15 June 2017 Port Mathurin, Rodrigues
With the good weather that we have at the moment, quite a few boats have already left for Mauritius and we’re getting ready to leave on the morning of the 17th. It’ll be a Saturday, but the customs and immigration don’t charge overtime as long as we do the formalities before midday. The added advantage is that we’ll arrive in Port Louis, Mauritius on Monday or Tuesday and won’t have any hassle with customs there.
In the morning, we pottered about doing a few chores, running the water-maker and researching future destinations. We still have four months to explore Mauritius, Reunion & Madagascar and we’ve suddenly realised that we have time to fly home to the UK for a few weeks in July. It’s been over a year since we visited our family and our next opportunity will be in South Africa in January. So, we’ve extended our booking in the marina in Reunion and Glenys is now looking at flights, which being complicated by the shockingly slow internet connection here.
After lunch, I put on my 3mm wetsuit and jumped into the water, which is only 23°C and feels freezing to me. I was shocked to find hundreds of small Gooseneck Barnacles all over the back of the boat, stretching from the middle of the keel. In addition the rudder had grown a mat of 3 inch long weed, which was so thick that it’s swirling about in the current. The propeller wasn’t too bad with a light covering of slime and a few barnacles. I laboured away for an hour and I've cleaned the propeller, the rudder and the aft 3 metres of the hull. It will have to do until we get to a calm anchorage.
In the evening, we invited Alan and Vicky from “Wairima” over for a beer or two - they arrived yesterday from Cocos Keeling and had a tiring 12 day passage with waves of 6 metres and 50 knot winds at one point.
They left Cocos Keeling two days before our friends Graham and Karen on “Red Herring” and have been in radio contact with them. Unfortunately, Red Herring’s autopilot has failed, so Graham and Karen are hand steering, which is very tough and tiring in these conditions. They still have 260 miles to go which means that they’ll arrive here in a couple of days, probably after we’ve left, which is a pity. No doubt we’ll catch up with them in Reunion.
16 June 2017 Port Mathurin, Rodrigues
It was a very calm night, which unfortunately brought the mosquitoes out into the anchorage, so I was up at three o’clock, zapping mosquitoes, putting up the mosquito screen in our cabin and plugging in our vapour mat heaters.
The weather forecast for our 3 day passage to Mauritius is for light winds, I topped up our diesel tanks from our jerry jugs. I then took the dinghy up into the small fishing harbour and landed at a concrete slip about 20 metres from the town’s petrol station, which is very convenient (and they take credit cards). Back at the boat, I poured the three jerry cans into the main tank, making it a total of 126 litres added, so our tank is almost full.
We then wandered into town and, while Glenys did some provisioning, I went to the Customs and Immigration offices to arrange for our clearance at 0930 tomorrow morning. The Customs is called the Mauritius Revenue Authority and is in a small shopping mall behind the Mauritius Bank, just around the corner from the boulangerie. Immigration is in a small office on the ground floor of the Police Station.
While waiting for Glenys to finish shopping, I couldn't resist sneaking off for my last Dhall Puri on Roti. Definitely the best food in Rodrigues...
We had a quiet afternoon. Glenys prepared some meals for passage and I tidied up. It’s amazing how relaxed we are about going on this 340 mile trip. We’ve sailed 3,500 miles in the past five months, so we’re pretty well geared up to leave at any time and I know that everything is in good working order. (Although after hearing about “Red Herring” hand steering for days, I did a quick check of our autopilot and steering cables…)
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