Story 1: Serge is now east of Mayotte Island
As you can see on the website, Serge is moving ahead. This afternoon the planned heading has evolved and you can see it on the link with Sat Ocean. I feel that he is eager to arrive but he will have to arm himself with patience. He does not dwell on the progress he has made in the last two days; he only sees what remains to be accomplished. He does not feel like being optimistic this evening and when I give him news it does not cheer him up. This evening, he seems depressed, no doubt the after-effect of his struggle the first six days… Just as a misfortune never happens alone, Serge has a problem with the watermaker and he may run out of water before he arrives. Remember, every problem has a solution. After an unsuccessful try yesterday by a boat from Madagascar to take him 7 packs of water (everything organized by Guilaumette): this morning we had to find another solution. Mayotte is a French territory and I contacted Cédric De La Brosse, du CROSS in Reunion Island. He currently has 3 French ships in the area and one of them will take Serge his precious water. Delivery should take place this weekend, knowing that our rower has a supply that will hold him for 8 days!
Finally, Serge chases away the birds that come to light on his solar panel. He tells me that his boat is not a latrine. I don’t dare ask him if he is taking photos but deep down I hope he is. He would surely reply that he has other things to do, that is not easy to move around in the boat and that I’m not there in his place.
Story 2: David and Bertrand in Namibia
Our two friends arrived at dawn today at Windhoek, some 4000 km from Pemba (I say some because I have stopped counting since yesterday evening – my sign of revolt). They had a busy day because they took delivery of the vehicles, then went to buy what will be needed for our camping and for themselves on the road for the next six days. Once again, it takes two lines to write it but I know how much time it took. They will leave tomorrow morning to cross Botswana, Zimbabwe and finally Mozambique. It will enable them to reconnoiter the road both ways, since there was no possibility of a “one way rental” for the vehicles. If we had hired an agency in Mozambique I think that the World Tour would have ended before it reached Namibia due to lack of funds! (…no, I said that I would stop). Even if this way of handling the situation seems enormous, even out of all proportion, it was chosen after much research and compromise.
Story 3: There is a lot to do before a long weekend
May 1st is a holiday here, with trade union parades. You are right, it makes you think of France but we are in Mozambique, formerly a Portuguese colony. On this eve of a long weekend we have a lot to do.
Visit number 1: to Franck and William, 2 Dutchmen of the Sub Tech company with whom we discuss 2 points: finding a boat which will go to meet Serge and finding a trailer. After 30 minutes we have 2 names.
Visit number 2: return to Balloré where Niven accompanies us to Immigration and to different maritime departments. We must write a letter to the latter and in both cases we have to pay…no, no I’ll stop: We did not spend a penny on Reunion Island or in Madagascar for all that and it’s really the limit at Immigration; in addition to a visa for Serge (normal) there is also need for a visa for the boat, also an immigrant it seems.Finally, a contact is made and things are in the pipeline as they say.
Visit number 3: We leave Balloré with another contact to find a trailer; Kevin, a South African. It is 11H30 when we get to his place and he is not there so we wait a bit. We show him plans and photos of what was done in Madagascar, with the modification made to Olivier’s trailer. We have a date to buy the material Monday morning. The arches will be made starting Tuesday, with Rene’s help since he knows the music well.
We leave for the center of town and the ATM’s are all occupied (At Nacala I waited 20 minutes and I thought it would be an hour here) so we decide to come back. We went to have a look at the only supermarket in town because before we leave we will stock up here. And lastly, a visit to the shop to charge up the 3G key enabled me to go on-line and work on the website. The shop is very busy.
Everything that is supposed to work does not always work; you have to be sensitive to nuance. When the boys were doing their shopping in Namibia they decided that the generators were not up to our standard. So René and I are going to look at generators in Pemba. This is the final word for our afternoon, which finished next to a plate of French fries.
Back at our QG, which is a sort of bush camp with bungalows, tents and dorms After 6 hours of tramping around we sit down, satisfied with the headway we have made today in Pemba, glad to have David and Bertrand safely arrived and last but not least delighted with Serge’s good progress. The weekend may seem long because everything will be closed and paralyzed for 3 days. Resting is not in my nature, nor is it in the World Tour’s vocabulary so the weekend is going to be very long.
In the southern hemisphere: 3 different stories -
Story 1: Serge is now east of Mayotte Island