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Beautiful Mahorais woman, Mayotte
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.

July 2009 South
Latitude
East
Longitude
Day's
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed
Wind
Direction
Comments
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
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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