Mozambique’s fishermen are a tough bunch. Setting out to sea every day in a leaky one-man wooden canoe.
Each day has the potential to be an ‘amazing adventure’, not really what a person looks for in a day job, but these are tough people in tough times.
A typical day involves setting off at first light and paddling 5km or more beyond the archipelago into the open sea. Returning after lunch with your catch. However if you a prefer there’s a night shift getting back at sunrise – just imagine?
As if that isn’t hard enough, during the huge equinox tides canoeing becomes more like an extreme sport.
Every March and September equinox the tides peak, on Ilha the difference between high and low is a whopping 4.2 metres. Thats a lot of water to move in and out of the bay in a short period of time and as you might expect, results in bigger than average currents. Around by the forteleza, at Ilha most northerly point, two currents converge and the water is whipped into a frenzy. Fishermen, already exhausted from a day paddling miles out to sea and back, now have one extra challenge to overcome before they reach the safety of port
And by the way, when a big fish is hooked – thats when the excitement really begins. Just like The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway