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Old 11-09-2015, 23:51   #16
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

I've been around some, but don't want to be a in league that can paint an entire country as so terrible. Surely someone in Madagascar isn't out to rob, kill, or poop in the ocean?

I checked into Nosy Be yesterday. No bribes or hassles and that's with my limited French (bonjour and merci). It was tedious at times, but many countries are. There are 15-ish other cruising boats here (some boats have been here a year, minus the visa run time), everyone I've spoken to loves Madagascar.

I haven't seen a holding tank pumpout facility since the US, so I guess we're quilty of pooping in the ocean just as much as the locals. We don't wash in sea water, except at sea.
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Old 12-09-2015, 08:55   #17
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

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Originally Posted by svTOTEM View Post
I've been around some, but don't want to be a in league that can paint an entire country as so terrible. Surely someone in Madagascar isn't out to rob, kill, or poop in the ocean?

I checked into Nosy Be yesterday. No bribes or hassles and that's with my limited French (bonjour and merci). It was tedious at times, but many countries are. There are 15-ish other cruising boats here (some boats have been here a year, minus the visa run time), everyone I've spoken to loves Madagascar.

I haven't seen a holding tank pumpout facility since the US, so I guess we're quilty of pooping in the ocean just as much as the locals. We don't wash in sea water, except at sea.
A bribe is money paid to induce anyone with a fiducial or official legal responsibility to abandon their responsibility or to do something that gives special treatment or advantage in return for the payment. Being overcharged port and or immigration fees is not a bribe. You're a victim of theft. Odds are, unless you are provided a written schedule of fees in Nose Be and know the conversion rate, you won't have a clue you've been overcharged. And then you've got to be willing to ask around to find the truth. Too many cruisers just don't care, which makes the situation worse for others who follow in their wake.

It's a good thing you don't wash your plates and cooking utinsils in the anchorage at Nose Be. In addition to disentary you can become infected with T.B. and a host of other nasty things found in the area.

When I was in Nose Be, there were at most three other boats anchored in the Bay besides myself. On both occasions in 2003 and 2012. Only one other boat in 2012. A cat left in the care of young locals. Where did you anchor that there were 15-ish other cruisers?

No attempt to paint an entire country as terrible. But, anyone planning a visit to Madagascar is well advised to do their homework first and cover their back. Don't take my word for it...
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Old 12-09-2015, 19:06   #18
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Anchored in Hellville for clearance and provisioning. Now in Crater Bay. As most choose not to go Red Sea, northern and southern route Indian Ocean boats are all converging here before heading to SA.

As to fees, if we've been overcharged, they've been remarkably consistent about it. Everyone here has been charged exactly the same: 60,000 ariary ($20 US) at immigration, 56,620 ariary at port ($19), and 20,000 ariary ($6) at customs. It's really cheap compared to every other Indian Ocean countries we've recently been to: Sri Lanka, Maldives, BIOT (Chagos), Seychelles, and Comoros. Bribes were asked of some - but that's not so uncommon.

Anyone planning to visit any place should do their homework. Haven't been to a place yet that doesn't have it's quirks and hazards - including my home country.
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Old 13-09-2015, 08:53   #19
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

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Anchored in Hellville for clearance and provisioning. Now in Crater Bay. As most choose not to go Red Sea, northern and southern route Indian Ocean boats are all converging here before heading to SA.
I recall passing Crater Bay on my way into Hellville. Appeared to only be cats anchored in there. Shallow? How's the access there? Don't expect I'll ever pass that way again, but others may want to know.


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As to fees, if we've been overcharged, they've been remarkably consistent about it. Everyone here has been charged exactly the same: 60,000 ariary ($20 US) at immigration, 56,620 ariary at port ($19), and 20,000 ariary ($6) at customs. It's really cheap compared to every other Indian Ocean countries we've recently been to: Sri Lanka, Maldives, BIOT (Chagos), Seychelles, and Comoros. Bribes were asked of some - but that's not so uncommon.
Did you ever receive a schedule of fees in writing? Were the charges per head? What we need to be constantly aware of is our perception of "cheap" is the possible equivalent of a small fortune in some countries. Not good to encourage theft against cruisers by being complacent. Theft is theft and is universally condemned except by those who profit by it. Somewhere in all of this is a moral dimension we ought not be tempted to ignore.

