Daily Archives: March 26, 2015

Middleton turtle or crab? -

25 March: “I’m moving forward sideways like a crab and only row with one arm; there is always this southerly wind and this swell………”
Tomorrow there is hope of better conditions to make rowing easier and most of all to facilitate progress toward Sainte Marie, where people are beginning to wait for Serge.
We met Henry, the owner of Villa de Vohilava, who was good enough to offer us lodging while we wait for Serge. He has a boat and knows the sea well. He is a diver and president of the CetaMada Association, which works to preserve marine mammals in Madagascar. Between Sainte Marie and La Grande Terre, humpback whales come to give birth to their young between June and October. It is also the mating season, when the males sometimes fight to receive the favors of the ladies. We will have to come back because it is not the season to see this show, which must be magnificent. We have spent several hours developing scenarios for Middleton’s arrival; what is the best way to enter the lagoon, how to remove the rudder blade which is not retractable, how do we tow the boat from Sainte Marie to Mahambo on the big island, where and how the boat will be tied to the mooring in front of Joseph’s hotel in Mahambo? In short, it is the beginning of delicate handing of Middleton, such a small and fragile craft when it is a question of human handling near the shore…
René and I are trying to describe the day: dead calm does not apply but it was a static day where we put down roots in Henry’s restaurant, La Varangue, which provides WIFI. We can also say the day was productive. We discovered a contact on Majunga (Mahajanga) who can receive the boat and store it until we will put it in the water again. We also contacted a person who may be able to help us in Mozambique and we contacted a maritime transporter to ship Middleton in her container from Mozambique to Namibia.
We also finalized Serge’s arrival in Sainte Marie with visits to the local authorities, accompanied by Hubert and Alexandra. Serge’s morale is of one who has become resigned to the Indian Ocean, which is so unpredictable. This evening Paella is on the menu again and he is happy to be able to eat well. For the first time he took out his GoPro camera, which will make Monika happy. She is due to arrive in Sainte Marie on Saturday morning.
This evening Serge has the impression that he is not advancing, whereas the tracking seems to prove the contrary, keeping in mind that between 25 and 26 March he only covered 26 miles, not very good progress even though he rowed almost without stopping. I am betting that the next 24 hours will be better.
For my part, I am beginning to yearn for his arrival. Hello to Danz and Momo who are waiting for us just opposite on Grande Terre.