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Old 30-09-2010, 15:20   #1
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Madagascar and Mauritius - Check-in Help

We cruised through Rodrigues, Mauritius to east Africa back in the 80s and are thinking of doing that voyage again. Thirty years later I'd expect the check in procedure and requirements have changed. So we're seeking more current information.

Anyone stop in those island of late?? And/or info on Madagascar would also be much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Jack & Jude
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:24   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessicawell View Post
hi guys

nice to meet you



------
Nice to say hello to you too.
Beautiful afternoon here
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Old 26-10-2010, 01:28   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banyandah View Post
We cruised through Rodrigues, Mauritius to east Africa back in the 80s and are thinking of doing that voyage again. Thirty years later I'd expect the check in procedure and requirements have changed. So we're seeking more current information.

Anyone stop in those island of late?? And/or info on Madagascar would also be much appreciated.
Noonsite: Madagascar
Noonsite: Mauritius
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Old 26-10-2010, 03:03   #4
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"Always happy to help. Since I'm still getting organised (i.e boatless at present) I'm reading everything everywhere. I've found the noonsite website very useful because it has given me an idea about costs and formalities in all the places I want to go.

Just be careful in that ocean with all those Somali pirates. I do NOT want to see you on the six o'clock news, sitting under a tree and surrounded by AK47s"


Thank you for your concern mintyspilot.
Actually we've been in pirate country several times in the past, once having been fired upon when sailing up the Red Sea, and another time when anchored at Socatra Islands near the mouth of the Red Sea. Alas we are older now, and don't carry our trusty double barrel shotgun anymore. But we are always wary. Cheers mate. Follow out journey at
a wandering wake we'll be underway again in December.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:00   #5
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A few months ago we wrote the following to some friends who were heading to Mad this year; for more info on clearance procedures in Madagascar see Mata'irea: Madagascar:

Madagascar - Madagascar was absolutely fabulous. The sailing in the lee of the island is wonderful. The people are lovely, the flora and fauna fascinating. It was one of our favorite stops ever (right up there with Chagos, the Andamans, Penang, Vanuatu, and the Tuamotus). It is possible to reprovision in Madagascar, but friends found it better to make Mayotte their first stop from Chagos. That way they could reprovision and refuel at an actual dock rather than humping jerrys. We had come from the Seychelles so we didn't need to do much shopping in Madagascar. The sea there is loaded with fish (a nice change from Southeast Asia), and the trading for crabs and lobster is great. We were so flush with good protein sources that we didn't end up using any of our frozen meat from the Seychelles until cooking for the passage to South Africa! However, the local beef (if you eat red meat) is definitely worth checking out. Zebu tenderloin (labeled as fillet at the grocery in Nosy Be - they keep it in the back so you have to ask for it) is some of the best meat we've ever had. And being a good midwestern girl I have definite opinions about these things.

We spent a while cruising the northern reaches of Madagascar before checking in. Then we cleared in at Nosy Be and took the free 1 month visa. A few weeks later, we cleared back out, and cruised down the coast for some time without anyone asking anything of us - though we did avoid the only big town we passed. We have some friends that never bothered to clear into Madagascar at all. Coming from Chagos, that is easy to do as you get an undated entry stamp from BIOT and that is all. So officials at your next port of call don't know how long you spent in Chagos and where you have been since. And when you get to South Africa nobody asks for a Zarpe, so you can get away without clearing in or out of Madagascar. We aren't comfortable flaunting the rules that much, but it worked for our friends.

Many cruisers get 3 month visas for Mad while still in Reunion or Mauritius (not sure which). However, a visa in advance isn't necessary. You can get a 3 month visa on arrival too - though it is expensive. Or better yet, do what or savvy friends on s/v XXXXX did - clear in to Madagascar, spend a month cruising Mad on the free one month visa, head over to Mayotte to reprovision (subsidized milk and flour, french cheeses and pate - yum), use wifi and laundry machines, and pull up alongside a fuel dock (which is not possible in Nosy Be), then when you've had your fill of civilization, return to Mad on another free one month visa.

Whatever you decide to do about officialdome in Hellville, Nosy Be, stop and visit John Sheppard at Sakatia Towers (sakatiatowers@mel.wanadoo.mg) (13:18.05 S; 48:10.64 E) first. He can arrange for his driver to to take you around town and do the clearance process. At $20 for four hours, it was well worth it to me (got my shopping done at the same time). The boat boys in Hellville are gangsters - particularly one named TuPak, tho he seems to become aware of his infamy and this year he has been calling himself Johnny.

Madagascar was amazing. It is well worth a stop. Just lift and lock your dinghy at night and don't leave it unattended in harbors there or in Mayotte and you'll have a great time.
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Old 07-11-2010, 14:10   #6
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Thanks heaps

Plenty of good information. Makes us want to pick up our hook straightaway and set sail across the Indian once again. Have visited your blog and bookmarked it. That's what so wonderful about today, sharing information is so fast and easy. Not like years ago when we waited six months for a mail bag !

We have relatives working in Madagascar and are waiting to hear if their teaching contract will be renewed for another year before making a final decision. It would be lovely to sail across an ocean once again. Back in the 70s and 80s we crossed the Indian four times, or was it five.... once, gunk holing up the East African Coast, which was fascinating. But of course, must be careful and look after your gear.

When you go around another time, stop in at Ballina NSW. There are some wonderful spots here in Aus. We circumnavigated the island recently and are now heading back around in the opposite direction ! Have just published a book on our travels around Australia called "Two's a Crew", (You can appreciated the title) and will be promoting it for the next few months.

