All posts tagged: Watamu

Driving to the Coast

Once again, we spent Christmas in Kenya. I’ll write more about the holiday itself in an upcoming post. This post is about the drive down. J. had gone via car with his family when he lived in Kenya in the 1980s. This was our first time driving together and it was his first time driving the car down himself. We researched it. We got lots of advice. We were prepared for everything. Mombassa Highway is a decent enough road as far as how well it’s paved. The issues about driving it have to do with traffic and idiot drivers. Luckily, we made it without a hitch. Much of that is luck. We didn’t have too many idiot drivers in the way. There weren’t any big accidents. But part of why the drive went well was planning. First, we left early, just as dawn broke. We wanted to beat the traffic. The two places where there are major chokeholds are Athi River and Machakos. Leaving super early really helped because we beat the traffic. Once we …

Diving in Watamu

Our first real dive trip in Kenya was in early January at Watamu, just south of Malindi. It was amazing. The diving was easy, the reefs were healthy, and marine life abundant. While we didn’t see any sharks or whale sharks (though it was whale shark season), each dive had something to see and was really enjoyable. You literally could coast along and be entertained by all the fish. We dove with Aqua Ventures and did ten dives total. We would have done more but afternoon diving wasn’t really an option because of the winds. Still, ten was plenty and I reached my 200th dive! What did we see? We saw a lot of eels, lots of schooling fish (always nice to see given the state of the oceans), puffers and boxfish (my favorites), Napoleon Wrasse, mantis shrimp, nudibranchs, and much more. We did take pictures and video (to come soon). Please note that they are from a simple point and shoot. I think next time we’ll go with DSLRs to get better shots. Unfortunately, with …

Review: Aqua Ventures

We got rave reviews from a lot of divers about Aqua Ventures. I’m happy to say, the dive shop exceeded our high expectations. Aqua Ventures is well managed, organized, and runs a fantastic operation. We had our own gear, but we saw their rental gear and it was top notch. They even had DIN adapters for us. If you have your own gear, there is plenty of space to store it between dives. In fact, we were able to get our gear pretty dry before flying back. (Yes, now I have to properly wash it all so it will be wet again.) They have two boats and both are in great shape. We met Helen, one of the owners. She was super nice and helpful. The crew and dive masters were also really wonderful. They were nice, friendly, and knew the reefs well. You could tell they were truly part of the whole operation and treated well. It made us feel like we dove with a team, not just dive shop owner and employees. The team …

Hotel Review: Ocean Sports

We made our first real dive trip earlier this month. (Yes, we dove in Diani. That wasn’t a dive trip though.) We went to Watamu and we stayed at Ocean Sports. We chose Ocean Sports because the dive shop we  booked with, Aqua Ventures, is based there. We wanted to be as close as possible to the dive shop as diving was the purpose of our trip. I’d say we did all right with our choice. The hotel is nice, clean, and well managed. Our room was spacious. I booked a larger room because I thought we would bring our DSLR rigs. We didn’t, but we liked having the extra space. One thing I really liked about the room was that there was an outlet near the mirror. I could see what I was doing as I dried my hair! Hooray! The only thing about the room is that it was a little bit run down. It wasn’t in bad shape. But it could use some refurbishing soon. The food was okay. Fresh oysters were …