Well ! I am quite happy to have the Cocos behind me. Not a stop that I
would recommend. During the four days we were there, we almost never saw
the sun, but the wind never gave up. Never less than 20 knots and mostly
25 to 30. Add to this that for reasons probably due to local currents,
the waters of the lagoon are very choppy and the dinghy ride from the
anchorage at Direction island to home island is very wet and unpleasant.
Tuesday we went to Home island, but at the wrong time, i.e. lunch hour,
and we found a ghost town with the few shops that there are closed. We
were told that there was a restaurant open every day, but once checked,
we found out that it only opens on Wednesday. So we wandered throughout
this little settlement of around 5009 malays, Before returning to
Direction, we found the supermarket and purchased a few items.
On Wednesday, we did it again, but this time, we left earlier so that we
could catch the ferry to West island at 10:45. There we found much of
the same, plus an international airport with 2 flights per week. West
island is home to the australian expatriates, 250 of them we were told.
There are two small resorts, one by Castaway, the other one local, but
there did not seem to be many tourists. We also found a coffee shop
where at least we could have a bite before doing the shopping at the
supermarket, only slightly bigger than the one in Home island, and then
returning with the 3:00 p.m. ferry to Home island. And then back to the
boat with the dinghy.
Wednesday night, we entertained Keith on Sadiqi, a yachtman from Perth
on his way to Indonesia. His boat is the only other boat in the lagoon.
We left this morning around 8:45 and since then, it is back in the
washer, Winds of 25 to 30, continuous showers and water over the deck
almost continuous. Unfortunately, a good deal of that water is finding
its way inside the boat, partly through the passage of the mast through
the deck, partly through the forward hatch. All in all, not very
pleasant conditions, but it can only get better. So we hope !
We are going with three reefs and three turns in the genoa, but the wind
is SSE and we are almost sailing with the wind on the beam which makes
for a very wet cockpit.
For the first time tonight, I am beginning to hear voices on the south
africa maritime mobile network and this is encouraging news.,