Sails to the Sandbank
Cutting through the ebbing tides along Madagascar’s golden shores, a traditional schooner makes its way on three weathered sails swelling with the breeze. Every patched hole, fresh tear, and salt spray stain told the timeless narrative of human beings pitting themselves against the raging elements in a life spent at sea. The island nation’s ports and coastlines are a maritime menagerie of traditional sailing vessels, from skiffs to makeshift dhows and even sailing canoes. They remind me of the thrilling pirate stories I devoured as a child – tales like Emilio Salgari’s Sandokan, the indomitable “Tiger of Malaysia.” For as long as people have lived by its waters, the ocean has always had a peculiar way of capturing our imaginations and inspiring us to venture into the uncharted unknown.