Thanks again,
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Old 07-11-2010, 15:36   #7
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I flew into Mauritius to take a boat to Cape Town just a few months ago. We had an agent, I don't know the check-in procedures, but I'm told the agent was probably unnecessary as everything was pretty straight forward. When I showed up the boat was tied to the immigration dock... I got my passport stamped, jumped aboard and cast off the lines, no problems.

I'd just give them a call on the sat phone or VHF when you get to Port Luis and ask if you can tie up to their dock. The building itself is easy to find, just motor straight down the channel.... immigration is on the starboard side near the end right before the channels bends hard to the left (between the park and a small fort).
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Old 07-11-2010, 15:43   #8
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Mauritius info - thanks

I remember Port Louis and that long entry channel past all the other craft. Back in the 80s we were allowed to tie up alongside the godowns and go in and out through a rather loosely guarded security gate.

It was pretty crowded even back then, so I imagine it'll be packed today. The poor were desperate, the rich lived well, and we yachties could travel both sides of life.

All the best,
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Old 07-11-2010, 22:33   #9
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Quote:
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We had come from the Seychelles so we didn't need to do much shopping in Madagascar. The sea there is loaded with fish (a nice change from Southeast Asia), and the trading for crabs and lobster is great. We were so flush with good protein sources that we didn't end up using any of our frozen meat from the Seychelles until cooking for the passage to South Africa! However, the local beef (if you eat red meat) is definitely worth checking out. Zebu tenderloin (labeled as fillet at the grocery in Nosy Be - they keep it in the back so you have to ask for it) is some of the best meat we've ever had. And being a good midwestern girl I have definite opinions about these things.
What is the current thinking in the Seychelles regarding the reach of the Somali pirate activity?
On some of the other threads people are saying stay well away from the Seychelles, but as a destination it's always been high on my 'must see' list.
Your thoughts?

Vic
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:19   #10
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banyandah - as we readjust to things like working for living and frozen precipitation, we do appreciate your faith that we'll make it around again.

VirtualV - The only reason we went to the Seychelles after the pirates had extended their reach that way was because we had family flying in there from the States for the vacation of a lifetime. The place is physically beautiful, but culturally . . . eh. It just isn't that interesting. Most of the islands are privately owned and one has to pay a fee to visit them, or skip them as we did. To visit the southern atolls one has to sail all the way back up to Mahe to clear out, or pay several thousands of dollars to fly a customs agent down to clear your boat out. I wouldn't go back, particularly not on a sailboat.

I've perused those threads about piracy but hesitate to post anything because I don't want to get involved in a discussion about pepperspray and electric fencing.

As sailors our best weapon against piracy is our brains and the weather. You can't fight pirates, but you might just be able to outsmart them. We waited until the height of the southeast monsoon to sneak into the Seychelles. The winds had been blowing against the east coast of Africa for weeks, effectively pinning the pirates in their villages. Through another cruiser we were in communication with the Port Authority in the Seychelles who assured us that there hadn't been an attack in the vicinity in weeks.

We sailed in (the passage was atrocious), visited with family, and then, at the first opportunity, left. We beat down to Madagascar in really rough weather. As we both deposited everything we tried to consume on the side deck we were at least reassured that the conditions were so miserable that nobody else was likely to be foolish enough to be out there with us. We suffered some damage on the pound south, but once we were safe in the lee of Madagascar, hanging out with the whales, it all seemed worth it.

The Chandlers left the Seychelles a few weeks after we did, once the southeast monsoon eased off. We had been sorely tempted to wait for better weather, but didn't. In retrospect we are very thankful for that decision.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:48   #11
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Thanks for the update. Very interesting.
I haven't looked at wind and currents, but from the top of Aus, Cocos, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar sounds like a better option.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:58   #12
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Rodrigues

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Thanks for the update. Very interesting.
I haven't looked at wind and currents, but from the top of Aus, Cocos, Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar sounds like a better option.
In the old days we'd make that voyage with a break at Rodrigues, used to be able to anchor in the tiny harbour and shift when the island vessel came in one a week.

Anybody know if we can still do that?
The Mauritius customs say you can still check in there.

Its a good reach across the wind, all the way.
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Old 08-11-2010, 13:04   #13
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banyandah - as we readjust to things like working for living and frozen precipitation, we do appreciate your faith that we'll make it around again.

VirtualV - The only reason we went to the Seychelles after the pirates had extended their reach that way was because we had family flying in there from the States for the vacation of a lifetime. The place is physically beautiful, but culturally . . . eh. It just isn't that interesting. Most of the islands are privately owned and one has to pay a fee to visit them, or skip them as we did. To visit the southern atolls one has to sail all the way back up to Mahe to clear out, or pay several thousands of dollars to fly a customs agent down to clear your boat out. I wouldn't go back, particularly not on a sailboat.
Crikey, back in the 80s they'd just had a coup with weapons brought in by yacht, so they virtually strip searched every yacht coming in. And they charged like wounded bulls for the use of their dock in Victoria even when buying their fuel. As you say, beautiful islands. And the world's biggest coconuts. "The love nut" - I have a couple round here somewhere.

You might go round again, or somewhere closer to home. Life's a long voyage. Look at us, 16 years sailing with our kids, then 16 years on the land securing our future, now retired, and back sailing again. Like riding a bike, just we go a bit slower now.
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