Life on Zanzibar’s shores moves in rhythm with the tides. At high tide, when the sea rises to just cover the fringing reef, local sailing dhows or ngalawa, set off to fish the deeper waters beyond the reef. After they’ve set sail and the tide begins to drop, the beach extends outwards, doubling, then tripling in size to form a series of shallow pools in which a variety of marine creatures find themselves temporarily trapped. At lowest spring tide, these shallow pools formed by rock, reef, and sand, extend all the way out to the barrier of fringing reef itself. When this happens, and it is possible to walk out for hundreds of metres where there was water only hours before, coastal villagers come down to the beach to comb the rich pickings offered by the pools. Armed with nets, buckets, sacks, and hands, octopus are grabbed from beneath rocks, crabs are quickly gathered up into bags, and clams expertly prised from their rocky holds. Then, as high water begins to sneak back over the reef, progressively deepening the pools and forcing the foragers ashore, the task of trading on the morning’s pickings begins just a little further up the beach….