Day 258, Year 5 Raining, Snorkeling, Dining
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2010
Weather: Rain Overnight-First Real Rain in Madagascar
Location: Nosy Sakatia, NW Madagascar

Overnight, we got our first real rain since arriving in Madagascar. While in Apanasia Bay at the top of the island we had a few light showers on June 18, but since then it has been dry. But during the night last night we got a good rain that washed the boat. Thank you, rain! It was still cloudy this morning, but regardless we decided to begin our day by snorkeling. We were so excited to find some colorful coral, lots of anemones, and many interesting fish. We saw four-inch long pink anemonefish, the biggest we have ever seen, some two-banded anemonefish, more anemones than we have ever seen in one place, and some beautiful crinoids that look like underwater feathery flowers.. The water was clear, but certainly not the crystal clear that we had in some Chagos locations, but we saw a number of small fish that we have never seen before and that made it certainly worth the snorkel. In fact, we have decided to stay here another day just to snorkel again. Ed and Lynne aren’t snorkeling with us, but they have decided to stay anyway. We will both move on Tuesday morning.

I spent my afternoon baking and cooking things to store for use later while Mark read. Late in the afternoon we called our daughter Heather and had a great conversation while Sam streaked through the room every few minutes telling us he misses us and loves us. Jonah was a quiet one today, but we learned that his hair has gotten even blonder and that despite all efforts to screen him from the sun, he has become a little brown biscuit. I think he has more than his share of Handley in him as that is definitely a Handley trait. Mark and I can be in the same sun for the same period of time and I tan a bit while he turns brown.

We picked Ed and Lynne up as the sun went down and headed over to Sakatia Towers for dinner. Ed had zebu while the others of us had prawns and rice after a delicious tomato, avocado, and citrus salad. We had freshly baked bread and a delicious green pepper sauce to pour over our prawns. Dinner was delicious and we once again enjoyed the company of John Sheppard. Shortly after dinner, he was headed to Sakatia Lodge at the southern end of the island to watch the final World Cup game between Netherlands and Spain. He was wearing his orange shirt and rooting for the Netherlands, but the owner of Sakatia Lodge is from Portugal and John expected some good spirited fun once he arrived. We’ll check in with him tomorrow evening to find out the outcome of the finals.

100711 Day 258a Nosy Sakatia, Madagascar–Underwater Headland S of Sakatia Towers
100711 Day 258b Nosy Sakatia, Madagascar–Dinghy Trip to S End of Sakatia