Today, my blood froze more than once.
This morning Serge is better, what a relief! He was able to eat but his heading is not good enough to enable him to pass north of Grand Comore this evening and I’m expecting to hear that everything has to stop tomorrow…..
The Southerly winds are from the SE on the simulations but Serge tells me that « on the spot » they are Easterly and that he rowed all day to try to keep to a heading of 300°, but in vain… His arms are fed up he says!
A drift to the west is planned for tonight and if the winds are not in the direction planned or hoped for, I don’t know what will become of Serge and Middleton tomorrow noon. I don’t know how to say it differently, since I have been scared stiff for the past three days over this difficult passage. To add to the situation, Serge is suffering from more lows than highs. It makes my blood freeze!
This morning David and Bertrand were stopped by the Zimbabwe police at the border point at Mutare; supposedly one of the papers for the cars was missing (it was not missing when they entered Zimbabwe!). We know that the border police in that country can cause trouble where there is none. It’s a way to obtain something if you see what I mean. The visa costs US$100 in one of the poorest countries in the world! My blood froze but 2 hours later they were in Mozambique. Phew! My blood is circulating.
In Pemba: Building the support, which we will call « the cradle » on which to put Middleton, has begun. It took 2 hours of searching the city for the proper materials, then 2 return trips to Balloré to sign a letter for the maritime department. Then we had to find a rental vehicle for 2 days until the guys arrive. We found it only to learn that we had to leave our passport!!!! I had never been asked to do that before. My blood froze! In another rental agency they debit your credit card 64,000 Meticals (1800€) and credit you the difference later. It goes without saying that between the exchange charges and bank commissions of our dear bank in Le Have, which will be exorbitant for such a sum, we will end up paying twice the rental rate, which is 90€ per day!
And finally, the price for one day at sea in a motor boat is US$3,000. I was sitting down when I asked twice that they repeat the price. My blood froze! We have to find another way, especially because we know that the approach to the coast of Mozambique will not be easy and it is absolutely necessary for someone to go out to meet Serge.
I don’t know where we are headed but we are going cheerfully and I am tempted this evening to abandon such a plan. Up to now I have never said or even thought that the different challenges of the past years were crazy but this evening I tell myself that this one is taking a crazy turn. The challenge is exceptional and I knew it before starting. I also was pretty sure that the uncertainty of the places and the timing would prevent a structured organization and would mean constant adjustment, which would be very costly. Serge minimized that aspect of the challenge. Without thinking about the financial aspect (in 2004 we borrowed money upon our return to pay the deficit of the Dakar-Cairo crossing and it did not kill us), I tell myself that the worst would be for Serge to run aground at Grand Comore and then the adventure would end quickly!
I am in Mozambique but my mind is wallowing in mire which is suffocating me. My blood freezes and yet I am hemorrhaging because of negative vibes that are taking over tonight. And as usual, the earth continues to turn, with thousands dead in Nepal and the birth of Princess Charlotte…. So exciting!