Indian Ocean Leg 2 Day Seventeen 20 09.583S 057 30.022E - Arrival!

Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 13 Oct 2013 19:04
The above lat and long are for the Customs Quay at Port Louis - yes, we have arrived in Mauritius! Having spent the night trying to slow down, with just the staysail set, we still made 4.5kts in lightish winds, which was just about okay to get in at 08.30. Being Sunday we didn't want to arrive too early and definitely did not want to get too close to Port Louis in the dark. A wise decision having passed, on entry to the harbour, row on row of moored long-line fishing vessels that operate from here. The landscape of Mauritius as we drew closer was quite a surprise. It's mountainous, green, but with few trees so dramatic and stark against the blue sky background. It reminded us very much of the Marquesas in the Pacific. Having cleared in with Customs and Immigration, we moved to the yacht basin in the relatively new waterfront development - something a bit like Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth back home. The yacht basin is small and virtually full with 30 visiting boats in it. Boats moor to the wall and other boats raft out from them. We're rafted next to a catamaran and further along the basin boats are rafted 3 or 4 out like St Peter Port in Guernsey. We haven't rafted alongside another boat for a long while, so it's been quite interesting to do it again. The fun starts when the inside boats decides to leave early in the morning!
The passage from Cocos Keeling was 2,376 miles and took 17 days, so an average of 140 miles a day. A bit disappointing as we had hoped the average would be nearer 160 miles, but then the conditions were so varied with very light winds at times and very strong winds quite a lot of the time with big seas, both conditions resulting in us slowing down. It's definitely the roughest passage we've done and the wettest (more water on the decks and over the boat, and some in the cockpit). That's what we expected and that's what we got! But then the last few days have been some of the best ocean sailing we've had, so very much a mixed bag. The boat is covered in salt and the clean up will start tomorrow. In the 2,376 miles the engine was used for just 3.2 hours, to leave Cocos Keeling and enter Port Louis today, so can't complain at that!

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