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July 29, 2003

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For the last few days we've traveled with two Slovenian tourists, Irene and Leon, who make wonderful company. With them we hired a pirogue, or dugout canoe, to take us snorkeling along the barrier reef that lies a few kilometers offshore. The reef supports riotous and colorful sea life; the diving here is supposed to be top class. Afterwards, our pirogue sailed down the coast to a Vezo fishing village. We bought fish and lobster and enjoyed a beach picnic.
Sailing north along the coast presented no challenge because the wind blew our way. Coming back turned out to be another story. Madagascar pirogues, or dugout canoes, use a single mast and lateen sail. They have an outrigger for stability.
Fisherman ply shallow areas and use a mask to peer into the water from their canoes. They hunt for lobsters and grab them by the antennae.
The Vezo tribe are descended from African slaves who settled the area and became fisherfolk.
Catch of the day.