September 4, 2011

Hippos can't jump

In my opinion there is no better way to spend a Sunday than on a boat (followed closely by 'at a winery' or 'in bed').

My last full day in Seattle happened to be a Sunday, and it also happened to be gloriously sunny and summery. The article on Seattle's mere 78 minutes of Summer even points specifically to that day: July 2. Not only was it the height of glorious weather, but someone knew someone who had a boat, and somehow I was invited to spend the afternoon sailing, grilling, and watching the sunset from the middle of Lake Washington. Stupendous.

Only, I couldn't go. My room was a mess, my suitcases were empty, and my flight was in less than 24 hours. I tried packing faster, considered pulling an all-nighter, bargained with a higher power, and yet the boxes still refused to fill themselves. Even sulking didn't help; I wasn't going to get on that boat. Le sigh. I cursed my luck, shook my fist in the direction of Kenya, and went back to tossing clothing around the room.

Two months later, I still dream of sailing in Puget Sound, but I no longer curse Kenya because it finally gave me my sought-after Sunday On A Boat.

Sunday on a boat on Lake Victoria, to be precise. Land of the Luo, home to the hippos, nosh for the Nile. Drifting through tangled mangroves, where bright yellow male birds build nests in hopes of attracting a female; if the female doesn't like the nest, not only will she refuse to mate with it's creator, she'll tear it up. (Life lessons from nature?). And birds relaxing on a Sunday boat of their own:

Hauling in fish, and colorful nets drying in the sun:

A lot of travel seems to happen at an approximate 45 degree left tilt... The captain here is hiding behind his sail but amazingly managed to avoid capsizing.

And the highlight- a hunt for hippos! Hungry hungry hippos. After an hour or so, we came upon a family of 4 (including a baby hippo!), bobbing above and below the water's surface.

As we made concentric circles ever closer, I asked "Aren't hippos rather dangerous?" The guide's reply, "No, no no, they're not aggressive." Questionable expertise, given that a quick Google search on "hippos" and "aggressive" tells me that hippos kill more humans than any other animal in Africa (aside from mosquitoes). Google search also told me that "Hippos can't jump." Seems true enough... I believe the internet..

But as I type this, there were no hippo attacks upon our party. Perhaps they were having a weekend relax as well. No question about it, Sundays were made for lazing in boats.


  1. Watch out! I think hippos kill the most people of any animal, or something like that.

  2. These posts are truly awesome, I am so jealous of your adventures and your beautiful photographs!

  3. I know, right? Hippos! The most vicious vegetarians! Also, our motorboat kept failing to start, so there's no way we could have out-run (out swam) them...

  4. so sad you couldn't come sailing with us, but am so glad you got a chance to relax on a boat this summer!! miss you!!