It’s been nearly five months since I last saw the sea up in Alexandria, the Mediterranean joining the Middle East to Europe. Mombasa is the gateway to East Africa, from the Arab peninsula, India and the Far East; the Indian Ocean lapping the Swahili coast, which itself is a fusion of Africa, Arab traders and India.
South of Mombasa, the Likona ferry tirelessly carries passengers from the island to the mainland. Crossing the bridge to the north, beaches form the shoreline, where swathes of Kenyans bathe in the ocean. I was there with a Kenyan friend, who was keen to go in the sea, but joined the masses around us in venturing out only with the aid of a “floater” - a giant black rubber ring. Many of these people, living right on the coast, cannot swim. I join a costaud Kenyan guy in trying to teach them, struggling to remember how I learned as a child.