Daily Archives: March 22, 2015

Nutrition Part 1: Breakfast -

Morale and nutrition often go hand in hand and for Serge they represent even more, a pause that marks his days and give bearings in a sea where there are so few, aside from the sun, the stars and of course his measurement instruments.
Breakfast: The routine sets in, coffee with sugar, La Trinitaine biscuits which have most kindly bens sent to Reunion Island by our partner. Serge heats his water in a water heater called JetBoil, which had the advantage of needing little power to heat.

Then comes muesli which Serge has adapted because he does not like milk! The brand is Lyo Food, a new Polish brand that has a line of freeze-dried produces: the fruit is grown in their own fields so it is possible to track the quality of the ingredients used, which are guaranteed 100% fresh and natural. Serge has a choice of 3 breakfasts called Chocolate Morning, Sweet Morning and Healthy Morning. He exchanges powered milk and water for orange juice and really enjoys this morning meal which has a value of about 200 kcal.
He eats a second item of this brand: Fruit, and there is a large selection. They have the advantage of not needing to be moistened before eating. They come in a snack package which is easy to use and the fruit are in pieces, not mixed. They have been cooked before being freeze-dried, contrary to most foods of this type. For 30 grams of fruit you get about 100 calories and Serge eats them at breakfast and then as a snack during the day. He drinks an average of 3 liters of water per day + the extras (some Coca Cola, coffee, orange juice)
Since the adventure is long and we will always have something to talk about, I am splitting in 2 parts the chapter on nutrition and soon I will talk about the other meals of the day. It is 5H00 in France, for Serge 8H00 (he has stayed on Reunion Island time) and for me 7H00 (I am on Madagascar time) and he has just picked up his oars after his breakfast. He was all excited because he saw a boat in the distance.
Finally, at 23H00 yesterday, Michel, our router (he belongs a bit to me too) sent a text to Serge, who heard the “bips” in spite of his ear plugs, saying that he had to change his heading. You can see it on the tracer at the time of 21H00
René and I are leaving for Tamatave today with Momo and Danz
See you tomorrow

A bit of contrast in the land of smiles -

22 March 2015 : The dream team (Mmo, Danz, René and Laure) leave for Tamatave (Taomasina) this morning at 8H30. The Malagasy-Tours team worked yesterday to prepare the vehicle. We have loaded camping gear, the shopping we did in Tana, our luggage and a newly purchased generator.
This trip of about 350 km, will enable us to reconnoiter the land route that Serge will take in about ten days. We will look for places to say and to camp and it becomes obvious that even though this eastern part of the country is more heavily populated than the western, we will surely do a lot of camping. Sites are not easy to find because the vegetation is dense and the space left free at the road side is already occupied by small wooden houses on stilts on the coast, but before you get there, the mountain and rivers don’t leave any flat, accessible spots for a camp site. Parking spaces for heavy trucks and container vehicles are non-existent and if one of them has a breakdown it stays at the roadside with only a red triangle to act as warning. The national route 2, which we are taking, is the only route between Tamatave, the biggest port in the country, and Tana. All freight travels via this route.
We leave the cool weather of Tana (at an altitude of 1200 to 1400 meters) with its pollution and heavy traffic. On this road there are hardly any cars and in the villages we cross the population uses mostly bus taxis or they go by foot. I realize that Serge will not be alone on this road when he runs.
We also discover the seasonal fruit because in Madagascar what you find is fresh. For example, you won’t find lychee because they are picked around mid November and the harvest lasts only one month. All the fruit arrives at the same time. This is the period when bananas are harvested, as well as Rambutan, guava and other fruit I have never seen before. Looking back, another thing that stuck me is not to have seen huge orchards. The mountain and the countryside are not divided into lots by fences or barbed wires and consequently, I don’t know to whom the fruit trees along the road belong. They seem to have landed there by chance, not to have been planted. We also see small rice paddies on the hillsides, I who thought that rice only grew in wetlands.
Another striking thing is the impressive number of churches : catholic, protestant, evangelical and various sects. Being Sunday, most of the population is wearing fine clothes to go to church and the children are carrying prayer books. There are smiles on all the faces. Many of the people live without water or electricity, without cars but it does not keep the Malagasy from beaming.
The voice of Serge is also beaming at 17H30, just as we have finally found a camp site just after Tamatave, when he tells me that he had a visit from a Malagasy fishing boat, which had been told of his presence by the CROSS of Le Port at Reunion Island, and came to have news of the galley slave. The meeting lasted 30 minutes, everyone spoke French and everyone took photos. I hope that Serge thought to record the moment for posterity, he who never thinks of opening his computer and does not answer texts. I don’t know if a marine “bear” exists but Serge must be one.
This evening there is paella on the menu, as well as a good sleep which will take him to the midpoint of his voyage, i.e., 195 nautical miles covered since Le Port. He has the same distance to go to reach the Island of Sainte Marie. In a week, Serge should disembark from his ship, Middleton. Before long I will tell you why this boat is named Middleton.
Here are the messages from Michel, sent to Serge – But when does he sleep?
Sent: Monday, 23 March 2015 04H26
To: sergegirart@wanadoo.fr
Subject: Run row
Serge has passed the midpoint, super
He is back on heading, a bit more to the North perfect, the drift at night is due to the NE current, nothing serious, it was planned.
See you, Michel
Sent: Monday 23 march 2015 05H23
To: sergegirard@wanadoo.fr
Cc: Maxime.Debert@sat-ocean.com; Xavier.Vigan@sat-ocean.com
Subject: run row
Serge is at mid point, on a perfect route toward St. Marie, compensating his heading perfectly depending on the current variations. Arrival planned 29/03 between 15 and 20H00 UTC
Midpoint passed 195 miles covered.
Wind E 10-15knots
Swells ESE 1.4mètre 10secondes
Current NE 0.3 a 0.5knots
barometric pressure 1014hpa
Wing E 10-14knots
Swells SSW 1.5mètre 11secondes
Current NE 0.6 a 0.4 knots
barometric pressure 1013hpa
Winds ESE 11-15 knots
Swells SSW 1.6mètre 12secondes
Current ENE 0.3 a 0.2 knots
Barometric pressure 1013hpa