After all the risks and dangers of sailing thousands of miles offshore across the Indian Ocean, we find ourselves in more danger on land as we are chased by an elephant whilst on a self guided safari. Who says sailing is dangerous!? This is our first taste of setting foot on mainland Africa.
The storm arrives at midnight. We find ourselves crashing through waves sailing upwind, but we can’t slow down, we have to reach shelter before the next southerly storm arrives and that one is serious. We are in a race against the weather, sailing offshore down the Mozambique channel to South Africa, just ahead of Cyclone season.
Two boats means a race, we find company sailing offshore across the ocean and race Florence against some larger boats as we charge southwards. Racing not just for pride but to also to position ourselves safely for the southerly storm which is brewing between us and our destination. In this episode we will share with you some of the weather routing decisions we had to make in one of the most complex wind and weather areas of our voyage around the world so far. We are trying to sail past Madagascar before Cyclone season.
Notoriously difficult for OFFSHORE SAILING, the Mozambique channel presents a challenge. When Strong winds blow against strong currents the sea state can become dangerous. We have to pick our weather window very carefully and if we get it wrong there are very few options to bail out. We are sailing between the closed borders of Madagascar and the potentially hostile borders of Mozambique with ISIS insurgency in the north and corrupt officials further south. We need to get this right.
Sailing through the 3rd largest lagoon in the world and searching for lemurs, there is plenty to see and do in Mayotte as we wait for a suitable weather window to continue sailing our ocean passage to South Africa. Mayotte is an unexpected mix of French and African culture, combined on a small island in the Indian Ocean.
Becalmed and drifting in the Mozambique channel, miles from land we did not expect to be threatened with a fine! Sailing offshore on ocean passages usually brings a few surprises but this was a first for Florence. We will share with you some of the magic of being becalmed at sea by day and by night.
BROKEN engine mounts and OSMOSIS on the rudder. Preparing Florence for the next ocean passage proved to be a bigger problem than we anticipated. Hauling Florence out of the water in Seychelles and finding more problems under the waterline put us in a race against time to try and get everything fixed before our date to re-launch. On top of that the travel lift that was supposed to lift us in broke down. Boat yard time is never easy, but this time the boat maintenance was especially challenging.
The first time we have felt seasick in years. After sailing offshore across an ocean to get here, a quick day sail between islands should have been a walk in the park, but with 30 knots of wind kicking up a rough sea our stomachs were not too happy. The rough sail was worth it though as we tied up in the harbour of the tropical island of La Digue with it’s giant tortoises and lack of cars, a gem of an island to explore.
Checking into Seychelles and checking out this ABANDONED luxury island RESORT. After 23 days sailing across the ocean we find our land legs and share the costs of checking into Seychelles by yacht. As we start to explore Seychelles by sailing, scuba and hiking we find an abandoned resort set on its own tropical island just a few miles from our anchorage, join us as we explore.
This is how Florence has been steered without using an electric autopilot for thousands of miles across 3 oceans around the world. A self steering system that is powered by the wind and the water alone. Introducing our secret third crew member.