Thu 7 Jun 2012 14:22
Date 7th June 2012
Position 19:40.84S 63:25.219E
We have arrived in Rodrigues, safe and sound, after another burst of strong wind and weather from the south. After the warmth of the weekend, basking in the cockpit and fishing, it was depressing to experience deteriorating conditions during Sunday night, and to find at dawn low scudding cloud, tall breaking waves rushing up the stern and sides of the boat, and the cockpit once again soaking wet, and totally uninviting..
The weather during monday was probably the worst of the trip, but as we were sailing so deliberately slowly, the ships motion was not too bad; even so the deck leaks have started up again. The weather forecast was equally depressing with even stronger winds forecast for this morning. In fact the bad weather had already blown through, and last night was a comfortable run in to Rodrigues, which miraculously appeared on the horizon, at dawn, just when Tom Tom said that it would! The seas were still pretty big however, and I was concerned that entry through the reefs might prove difficult. First you have to identify the leading marks on the shore, a few miles away. >From the pilot book description I thought I had identified them, and although the bearing didn't seem quite right, We set off, breaking seas on either side, just like in the Australian river entrances.We were soon within the Islands lagoon, the seas settled down and it became apparent that my chosen marks were a house roof and a corn storage silo: both painted the same colour. The real leading marks were by this time quite easy to identify, we had come in about 2 cables to the east of the transit, but I reckon we had more depth than on the official line, and I am going out the same way that I came in!
Check in cost me US$75, but was easy. My French friends then picked me up for lunch, and then it was all hands to the docks as the fortnightly supply ship was due in, and the achorage has to be cleared to enable the big ship to turn in the very restricted inner lagoon. The Island is entirely dependant on Mauritius, and this ship is the umbilical cord. So all the yachts (about 10) had to put to sea for a couple of hours. Now it is evening, we are all safely anchored up again, and I can appreciate the wonder of not sailing any more: I have explained this before, but time and time again it hits me: 1) the boat is no longer making an absolute cacophony of noise. 2) It has stopped moving, I am sitting comfortably, and can type with two fingers, as I dont need to jamb one hand on the computer to keep it still.
Have met some old friends: it really is a small community, and everyone loves the Island. I'll tell you more about it in due course.