Day 302, Year 5 Mahavanga to Baramahamay Bay
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Weather: Most Cloudy with No Wind
Latitude: 13 42.797 S
Longitude: 047 54.002 E
Location: Baramahamay Bay, NW Madagascar

Just when we think we are getting the hang of sailing with the morning SE breeze from land and the afternoon NW wind from the sea, we get a day like today with no wind and absolutely glassy seas. So we didn’t do much sailing, but we did have a nice calm trip from Mahavanga northwards. After a bit of a rocky and rolly night, the calm trip was most welcome. We arrived in Baramahamay Bay mid-afternoon and were delighted to see that Peter and Carla of Odulphus are here. They came over for Happy Hour tonight and we caught up with our separate adventures of the past couple of weeks. Peter has a new plan for the trip from here to South Africa that would require us to leave this area a little sooner than planned and travel further south down the Madagascar coast. So we have much to think about. But they have actually discovered a tiny local restaurant on shore and we are going there for lunch tomorrow. Peter told the story of going there and ordering chicken for lunch. Preparation takes about an hour, so he and Carla went for a walk. When they returned they were told that the chicken escaped and that he would have to order something else. Too funny!

We got an email from our son-in-law Jed this morning that gave us a bit of a scare. He responded to yesterday’s log where I stated that there is no threat of ciguatera in Madagascar. Evidently that is not true. Here’s what we received from Jed:

University of Florida From
(University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services)

In the Indian Ocean, ciguatera commonly occurs in Reunión, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles and has also been reported from Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Comoro and Chagos Archipelagoes.

I have the remaining barracuda filets nicely frozen against the cold plate in our refrigerator and they will stay there until we can research this further. Even though we no longer have a freezer, we do have the luxury of freezing small portions against the evaporator plate of the refrigerator. If our barracuda was carrying the toxin we should have felt the results within eight hours after eating it. Since we didn’t, there is probably not an issue, but there is no sense in taking a chance. You can suffer for months after experiencing ciguatera poisoning and it is not something you want to take a chance with. We just want to check in with the locals we know back in the Nosy Be area and see what they know about this. But once again we are very thankful for Jed’s quick research.

We have decided to stay here tomorrow and go into the village on the north side of the bay. We didn’t visit there before and this is where Peter and Carla tell us there is a restaurant. We will meet them there for lunch. Hope they can catch the chickens tomorrow!