Monday, 9 September 2013

OVER THE TOP OF MADAGASCAR!to the MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL

This was one of best and most memorable sailing days.
It is usually very windy and big swell over the top,cap AMBRE.there was a good weather window thursday ,8 september.so early up anchor,motorsail across bay and out through heads by 0700.a bit rocky as swell increased,.motor off,number 2reef in main,genoa out,motor off,18 nm to top,passing whales,wind 18 knots, from SE as predicted.
Coastal scenary was low dry brown hills.then the cap ambre lighthouse came into view,tall,lonely and gleaming starkly white in morning sun.
When level we gybed to port,to go the next4nm across the top.the wind picked up,the seas surprisingly calmed,particularly as we taking the given advice of crossing close inshore,the current picked upand Haven took off,maintaining 10 knots plus!!!
We averaged 8 knots for 3 hours out of the heads
Around the corner we were still hooting along at 6knots for a few hours,on calm seas,passing more whales
What a relief to be safely over the top,and now in the Mozambique channel,out of the indian ocean for a few weeks,with no big swell and possible major weather
We did an overnighter to get to Nosy Mitsio
Nosy means island
Twice the wind stopped and we briefly motored,from 7 to 10 pm it changed from SE,to a steady westerly
We had a twice daily HF radio sked
After midnight we slowly entered Maribe bay.no moon.just starlight.could just make out land .chartplotter,and a known anchorage waypoint got us in.

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