Île Sainte-Marie, known (more formally) as Nosy Boraha, is an island off the east coast of Madagascar. The main town is Ambodifotatra. The channel between Sainte-Marie island and Madagascar is a hot spot for whale watching. Substantial groups of humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to this idyllic breeding place. These quiet giants find conditions here that are favourable for the growth of their young and well suited to their courtship and acrobatic games before their big return toward the cold seas. St. Mary's Island as it is known in English, became a popular base for pirates throughout the 17th and 18th centuries due to several reasons: it was not far from the maritime routes along which ships returning from the East Indies sailed in transit, their holds overflowing with wealth, it was provided with bays and inlets protected from storms and finally, it had abundant fruit and was situated in quiet waters.
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