Day 294, Year 5 Windbird in Wonderland
Date: Monday, August 16, 2010
Weather: Beautiful Day; Wind 10-15 Knots SE
Location: Moramba Bay, NW Madagascar

Moramba Bay has the feel of a wonderland. The little limestone mushroom-shaped islets that look like they sit on a pedestal in the water are interesting. But then put a few baobab trees of top and the interest grows. There are six different kinds of baobab trees here. Some have trunks shaped like bottles. Others start as one trunk and then develop into two that twine around each other. Others have a broad base and get smaller as they rise up. And others just rise straight up majestically. But all of them have twisting, finger-like branches only at the top that spread out like an umbrella. When you look at these trees, you somehow get the feeling that they could come alive and start moving. Eerie . . . but beautiful in a strange way. So this afternoon we picked up Ed and Lynne and wound our way through the wonderland of baobab-topped islets. We went back to the area where we saw the lemurs yesterday, but this time we beached the dinghy and walked around to the rocky outcrop where we saw them yesterday. The first thing we saw was a very large baobab tree with a few mangroves on the beach below it. Lynne started walking toward the tree while Ed and I were taking photos of it. Then we saw a couple of spots of white and realized that our lemur friends were there waiting for us. We seem to be able to get very close to these lemurs without scaring them away, but voices immediately scare them and they leap through the tangle of branches. Today one of the pair leaped to a higher branch when we got close but the other one was munching on a long green-bean shaped mangrove seed pod and would not be disturbed. So we were able to get better photos then yesterday when we were taking the pictures from a bouncing dinghy. We must have spent twenty minutes or more just standing there watching the lemurs. We finally pulled ourselves away to explore the other areas around the beach. We saw a flock of black and white Pied Crows, a couple of Vasa Parrots, herons and egrets flying overhead, and one soaring fish eagle. We then got back in the dinghy and went deeper into the bay. We delighted in looking at all of the different baobabs. We saw several beautiful beaches and decided to come back and land at one of them in the morning so we could do a land explore. Lemurs, tsingy, baobabs, mushroom shaped islands. What a wonderland!

100816 Day 294 Moramba Bay, Madagascar–Explore #2