Thursday, 19 September 2013


in nosy be area,there are canoes out every morning fishing.we call them over and get freshly caught fish and squid .these cost 3000ariah=$1.50,good for instant breakfast,and 2 dinners
Out rigger canoe coming over with fresh catch
ready to be scaled and cleaned on back of Haven

BOAT DAY,nosy be,MADAGASCAR,16/09/2013

A day on the boat getting ready for long passage to south Africa
We changed engine oil,V-drive oil,gearbox oil,oil filter,and 2 fuel filters
Also went up mast,to do rigging inspection.the mast steps we had installed in Thailand make going up mast so easy.
Also filled up with 2 main tanks,10 jerry cans,10x20L,& 100L turtle pac.we use the collapsible turtle pac for long passages
filling turtle pac

Bruce at the top,nosy be,Madagascar,09/2013

Going up our mast,MADAGASCAR,9/2013

Kerry doing engine service,nosy be,MADAGASCAR.09/2013

Our boat boys,nosy be,MADAGASCAR.09/13

Dive tanks to clean hull,tani keli island,MADAGASCAR.9/2013

Kerry in market,diego suerez,Madagascar

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

HILL HIKE,nosy komba,Madagascar,15/09/2013

Our guide for the lemurs yesterday ,Anselme,had offered to guide us for our hill hike,for a reasonable ghost and wakapeatea decided to also come
It was a nice 6 hour hike.the summit is 621 meters.
On the way up ,Anselme showed us all out all sorts of interesting stuff- pepper,coffee,cocoa,lyc
hill village girl


Lovely lemurs,beautiful anchorage,hill hike and fresh fish were highlights of the weekend we had here
Not far from hell-ville.anchored in smooth water,in front of small resort with little beach between  rocky outcrops,below 621 meter hill.
As we came in a fisherman in a dugout canoe was retrieving his net.he then came over and showed us his catch- so for not much we got fresh fish.bruce promptly cleaned them on sugar scoop
Still tired from yesterdays exercise,bruce had an unusual afternoon nap.
Then ashore,walking through the quaint little waterfront village.neat little houses with winding little sandy roads,or cars,or motorbikes.running water from a pipe fronm mountain.most cooking on small outdoor woodfired a simple life.the women do beautiful embroided tablecloths,the men do wood carvings,for the tourists ,who come to see the lemurs,and the children run naked on the beaches,in and out of the a simple good life
Nice new little hospital,with doctor,big school,pirogues on beach
It costs 2000 ariah ro see the lemurs($1).our gude called maki maki,and down they came,to get a banana feed,sitting on our shoulders and heads.they are so soft and so cute.they also have tortoises,a chameleon
two cute females
 and a boa much fun we did it again the next day !
We cooked our fresg fish for was delicious

SNORKEL WITH TURTLES --Tani Keli island,13/09/2013

A nice sail over to this little island,about 7 km from Hell- ville.It is a little marine park.dropped anchor in lovely clear light blue water.took dinghy ashore,paid our fee,and had a lovely long snorkell.good coral,lots of fish,some larger colourful,and 3turtles
After lunch back on the boat we cleaned Havens hull.bruce spent an hour with the dive tank doing the deeper part,while kerry did the waterline.So all nice and clean for always surprises,and reassures me,how much hull and keel we have below the waterline
warm coffees,then back ashore for walk to see the bats,then uphill,passing lemurs,to lighthouse.climbing it gives a good view.
Motor sail to get back to drop anchor in hellville at sunset


