Cocos Keeling

Harvey & Sue Death
Tue 18 Sep 2018 05:47
We left Lombok and headed west, ducked under Bali and away from Indonesia.
Our next destination was Cocos Keeling, a tiny group of islands in the
middle of the Indian Ocean. The distance of 1150 miles would take us about
six days. Most of the fleet left Lombok together but it wasn't long before
we carved our way to the front.
Conditions for the first three days were exactly as I imagined the Indian
Ocean should be - steady trade winds, a gentle swell and a beautiful blue
sky. We were making good progress when in the middle of the fourth night the
wind suddenly got up to 30+ knots, the sea picked up and it was like trying
to sleep in a giant washing machine. Come daylight the sea had been
transformed from a gentle rolling swell to mountainous white tipped waves,
and the sunshine had been replaced by heavy dark storm clouds. More like
sailing in the North sea than the Indian Ocean. We surfed down waves
reaching 14 knots but life on board was very uncomfortable.
Another inconvenience were the number of flying fish that found their way
onto the boat at night, obviously they don't have very good night vision!
Every morning we would find a few lying on the deck drying out in the sun
but one night one flew into the cockpit and down the stairs und landed under
the chart table.
Late afternoon on our 6th day we reached land fall and the beautiful islands
of Cocos Keeling Atoll. Part of Australia's external territories they are
located 2000 miles northwest of Perth and rise a mere 3 metres above sea
level. The atoll comprises 26 islands encircling a horseshoe shaped lagoon.
50km of pristine coral reefs and white sandy beaches fringed with coconut
palms hug the outer reef. Only two of the islands are inhabited and the
population of both is less than 1000.
The only anchorage in Cocos is off Direction Islands which is uninhabited
and only reachable by water. We spent 4 lazy days diving, snorkelling and
swimming in the gin clear sea off a beautiful white sand beach. There was
nothing in the way of restaurants and bars so we made our own entertainment
with sundowners and beach BBQ's in this idyllic setting.
Unfortunately we had no Wi-Fi so cannot send many pictures with this blog so
we'll send them when we get to our next destination.
Yesterday we reluctantly left Cocos Keeling to continue our journey across
the Indian Ocean to Mauritius. This is the second longest passage of our
trip so far after the Pacific Ocean. With 2300 miles ahead of us we hope to
reach Mauritius by the 29th September. Grace arrives on the 30th so there is
something lovely to look forward to at the end. After just 24 hours at sea,
conditions are pretty bumpy and it's going to be a long trip..........
If anyone wants to contact us we'd love to hear your news, we download
emails everyday via satellite and the address is safiya {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com. We
always reply!!

JPEG image