Day 354, Year 5 The Troops Are Gathering
Date: Friday, October 15, 2010
Weather: Clear Day, Winds NNW 0-7 am, NW 12-15 pm
Location: Nosy Andrano, Barren Islands, W Madagascar

This anchorage is growing with boats headed to South Africa. Roland and Judine on Samarcande left today, but Nora Simrod, Odulphus and Dream Catcher arrived. Nora Simrod is a multiple-owner time-share boat. We saw this boat in Cochin or Chagos, can’t remember which, but with a different crew. Right now there is a Norwegian captain and crew onboard and they are headed to Richards Bay. Dream Catcher is a South African catamaran that we know well and tonight Odulphus, Constance, and Windbird gathered on Dream Catcher to talk about the passage to Richards Bay. Dream Catcher has sailed the African coast from Richards Bay to Mozambique and back a couple of times, but this will be their first time crossing from Madagascar to Africa. Barry had a wealth of information to share and confirmed that he has always used BUOY WEATHER to do his routing up and down the East African coast and has found it to be spot on within a four-day period. He shared with us how he orders detailed reports. Now that we are back on Windbird, Mark is at work on the computer ordering more BUOY reports. Until we get those reports back we will not make a decision on what we are doing tomorrow. We are back to making the decision of whether or not to go as we have conflicting weather reports. Hopefully the more detailed reports that Barry suggested we order will help make the decision.

We spent our morning taking the dinghy over to Nosy Lava and walking the beach. There is a huge fishing camp over there-looks more like a village. Evidently Japanese fishing boats come in and buy the fish, mostly shark, from the fishermen. We had to dinghy half-way around the island in order to find a suitable place to land the dinghy as the waves were rolling in. We found a spot on the western side of the island and then had a nice walk along the shore looking for shells. The East Africa Pilot says that there is a “treasure trove of rare shells” on Nosy Lava, but that is not what we found. Maybe the people in the fishing village make the rounds and pick up the shells at low tide. We arrived closer to high tide and did find some shells, but no treasures. Still it was a wonderful walk along a white sand beach with beautiful turquoise water providing a beautiful view. I often wonder how much we are going to miss such beautiful, tropical islands when we return home. I’m taking lots of photos and guess I’ll just have to survive on the memories. There’s only one thing more beautiful than these islands and that is grandchildren. And we’re hoping to see lots of them once we return.

101005 Day 354– Down the Madagascar Coast to Baly Bay
Day 355, Year 5 Passage to Ile Europa, Day 1
Day 353, Year 5 Nosy Androtara to Nosy Andrano