There was a charter catamaran sailing to the anchorage at the same time as us called Lady Corsica. I recognized the lines of the boat and after checking with the binoculars confirmed it was an older sister of Tahina – a St. Francis 44. We also saw a sailboat already at anchor, it was a boat we know called s/v Mystic. I went over and chatted with them for a while to catch up since we had last seen them in Mauritius over a month earlier. They are also heading to Nosy Be, and we were the first cruising boat they had encountered since they arrived in Madagascar a few weeks earlier. We must have been pretty close behind them though.
We were approached while at anchor several times by local fisherman – both young and old – looking to trade fish or fruits for other things. I ended up giving some fishing line and hooks to a couple of them.
s/v Solace decided to stop at an island north because of their slower speed. But, the next afternoon they arrived at Mitsio. Something was out of place though, there was another person on board. It turns out Solace had been approached by a nice young man who was asking for a ride to Mitsio because he is a manager at the resort on the island. It was his job to prepare the facility to be re-opened for the coming season. Solace agreed to give him the ride since he spoke good English and seemed quite respectable.After Solace arrived we went ashore to have a look at the island. The people living here are still a fair distance from any of the larger towns of Madagascar. They live a simple life in thatched roof houses built from local materials, with fishing and basic domestic animals, and agriculture as their primary sources of food. We saw no sign of regular electricity, but some of the houses had small generators. We were disappointed to see they are very lax in their trash management with lots of refuse throughout the housing areas. But, the people all seemed healthy and happy. The animals also appeared well fed and healthy.
On the way back to our boats we returned to the beach and saw a group of local women walking down the beach carrying laundry. Gina from s/v Solace took this great picture of the women with their laundry on their heads.
Mitsio has a well-protected anchorage with some pretty scenery. And it was an interesting perspective on local isolated living. We were told there is good snorkeling and diving nearby as well.
Solace joined us for drinks that evening and we enjoyed the peaceful setting at the anchorage. Late in the day two other boats we know also arrived at the anchorage, as well as another two boats coming from the south. It was suddenly a busy anchorage! The next morning Solace and Tahina left hoping to get to Nosy Be – a much bigger island with lots of people and facilities, and Internet!
Here’s the map showing Nosy Mitsio and where we anchored: