To Hellville, Nosy Be
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 30 Jul 2019 23:57
To Hellville on Nosy Be Island
05:53 and 05:59. I just happened to be awake......
Bear woke and on went the engine at 06:30.
In the early morning light we headed down the east coast of the tiny resort island of Tsara Bajina. A week for the two of us, all inclusive, between four and five thousand pounds plus flights and transfers. Comments say it is very lovely with limited cell coverage - so couples have to speak to each other........
A lovely little resort.
Our journey today is thirty-three nautical miles.
An interesting sky at a quarter past seven.
Nosy Be in the centre, Komba to the left.
Mainland Madagascar off to the left.
The gap between the islands begins to open up.
Depth would have be fine for us but I was a good girl and followed the transit lines in, first heading to the shore of Nosy Be, the next heading for the edge of Komba.
A cute island lighthouse.
Crossing the bay, an incredibly dull day.
A local lady drifting across.
Another local lady.
Our first look at Hellville, population about 73,000.
Just love these simple boats.
We pass a girl called Joseph Conrad as we near the anchorage.
Local in a hurry but time for a welcoming wave.
As I was mincing about the anchorage we were approached by Jimmy – the local go-to chap.
Within minutes of the anchor being set, we were aboard Jimmy’s borrowed dodgy, little craft (saved time inflating Baby Beez and putting the outboard on, as it was going on for half past two) and he was paddling at the front. All our rubbish between him and us.
Looking back at the big girl happily at anchor. Note the missing dodger bearing her Beez Neez name, looks naked without but until I can get the sewing machine out......... The solar panel on this side is Heath Robinson until we can find a welder.
The jetty is in constant use with local ferries, small delivery boats and all manor of comings and goings. Therefore we will need a boat boy – supplied by Jimmy - at £2.26 for a full day, half for part of. Otherwise the risk is Baby Beez will go permanent walkabout. A very valuable commodity for such a poor nation.
First stop was at the Police portacabin. I instantly felt we were going to be rooked out of extra money but there we are..... Ladies carrying loads on their heads will become a frequent sight.
Next, off in a tuktuk to the ATM, photocopy shop (we didn’t have a copy of our Chagos clearance....) and back to the Police to hand over £116.41. Various dues and our two-month Visa (President has just changed this to the maximum from three months, damn). The burly chap wanted us back in an hour post his airport taxi run for said Visas. We bimbled along the street to Customs, a nice man who only wanted £11.19 and then to the Harbourmaster who wanted £51.04 for our three-month Cruising Permit, a limited list but covers everywhere we would like to visit.
Officialdom done baring picking up our Passports, we bimbled along the main street toward the Orange shop for SIM card and data. £24.62 for thirty days and 10 gigabytes. We get another ten free if used after eleven at night.
Goats out for a bimble. We were beginning to feel like that, well the purse certainly does. Three hours later, Passports in hand, we handed Jimmy £13.43. He charged us double because he gave us a lift......, back aboard to sag in a sweaty heap. Our total spend was £192.07 and nary been near the supermarket or local rum suppliers....... Straight into supper as we had missed lunch and a celebratory backgammon, I lost and growled. Showers and we fell into bed exhausted. Good Night All.
ALL IN ALL A WHIRLWIND OF OFFICIALDOM AFTER A PEACEFUL JOURNEY
EFFICIENTLY DONE BUT AT SOME COST