Paragliding Trip: Discovering a flying wonder of the world

Last month we joined up again with the Best Odyssey who are now coming up to their final year of the five year expedition around the world. Gavin and Jody set sail four years ago with the objective of finding the most remote places to kite surf and paraglide. Mike and I have joined up with them over the past few years and together with Gav, Jody and our good friend Bruce we believe to have been the first people to fly over the kingdom of Tonga, the Andaman islands and the Maldives. All of these places were incredible but this time we sailed onto an undiscovered flying site of World class status.

We joined up with ‘Discovery’, the 60ft catamaran that has now been our home in so many exciting places, in the Southern part of Madagascar. This extremely primitive coastline is very much exposed to big ocean and so rather than fly we concentrated more on the other objectives of this expedition, kite-surfing and surfing.

Madagascar was wonderful with some very fun waves to surf and the biggest waves that I’ve ever kited on, but the real highlight of the trip, we were about to discover, was a 3 day sail away on the other side of the Mozambique channel. The passage to Mozambique was very smooth with some wonderful night sailing, one of my favourite things in the world, some fresh tuna on the end of our fishing lines lots of card games and some breaching humpback whales even if only from a distance.

 

Arriving in Mozambique 3 days later, we anchored right in front of a huge sand dune. The wind was blowing hard off the sea directly onto the dune and in the distance up the coast we could see one of the biggest dunes I’ve ever seen going on for miles! What had we found?

Discovery anchored in front of the small dune.

Getting to the big dune was going to be more tricky so we grabbed our wings and headed straight for the ‘small’ dune. It was clearly too windy to paraglide but luckily we had plenty of speed wings to have fun with and we even managed to take the girls tandem using a small solo wing.

The wind dropped over the next few days to the perfect strength for proper paragliding. Getting to the big dune was a logistical nightmare, trying to beach the dinghy through the massive shore break….but I’ll let you read Gavin’s account of that on his latest log:

All that I can say about it is that flying that dune was one of the highlights of my flying career. It was pure magic…as if in a dream. We all felt it, Mike, Gav, Bruce and Jody. Even Rosie and Leah on the tandems….it was sheer bliss! Not much more I can say that the photos don’t show:

We left Mozambique and said goodbye to Discovery until next time, but our African adventure was far from over. We flew to Namibia for part 2 of our incredible journey…but that’s for the next blog…so stay tuned.

just want to say a massive thanks to Bruce for another wonderful adventure and also to Gav and Jody. You can follow the Best Odyssey on: www.offshoreodysseys.com

Watch the video here: 

Verbier Summits in Africa from Michael Belbas on Vimeo.

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