Voyages of Petite Ourse

31 December 2016
13 December 2016
30 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
26 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
14 November 2016 | Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
31 October 2016
17 October 2016 | Dzaoudi
02 October 2016
31 August 2016
31 July 2016 | 200 miles from Victoria, Mahe
20 May 2016
11 April 2016 | Maldives
24 March 2016 | Maldives
19 March 2016 | 50 Miles from Uligan
15 March 2016
12 March 2016 | Offshore Southeast Sri Lanka
09 March 2016 | Trincomalee Harbour
01 March 2016 | Trincomalee Harbour
23 February 2016 | Bsy of Bengal

Richards Bay Holiday Season

31 December 2016
We celebrated Christmas with a conventional turkey meal and Australian wine. The Tuzi Gazi marina/waterfront complex is a centre of activity during the holiday period. New Years eve promises no sleep on Petite Ourse tonight according to the local boaters.

We have visited two nearby game reserves - Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and iSimangaliso Wetland Park. At the game reserve we saw giraffe, water buffalo, zebra, kudu, antelope, black rhino and white rhino. In the wetland park, the major attraction was hippos, crocodiles and birds.

We had the opportunity to go out with one of the harbour tugboats to escort and berth a cargo ship in the port at dusk. These tugs have immense 5000 hp dual diesel engines and finger-tip steering. It took about 2 hours to escort and then berth the cargo ship.

We are hoping to visit Kruger park early in the New Year and hopefully see some lions and elephants. Then we will start passaging to Cape Town in coastal weather window stages.

Richards Bay, South Africa

13 December 2016
We finally arrived in Richards Bay on December 8th after more than 30 days since we left Mayotte on November 5th. The 200 miles passage from Inhaca to Richards Bay was without incident of high winds. We squeaked past a front which died just north of Richards Bay. We did speed along at 8 plus knots in some places in the Agulhas Current. We have berthed at the Tuzi Gazi Marina and will probably stay here or the Zululand Yacht Club until the New Year while visiting the game reserves and parks nearby. The price of wine and meat is amazingly cheap.

More Weather Fronts

30 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
We are still in the Inhaca Island anchorage. The interval between fronts has been too short to attempt to sail to Richards Bay. Last night we had a severe pre-frontal squall with winds peaking in the range of 60 to 70 knots. In the middle of the storm we had a 180 degree wind shift from north to south. One boat dragged at that point and one boat lost its dinghy. We are thankful that we have a well stocked larder since we have not been off the boat since November 5th. Our fresh fruit is down to bananas. We thought these bananas would never ripen but a month later after we bought them in Mayotte they are being gratefully consumed.

Currently we see the next front approaching. South Africans say we are getting more unsettled weather than normal.

Another Weather Anchorage

26 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
After a 3 1/2 day passage from Bazaruto we arrived at Inhaca on November 24th. We are anchored on the west side of Inhaca Island for protection from strong SE winds and to await the next weather window. The first front has almost past through and a second weaker one will arrive within 2 days. Long range forecasts indicate we may have to wait a week here before there are suitable winds to go south 200 miles to Richards Bay, South Africa. There is a flotilla of cruising sailboats waiting here, 9 at last count including us. With the strong southerly winds, conditions are not comfortable in the anchorage,with the tidal current pushing the boat abeam to the waves with some breaking on the side. This also occurs with the strong northerly winds that precede the southerly front. In between the fronts, it becomes a bit more calm in the anchorage. The capital city of Mozambique, Maputo, is only 20 miles to the west and with good visibility we can see the highrises along with a queue of anchored cargo ships and one cruise ship. The island of Inhaca has several resorts on it and a small town.

Waiting for Weather

14 November 2016 | Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
We are anchored on the west side of Bazaruto Island north of Punta Gengareme with a Brazilian monohull and a French catamaran. The anchorage is off a fishing village. Tidal currents are strong in the bay and many times we are beam to the waves. The island is also a national park primarily to protect the dugong a marine mammal similar to a manatee. We paid $31 US park fees when park officials arrived in a boat on one of the few calm fine weather days.

The local villagers set fish nets in the bay. Yesterday one of the nets got entangled with the Brazilian sailboat and it took lot of effort by the villagers to sort out the problem. The villagers are selling calamari and fish and so far we have tried the calamari which was excellent. Very messy to clean on the boat as we got ink everywhere in the cockpit. We hope to get underway on Monday the 21st.

Last night was rough in the anchorage with 20 knot winds from the north. This direction does not afford too much protection. Today we found seven squid on deck and ink stains all over. We are about to go through our second front at this anchorage with SE winds of 30 knots forecast. Hopefully, by Sunday or Monday we will be on our way to Maputo.


31 October 2016
Mayotte is French influenced African island that uses the euro currency. Many items are very expensive but the range of imported French foods is varied. The bakeries on the island offer baguette, pain au chocolat, pain aux raisins all of good taste and quality. We obtained fresh produce from a garden on Petite Terre at a reasonable price compared with the main market and supermarkets. We also had fresh mahi mahi at a reasonable price bought from a fisherman on Petite Terre on the way to the airport.

The island has a beautiful lagoon and from land the views from the north coast are very attractive. We drove around the island in about 5 hours with a quick stop to see the lemurs at Plage de Ngouja near Kani Keli on the southwest corner of Grand Terre.

To clear in and out they do have you running around. Customs is right in Dzaoudi where the boat is moored but to get immigration clearance you need to get a taxi to the airport and then a ferry to the main island, Grande Terre, to clear with the port. The clearance form is obtained at the Dzaoudi yacht club bar before making the circuit.

We expect to be leaving in the next couple of days for South Africa.

Vessel Name: Petite Ourse
Vessel Make/Model: Valiant 40
Hailing Port: Toronto
Crew: Richard Kolomeychuk, Dominique Aucouturier
Extra: Started in Toronto, Canada July 2009
Petite Ourse's Photos - Main
The passage from Mayotte to Richards Bay, South Africa was about 1200 nautical miles but took 33 days as we sought refuge anchorage in two Mozambique locations at Bazaruto Island and Inhaca Island (both of these islands are national parks)
40 Photos
Created 8 January 2017
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 31 October 2016
August 3 - October 3, 2016.
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March 25 - July 23
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February 25 - March 10
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September 30 - November 22, 2015
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Created 9 December 2014
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Created 19 September 2013
August 17-21, 2013
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Created 30 July 2013
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Ocean passage from Galapagos to Marquesas
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Created 7 May 2012