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Mahorais woman, Mayotte
At about 2 pm on 15 July 2009 we fired up our engines and, after almost 20 months, motored out of Richards Bay. But instead of turning south towards Cape Town as originally planned, we turned north, hoping to re‑cross the Indian Ocean! Our first leg took us up the coast of South Africa before turning northeast to cross the Mozambique Channel. While we'd originally planned to head for Madagascar to meet our friends on Dancyn coming in from Chagos, it looked like we were about a week ahead of them. So we headed for Mayotte instead, a French atoll 200 miles west of northern Madagascar, in the small group of islands collectively called The Comoros.
|Thurs 16||26° 49'||32° 45'||(136)||1,141||15-25||150°||Very pretty scooting up the coast|
|Fri 17||24° 51'||34° 49'||161||980||17-24||115°||Cut NE across Maputo Bay - 8 Humpback whales!|
|Sat 18||23° 15'||36° 44'||146||834||20-26||110°||Cut across Agulhas Current - lumpy seas|
|Sun 19||21° 02'||38° 11'||159||675||20-30||120°||Keeping strong winds at 120°|
|Mon 20||19° 12'||40° 10'||164||511||20-28||120°||Rough seas but wind moderating slightly|
|Tues 21||17° 44'||42° 18'||155||356||25-10||100°||Winds down so point up higher to make some easting|
|Wed 22||16° 14'||43° 47'||126||230||10-4||110-160°||Winds light & variable as we approach Madagascar|
|Thurs 23||14° 28'||44° 32'||113||117||13-5||150°||Catch sailfish just at dusk, our first|
|Fri 24||12° 48'||45° 15'||114||3||<10||variable||Motor-sailing most of the day, through Mayotte reef|
Land HO! Mayotte, after 9 days at sea
Our passage up from Richards Bay covered 1,277 nautical miles (our 3rd longest passage to date!) and took us just under 9 days for an average speed of 6.2 knots, despite the very light winds the last 3 days. We picked a good weather window and therefore had the wind behind us virtually the whole way. The winds were somewhat stronger than expected once we jumped off from the African coast (up to 35 knots) but the last several days were delightful.
Unfortunately, our radio email refused to work so we were unable to send out our usual "Passage Notes". However, we did write those emails, and we've included them here with illustrations.
The newsletters we wrote are:
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