Passage: Reunion to Madagascar

We all had a great time in Reunion, but by the time we set sail out of St Pierre on October 26th we were more than ready to get to Africa. Before we could start the big sail, around 550 miles, to the northern tip of Madagascar we needed to refill our fuel. We decided to head up to the Le Port, Reunion’s main commercial and yachting port, because they have duty-free fuel. The sail up was about 5 hours and was quick and beautiful.


Saying farewell to Reunion


Dolphins giving us a sendoff

As we were coming in we went to tie on to the wall and I took my normal position as the one who jumps off the boat to tie on the lines. It was low tide and the wall here was way higher than usual. I took my leap and immediately lost my grip on the edge of wall, plummeting down between the wall and the boat. This is obviously not a place you want to be and at first I looked at the boat to judge if I needed to dive down and swim under the keel before I get squished. It wasn’t quite that close so I swam as fast as I could back to the stern and was able to climb back aboard before we careened in to the wall. It was definitely a close call and really scary, I will be much more careful when wall jumping from here on out.

Nothing in Reunion moves fast and we weren’t able to get fuel and set sail until 11AM the next morning. About 60 miles out I caught a big Mahi Mahi on the hand line. She was beautiful and bright yellow but quickly lost her color once we got her out of the water.


Mahi Mahi after she lost her color

We don’t have refrigeration so we loosened our belts and managed to eat the whole fish in 2 days. Most of the eating was done by Jesse and I though because the girls weren’t feeling so well. Natalia was feeling a little queasy but not terrible; Kady, on the other hand, had full blown sea sickness. She was miserable for the next 4 days and slept about 22 hours a day. On the bright side we had great wind and a very fast first day, clocking almost 180 miles.

The next two days were also very fast and we had beautiful night watches with a full moon. We did 4 hour watches with Jesse and Natalia taking one and Kady and I taking the other. Kady was in no shape to take watches though so I did mine alone.

On the 30th, our 4th day at sea, the wind really died down and we ended up motoring most of the day. We arrived at Diego Suarez, one of the largest towns in Northern Madagascar, around noon on the 31st. The city sits in a massive bay and it’s extremely beautiful with emerald green lagoons, red painted hills, and baobab trees dotting the hills.


Crew coming in to Diego Suarez


Painted hills in Diego Suarez Harbor

There were no other sail boats here and it wasn’t at all obvious where we should anchor, but we eventually found a spot and headed to shore to find cold beers and food cooked by someone other than ourselves.