Monday, June 2, 2014

Willy Saves Mara

The small wooden pirogue had been serving the seas for many years. Until last week. It had such a hard time on the turbulent waters of Nosy Be, that it broke in half. Three local fishermen are hurled out. Two of them have been never heard from again. The third, Mara Beanjara (45) is helpless in the churning sea. Twenty years at sea, but he can't really swim...

He struggles in the water, desperately. Suddenly he spots a little hill top, or a small island, he does not know very well. He climbs on it, frantically hanging on to the edge.  Then it starts to move. The island rises from the water and guess what: it's a huge whale!

Thank you Willy! 
For hours Mara Beanjara holds on to the fin of a 10-meter long humpback whale. The giant dives under water but pops up each time soon enough, as if he knows he's carrying a terrified passenger. Yearly, hundreds of  humpback whales pass the coasts of Madagascar, looking for a partner. These very intelligent animals, like dolphins, are intuitive and can sense panic and anxiety. An entire  night the giant fish swims along with his friends from the colony with the fisherman on his back. Until the next morning, when a cargo boat can save the man.

Mara Beanjara is in a coma as he arrives in hospital of Nosy Be. But not for long: he is, after all, able to tell about his 18-hour ordeal in all Malagasy newspapers. And to thank his buddy the humpback whale.