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Cisnecito Around the World

Who: Julie and Chris Mays
Port: Newport, RI
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On Anchor with Pamina Off Nosy Mitsio
10/11/2006, Nosy Mitsio, Madagascar

After a late night aboard Freefall celebrating Axel's return from Germany, we got up at 6am to sail up to Nosy Mitsio, where Pamina was just arriving from their passage across from Chagos. We had to motor very slowly around the south side of Nosy Be, as the charts here are not very detailed and shallow water tends to come up rapidly and unexpectedly. Once we got around the corner the wind picked up and we were able to sail.

I was suffering from a bit of 'helly belly' so was lying down below when I heard Chris repeatedly putting the boat into gear and then back to neutral. After about thirty minutes of this I decided to pop up to see what was happening. Turns out he had hooked a massive great trevalli, just over a meter and probably about fifty pounds. I gaffed him and we hurled him into the cockpit to expire. We filleted him and got some of the larger fillets I've seen in my life.

The wind and sea states went up and down throughout the sail, with some very boisterous periods at times. We arrived in the early afternoon and anchored next to Pamina, very happy to be here after they had been blown back out from Cape Ambre on their first approach and had to wait another day to round it. They came over for a dinner of grilled trevalli kebabs with onions and peppers, rice and green salad, still a luxury having come across the Indian Ocean without salad for two months. I made bananas flambe for dessert and we had a fun evening catching up. Chris just made poached eggs for breakfast and we're having a nice leisurely morning.

We are anchored off of a very long white sand beach and I am looking forward to going for a run this morning. I think the last time I ran was in Darwin, so we'll see how that goes. We plan to visit the village in the afternoon and then a man came around yesterday evening who has promised to bring us four lobsters if all goes well, we will be having a lobster feast tonight!

Axel brought us a new camera on his way back from Germany - this is the first photo from it, so we hope it looks ok!

Feeding the Lemurs
10/08/2006, Nosy Komba

We are anchored off of Nosy Komba which is a nice island with a couple of villages and a good anchorage. The larger village has a little "zoo" with lemurs, boas, chameleons and turtles. If you get there early enough in the day, you can have a lemur sit on your shoulder and eat a banana from your hand. They are very friendly, cuddly little guys. The rest of the village is quite nice, with restaurants, little shops and even some beach bungalows. They sell very nice souvenirs, which are all hand made and extremely reasonable.

Last night was Sally's last night on La Familia, so we had a going away dinner for her at one of the restaurants in the village. We had a huge feast for twelve with the wonderful local seafood, followed by a night of dancing in the local disco. It was a fun evening, if a somewhat surreal experience - so far from home, yet so similar in many ways.

Everything Here Moves By Sail
10/05/2006, Nosy Be, Madagascar

This is one of the many local boats which deliver goods from the outer villages to be sold at market in Hellville. We have seen at least a dozen this size and a couple dozen more smaller proas. The locals are deft sailors working light airs with ease.

We moved from Hellville to another bay on Nosy Be. There is a source of freshwater here which is supposedly safe to drink. At high tide you can take your dinghy up to the creek and collect freshwater. I had a glass of it and it tastes much better than our watermaker water.

There is a nice sandy beach and the swimming is very refreshing. It gets very hot in the morning before the breeze picks up so being able to swim is nice.

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