Day 342, Year 5 Fifteen Degrees South
Date: Sunday, October 3, 2010
Weather: So Beautiful; Winds SE am, NW pm
Latitude: 15 12.809 S
Longitude: 047 02.524 E
Location: Mahajamba Bay, NW Madagascar

We rounded the top of Madagascar at 12 degrees of latitude and have spent most of our time between 13 and 14 degrees of latitude. Today we made the plunge south to 15 degrees S as evidence that we are finally really moving south and west. At just about the same time that we reached 15 degrees S we could see Anjajavy, an exclusive resort and wildlife refuge. I had hoped to stop there for lunch and to see their gardens, but the only phone number we have for them is out-dated and we have been told that you just don’t “pop in” at Anjajavy. There is no way to get there except to fly in, so guests have to pay at least $750 US to fly in and out. There is a three day minimum and each costs at least $300. But the reason to go there is to travel to Moramba Bay and to see the fantastic wildlife in the gardens and walks through the forest around the resort. I didn’t really want to have lunch there. I just wanted an excuse to get into the gardens and maybe be allowed to walk through the forest, but I guess I’ll have to return here when I strike it rich.

We reluctantly left Moramba Bay this morning. It is just such a special place and no one ever wants to leave there. But South Africa calls. Tomorrow we will continue to stick close to the shore to see the sights and just before we get to Majunga, a real Madagascar city, we will head out to sea and do an overnight to Baly Bay. To get there we will be traveling to the west as the coast of Madagascar makes a turn at Majunga. Our hope is to stay in Baly Bay for at three days, maybe a week, and then do a two day run west and then south to the Barren Islands on Madagascar’s west coast. We’ll hang there until the weather is right for the six day passage to Richard’s Bay. We are moving south much faster that we’d like, but since we are officially checked-out of the country, we can’t stay in places as long as we’d like. Once we are out of the Majunga area, however, we can slow down . But then there are very few places to stop unless the weather is very calm. So we could be in Richards Bay as soon as the middle of October or closer to the end of October. It will all depend on the weather.

Exactly one year ago today Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah drove us to the Providence, Rhode Island airport where we got on a plane and flew to North Carolina to visit with family before heading back to Malaysia. So it has officially been a full year since we have seen Sam and Jonah and over a year since we have seen Ziggy. Once we get to South Africa, we will officially begin our sixth year of the Voyage of Windbird (VOW) and you can bet I will be counting the days until I see those grandbabies again (and their parents, of course). Year One of our voyage was our longest at 410 days, but part of that was our delay while still in the United States while we had a new motor installed. And during that time, we visited with family. And then our children flew to the Caribbean to meet us for Christmas. This cruising year will be at least 365 days and we certainly have not seen any family during that time which makes it feel so much longer. Let’s just hope that absence does make the heart grow fonder.

Day 343, Year 5 Overnight Passage to Baly Bay
Day 341, Year 5 An Ancient Baobab, A Baby Lemur