The sail loft in Hell-Ville had offered to complete our repair in a day if we could drop it off early morning. David was at the motorbike shop with the main sail when they opened at 7.30am. We'd organised the bike and paperwork yesterday afternoon so he was good to go and arrived at the loft as they opened at 8am.
He came back to the marina to pick me up for a day of island touring. Our plan was to circumnavigate Nosy Be in a clockwise direct, so turning away from Hell-Ville. We rode up the west coast with views out to Nosy Sakatia, turned at the NW corner and arrived at the turn off to Mont Passot. At 326m this is the highest point of the island with the road running past half a dozen of the crater lakes. There are resident freshwater crocs in the lakes and in some the animals are protected by a local fady. At the end of the road is a gate, a car park and a ticket booth. Guides are available to take you the last few hundred metres to a viewing platform and to show you the walks.
|view from Mont Passot|
From Mont Passot we continued clockwise along the much quieter northern road. There are still potholes to avoid and areas without tarmac to slow down for. The vegetation is less altered here and the view across to Nosy Mitsio fine. We passed smiling faces, waving children, villages, a ylang-ylang distillery and the island airport with a very expensive private Lear jet parked outside.
Coming into Hell-Ville at just after 2 o'clock we had time for a leisurely lunch at Oasis restaurant. We made a quick stop at the wet market to buy fresh vegetables and were back at Profil sail loft at the appointed 4 o'clock to collect our sail. The lady who had been working on it all day hadn't quite finished so we were offered chairs to relax and watched her running, working the sail to finish.
We weren't in a hurry so it was nice to be able to see the repairs – they'd found more stitching that was failing, some small holes where the fabric rubbed going in and out of the mast, repaired the tear, restitched the seam and replaced and restitiched the leech line. We were very happy with the work.