Lat: 13 44.681′ S
Long: 43 44.363′ E

We’re back at it again, ticking off the miles toward Mozambique. Our stay in Mayotte was short but productive, and Pura Vida’s in much better shape now than when she arrived there. The part that we needed arrived on schedule on Monday and turned out to be the correct one. Dallas tensioned up the rigging to his satisfaction, and we are currently sailing on it with both the main and the jib.

We did a lot of walking in our 5 days in Mayotte, but Monday took the cake. We walked from end to end of the island taking care of last-day chores, mostly related to clearing out. The port captain, customs, and immigration officials need to be visited in their respective offices, and putting them all in one place would be far too sensible for the French. Then around 2:00 in the afternoon, the electricity went out. (We later learned that it was a nationwide problem, meaning that it was out on the big island as well.) We hadn’t considered the implications of this for our check-out paperwork as we were walking back to the port captain’s office, but Ronan, the port captain, happened to ride by on his scooter and informed us that he coud not print our clearance papers. However, he told us in his broken English (much better than our French!) that he could probably use the Navy’s generator-powered computer and assured us, "I try my maximum!" He was by far the friendliest person that we met on the island and seemed invested in his role as a public servant.

Another example of this was Ronan’s consultation with us about piracy. He told us the Somali pirates were thought to have hijacked a cruising boat near Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) last week and showed us photos of the yacht in an effort to get more info about it. He acknowledged that the pirates had not come as far south as Mayotte but encouraged us to put his phone number in our satellite phone just in case, as he is only a phone call away from the French Navy based there in Mayotte. Needless to say, we now have Ronan on our speed dial.

However, there’s no need to worry! (Do you hear that, Mom?!) As I write, we are almost 100 miles southwest of Mayotte and are steadily increasing our pirate buffer zone. But I would be lying if I said we didn’t have pirates on the brain yesterday as we left Mayotte. I devised a couple of hair-brained schemes for what we might do if we saw them approaching (apart from calling Ronan and setting off our Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)), one involving scuba gear. Dallas wasn’t opposed to either of them but reminded me that we aren’t Green Berets or action movie heroes and might have trouble actually pulling it off. I guess we’ll just stick to the plan and stay out of their way!

The GRIB data had predicted very light northerly winds for departure from Mayotte, and that’s exactly what we got. The sea was smooth as silk as we motored along, and we spotted a few small whale tails in the distance. We had read in another blog that whales here in the Channel sometimes appear to be standing on their head for several minutes, and that is exactly what it looked like! In the absence of wind, it was over 90 degrees in the salon but pretty pleasant in the cockpit, prompting Dallas to make up a bed on deck under a sky full of stars. The wind picked up around 2:00 a.m., allowing us to sail under the jib, and we hoisted the main around 3:00 when Dallas got up for his watch. With any luck, we’ll continue to sail the remaining 188 miles to Ilha Mozambique.