|Ngalawa and Dhow builder Mponda with a one person Ngalawa, note the low tide.|
|Cutting the bow with an adze|
After finding our wood (usually Mango brought from Pemba, the northern Zanzibari island) digging out the hull can begin, shaping it very thinly with an adze and a block plane.
|The array of tools used for building the model and large Ngalawa alike|
Once we have built the hull of the model Ngalawa an intricate rigging system for sail and outrigger must be built, which will be the focus of the next post.
Last week I went sailing on a Dhow with my friend Yotta, the captain, and his crew of four. We sailed out 50 miles into the ocean and dropped our nets as the sun was setting. Sleeping under old pieces of sail until the moon rose, where we could see to pull the nets and fish back into the boat. Sailing together by night back to Nungwi we made it just as the sun was rising again. with a fresh pot of ugali, or corn flower, to eat with a tuna we had caught.
|Yotta deciding where to drop the net.|
I have a lot to learn about the Ngalawa, the way of the ocean, and Zanzibar culture before I will freely sail my own Ngalawa and catch the delicious fish of the Zanzibar reefs. Day by day, however, I become more rooted, more embedded, more intrigued, but most importantly I learn how little I know and how much there is to know.
|A beached Ngalawa after putting the Merengo (outriggers) on to the hull.|