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About to leave Cocos Keeling & begin passage to Rodriguez

Saturday 29th Sept07
Checked out with Customs (Police here) in West Island, Cocos Keeling, on Thursday - involved a very wet, long dinghy ride to Home Island, a ferry trip between islands and a bus trip from ferry to the Settlement where the Police Stn is situated - took the entire day to get back to 'Nereida'. My next leg is nearly 2,000mls to Rodriguez, near Mauritius, & will take around a fortnight... forecast looks quite good - for first few days at least!

Yesterday (Friday) I walked around Direction Island (where the yacht anchorage is) - covered in coconut palms & surrounded by white sand beach on inside and coral reef on outside - with lots of flip-flops washed up from the Indian Ocean! I found a nice piece of driftwood which I used to make a name-board on Saturday for "Nereida" & hung up in the beach 'shack' where we meet & have our occasional barbecues. I painted it white, with the boat name, my name and the date in black - looks good & should hang there for several years as a memento... took me all day to make with chisels from the toolbag.

Later I snorkelled the 'Rip' - fast inflowing current through a gap in the outer reef took me into the lagoon over reef & sand - quite a few big and colourful fish - and my first ever octopus seen in these parts! After that, someone produced badminton racquets & I enjoyed a game on the sand under the palms - all in all, a great day of relaxation!!

Tonight was our farewell barbecue - 3 boats leaving tomorrow (Sunday) and several others leaving later this week, headed also towards S. Africa - we hope to meet up somewhere there later this year.

Written by : Mike

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