It has been almost a month since I last posted… wow!
So much has happened, I struggle a bit with how to convey this experience. I am going to take things in a different direction with this blog, starting with the big picture and a sense of where things are now, and then writing two more specific entries that get into the details of our Indian Ocean crossing and nearly two weeks spent in Madagascar….
So right now I am waiting for the crew to return from the city of Mahajangar, the second largest port on the western side of Mozambique. We are here because we tried- unsuccessfully- to cross the Mozambique Channel a few days ago and were promptly scared off by an “armegeddon” type forecast for when we would reach Mozambique or South Africa.
It would be difficult for me to do justice in words to how depressing it was to turn Alyosha back after 50 nm at sea towards our goal (and frankly, a plane to return to my family…). So I won’t even try. I will just leave it at the fact that I am on the upswing writing this and our next weather window to cross looks like this coming Friday (knock, knock!).
More details on the Indian Ocean crossing are available to our most enthusiastic readers, but I will give the short version here: We left Cocos Keeling into some serious weather (18-20 foot seas on the beam, 24-28 knots of wind) that did not let up for 5 days. We then made great time, mainly using the spinnaker, across the ocean and of course had the mandatory 24-36 hours of hell at sea as we approached Madagascar.
I won’t ever forget the beauty of Cape D’Ambre (the northern tip of Madagascar) as the sun rose and we rounded towards Nosy Be. The seas died out, the winds stayed strong and propelled us down the coast, and we all knew that our 16 day trip across the ocean was just about over. We pulled into the town of Hellville by 10pm that night, anchored quickly amongst many other cruisers, had a few beers, and absolutely crashed.
More details on the two weeks we spent in Madagascar can be found in another blog. Suffice to say here that Madagascar has been wild, wonderful, and quite an adventure. The people are fantastic and we have enjoyed our time here immensely. (except maybe we really didn’t want to come back for that second week…)
Yesterday we spent the entire day provisioning the boat, making multiple runs with the dinghy back and forth to the center of town, filling our diesel tanks at the fuel station using jerry cans. A full working day. And then it was out to the bars/restaurants last night to watch the World Cup and have a nice prepared meal before life at sea begins again. Fun fact: Blake and I went out to a french restaurant, had several drinks, appetizers and entrees and this fantastic meal came to $32. Crazy.
Tonight we will sail across the harbor here to a “sleepy” town called Katsephy, where we hope to watch Columbia vs. England and spend our final night with some land.
The plan now is to head to Baly Bay- further down the coast of Madagascar- and wait for the next weather window to allow for a safe crossing of the Mozambique Channel. Very uncertain about whether this will happen this coming Friday or not, but also very hopeful!
It would be great to think that my next blog might be from South Africa, and I shudder to think what our status would be if it isn’t!