We left Sainte-Marie winward in the middle of a sunny day and we ended up leeward in the north of the island with rainy clouds all around.
The next day, as we headed north along the coast the wind chose to blow with us and the clouds staid behind. The extreme northeast is much drier.
After 48 hours we stopped at the Leven Islands, actually in the shelter of Nosy Ankao a stunning private island surrounded by a huge lagoon where the anchorage is perfect for a good sleep. In the morning we set sails to Diego Suarez and crossed the entrance in the afternoon with 25 knots right on the back and a strong current getting out of the bay. Definitely a spectacular moment.
If you want to discover the town and its surrounding you better anchor in the commercial port, the wreck to port. Disembark on the right of the shuttle pirogues. NOW! you do need someone to watch your tender and boat during the day and who can stay on board if you’re out for diner. We never left the boat at night unattended in Diego and Nosy Be.
Getting out of Diego-Suarez bay and crossing the ” Cap d’Ambre” a few hours after is supposed to be challenging. If you wait for the trade winds to be not more then 20 knots from the SSE which is frequent and cross the pass early morning at 6 am, with the end of the out current…you’ll be sailing around Cap d’Ambre at 10.30 on a flat see with a pushing current. Nice moment as the conditions you see are nowhere in your thoughts. The north west coast of Madagascar is an incredible playground.
You start sailing in flat see, only during the day and there’s so much to see. We reached Nosy Be in 4 days from Diego anchoring at Nosy Hare, Cap San Sebastien and Nosy Mitsio.
But if nothing rushes you to Nosy Be, you may spend 2 weeks.
To watch the video : http://www.storiesinthewind.com/en/2017/07/02/crossing-ste-marie-nosy/