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A bit of history

It is not by chance that we have chosen this type of boat to sail you to the discovery of the Mozambique Channel’s West coast of Madagascar. She’s proven her worth over a century in this region of the world!

 

A bit of history…
The « goélette » is of Breton origin, it arrived on the Malagasy coast at the end of the 19th century. At that time Arab dhows where used as cargos, but only Muslim crew where allowed to sail them. Not a problem on the North West coast of Madagascar, from Nosy Be down to Majunga, where a large proportion of the population is Muslim. But further south none of the Vezo were. They were mainly Catholic or Protestant and followed their traditional beliefs worshipping their ancestors.

 

To counter the lack of Muslim sailors South of Majunga, under the reign of Radama II and at his request, the French government sent the Breton Joachim brothers from the Reunion Island to Morondava to teach the Vezo the craft of building such “goélettes”.

This is how the Canal of Mozambique now boasts a full wind powered Merchant Navy fleet of some 200 such cargos. Having to move around the big island due to some political unrest, the Joachim brothers eventually settled in Belo-sur-mer, which has remained until now the cradle of the goélettes’ shipyard of Madagascar.

 

Reputed to be sturdy with a fairly good sailing yield, these large hull cargos’ shallow draft allows them to access the many villages and towns along the West coast and rivers that are inaccessible by land.

 

With their two masts of almost the same height and their six sails, these majestic cargos are, with the Arab dhows of the North West of Madagascar, the only truly ecological merchant cargos of the “big island” to sail exclusively powered by the wind.

 

They transport all sorts of freight from salt, broad beans, rice, dried salted fish or cement to more prestigious goods such as crates of fizzy drinks, beers, and local brewed rum!

 

At the dawn of the 3rd millennium, these ancestral goélettes still play an active part to the economic development of Madagascar.

The southwest departing from Mangily / Ifaty

To find out more

4 days / 4 nights from 03/04 and 17/04/2019
75 € per day for non-residents minimum 5 people.

Cruise dive in the Northwest from Nosy Be

MORONDAVA - MAJUNGA
To find out more

June and September
850 Euros / person on basis of 5 to 8 people 14 dives included

NOSY BE - COURIER BAY

To find out more

7 Nights / 8 Days End of October 2019
800 € / PAX MAXIMUM 6 PASSENGERS full board