Saturday, October 3, 2015

more Madagascar Sep 2015

This is Cap D'Ambre (Amber Cape) at the top end of Madagascar as we rounded it late in the afternoon.  We had the current and wind with us and caught the end of the incoming tide, so we couldn't have had it much better.  This cape can be really snotty if you get wind or tide against the current.  We had at least a 3-knot current pushing us around.  We ended up surfing down some of these waves as we turned the corner to head south.  That can be a bit exciting when the boat gets a bit sideways to one of these waves.
Jason watching our progress from the bow as we head up from Ile Sainte-Marie to make the rounding of the cape.  He was watching dolphins or whales.
We left the fishing line out one night by mistake and this shiny silver fish took the lure.  He was very very thin and we threw him back as we didn't know what he was and had just had dinner.  He didn't look like there was much there to eat.
This is the baby humpback whale that came up next to the boat to check us out.
He takes a breath or two and then faded away behind us to rejoin his mama.  We were surprises she'd let him get so close to us without intervening.  Glad she did though.
A village on one of the capes where we anchored for the night.  Tiny stick and thatch huts with a stick fence for the cows.
This guy, Dune, came out with his son, Laman, to ask us for stuff.  I gave them a couple of t-shirts and promised them hooks if they'd bring me back some bananas or mangoes or tomatoes.  He said yes, then went fishing instead.  He came back to show me this huge fish they caught and wanted to sell it to me.  I declined, but still wanted some fruit.  He said he'd bring it the next morning, but we left before seeing any fruit arrive.  Of course, our entire conversation was in my old French, so at least this is what I think we said....
When I have some down time, I might play slots on the iPad.  Here, in Dawn of Pharoahs game, I got six Free Spins scatter and won over 222,686,537 free spins!  I'd never live long enough to use them.  This is the second time I've won millions of free spins in this game and have to eventually shut it down and lose them all.  I can't stay awake and keep the iPad powered up long enough to take advantage of them.
We anchored at Nosy Mitsio and I went ashore with other cruisers to the village here.  More sticks and thatch, but a very nice beach, with a small resort at one end.  These huts are built of wood with thatched roofs and belong to the resort.
This guy is paddling his dugout canoe overflowing with pandanus leaves across the bay to his village.  They use these leaves for everything here and weave them into walls, roofs, baskets and such.
Kids take out the canoes with old rice bags cut for sails.
The little kids swarmed us when we dragged the dinghies onto the beach.  They all wanted to help move the dinks.  The guy at the right, Rodlys, spoke English and gave us a little tour of the island and told the kids to keep off the dinghies while we were away.
A spiny baobab tree in the village.
The big, fat baobab tree in the village.
This little girl was pounding the bowl of rice with this stick to remove the hulls.
The structure in the middle is the raised chicken coop.  Built just like the village homes, but up on stilts.
The eggs had their own little conical structures on the ground.  I don't know why.  I asked about buying the eggs and the lady was quite willing to sell them to me, but at a pretty hefty price, considering they were so small and dirty.
A Zebu cow with calf on the edge of the school grounds.
The "secure rice field".  This hut has a sleeping pallet in it for a guard to stay in when the rice is planted.  The lazy men in the next village steal the rice rather than grow their own so they have to post the guard.
A view from a high spot on Nosy Mitsio looking down at the yachts in the distance.
The top of the viewpoint hill.  Still the dry season here. That's a pandanus tree on the left.
We walked across the island to another seaside village.  This man was using his machete/cane knife to repair his canoe.
Rodlys climbed up into the mango tree and handed down some green mangoes.
A local kid eating a mango on an upturned canoe on the beach at the edge of the village.
The black marlin we caught on the way down from Nosy Mitsio to Nosy Be.  We let this guy thrash until he got himself off the hook as we didn't want to kill him to eat.  A beautiful 2m sailfish.
We stopped at Nosy Komba for the night before getting to Hellville on Nosy Be.  These water taxis plied the waters, moving people and good back and forth.  They always seem to be overloaded.
This guy's sail needs some attention.  But they manage to make it back and forth across from the mainland to the island every day.
A woven basket full of chickens came in on a local boat.  This guy is trying to stick the chicken parts back into the basket as there are too many chickens for them all to fit properly.  Some didn't make it alive.
An example of the old French colonial buildings in Hellville.
The church bells and a fenced in shrine in Hellville.
Outside the Police post, this old cannon on its swing circle is one of several still mounted in town.
An oxcart carrying goods in town.  This is the main street in Hellville.
Another overloaded local ferry boat at the dock in Nosy Be.  All that stuff gets offloaded by hand.
Jason likes these old Renault CL cars.  They are tiny and under-powered and still common here.

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