Day 348, Year 5 Leaving Tomorrow, Wind or No Wind
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Weather: Clear Day, Winds 10 Knots Northerly
Latitude: 16 00.675 S
Longitude: 45 17.294 E
Location: Baly Bay, NW Madagascar

It was a quiet day here, just waiting. We have decided to move tomorrow because the winds don’t seem to get much better even if we wait for another week. Once we get out of Baly Bay we turn to the west for about 90 miles and then we turn south, basically following Madagascar’s west coast. If we just keep moving, using whatever wind we get, we should reach the Barren Islands on Tuesday. As we get closer we will make a decision to either stop there or head west across the Mozambique Channel to Richards Bay in South Africa. From the Barrens we have about 900 miles to go to Richards Bay. That is roughly a week of sailing, day and night. It will feel good to get started tomorrow morning and then just see how it goes. Odulphus and Constance will be leaving with us and we heard today that Dream Catcher left Majunga today and will be in this area by tomorrow morning. They don’t plan on stopping, however, so we will probably be on the same track. And Muneera will leave Majunga early this week and could catch up with us if we stop in the Barren Islands. Mark just reminded me that tomorrow is 10/10/10. That sounds like a perfect ’10’ to me and maybe it bodes well for our journey. I’m really hoping that we get to stop in the Barren Islands as the snorkeling there is supposed to be fantastic.

We made a few phone calls late this afternoon since this will be our last chance until we reach South Africa. We have been so lucky that calls to the US are so very cheap from Madagascar. We pay about 30 cents a minute for a call to the US. That means a ten-minute call costs about $3.00. Not bad. We talked to our daughter Heather, our good friends Linda, Mike, and Garrett Stuart and Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg in New Hampshire, and Mark’s sister Mary Ellen in Florida. It is still early in California, so we will call our son Justin a little later this evening. It was great to talk to everyone. Our daughter’s new science blog site is going great and she and Jed and the boys are adjusting to a full-time working mom. Jed’s parents are visiting this weekend and Sam sounded like he was in heaven with all the new wooden train parts Papa G and Grammie brought from Maine. Jonah made animals noises when I told him we were going to see elephants and lions in South Africa and sent us his Dinah Shore kisses–“mmmm-wah.” We had hoped the Kanegsbergs would be coming to Richards Bay to tour the game parks with us, but the invitation from us came just a little too late for them to be able to use any frequent flyer miles-and otherwise the trip is just too expensive. Linda and Mike have a little over three years of working before they leave on their biking trip around the world, so they are doing their 1,000-plus day count-down. Their son Garrett was filling out college applications as we talked. When they visited us in Rarotonga in 2006, Garrett was in middle school. Time sure flies by quickly.

101007 Day 348 Baly Bay, Madagascar–Village Visit and HH on Constance
Day 349, Year 5 101010 and 1111
Day 347, Year 5 Stuck in Baly Bay