Monday, September 17, 2012

Notice how dry it is, there was a lot of evidence or erosion too, the natural vegetation has been stripped from the hills. 
When we arrived after a good fast trip over from Renunion, the boat seemed to be in good shape.  I commented on it and immediately things began falling apart.  The most serious was the winch refused to work announcing its departure from a functioning machine with a big bang.  For 2 days Barry had to haul in the chain using a variety of methods, all which involved much manpower.  The most effective was the manual lever we got with the winch, after we had shortened it so  it wouldn’t hit the deck, it would bring up 4 links at a time, a very tedious manner in which to raise 40 or 50 meters of chain.  We arrived in Helle-Ville where we had to check in and Barry took the whole thing apart and discovered that the mechanism inside had just come unbolted so he searched around in the anchor locker for the bolts and managed to find them all.  After he put the winch back together, it worked, hurrah for the ingenuity of the cruiser.  
While we were still reeling from the loss of the anchor winch Barry lifted down the dinghy motor and it managed to turn upside down in the dinghy.  He tried for half an hour to get the damn thing started but no go.  Then we were rowing away from shore the next day and the plastic seat on the dinghy cracked and broke.  The blue UV cover on the genoa was coming unstitched and flapping about alarmingly and our top life line on the port side had broken and no replacement was in sight until South Africa.  Fortunately the dinghy just needed to stay upright for a night and it decided to work again, Barry figured the carburettor float got stuck when it was upside down.  The dinghy seat was repaired with some lovely teak boards we salvaged from wrecked catamaran in Chagos .  We spent 3 days hand stitching the UV cover on the sail in Helle-Ville and Barry put a thin rope in to act as a temporary but not very supportive life line (the life lines are normally stainless steel wire). To top it all off, after three days at anchor in Helle-Ville the wind came up at night while we were in bed.  I was still reading and felt that we should have the anchor alarm on.  Waking Barry to put it on he went up the check and we had already dragged our anchor ending up very near to shore.  Thankfully the windlass was fixed by then and we raised the anchor and motored over to a safer spot after scrapping the bottom a few times as we pulled forward toward the anchor.  I hope this is the end of the string of mishaps for a few months.  
The lemurs, the black one is a male and the brown a female. 
We have been taking in the sites around the island called Nosey Be on the west side of Madagascar.  We really enjoyed visiting the lemurs which are rare and found in Madagascar.  We were given bananas to feed them and if you turned your back they would  hop on your shoulders and devour the bananas.

Last weekend we entered in a local regatta. There were sixteen boats involved the and race was 14 nautical miles. It was beautiful sailing, hard on the wind on the way there and just off the wind on the way back.  We ended up finished 7th out of 16 boats on uncorrected time and we figured that was great because there were only 6 monohulls in the race and rest were cats. We were the second monohull across the line and were pleased with the boats performance. There was a dinner served onshore at the bay we raced to and it was delicious with crab and wonderful fish on the menu.  The party onshore was enjoyed with a couple of guitars making music and people singing and dancing. The next morning they had some tasks all boat had to complete that generated prices.  Barry was behind in bucket on the head race but managed to hit a target (a beer can on a stick) with the air pistol.  We didn't do so well in the egg toss, I figure I should have got a prize for the person with the most egg on her!!!!!

Gotta go the computer is out of power!