The Lighthouse Reef And The Swiss Wall Diving Sites, Northwest Pemba Island, Zanzibar


The Lighthouse Reef And The Swiss Wall Diving Sites, Northwest Pemba Island, Zanzibar

There are not many dive sites on the northern tip of Pemba Island.
The two most noteworthy dive sites are the lighthouse reef and the Swiss wall.
As the name suggests, the lighthouse reef is located right across from the lighthouse on the northwest tip of the island.

Yesterday, while I was diving, Jules walked along the shoreline when it was low tide, to see the lighthouse.
He paid a small fee and climbed up the five story circular staircase with the lighthouse keeper, who lives next to the lighthouse.
Soon after he climbed up, a few buses loaded with school kids from the town of Wete, came to visit the lighthouse on an outing.

The lighthouse reef is not very big, but it is full of life.
The Swiss wall is more interesting, with straight, long walls separated by valleys of white sand.
The reefs are long, and even on days when we encountered very strong currents which pushed us at high speed above the reef, we still had a lot of beautiful coral reef to explore.

We took our one hour surface interval break between dives, on the Pemba white sandbank.
Our diving group today included a young woman from Romania, and two computer programmers from France.
They told me that France is now slowly opening up after a long Covid shutdown.

We talked about the work that nurses and health care practitioners have had to do during the pandemic.
In the Netherlands, where the nurses get paid by the government, they asked for a five precent increase in salary due to the health crisis they had to handle.
Their request was rejected by the government.

The French men shrugged their shoulders and laughed.
“In France, our government did not give nurses any extra money during the crisis, but they did hand out medals of honor, to show their appreciation,” they said.

Zanzibar is located a short flight from Europe, which means that many Europeans who are looking for an exotic beach destination come here for a short vacation.
Romania has historic ties to Zanzibar, and Andreea, the Romanian girl who studies law in Paris, told me that she was not required to file for a visa nor get a covid test.
Americans are required to pay $100 as a visa fee to enter Zanzibar.
Indians, Europeans and the rest of the world are required to pay about half that.
A visa is not required for citizens of some African countries.

I feel so grateful to be here.
Now that I have adjusted to the humidity and water temperatures, I am enjoying each dive tremendously.
I look forward to the rest of our journey in Zanzibar and to be diving in different locations throughout the country.

If it weren’t for Covid, we probably wouldn’t have come here.
I have an ongoing bucket list of places I want to visit and places to dive in, which did not even include Zanzibar before Covid started.
Now that the choices of open countries are limited, I feel so happy to be here…

On my epitaph, I want to be remembered this way:
“She was always half the world away, walking on forest paths, visiting ancient temples, diving in turquoise oceans, dancing by the moonlight under the night stars.”

With love and laughs,
Tali

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