Position: 15º 43.878′ S 46º 18.762′ E
Well that was an interesting passage. We left Morumba at 5pm, hoping to arrive in Majunga by mid-day (to get a head start on our clearing out and provisioning exercise). Poor wind and counter current slowed our progress, and by midnight we had made only 40 miles good. By the end of Vick’s watch at 3am we decided to turn the engine on. Just before she tucked in we both smelled something awful and burnie and chemical coming from somewhere near us.
After fifteen minutes of searching, I was ready to give up and attribute it to a trash burn on shore… until Vick mentioned that the wind was blowing in from the sea. Five minutes more searching lead me to a chain locker full of poison smoke. Cough. Our windlass solenoid had shorted out and caused a small smoulder. Thank god the chain locker is perpetually wet! I disconnected the breaker, and the fuse (both of which should have prevented this problem in the first place) and turned on some fans.
We finished off the night with little other drama, and in the morning I replaced the solenoid with my spare. We had great wind from about mid-day and sailed like the dickens to arrive in Majunga before sunset.
Shortly after we anchored down, the port authority stopped by to kindly request (in French, which we don’t speak) that we move to a spot between a cruise ship and the Coast Guard. “Dangerous” was all I could understand. After some pantomime we worked out that the danger was gangs. Apparently, we are now safely out of their turf.
All is well.