Day 352, Year 5 Weather, Whether
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Weather: Clear Day, Winds NNW 5 in am, 12-14 in pm
Location: Nosy Androtara, Barren Islands, W Madagascar

The ‘weather’ dominated our day as we tried to figure out ‘whether’ to leave tomorrow or next day or the next. We use GRIB reports and BUOY WEATHER reports that we get in via email along with the weather we get from the Peri-Peri Net at 8 am and 6 pm each day and the South African Maritime Mobile Net weather we get each day at 2:30 pm. It is quite complicated to try and compare all of these different sources and figure out what the weather will be like at various points along the way. And from this far out, it is virtually impossible to predict what the winds will be like in Richards Bay by the time we get there. So right now I don’t know when we will leave. It’s looking like tomorrow or Friday would be a good choice, but Odulphus is not here yet and won’t be until Friday or Saturday. And we had really hoped to move to another island tomorrow and explore there. So more studying and comparing will happen tonight and Mark and Ed will have to come to an agreement on what to do. Hopefully we will have made a decision by this time tomorrow night.

In the meantime, we enjoyed another great snorkel this afternoon. The coral here is mostly staghorn and there is certainly lots of it. But it is not particularly colorful. But the water is clear and we enjoyed the fish. There are not very many big fish as I think the men in the fishing camp do a thorough job of catching those, but the small fish were abundant and beautiful. We saw the first Powderblue Surgeonfish we have seen since Chagos and the array of colorful wrasses was quite impressive. We saw a number of male and female Bridled Parrotfish which are also quite beautiful and I saw three species of fish I have never seen before. So I call that a successful snorkel.

Another boat came in today, Samarcande, with Roland and Judine aboard. Roland is French but has been sailing in the Indian Ocean for the past few years and Judine is Malagasy from Nosy Be. They came over late this afternoon and we had a nice time sharing sailing adventures. Samarcande is heading much further south along Madagascar’s west coast before heading straight for Cape Town. Maybe we’ll see them again when we get there.