Made in china,110 cc,not as smooth or powerful as a japanese one,but adequate, 4 gears,no clutch pedal - automatic got us around the whole island
First stop was village on east coast,see photo with sign,where we organised trip to national park to see lemurs.this involves a pirorogue trip over and back.
We had one guide,and 2paddles,so did half an hour each of steady paddling.good to keep fit
We had 2hours in the wild,seeing several very photogenic chameleons up close,ditto many lemurs
We shared our lunch with guide ob paddle back-baguette and banana
We then did about halfway around island.amazing lack of any traffic.then in to centre of island,going up to top of tallest hill,mt passot,for views over crater lakes,and most of island
Busier on lower west coast.stopped in middle of on busy town for cold soft drinks.interesting trio at next table,3 animated Malagasy women,wearing traditional ,colourful clothes,enjoying cold beers and smoking.
turn off to village to go on pirogue boat trip


After the gas we hired a motor scooter for the afternoon and rode over to crater bay.there we found about 40 yachts / catamarans at anchor,many being used to be the port for a sugar cane mill.
More interesting were the sailing dhows which were on the beach,unloading cargos of palm fronds from other islands.timeless scene


Today we got propane.not easy.
We have 2 x 9 kg bottles .one was empty.the other in use since before Reunion
The gas place did not have fittings to fit our cylinders.luckily a recent cruiser had made up a hose to connect Malagasy bottle to Australian bottle to allow decanting,and given it to john.
So we bought a local bottle,connected the hose,and nothing we came back to boat,googled,then read Nigel Calder boat bible.
The trick was to heat donor tank with towel and hot water,and cool recipient tank.the propane then flowed down to fill our tank in about one hour
Returning the empty got our deposit back


A day sail from nosy mitsio to nosy be,the main island.dropped anchor in Hell-ville harbour.several yachts at anchor.busy little wharf with containers.little ferries arrive to disgorge  and load cargo and passengers.sailing dhows ,without motors,glide in and out.small dugouts ,with outriggers are common,hoisting small sails when  needed,dropping nets in circles,.
We dinghied in,stopping at a yacht called Future.cornelius invited us aboard for coffee,and gave us all the local info- boat boys,diesel,propane,motor scooter hire,markets,supermarket,beer etc
He then offered to come back to haven to try and fix our sailmail then did connect,albeit only once.however,others are also having connxn problem,so may improve as we get closer to hf station at Maputo,mainland Africa
Then went ashore.john the dinghy man was there,recognisable by green rasta hat,to mind our dinghy
We walked past old colonial buildings,were passed by yellow tuk tuks,ancient renault taxis,cow and carts,found the supermarket,bought some Zebu steak for dinner,some wine,some Madagascar cheese.
Stopped at Nandipos,a bar with atmosphere,walls covered by photos,liquor ads and empty bottles,for a cool relaxing THB beer.

Saturday, 14 September 2013


a lovely day sail snorkelling day.
it is about 4 nm over to  this small uninhabited island.we had a lovely gentle sail over,doing some laundry en route.we did a lovely long drift snorkel with dinghy.after a leisurely lunch we sailed back to our nosy mitsio anchorage

Monday, 9 September 2013

Nosy MITSIO 6/9/13

nosy mitsio
Today we had a great walk over the island.this gave us a god insight to their way of life
Ashore was a small new fishing resort ,still being guests,so the manager,francis,who lives in next village,offered us a guided tour.the island has 24 villages,each of 40-50 people.we saw 3 and all were beachfront.the island is v shaped,each arm about 20 km x 2-4km.there are no roads,no vehicles,no bikes,no horses.transport is foot,or small dugout canoe,with outrigger,and small running francis's village water comes from well dug in sanitation.small houses,made from timber and bamboo,with thatched roof
Lots of zebu cattle,andsome goats.very the dry season.francis said 10 % stock loss in dry season
Small plots of banana trees,and cassava trees,the latter providing green leaves for eating
They eat rice 3times a day.each village has large wooden blocks,with bowl depression,for threshing the rice,with big stick,to remove husk
They kill a zebu once a week.otherwise fish,or dried fish.the fish are dried on the thatch rooves,as is laundry
After the 1st village we climbed a hill.only trees,except in villages,are palm trees,2types,one for coconuts,the other for rooves,rooves last 10 years.
They have a new fact the island has only had aschool in the last 10 years.for secondary school they have to go else
From the hill,we had great views,one way to maribe bay,with Haven at anchor,the other to a big reef,then various islands,and the 4brothers,huge isolated rocks coming out of deep blue sea.


