32: Travelling From Darwin to Mombasa On The Dark Mistress

May - June 1925

Fire Vampire
Fire Vampire

Darwin to Mombasa On The Dark Mistress:

Aaboard the “Dark Mistress” we sail across the Indian Ocean to Mombasa. Gaidar is still in a bad way and we’re having to keep constant watches on him.

We have made contact with Natalia, using “Wireless Telegraphy”, and plan to meet up with her in Africa.

By the 1920s, there was a worldwide network of commercial and government radiotelegraphic stations, plus extensive use of radiotelegraphy by ships for both commercial purposes and passenger messages.

We took the time we had on the ship to read through the books we acquired.

We had to make port off the African coast because of the tropical storms in the area and sailed the Dark Mistress to shore.

The founding of Mombasa can be traced back to 900 AD with oral history and commentaries attributing its establishment to two leaders; the first- a female ruler known as Mwana Mkisi whose dynasty was later superseded by another leader known as  Shehe Mvita.  However, most of the information available on pre-colonial Mombasa comes from explorers and traders. The world famous explorer, Ibn Battuta visited the country in 1331 which was still a relatively small town at  the time. About the people he found there he had this to say,

“They are a religious, trustworthy and righteous people, their mosques are made of wood and expertly built “

As the years went by, it established itself as a central node in the Indian Ocean Trade network and by the 15th century, the town had grown into a flourishing commercial hub, with trade links in as far as China, India, Persia and Yemen. Given its geographical and strategic position, whoever controlled Mombasa held considerable influence over the Indian Ocean trade, it is for this reason that Mombasa was frequently fought over. Centuries of conflict earned the city the name, ‘ the Island of war ‘ or as it is known in Swahili “Kisiwa cha Mvita “ .

The Sultan of Zanzibar officially presented the town to the British in 1898 and it served as the capital of the British East Africa protectorate for 8 years before the capital was moved to Nairobi in 1906.

Journal Wesley

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