I struggle to be like Erik and get my images edited and up on Instagram in the middle of chaos. I come from the days of big cameras, film, darkroom, and long periods between clicking the shutter and realising a final image. I like to think about my pictures. I’m never happy with them and I often return to Lightroom and edit them again and again until I at least don’t not like them. This process does not lend itself to the instant forms of social media that we enjoy today. While I continue to work on my publishing speed, I figured I might as well try my hand at a more contemplative photo essay following our journey on Expedition Pemba.
The BRCK team embarked on our first ocean-going adventure traveling from Nairobi to the Zanzibar island of Pemba crossing the Indian Ocean from the acient smugglers' port of Shimoni.
We made a quick stop for chai and chapati on the boder of Tanzania during our first leg of the expedition
Local community members opening an adhoc market for our guests.
We camped the first two nights in the Chuylu Hills and were welcomed each morning by the sun rising over the distant hills.
The second night we introduced the foreign team to sundowners. The windswept plains at the base of Kilimanjaro make for a perfect spot for this Kenyan tradition.
Unfortunately, the crew wanted to do filmed interviews during sundowners disrupting the tranquility of the setting sun (photo credit Blaise Walton)
We set out from Shimoni with an expectation of hard storms but instead found the glassy stillness of the Indian Ocean on her best behavior
The trip was long and we passed most of the time on the slow sail accross the ocean in silence.
We all had high expectations for the unknown challenges and adventure that awaited us on Pemba (photo credit Erik Hersman)
Just before our arrival, morning greeted us with her many shades of colour.
Our captain decided to make an unplanned beach landing away from the watchful eye of the Tanzanian Navy harboured at the commercial port
Upon reaching the beach we take in the vistas of the beautiful tropical island of Pemba
We were met by a crew of soft spoken but strong men who took on the difficult task of unloading very heavy motorcycles from the boat.
The view from our beach camp on Pemba. The boats are floating above a cultivated seaweed farm.
Although we often sailed only by gasonline engine, the crew would at times unfurl the crude but effective sail to improve our speed across the waters.
Seafarering souls from the ancient Swahili tradition move us between each of our destinations.
The boats were cramped with people and gear as we set off again to visit the smaller island of Kokota.
No pirate ship is complete without a black flag. Mark hangs the BRCK ensign from the riggings.
McKenzie rediscovers the tranquil bliss of his African maritime roots
Our accountant Ruth experiencing first hand the challenge and adventure of a BRCK Expedition
Long periods of silence and pensive contemplation in the burning African sun occupied our long journey to Kokota.
Some of us found better ways to pass the time during our 6 hour journey.
We were met enroute by a small boat carrying two Kio Kits that had been delivered from the main land.
Like our exploring ancestors before us, the team set out with steely determination to conquer the challenges and opportunities of bringing connectivity to this remote island.
By the time our work on the island was completed, the tide had come in and we found ourselves subject to the will of the ocean.
Each piece of equipment and all of our personal effects had to be carried high as we waded to our waiting ship.
Tired set in on the trip back to camp after a long day of sailing and working on getting connectivity to Kokota.
The evening tide beckoned the fisherman to their nightly chores passing in front of our beach camp site.
Brandon embraced the final hours of our island adventure with a slow rock in the gentle ocean breeze.
As BRCK's first ocean adventure, Expedition Pemba opened our eyes and our minds to the challenges of these isolated and disconnected island communities. We look forward to delivering the technology and solutions that ensure that these communities also have equal access to connectivity.