The team is made up of 5 sailors, all extremely strong and fit. There are no winches as one would find on modern sailing boats. Every manoeuvre is done by hand.
Four of them are Vezo: Tina, the Captain, Celin, the Second Mate, Prien and Dida, the deckhands and fantastic musicians. They know this coast of the Canal of Mozambique by heart.
Fabrice, a Northern Sakalava, is our magician gourmet chef, who can throw together some amazing Malagasy or international dishes from our very rudimentary traditional deck galley.
They speak their local dialect. Some of them begin to have a few notions of French and start to pronounce a few words of English to welcome you onboard.
We have GPS, echo sounder and marine charts onboard, but these are more to comply with modern regulations than safety, as our sailors know this coast, its every reef or sand bank, by heart. These waters have been their playing fields since the day they were born.
Most of them have been sailing before they could even walk, and they always know their exact position, even during pitch black moonless nights.
As all respectable seamen, they are very superstitious. The coast of Madagascar, and for that sake the whole Country, is filled with “fady” (taboos) that shouldn’t be breached. This means that in some place it is “fady” to have a wee, or to sail past a specific place with peanuts onboard, or eggs, or ginger, or even sometimes live chicken… and of course absolutely no pigs onboard nor red clothing during the rainy season. All these “fady” have to be borne in mind when stocking up with supplies before a cruise. When we first started sailing they kept forgetting to tell us about such or such “fady”, and it sometimes meant early Christmas for some. Like that time when we had to distribute some 5kg of delicious sugar coated peanuts that should have lasted a few months of coffee breaks, to the delighted children of a Northern village. Or the time when we had to choose between eating 40 eggs in one go or having to forfeit and sail past a really good sheltered anchorage for the night…
The creators of this dream, European Laetitia or Fred, will host and guide you throughout your journey. They have extensively travelled along this coast by dugout canoe or “botry” (gaff rigged schooner cargos), and lived for two years amongst the Vezo, sharing their traditions whilst NOFY BE was being built.
Fred is comfortable with French, but if you push him he does have some notions of English… He will be your host from middle of July to September and in December.
Laetitia will be able to host you the rest of the time in English, French and Italian. She has also some notions of German, Spanish and Flemish.
Fred is a French film Director based in Antananarivo, the Capital City of Madagascar, who has been living and producing documentaries on the Indian Ocean for the past 20 years. Originating from the French Pas-de-Calais he has been sailing all his life.
Laetitia, a former geologist, soil mechanics engineer, property developer, tax consultant and mother to two young up and coming British film Directors, is half Belgian half Italian, and fell in love with Madagascar during a voluntary mission in 2004.
Both are driven by the same passion of the sea. They met a few years ago when Laetitia was running a local TV station in Morondava and Fred was looking for a cameraman / translator to make a short film about Belo-sur-mer’s shipyard. You can read about what happened next on “NOFY BE’s STORY” page under “BOAT” heading.
To ease you into this new world and experience, European Fred or Laetitia will host you throughout your journey. They have extensively travelled along this coast by dug out canoe or botry, and lived for two years amongst the Vezo, sharing their traditions whilst NOFY BE was being built.
YOUR DIVING INSTRUCTORS
For your diving holidays we operate with several diving instructors depending on the location and their availability. They trade under their own names with their own insurance and tourism operator licence, and provide their own diving equipment on board.
Departing from Nosy Be (North-West of Madagascar) :
Departing from Mangily / Ifaty (South-West of Madagascar) :
Although these instructors operate from our vessel NOFY BE, TSANGA TSANGA SOA s.a.r.l., the ship-owner and operator of NOFY BE, doesn’t run, has got no control over, nor can accept any responsibility for the diving activities.