At The \”Top\”, Cap d\’ Ambre, Madagascar…..
25 October 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere +3 UTC)
Land Ho! at 5:30 local time, we spotted several hills ashore on Northern Madagascar from about 25 miles away. We\’ve flown the spinnaker all night and it was a lovely night and sail. The winds were from behind us at 14-18 knots, the seas smooth and we\’re zinging along.
I noticed the lights of Diego Suarez (Antsiranana) about 40 miles out and have heard one radio conversation this morning on the VHF; a first in the last 1500 miles. We did 176 miles yesterday and actually had to motor for 2 1/2 hours as we lost the wind for awhile. Steadily, it came back all day and into the night.
Our plan is to sail up to about five miles from the top (all things permitting!) and drop the spinnaker. We\’ll see if the main should then be furled or not? We will motor around the top as to have easy and quick maneuverability. We\’ve been told there can be two strong currents meeting there and cause standing waves. As the conditions have been pretty benign these last few days, this may not be the case. The suggestion has been to stay very close to the shore and get around as quickly as possible. The other side may or may not have wind, but the seas should be flat. The entire West Coast of Madagascar is very shallow a long way out toward the Mozambique channel. We\’ll have to keep an eye on our track and the depth sounder.
Our next report should be from the west side of the island and I may do another blog later in the day after we\’ve rounded.
We\’ll speak with \”Sunflower\” later today to give them a report; email if the radio propagation isn\’t good. Nikki just got up to see Land Ho!….Ho, Ho, Ho!…
KIT, Scott and Navigator Nik