There’s no longer a dot to follow as it moves along the map, but things are moving on l’Ile Rouge (Madagascar).
4H30 Wake up call
5H00: Monika and René go to Ambodifotatra to take the ferry to Suanirana (a trip of 1H30). Danz is waiting for them and after a 2 hour drive they arrive at Mahambo around 10H15. Monika is not a sailor and has trouble recovering from a bit of vomiting during the trip.
5H00 : Serge and Laure have their last breakfast at La Varangue with Didier, ower of the Hotel Libertalia. Didier has offered to tow Middleton. He will be at the helm of Betty, with sailors Francis and Gelin. Our thanks go to the whole team at La Varangue and to smiling Manou, the manageress who knew how to adapt to our needs and requests, which were sometimes outside the hours of normal tourists.
6H00 : we are on the pier and get Middleton out to the difficult passage of Vohilava. The depth is reasonable. We tie the spare rudder to Middleton, which means we will avoid having to dive to take off the bolt. Serge will be able to steer his craft while it is towed. He is settled in Middleton which takes off for Mahambo, towed by Betty, the boat which belongs to Henry, the owner of la Varangue. We leave Sainte Marie under a cloud-filled sky. Serge has not been standing up a lot and feels OK. This morning Alexandra brought her scale; Serge weighs 60kg against 65kg when he left, it’s confirmed.
The crossing lasts 7H30 and Serge was on a see-saw because the sea, like the wind and the waves, is changeable. According to Didier it is a characteristic of this place. The differences in depth and the ocean meeting the shore makes the Indian Ocean unpredictable. In any case, we were tossed around and in spite of a gray sky and a shower we were getting some sunshine without realizing it.
15H00 : We reach the beach at Mahambo in front of the Hibiscus Hotel, which will be our QG for two days and three nights. Inch’allah. During our scouting last week we chose Joseph’s Hibiscus Hotel. There are bungalows and there is easy access by the sea route. Joseph was rather surprised by our visit but he quickly understood our needs. The trailer is here, Middleton too, along with 5 people from Malagasy Tours, our partner on the Malgasy portion of the challenge, and 2 truck drivers.
2 missions before Thursday :
1) Get Serge back on his feet
2) Pack Middleton in her cocoon of “cotton” for her 1000km overland voyage to Majunga
The road stretches ahead