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Date: 06 Nov 2013 10:03:41
Title: Rodrigues

Lat 19:40.7S Long 63:25.3E
After almost two weeks at sea the sense of calm on dropping anchor is
intense. Relax at last. Sleep. At sea every sound and movement has a meaning
and it's impossible to relax completely. Ears attuned to the slightest
change. A wind shift of a few degrees and the sail sounds different, the
strain of the lines as the boat speeds up or heels a little more. Lying in
the bunk trying to sleep and all the sounds play out like an orchestra and
almost by a second sense we can feel something isn't right or needs
adjusting. Then drop anchor and those sounds disappear and are replaced by
new ones. The shift of the anchor chain or the whistle of the wind in the
rigging or even a rumble as the anchor moves. But they are easier to ignore.
Make sure the anchor is set, let out plenty of chain and trust your
judgement.
Rodrigues is small, just 10 miles by 6, part of Mauritius some 300 miles
away but self administered and has a lovely relaxed feel. A mixture of
African Indian and Malay, smiling people and well educated. The little port
was quiet when we arrived, a national holiday 'All Saints day' and the wharf
empty but by Monday morning a hive of activity as the supply ship arrived.
We explored the island in a little rental car. Houses neat and tidy,
streets clean, shops all brightly painted, such a contrast to Indonesia
where chaos rules. The cemetery just outside the town was quite exquisite.
So well kept and attended, with the artificial flowers providing a feast of
colours to look at. (Fresh flowers would never survive more than a few hours
in this heat)
Sussanne winched me up to the top of the mast. She was more out of breath
than when she did it in Antigua.. more gym work needed.... but I couldn't
see from where the mystery piece of metal had fallen. We also evaluated the
torn sail and decided to leave it for a professional repair in La Reunion,
which will mean only half will be useable, the damaged part will need to
stay furled away. It's going to cut down on the speed we can make.
The photos show Andrew cooking whilst we were at sea. The angle of the
cooker shows the challenge of preparing a meal. The flowers in the
cemetery, and having a drink in a bar.

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