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Date: 02 Oct 2015 06:49:16
Title: Cocos Keeling here we come!

Off we go Again.
We are now on passage to Cocos Keeling, at coral atoll with crystal clear seas and allegedly snorkelling to die for. We leave behind the utterly spectacular Christmas Island. Once you get over the open cast phosphate mines and processing plant which scar Flying Fish Cove, but pays for the conservation work on the island. Also, the hugely expensive diesel, that thankfully was available to us  and the very utilitarian architecture. You find a totally unique island, where the people are incredibly friendly, everywhere we went people wanted to talk. A virtually crime free island, no front doors locked. most not even closed. Leaving the rental car a night? Just park it outside the Tourist Office, unlocked with keys in. Need a new fan belt? just call in at the Mine’s Store, they’ll find you one to fit.
 
We have been decidedly crabby, as you’d expect on this island. The largest crabs in the world, Robber crabs – larger than a football, cheeky and bold. So named because if you put anything down, they would make off with it (we even met a lady in the woods who had lost her skirt!) and on the path they would stand their ground, pincers at the ready. On the road, we were told to go around them, if you attempt to put one wheel either side they were so big, you would hit them with the underside of the car. Huge blue crabs that quickly scuttle side ways out of the way. Red crabs that although there by the million, were only occasionally seen by us as it is the dry season. In October/November when the rain starts, they migrate to the ocean to mate. They are then so numerous that they turn the land into a sea of red. Many roads are closed, those that aren’t, have crab fences which channel the crabs to under-passes. The bird life! So unafraid of humans, you can almost walk right up to them: Frigate birds, various Boobies, Tropic birds or the unique Golden Bosun, and so many small little woodland insectivores.
 
Starbo arrived a day before us, and set off for Cocos Keeling a day before us. Both Cedric and Christophe were in fine form. Christophe, in film mode, even managing date number forty three, Rhiannon. A delightful, twenty two year old local teacher, who’s Mum at the Tourist Office was persuaded by Cedric that this was a good idea!
 
Our last night, we spent at a local Chinese restaurant eating a buffet with a crowd of locals, Malay, Chinese and Australian. What no booking? No problem, are you happy sharing a table, we can fit you in. Eat as much as you like. Now refuelled, water topped up and fresh food replaced, we are at sea again, bound this time for Direction Island, Cocos Keeling. We hope to drop anchor in three to four days time.

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