We spent the last 3 days sailing from Baly Bay, Madagascar, to Ilha Casurina, Mozambique. It’s really just a small island off the coast of Madagascar that has an anchorage and gives us a little bit of protection from the storm that has been blowing now for 24 hours. The channel between Mozambique and Madagascar is apparently well known for its storms, the Mozambique Channel, they call it. This storm is supposed to last 3 days and so far all it’s done has blow and blow. I was stuck in Farmer’s Key, Bahamas for 10 days in a similar storm 2 years ago on my way to Aruba. We’ll be checking the weather again today to see if there’s a window of opportunity to sail further south or if there’s another storm following in this one’s wake. Hoping for fairer weather as we need to get south to Durban, South Africa to get Carol a flight home by the 15th of November.
Hopefully the weather will clear up after this blows through and we can get further south. It’s roughly 930 miles from here to Richard’s Bay. That’s about 7.5 days of sailing. Assuming, of course, not only that there won’t be storms, but also that we’ll have wind and fuel enough to sail south. If we run out of fuel then we’ll be depending on the wind blowing from the north in order for us to go south. Otherwise we’ll be beating into the wind, which makes for long passages.
Life on the boat has been pretty routine. We did night shifts on the way over, but now that we’re anchored we sleep at night as well as can be expected with wind whipping around and rocking the water that rocks the boat. Overnight a line of coral popped its head out of the water not far from where we are anchored. We came in last night at high tide and didn’t see this set of crocodile teeth, lying 200 meters from our bow. Not to worry, we checked our depth the whole way in and would have seen this chain if we were right on top of it. But we’re glad to see it where it lays, far enough from our boat, but an unpleasant reminder of what can happen if you’re not careful when coming into an unknown anchorage.
We weren’t sure if this small island was inhabited, but within minutes after anchoring, a man came out in a dugout canoe saying hello and smiling a lot. He speaks a dialect of Portuguese, and unfortunately, none of us speak any Portuguese, so there was a lot of smiling and head nods as I used my terribly unpracticed Spanish on him with little luck. We did learn enough to determine that he is a fisherman and he lives on the island with his family. I plan to swim ashore later today and investigate the island and see what’s what. Of course, I’ll take pictures and post them once I have Internet.
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