4 | Nosy Be to Durban
Dates – 15/7/19 – 30/7/19
Depart – Nosy Be
Arrive – Durban
Distance – 1400 nm (15 days)
Price – ZAR 35 000
Well some good times in Madagascar would have been had by now and its time to start the long sail south. But not before one last stop along the way and to clear out at Mahajanga. This should take 2 days as it’s a gentle cruise down the coast. The water coming out of this bay runs red, as it is an outlet of a large river. This particular stop however, might be canceled if we are running late, which means we would then have cleared out at Hellville. Otherwise a day ashore here would be enjoyed feasting on the local fare and then, when the tide allows the following day, we would be on our way.
Roughly two days of sailing south from here, we would plan on passing close by the Island, Juan De Nova. This island is French territory and has strong currents seas around it. Even though we will not stop, it makes for an exciting day seeing an island again, surrounded by shallow blue seas. Not to mention increasing the chances of having Sushimi for lunch. Some 310 nm further is the amazing atoll of Bassas da India. This remarkable place has to be one of the wonders of the world. Once a navigational hazard, it is now luckily safe from having ships run into it with the help of GPS. No one knows for sure how many wrecks it must be responsible for but there are those that are now great dive spots and some of them even kept a secret, I am told. In fact the highest thing above sea level, are wrecked ships. This is the top of a volcano, creating a huge circular rim and that is at most times completely covered by water and pounded by the surf on the windward side. Of course the best way to get an idea of what all these places look like in this 21st century we live in, is to Google it. Of course most of the photos will be aerial views and are nothing like arriving at sea level. Of course the birds eye view is without a doubt the best but then only the birds get to experience that first hand really. Stopping here for a while and getting in some photography and maybe a bit of snorkeling is a must but the place is very wild and not short of sharks, so diving is not recommended for novices.
From here it is roughly 700 nm to Durban. The weather along this stretch can be variable and could see us stopping somewhere along the coast, even if it means just at anchor for a night or pulling into the likes of Richards Bay. Stopping here would mean clearing in and the option to leave the boat if one desires but there is no major airport in Richards Bay so stopping in Durban would be necessary. Given that this last leg could take a bit longer we will assume the worst and make an estimated day of arrival in Durban to be the 30th of July 2019.
It must be said, in conclusion, that the ocean is not very predictable and no matter how many times or how long one has been sailing, the time it takes to get somewhere on the ocean under sail is not an exact science so it would not for instance be wise to pre-book a flight for the next day or two at most of the estimated arrival dates. However, the parameters set are very realistic and we will do our best to be on time.
Well I hope that wet your appetite and hey, why own a boat when you can rent one?