In the morning Matt headed off. Morton, Naomi, Sam and I had organised an early boat trip out to Prison Island, five kilometres off shore, and, for the afternoon, a sunset dhow cruise. I thought to myself I shouldn’t push Sam too hard in the middle of the day, it would be a lot for him to cope with.
The Arabs had isolated recalcitrant slaves on Prison Island. Later, the British had erected a prison there but the buildings were never used for their intended purpose. Instead the island was used as a quarantine station, in reserve for British colonies around east Africa. With the intention of protecting Stone Town, then the busiest port in east Africa, from epidemics, individuals on ships who were suspected of having yellow fever or cholera were isolated here for a week or two. More recently, its isolation has provided protection for another species, the Aldabra giant sea tortoises of the Indian Ocean.