Pascal Yaa is not your ordinary fisherman. He is a floater. He doesn't need a boat or life vest to go fishing; he takes full advantage of the water's upthrust - buoyancy - which enables solid items stay afloat. He only uses goggles and flippers.
Armed with a spear in hand, and a sack tied to his waist, Yaa starts his day at high tide. This usually ranges from 5.30am to 6am depending on the lunar calendar. The water level is usually determined by the moon's gravitational pull. Yaa floats himself to the coral reef beyond the shores of Bamburi beach. This is about an hour and a half of floating from shore. He only fishes for octopus.
To make his catch, the fisherman has to make a dive of up to 20 meters deep to spear the eight legged creatures hiding in the sea floor corals.
"I can hold my breath for a maximum of two and a half minutes at this depth," he says.
Many people might gasp at the horrific idea of floating bareback in the deep ocean. But not Pascal, he has 30 years of experience as a fisherman under his belt. After all, he grew up right next to the ocean.
"I was born in Kilifi district where my father worked as a cook for white settlers," he says, recalling his childhood with a twisted smile.
"Each morning, I would make a quick detour to the beach before going to school. I would then be back in the water, swimming and fishing every evening after school."
Having spent every free minute in the water, Yaa is a great swimmer and a self-taught fisherman.
Surprisingly, he was not always a fisherman. After completing his O-Levels at St Georges in Kaloleni, he was employed as an untrained teacher at Takaungu Primary school. He taught in several schools before quitting to follow his love of the sea. He had experience in all methods of fishing, in the end, he decided to settle on octopus hunting, which is dangerous but also profitable.
On a good day, he can accumulate 40kg of octopus in his sack. He floats with his catch back to shore.
"Any good floater must be able to stay above the water for a maximum of eight hours," Yaa says. He sets back on land a little before noon. Having been out at sea for nearly five hours, Yaa is exhausted but has no time to rest. Everybody on the island likes their seafood freshly caught, so he must ensure he sells his catch at the earliest. He co-owns a fish shop with other fishermen. Here they sell their day's catch and by 4pm everything is sold out.
At 4.30pm the father of six heads home in Mtwapa. He is exhausted. He rejuvenates himself by relaxing in the house, catching up on the latest piece of news or playing with his nine grandchildren before going to bed early.
Yaa says he will eat anything from rice, chapati to ugali so long as he has fish as his accompaniment. He bluntly acknowledges that he eats fish from January 1 to December 31, year in year out.