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 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 moon.just starlight.could just make out land .chartplotter,and a known anchorage waypoint got us in.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

DIEGO SUEREZ,Madagascar,tue 3 sept,2013

This must have been an impressive city when the French ruled.It still has wide streets,and lots of 2 story colonial buildings,and not many new an attractive city centre.Made colourful by the Malagasy womens clothing
the morning was calm,but wind soon came up.we did not fancy getting dinghy into water in wind,paticularly as it blows up worse in we hailed a man with a little green canoe with outrigger.he spoke no English,but we spoke enough French,and we paid him to take us ashore.interestingly his name is Brucepin. we conveyed return at 4 pm.
he lives in a shack on beachfront,so we were happy our boat would be safe.everywhere in Madagascar has a bad reputation for boat theft,esp outboard motors.
it was a short walk to main st ,rue Colbert,to tourist office,where we got town map,dirxns to markets,and walking trail booklet=Dans les rues de Diego Sueres,which like all tourist info in the southern indian ocean,is only availan]ble in French! we should have relearnt francais for this year.maybe we still should-for the pacific.
lunchtime found us at the Restaurant Les Arcades.we got a streetfront table to watch.the entre,capaccio poisson was delicious,as was the main,brochette de merou,avec legumes.
continuing up the main stret we passed several adventure travel shops-quad bikes 4x4wd tours,kite surfing,and consequent t-shirt/tourist tourism is now big,after the military/naval,and the fish factory business.
lots of yellow tuk tuks ,and lots of little yellow Renault 4 taxis 
the markets looked poor,the African women in colourful clothes,some with yellow ochre faces,the prices cheap.we got bananas,papaya and eggplant
at the excellent supermarket we got chicken&pork fillet for next few nights,and zebu fillet for next passage.also baguette,fruit ,eggs and yoghurt
then back via port area,past ruins of the once grand Hotel des Marines.
Brucepip was waiting for us to get back to haven .he had an extra paddler this time,needed as we went out into strong wind.the little boat leaked so badly,I had to bail
continuously to keep the water level!
so another interesting travel day in madagascar
now just waiting for green ghost to arrive


Brisk sailing up N E coast of Madagascar.332 nm.left sat am,arrived mon pm,best day was 157nm,fast for us.
saw lots of whales in first 2 hours,sailing between ile de sainte marie and mainland
then out into open seas.the wind and swell gradually the last day we had 18-20 knots,gusting to 25,with 2-3 metre swellInitially cloud and rain,then sunny.nice moon after 0230.
.with 50 nm to go we were doing 9 knots on a wave when a whale appeared about 25 metres from us!going the other way-glad we didn't collide
for lunches we had big bowls of hot noodle soup,with additions like tomato,cabbage,tuna.for dinners we had a bowl of Zebu stew,with various added vegetables.more tiring than other recent passages,due to conditions,so adhered to our 4 hour watches,and slept so soundly when off night watches.
daily sked at 0800 and 1800 with green ghost and tegan 1.
late mon afternoon we turned towards diego suerez bay entrance,riding in on big swell ,with brisk wind.large bay,20x20km.past an old fort,old military ruins,orange cliffs on other side lit up by nice to finally be here.saw boat masts near town,so started crossing the bay.then we got 26 knots,afternoon land breeze onto tradewinds,but no swell,so a nice d=fast sail to the finnish line.
dropped anchor just off town,just on sunset,just out of wind.
celebratory drink,final zebu stew,and early bed.
another indian ocean passage safely completed.just the 20nm to get over the top of Madagascar.that part is always more wind and swell.conditions look best next Thursday or Friday.
so time to rest,and to explore Diego Suerez