Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Wed 10 Oct 2012 17:42
Since we were flung out of the Sunda Strait by wind and current we have travelled 3000 miles and now have 1500 still to go in the Indian Ocean. This next promises to be a challenging leg but there is some satisfaction in getting as far as Mauritius without serious unpleasantness.
After our miserable night the weather bucked up and we had some good sailing in sunshine and partial moonlight. We arrived in Port Louis at 0830 Monday and checked in while tied to railings round the corner from the Customs quay. We did the business at a café table with the aid of four lots of officials with their 17 forms then tracked down some excellent eggs and bacon. Port Louis is a busy commercial port currently rather crowded with a large fleet of Chinese fishing boats. There is a large John West canning factory on the island. Out to sea again about mid-day, we motored north for a couple of hours to Grand Baie, a sheltered anchorage in a deep bay with a welcoming yacht club. A little caution was required getting in; there was only one metre under our keel on the leading line, which in any case was difficult to make out. Still, no bumps or scrapes. It is good once in a while to be in a secure spot surrounded by local boats.
The western-style yacht club is in a most attractive setting among trees, overlooking the bay with a good view out to sea. The bi-lingual bar staff are friendly and serve excellent lunches. The atmosphere is relaxed and a charming mix of the best of French and British clubs. Franglais is heard on all sides. Particularly good news is that visiting cruisers are offered a month’s free membership, which includes access to good showers, internet facilities and a fuel jetty with potable water on tap. There is a lady who does laundry. The club races Optimists, popular world-wide and Flying Fifteens, a quintessentially English boat designed by Uffa Fox in the 1940s. How many ancient blog readers remember Coweslip, a wedding present from the citizens of Cowes to Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh?
There are several good restaurants within easy walking distance and the local town with its supermarket and small shops is within slightly more challenging walking distance.
Once again it is going to be very difficult to drag ourselves away.