Being back on deck always makes me very happy and gives me tons of positive energy. This year I spent exceptionally little time on Katharsis II, only a few weeks altogether. Now I feel it stronger than ever and every moment at sea is an exhilarating experience.
Early in October, we arrived in Madagascar. With the new sails, scrubbed and polished, the yacht was waiting, ready for the voyage. For Katharsis II, it will be another long run across the ocean. For me, it will be a test before the expedition around the Antarctic, on which we are set out in December.
The last few months have been a difficult time for my organism. Onerous therapies have taken a toll on me. I have been restoring my physical condition intensively for over a dozen or so weeks now, but there is still a lot to catch up with. I still endure heat poorly and I tire quickly but I think it will improve every week. Since we are sailing to Antarctica, the problem of heat is bound to quickly disappear, so that is definitely not something that I should really worry about. But the strength… Well, we will see. I have yet to see what I can afford and what my body will allow me to do.
Now we are about to sail from Madagascar to Cape Town. There are 2,400 nautical miles to cover which translates into two weeks of sailing, not counting in any stopovers. We will be sailing in a crew of three: Mariusz, the captain, Olka Magoniówna, a cheerful and good companion from previous voyages, and me: an old salt, but now recovering from chemotherapy, radiotherapy and tumour removal surgery, all of which happened only 10 months ago.
The initial leg will be a short and easy voyage along Madagascar. Then we will have to go deeper into the Mozambique Channel. I know from experience that it may get really difficult there. Exactly a year ago, we experienced this with Mariusz on a trip from Seychelles to South Africa. But now, we have a little more time than we had last year. We do not intend to sail all non-stop the way to Cape Town. Storms, if any, we plan to wait out on the coast of Africa, whenever possible.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017, we left the quiet Hellville port at Nosy Be, where Katharsis II lay at anchor the last two months. First, we sailed to Russian Bay which was a dozen or so miles away, and then, by the Radam Islands, to another beautiful bay – Moramba Bay. We wanted to see baobabs before leaving Madagascar. Mariusz read in a sailing guide that 100 miles south of Russian Bay in the Gulf of Moramba, you can see these famous and extraordinary African trees. We dropped the anchor in the light of the setting sun. Moramba Bay, which makes a deep incision into the land, has many small islets scattered along its shores resembling the shapes of maces or giant puffballs. The islands, as well as the mainland (Madagascar), are covered with lush vegetation, over which baobabs reign. The place is simply beautiful. Having spent a day in the land of baobabs, on Sunday morning 15 October 2017, we left Moramba Bay and bid farewell to the Red Island. I am at sea again.
From the deck of s/y Katharsis II, 15.10.2017, Mozambique Channel