Sri Lanka to Madagascar

It’s our 29th day on the open water. Marianne is safely transporting us and our music from Sri Lanka to Madagascar. A sort of romantic way of summarizing this journey would be “big time island hopping”. But in reality, all this trip is right now: is long! Longer than one can enjoy canned food and longer than sitting on slightly moist cushions is comfortable, and most of all: longer than sailors can spend going without beer.

In no way do I want to sound ungrateful for this great experience. I mean, it took us only four weeks to sail 2000 nautical miles and the remaining 500 should easily be over with within the next 5 days or so. Plus, none of our sails tore, we’ve constantly been having good winds, we still have some rum left, and the bird shit on the solar panel was really easy to wipe off. But I still feel like something is killing the mood, just a little, subconciously.

Is it the weird sleeping habits? The shifts for nightly watch? The lack of fresh veggies and lack of physical exercise? Or maybe the seemingly eternal rocking of the boat? I can’t quite put my finger on it. The only thing I know right now is that whatever our destination has to offer will be the cure to these weird feelings of mine. Be it burgers, beer, and/or other things starting with the letter B.

Right now we are approaching the very north tip of Madagascar, the Kap d’Ambre, which we would like to pass. They say this place generally gets an additional 15-20 knots of wind on top of what we already have. But we’re already sailing with a twice reefed jib. Maybe it will be time to wake up the storm jib, which has been resting below deck in it’s comfy jib bag.

But enough with the whining already! Australia and Asia lie behind us. It’s time for Madagascar! We are ready for our encounters with lions, zebras, and hippos in our 11th country so far. Ready for the kind of stuff we saw in the movie with the same name. We’re excited. How are the people going to be in Africa? Do they also eat with hands and just as nice and spicy as in some of the asian countries? Is it legal to sit at the beach and watch a beautiful sunset with a little beer to make that moment even better?

I just can’t wait for that moment when the gray mass starts to appear at the horizon between the water and the sky. Land! From that moment on, however, we are also leaving the deep and safe open water. The closer we get to the shore, the more boats there are and, of course, it gets shallower. This does not seem like a big problem, but due to a major hard drive crash, we have no detailed maps and no information on possible under water obstacles for Madagascar. And according to our books, there are many reefs and shoals in this area. We know of a supposedly relatively safe route but it just always feels better when that display shows us exactly where we are and what’s underneath us. After all, we already bottomed out in Bali and Port Moresby. We never actually damaged the boat but it’s a horrible feeling touching ground. But don’t be alarmed! It’s too late for that anyway, since you are reading this report already. Which means we safely arrived on continent number 3 and uploaded some pictures for you to enjoy!

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