the leg crusher
30 September 2011 | Nosy Be, Madagascar
Nosy Kumba is the main draw off the island of Nosy Be. Notorious for its lemur population, we set out to explore the island one early afternoon in hopes of catching them during dinnertime. We clambered up to the top of the said lemur ridden area and gazed upon empty branch after every branch. We trudged back to the boat with our SD cards empty and curiousity unsatiated. Kirk, however, decided to take it upon himself to turn the tide of the evening by whipping up a meal of basil, soy glazed crab with coconut rice that rivaled any Michelin starred restaurant. We have since decided that we are entering him in the next Iron Chef as well as putting him to work on Bubbles’ first cookbook, “Chez Zhong.”
The next morning, after a recharging slumber, we paddled back to Nosy Kumba’s shores with a renewed optimism for lemur sighting. Once again we found ourselves on top of the hill. There were other tourists around ooohing and aaaahing, so we were sure we were in for a win this time. I leaned over to unzip my backpack where we had an enormous bunch of tiny, ripe bananas. Before I had even pulled them out I had a lemur make a flying leap towards me, landing on my head, then another launched on to my shoulder, then another!!! Aggressive little guys that didn’t seem to care if they scored a banana or my finger, they ripped the fruit from my hands, their eyes peeled wide open with no chance for the slightest blink and risk missing the next batch of tourist delights. Fed up with us after our banana stash ran dry, one lemur that had a small baby clinging to its belly, clung to Alex’s head, reached its little arm around from behind, stuck his long, squishy fingers up his nose and gave it a solid yank. After their bellies were full, the furry little creatures retreated back to branches invisible to our eyes and we spent the next hour cavorting with boa constrictors and a multitude of turtles (who are apparently quite the banana enthusiasts as well).
Back in Nosy be, our sailing community was in full swing. Daily lunches and cocktail hour became commonplace where once again routes and NET meetings were poured over. Norm swung by Bubbles on afternoon for a cup of sugar while we sauntered over to Luna in hopes to borrow a spare spear gun for a day or so. While every sailor subscribes heavily to a creed of radical self reliance, it’s reassuring to know that in even the slightest of jams, one can rely upon just about anyone in the community to lend a hand or piece of advice I listened to the men as they delivered their respective sermons on the wild women of the area and at times feared their own safety. I could only smile inside to myself. How entertaining it was to witness the predator becoming the prey. (mental high five to my sisters of Madagascar)!!!
Sunday night, Alex and I went out to explore the much talked about 1000 person beach party. The rain was coming down in soft whispers that we felt wouldn’t threaten the turn out of the party. Off we went into the darkness to find a taxi, fingers crossed the situation wouldn’t echo that of my hometown of Manhattan when it’s raining (you have better chances of sprouting wings and taking to the skies then finding an available cab). A decrepid old VW bug look a like taxi appear and a price was agreed upon. We stuffed ourselves in the back and our driver got in. His buddy pushed us until the engine finally roared to life a process that we would continue to repeat many times over the course of less than a mile. The situation was not looking good as the rain came down harder and the roads went from pavement to muddy, pot holed dirt paths.
We arrived at the party to find that it either hadn’t yet begun or was already over (or in a more likely scenario, never actually began). The main populace was that of young teenagers, sweatily bumping and grinding and bootie shaking all over the dance floor. What was more surprising was that the boys seemed to prefer to dance with one another, the ladies only making guest appearances every now and then. Feeling like it would be inappropriate to join in, the tallest kid out there only reached our chins, we made our way to the edge of the water and strolled back in the blackest of nights back to Crater Bay and our own floating pieces of paradise, Bubbles.