I was up and wandering around our compound even before the early morning staff. I wanted to be up on the second story deck of the main lodge to get a photo of the sunrise over Lake Kosi. However, it was a bit cloudy and the smoke persists so no good photo op came my way. After breakfast we took the boat cruise that took us to all three large lakes just a half mile from the lodge. In fact it is really one big lake, at least according to the map, but there are three bodies of water separated marshland and connected by relatively narrow channels of water about 400 meters long. The first segment is considered fresh water. It is tinted the brown color of root beer, most likely caused from lots of decomposing vegetation. It is not muddy. We cruised at speed across it and entered a narrow, natural canal barely wide enough for the boat to navigate through. This channel connects the first lake with the second one. As we opened up into this second body of water the colors changed from brown to green to sky blue. This lake was very clear and lovely in color. It is more saline and affected by the tides since the whole lake ties into Kosi Bay and then the open ocean. We saw our first family of hippos here and enjoyed getting pretty close to them. The late morning sun shot sparkles all around them and because the water was clear you could partly see the hippos as they moved about under water. The lake narrowed again, though always remaining at least 100 feet wide. It was lined with the reed and thatch fishing “corrals” and cages that the locals use to catch lots of bream and tilapia. The water colored grew darker as it opened into the final segment of the lake, as well as more salty and murky. To the northeast it opened onto Kosi Bay but in this inland waterway it was still more lake-like than ocean. We visited a few more hippos then turned back, passed through the fishing corrals laden with cormorants and pied kingfishers. We also saw a Goliath Heron in the reeds nearby. The Goliath Heron looks a lot like a great blue Heron though it is more grey and brown, than blue, and it is twice the size. It is the largest heron species in the world and this specimen made that point abundantly clear. It looked at first like a man standing in the field and was more than 5 feet tall. We sped across the blue green lake, stopped briefly to see some more hippos in the first lake, then motored all the way to the other side, moored the boat on a sandy beach then walked about 1K through a low pass in the sand dunes that opened onto the Indian Ocean. The water was clear and tourquois and as pretty as any water we had seen on the trip. This visit to the ocean was not outlined in the trip notes so it was a bit of a surprise to us. We didn’t have “swimming costumes” along but the other couple, a bit older than us but just as game, stripped to under garments and we went for a swim. I swam out a nearly 100 yards to a bit of reef and enjoyed diving 10 to 20 feet down to the rocks. Without a mask though, I wasn’t able to see much. Bob joined me for a bit and we thoroughly enjoyed swimming in the relative calm and warmth of the ocean. When we got back to shore we were told that a nice pod of dolphin had been swimming just 20 feet away from us. I dream of this sort of thing so I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen them.
Bob body surfed for half an hour, then ran to the far end of the beach and back. I sun bathed, took another dip in the ocean, then we all dried off and hiked back to the boat. In typical African fashion it seems the guide had forgotten to check the motor and it was out of some sort of lubricant so we had to crawl back to the other side of the lake at about 5 miles an hour, barely enough to make progress against the wind. It took more than an hour for what should have been a 10 minute trip and late afternoon sun crashed down upon us the whole way. Tired and sunburned we cooked a light dinner in our communal kitchen then went to bed soon after the sun set.