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Anyone planning to visit any place should do their homework. Haven't been to a place yet that doesn't have it's quirks and hazards - including my home country.
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Old 13-09-2015, 20:39   #20
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Crater Bay is a larger Bay than Hellville. Depth ranges from 30' to 60', and shallower along the edges where there are moorings. There isn't perfect protection from the afternoon breeze, but it switches back in the evening; and it's the same in Hellville. On breezy days it can be a little lumpy, but not to bad.

The fee schedule is posted on the wall in at least 2 of clearance offices. The other office was busy and I was distracted with my kids, so didn't notice it - but we were charged correctly. Fees were NOT per head.

Thanks for the lecture, but I'm pretty certain I have a handle on the relative value of things. And as to encouraging theft and moral dimensions all I can say is wow - you must have had terrible experiences.

In our recent countries, Comoros is the only one with fluid fee schedule - we made a case with each office and all but one reduced the "set" fees. The harbormaster didn't change because he said it was officially set by the government - which we confirmed as true. It took 4 days of back and forth - some cruisers would've done the same and others would've just moved on and complained about Comoros with no value to anyone.

One cruiser crossing the Indian Ocean this year checked into Maldives, with their agent as required. Fees are very high ($1000+ with the agent fee being only about 5%) - the cruiser defered payment to the end of his stay and then simply departed the country paying zero. The agent (who was excellent) got stuck with the entire bill to the government and fined on top of it. In Trincomolee, Sri Lanka, some cruisers complained as if they were victims of injustice - when in reality Trincomolee just 1 cruising boat visited in nearly 30 years because of the war. They simply treated us as ships instead of tourists by boat, and after few meatings with officials many bumps were sorted - but that didn't stop a few cruisers who did nothing to help the situation, from complaining on and writing noonsite with completely negative reports and bad information.

We all go about this cruising thing differently. When you say, "what we need" it sure sounds like us (cruisers) against them (locals) statement - and with the BS behavior I've seen by some cruisers this year I cannot understand such views.
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Old 13-09-2015, 23:33   #21
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Totem,
I've been watching yours and Delos' blogs with interest during the Indian Ocean so far. You're also taking the route down the Mozambique Channel I presume?

I've always thought that looked like a more interesting route than blasting around the south end of Madagascar.

Fair winds,
Mark
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Old 14-09-2015, 01:10   #22
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Hi Mark - yes going down Mozambique Channel. Majority of boats crossing this year are going this way. Really like Madagascar so far!

Delos anchored 2 boats lengths away - way to much fun...
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Old 05-11-2015, 11:56   #23
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Look response inside Seychelles so looking for teacher or good diver to create new dive club inside Marine park, nosy hara North mada and/or glorioso islands or cosmoledo aldabra inside my triangle of nature, associ..or ..i saw of my triangle only cosmoledo no nosy hara and glorioso it s Petty, come back of South africa i Must leave but not going red" south prefer north??
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Old 22-02-2016, 14:37   #24
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

I see SV Delos is turning back to cruise these waters again.Says a lot about what is a relatively lightly traveled quarter of the globe.
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Old 02-03-2016, 02:02   #25
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

Got this info into today as we have been waiting for a boat to come down past Madagascar - anyone else heard anything from the area

Recent cyclone and an apparent piracy incident off Nosy Be 10 days ago has put the brakes on.

A Leopard catamaran going to The Moorings base in Seychelles was recalled to SA last week after it had left Richards Bay because of a reported piracy incident involving a large Spanish fishing vessel reported by the Seychelles Maritime Authority. Boat is back in CT and now they will ship it there!!
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Old 23-08-2016, 22:37   #26
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

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Originally Posted by Blackie Swart View Post
Got this info into today as we have been waiting for a boat to come down past Madagascar - anyone else heard anything from the area

Recent cyclone and an apparent piracy incident off Nosy Be 10 days ago has put the brakes on.

A Leopard catamaran going to The Moorings base in Seychelles was recalled to SA last week after it had left Richards Bay because of a reported piracy incident involving a large Spanish fishing vessel reported by the Seychelles Maritime Authority. Boat is back in CT and now they will ship it there!!
Hey Blackie Swart. Thanks for this; did you ever manage to get an update? Cheers!
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Old 24-08-2016, 02:14   #27
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Re: Cruising in Madagascar

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Hey Blackie Swart. Thanks for this; did you ever manage to get an update? Cheers!
Hi - now, I was not able to confirm this. I was in Cape Town and no-one could tell me anyting. A Durban boat has been to Madagascar and back since with no stories there either.
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