Atlantic ocean

The Extra-terrestrials…in Casamance

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Entering the Casamance is above all entering a really extraordinary universe, where the water is practically opaque, where the mangrove is omnipresent but sometimes allows a few tongues of golden sand to escape, and where the men, who welcome you as brothers, still believe strongly in the power of the supernatural. We took the first bolong on the right as we entered, and thus very quickly left the flow of the main river. We reached the village of Cachouanem where we were very warmly welcomed. This was the case everywhere, moreover; the Diola’s reputation for hospitality is well-deserved. We then left to join two friends’ boats which had arrived a few days before us. For this, we had to pass via the military check point at Elinkine. We therefore had to anchor, put the dinghy in the water and go and present our passports, as well as the cruising permit. After a few days spent in the village of Ehidji, during which we alternated visits to the village, afternoon swimming or trips on foot, paddle board and kayak etc., we set off again in the direction of Ziguinchor, Casamance’s main town. We sailed up the Casamance for around thirty miles, taking advantage of the strong tidal current and the spectacle of the numerous dolphins which accompanied us. It’s the third time in thirteen years that we have come here, and time seems to be suspended. The anchorage here is particularly safe, and the village is very welcoming. Our visit to Niomoune was also the opportunity to lighten the boat by around a hundred kilos, as it was here that we unloaded the dental and optical equipment that we had brought from France. We have unforgettable memories of our stay in Casamance. The great poverty of this province of Senegal does not prevent in any way its inhabitants from radiating a very special kind of ‘joie de vivre’.

Who: Agnès and Fabien, Margaux, Timothée and Baptiste

Boat: Catana 431, chartered from Carina Ulixis.

Where: Casamance, Senegal, West Africa

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