Friday, 23rd October, 2015
W. Eric Faber
Fri 23 Oct 2015 10:45
Distance run from Mauritius: 143 logged miles
The highlights of Mauritius included a visit to a working sugar cane plantation (Labourdonnais) and a visit to a museum for the way sugar cane used to be harvested and processed into sugar, molasses and rum. Virtually all of the equipment used was made in England and Scotland and shipped by the old trading vessels to our former colonies (Mauritius is now independent). The Labourdonnais plantation included a beautifully restored chateau, all paid for by the family who still own and run it. The absence of inheritance tax has made this all possible. We also paid a visit to an unrestored colonial house, called ‘Maison Eureka’, to have Sunday lunch, walk the gardens and visit the waterfalls. This lovely house remains as it was as the 104 heirs have not been able to come up with a plan for its restoration.
Our start from Mauritius to La Reunion on Thursday, 22nd October, was at 2pm with a forecast of light winds all the way. Some very fickle winds and even more disturbed seas met us as soon as we were a mile outside the harbour. Sometimes the wind was from the North, then from the South and finally from the Southwest, the very direction we wanted to go on our way to La Reunion. Some of the boats began to tack, but we decided to use our engine to make sure we would arrive in daylight the following day. There appeared to be a southeasterly swell and a northwesterly swell that made for a very uncomfortable motion, but we thought that as soon as we would be out of the lee of the island we should pick up the southeasterly trade wind. We ran the engine for 5 hours when at 7pm we were out of the island’s lee. The seas continued quite sloppy and disturbed, but the further out we went the more regular the seas became giving us an easier motion for some good sailing (mostly goose-winged and poled out to port) in a east/southeasterly trade wind.
We engaged our old Aquagen in an Aquair gimbal using an Aquair turbine (i.e. spinner at the end of the rope). The difference was quite remarkable; no jumping out of the water and producing 7 amps at 7 knots of boat speed. Our new Aquair 100 is due for delivery in La Reunion this week that Rally Control has organised for us from Rolnautica in Gran Canaria. We should now have a spare water-towed generator.
Our arrival in La Reunion marks a very different experience from that in Mauritius. Whereas in Mauritius we were literally moored in the town of Port Louis with all the shops and internet close by, in Le Port of La Reunion it looks as though we have been shunted into a corner of an industrial harbour with poor amenities and poorer internet, but we have been told the island is beautiful! We shall have to find out…