have hooked up a rock salmon or 2. I wonder how far you could go into the lagoon as we did go far but I sure there was more. Would love to explore on a kayak now. We stopped at the mouth again on the north side and did a bit of snorkeling. We would hang on the trees that had fallen in the water and watch all the fish, the tide was rushing out at great speed. It was a real water wonderland. A shoal of king fish also came through and we casted some lures into them. Standing in knee deep water the kingfish came right up to us chasing our lures, it was a blast!
There was lots of fun and games in camp too with lots of swimming in the sea and lazing about. I had not washed my hair the whole time and when I dived into the water it did not get wet. I remember sitting in camp and next thing there is a dot that comes around the point. It was a dot because it was far. So between the guys the speculations starts as to what it is. It slowly makes its way north. We eventually see that it is a buoy. So out we went to go and fetch it. I spent many years in my pub back in Mtunzini.
All too soon it was time to head home. Way before the crack of dawn we left Pomene. It was still dark by the time we hit the tar road. One thing that sits clearly in my memory was how clean the windscreen was at that time of the day for a moment it looked like there was no windscreen at all. Due to our engine troubles we took it slow. Did not want to break down again. It was a very long trip and it was such a relief to get back to South Africa. I ended up selling the engine and getting a brand new one.
I am sure I have missed out a few things from the trip but you guys that went with please share in the comments.
Here are a few things that spring to mind but can’t remember the details. The hat and tie party. The crab migration, didn’t one crawl on your back Paddy? The hole in the wall at the south side of the hotel.
We had a mate’s dad that was busy building a place in Pomene in Mozambique. This was long before the days of fishingskis. I had a Landy bakkie and my parents ski boat. So we huddled together and 4 of us decided to make the trip. Patrick, Craig, Neil (my cousin) and myself where in. A few days before the trip my fan belt broke, not thinking too much of it I took my Landy to the local mechanic in Mtunzini. They fixed it, and all was good. Well at least we thought that. The day arrived. We were all packed up and ski boat was hitched. The mission was to camp so we had loaded the boat with tents and supplies. A few spare wheels for the trailer just in case. So 2 people in the front and 2 people in the open back. The first leg of the trip was to meet the people at Hotel Halie in Xai Xai. Well it was the normal warding off people trying to change money to get through the border post. We took turns getting our passports stamped so that we could guard the stuff on the boat.
We managed to get to Hotel Halie on time and meet the other people there. It was early to bed that night as it was going to be a very early start. Lucky we could park in the back of the hotel under lock and key. The next morning we were up early but when I tried to start the Landy it was just a click. We were not sure what was going on. All the lights on the dash came on bright so it seemed to not be a flat battery. It was decided to pull start the Landy. That is when water started pissing out the head gasket and there was a bad knocking sound coming from the engine. It was then that we discovered what had happened. During the night as the engine cooled and water was pulled into the piston chamber. The water stopped the engine from turning that is why the click when I turned the key, with us pull starting it the water had no other place to go so it broke out the gasket. Later we discovered that pull starting the Landy had also bent the piston rod.
The others left as there was nothing they could do. Lucky for us Patrick brought his tools and he was experienced in fixing engines, well very big ones. He was a marine engineer. So to work we got, we setup some temp shade as there was none, it was hot and we has some rain. Patrick managed to get the gasket out, he also managed to get the bent piston rod out with much filing of the chamber, I remember it feeling like a very a long day. With the broken stuff we headed into town to find some spares. It was a challenge as most of the places we went to did not have what we were looking for. But it seemed that the bush telegraph got news of what we were looking for and soon somebody found us with the correct parts. So back to the Landy to fit the parts. It was well into the night when we managed to get finished. We managed to con our way into booking a room for 2 and then all 4 of us using the room. The budget was tight and we had blown a lot of it on getting the car fixed. I remember Patrick being covered in oil from head to toe.
The next day back on the road. The going was slow as we did not want to blow anything. I remember the sand road taking forever and that constant worry that we might be on the wrong road. It was dark when we found the camping spot in Pomene, and we did not even have a GPS. The other people where in bed so it was welcome and they went back to bed. I don’t remember if we setup tent or just slept on the floor that night. Then there was a massive bang. Everybody woke up again wondering what the hell that noise was. After much looking around we found that the tire on the boat trailer had burst. It had done so well but then just gave up.
I will have part 2 of the trip soon. I also want to go and see if I can find some pictures. This was the days before digital cameras. How life has changed.