Hi Goosebumps, trust you had a good break? We must try and hook up one of these days.
I would agree with you.
Mayotte, which is the same group of islands is very welcoming but as you know is not part of the Islamic sector of the islands. We thoroughly enjoy the island and it has some superb anchorages
, all protected by the coral reefs
. The main anchorage (usually heaving) is at Dzaoudzi and you take the ferry
to Mamoudzou for shopping
The main following in the Islamic islands is Sunni. The three main islands of the Islamic sector: Anjouan - never experienced anything besides a reasonable friendly attitude. The reprovisioning is not particularly good and refueling is challenging.
Moheli, is similar to Anjouan - with even less supplies and very awkward for any type of fuel
Grand Comore - where to start! The main entry port is Moroni, but we have anchored at Mitsamiouli (the same place that the hijacked 737 crashed into the sea back in the late 90's) which dries out at low water
Moroni - basically, the harbour master is a total crook and often charges huge fees
that are illegal - but he is the resident authority there. This might have changed as we refuse to go back there since he last tried his rip off tactic on us that ended in quite a dispute. We radio'ed him directly (it may still be the same situation?) that we wished to enter Grand Comore at Moroni. Knowing, and having previous experience of his reputation, we suggested anchoring
outside the harbour but he openly stated, on the VHF
, that no harbour fee would be charged if we entered and cleared in and then left the harbour to anchor
elsewhere. As soon as we tied up he bounded on board and demanded US$2,500 for the privilege
of entering his harbour. He was pretty abusive about us and critical of us not being of his faith. Even the fishermen were arguing with him as they had also heard the radio
conversation. He was adamant that if we did not pay he would have our boat
impounded and that the police chief was a relative who would support him. He refused to get out of our cockpit
/ leave our boat
until he was paid unless he kept our passports. This is not a nice position to be in.
We decided to leave before the situation escalated further and left the harbour with him on our boat and not checked in. The local fisherman thought the situation hilarious are were shouting at us to not bring him back. We invited him to leave our our boat 50 meters off a nice sandy beach in calm waters which he did with some reluctance. He actually swam very well.
Naturally, we do not return to Grand Comore as we feel that if he is still the Harbour Master that we shall not receive the warmest welcome, despite that we have changed boats. However, we do frequent Mayotte where that Harbour Master is well known amongst the yotties there - we were minor celebrities for a little while there and the French government meteorologist actually came and congratulated us.
I will say that the drying anchorage at the north of the island (Mitsamiouli) is beautiful but can get very busy with the local hotels sharing the beach. Potable water
can also be had from the hotels - from their dive shop centre- free of charge. Personally, we favour Mayotte. There are also fair medical
facilities on Mayotte and a French dentist that is very cheap
- free if you have an EU passport.....and the bread! Typical French offerings that have you salivating.
In all our years of sailing he is only one of a couple of truly crooked officials that we have come across that could really ruin your day.
Originally Posted by Goosebumps
Consider the fact that one has to evaluate the liveboard circumstances, location, religion of atea, political tensions, geography (to be able to nake urgent getaway) before answering question which is your country of origin. I used to ve honest about it now....
Of course it is very important to be informed who your country of origin has bombed, not why, to survive cruising in certain cruising areas where one used to be secure. Ie what nationality you shouldn't claim when visiting Comoris? It is Islamic ruled cou try, who knows if they are Suni or Shiites?