The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Wed 16 Aug 2017 14:11



17:00.13S 049:50.85E


We’re now anchored in Ambodifototra, Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar. Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


15 August 2017   Reunion to Ile St Marie (Day 3)

At 07:00, we had 124 miles to go, so we planned to have a relaxed sail and arrive tomorrow morning.  The wind stayed at 8-12 knots through the morning, but after lunch dropped a couple of knots more and came directly behind us, so that we were only sailing at 2.5 to 3 knots.  This low speed combined with the 5 foot waves bounced us around, so the sails were constantly slating.  However, we persevered because we had 1.5 knots of current with us and still had time to arrive tomorrow morning.


I put out a couple of lures because I’d heard that the fishing was good around Madagascar, but with a boat speed of 3 knots, I didn’t hold out much hope. When I pulled the hand line in a few hours later, the lure had gone, so something was tempted...


By 16:00, a bank of clouds overtook us and the wind dropped even more, so with 80 miles to go we started motoring.  We then had showers all night, with the wind remaining light, but clocking around as rain clouds passed through.


Glenys woke me at dawn, just as we were rounding the south end of the island.  We motored for 8 miles along the west coast and had four sightings of Humpback Whales.  Unfortunately, the light was so poor that I was again unable to take any decent photographs. 


The skies remained grey and we were overtaken by a shower as we approached the harbour for the main (only) town of Ambodifototra.  By 07:30, we were anchored at 17°00.13S 049°50.85E in 10 metres of water on sand/mud.  We’re just outside the inner harbour where it is a little rolly, but unfortunately, there are moorings in the inner harbour and no space to anchor.  Now we go out to tackle the clearance procedures…