6 days between Mainland and Radama islands
Nosy Be to Anjiabe
6:45 Meeting at our premises on the beach for a nice breakfast. Then, we leave Nosy Be, aiming for Ankazoberavina (a small island at 1h45 quiet crossing). Swimming, snorkeling along, or scuba-diving, you are discovering a rich, varied, nice and colorful underwater world. Again a short crossing before reaching Anjiabe a 2 miles beach with extraordinary low tides, lined by a semi-abandoned coconut plantation.
It is a good bivouac spot where we set our camp. After a drink and a sea fruit meal; siesta, swimming, relaxation, or for the most courageous, a walk to meet and observe the numerous bird species, mostly endemic to Madagascar concentrated in this sparse coconut grove where wild nature gradually reasserts itself. Getting familiar with an amazing environment; that will go on changing over the next few days. Sunset aperitif, meal … And good night!
Anjiabe to Ambatofotsy
We get up around 6:00 to enjoy breakfast in the morning sweetness. Around 8:00 we lift the anchor, and… here we go again! This time we are off to discover a “big bush village” and its inhabitants. But we will reach it only in a few hours. Meanwhile, if the wind is ok, we put the sails up, snorkeling on the way on one of the numerous spots we select as appropriate; (Tide, wind, water clarity, everyone level, etc. …). It is also the right time and the right place to catch a few goodies four lunch by spearfishing of course, but also with hand line fishing a great “tapas” provider. But time flies; the sun is high already, the thermal breeze starts to ripple the quiet sea; time to go, by sail or engine, depending the group’s and –also- the intensity and the direction of these breeze not always favorable but never mean . Around 2pm we reach Ambatofotsy and set our camp on the long beach lining the village, we enjoy the shade of a natural local fiber roof; a kind of wall-less house. The local people in this area are sweet and cheerful. They don’t know much about tourism and stick to their plain, easy going traditions. They are not use to “Vahazas” way wearing beach suit, so to be a little more dressed is suitable for visitors. Nocturnal lemurs often come around playfully stealing the palm wine dripping from coconuts flowers just above our head. We stroll in a scenery where pinks and greens emphasized with grace the immensity we start to sense. The shower is enchanting in the sunset golden light. Slowly, everyone begins to settle in the trip, closer to the specific culture of this little known region…. It is now time for dinner, chat, and then … peaceful night.
Ambatofotsy to the island of Ambariopôtaka
Up with the sun as usual we embark around 8:00 to discover one of the Radamas archipelago islands. It is a short crossing (1:00). We dive at the wild lagoon edge. The island is high and majestic. For an hour and half we spearfish to fill our plate. Again, the coral reefs (2 to 3 meters deep only) are different, new coral structure, other color, other species of fish …Then, depending on the time of the tide, we make our way inside this “young lagoon” and drop anchor near a beautiful beach of white sand. We begin our twenty-first century, but nothing seems to have for the few inhabitants of this little paradise…Everyone explores in his own way; dive for some walk for others. First night in Radamas… confident, we fall asleep
Nosy Ambaripôtaka to Nosy Antanimora
We embark around 8:00 am, by sail or motor, to go a little further south. The aim is another island: Antanimora, we see in the distance and will reach 1:30 later. We dive at the edge of the reef, for fun and to supply lunch. Then depending on the tide, we enter more or less deeply into this luminous lagoon. The camp is this time established under a large tropical almond tree, along a vast white sandy beach. The fragrance is oceanic, the beach is wild … white and light dominate … curious little bird are running flush with the waves … We are on the nearest island to Africa. Nature seems more barren, yet we bathe in a clear water source, under the ‘kingfisher or flycatcher-of-paradise watchful eye. At that stage of the journey everyone does what he likes between sea and stroll to the peaks (146 meters …) or round the island. We find our evening rituals. We are not quite the same as four days ago; the soul of this country seems closer to us. Already we look forward for tomorrow… Good night!
Nosy Antanimora to Ambariomena
As usual, after breakfast and loading, we leave for a three hour crossing. Along the way, we dive and fish, before getting to Ambariomena, by late morning. It is kind of Malagasy fjord, quiet as a lake, lined by small orange sand beaches and dominated by a steep forest furrowed by veins of pink sandstone. This inlet runs deep into a maze of mangroves ending as a river, at the foot of hills covered with primary forest.
Ambariomena to Nosy Be via Antsoa
Morning departure to Nosy-Be, now only 60 kilometers distant, but we’ll go peacefully, taking our time. We first reach a small island close to a cape opening on the huge bay of Nosy Be. We drop anchor. Activities are divided between diving, relaxing and “exploring” the nearby tiny beach. Nosy Antsoha is a true “Robinson island,” where to spend a few hours, is better than a few years! Today, lunch is served on board. Around 14:00 we put our heavy cotton sails up. Wind is often good at this hour of the day, so depending on its strength, we go by sail all the way, or just at the end. Anyway, we have to arrive for sunset, and that is what we will do! The scenery before our eyes is gorgeous … so we continue like this … .enjoying the beauty… until sunset. Happy landing!!