Sunset canoes, island tour and barbecue

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 1 Oct 2012 04:52
Cocos Keeling has been one of our favourite stopovers. 
We are anchored at Direction Island, which is uninhabited (except for a policeman with a tent), so it is almost like being back on Suwarrow. 
Home Island is a 15 minute dinghy ride away and has a reasonable supermarket for provisioning, plus a small but interesting museum about the time when the islands were used for copra production. 
West Island is a ferry ride from Home Island.  It is the most developed, with the airport, motel, cafe, restaurant, bar and an artist's studio sited in an old barge.  We spent a night on West Island, with a sunset canoe tour in the evening and then a tour of the island the next morning.  The tour was conducted by John Clunies-Ross, who's father was the last of the dynasty that owned and farmed the islands.  The coconut plantations are now uneconomical to farm and they are just returning to jungle.
Last night we had the official ARC get together, with a barbecue on Direction Island.  It was a good opportunity to catch up with the friends we had not yet met here (plus we won a bottle of wine for the leg from Bali).
Setting off in the canoes, the water is like a swimming pool
Just one white beach after another, and a glass of champagne at each.
The sun going down over the islands
John Clunies-Ross is now farming giant clams on West Island.
The cauldron circle at the barbecue (for cauldron read wine box)
The sun sets behind the anchorage