Mtsamboro - Mayotte : Perfectly preserved coral and green turtles

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The scenery is as beautiful as it is intriguing, but my priorities were below me: the water is so pure and fresh that diving is a must before any other activity! Even in the moonlight, you can see the shadow of the dinghy on the bottom. It is full of green turtles. Loads of stingrays and a multitude of fish are swimming around us. After having done the world tour of the most beautiful anchorages, this is for me one of the most fantastic seabeds that I have had the opportunity to observe. The coral is so alive! It is a pleasure to see... Not a single bleached coral. Impressive!

Sail over the reef and anchor behind it. What more could you ask for?
We didn’t have to go far to find these green turtles - it was them that came looking for us…


The anchorage

The Mayotte lagoon is a marine park which has been protected for many years, and it shows! The corals are extraordinary, and the marine fauna seems to thrive there! There are therefore buoys all around Mayotte, designed to protect the coral. Unfortunately, most of them are not really designed for cruising sailboats - and even less so for big multihulls. These moorings, few in number to begin with, are often too close to the coral outcrops. At Mtsamboro, it is possible to anchor in the southwest at 12º39.287’S 45º1.263’E in wide sandy inlets along the reef. There are no buoys here, and of course you don’t want to dam-age the coral! It is therefore preferable to check that nothing is touching the coral and that you re-anchor if necessary.

Barbecue with friends on the beach.
The water here is as transparent as the air. It’s hard to work out whether the wildlife is swimming or flying beneath the catamaran!


Weather check

Mtsamboro is not known to be a habitually quiet anchorage because of the swell and the fact that it is exposed to the big northern passes. For best protection from the NE wind, you should head for the large bay to the southwest. However, there can still be a westerly swell, but of course the great advantage of a multihull is that it is not bothered too much by these conditions. Mayotte has never - or very rarely - been battered by cyclones. Here, for most of the year it is about the heat and unpredictable winds. For the rest of the time the weather is dictated by the stormy weather around Cape Amber and the wild unpredictability of the Mozambique Channel.

Diving here, with or without scuba gear is just pure joy.

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