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6 weeks in Mauritius

July 30, 2018

 

It is now late July 2018 and we are, time wise but not lengthwise, half way through the Indian Ocean. We will stay two more weeks in Mauritius, making it 2 weeks in Rodrigues and 2 months in Mauritius before we move to Reunion for the next stay. The challenge with the Indian Ocean is that you have to time it right. Not too early or too late leaving Asia and not too early or late leaving the Mascarenas for the final leg towards South Africa. We expect to reach Africa late October.

Staying in Rodrigues was nice, a small island with friendly people, as we have reported earlier. However for a stay of a couple of months we needed a bigger island and more to do. The anchorage at the top of the Mauritius Island, Grand Baie, is fantastic………when you finally get in there. It has a reef entrance and sand bars with approx. 3 meters at HW – if you can find it! Our charts just show deep blue (2 meters or less) and the sailing guide just mentions “keep in the middle”. We had as lowest 1,9 m on the sounder, but soft sand and a strong engine. When you are inside the bay it is 4-6 meters, flat and clean sand, i.e. perfect holding. For us sailors this is a perfect place. Bus to the (capital) city takes 30 minutes, supermarket close by the dingy dock, dingy docks and bars/restaurants around the bay, and other fellow yachtsmen to talk to. What we are missing is a basic chandler.

 

 

The climate is now a bit on the cooler side, with 25C during the day and 19C at night. The water temperature has gone from 32 C (Sumatra) to 23C, and the visibility is not really worth any snorkeling, at least not close to the shore or with the dinghy. We hear that it is better (or really good) further out, but then you have to go with the diving boats. We have rather strong and steady trade winds blowing, at least 20 knots on average, sometimes with gusts of 45. Almost every day we have a brief rain shower following the squalls passing by. The country side is green with sugar cane as the major crop. We have seen some interesting yellow birds (village weavers) that make fantastic nests in the trees close to the yacht club. Food is good and not very expensive, we find cheese, baguettes and meat to our liking, but as usual it is difficult to get hold of fish. We are eating Dholl Puri Roti, a pancake with strong sauce and vegetables, China town in Port Luis gives us good lunches, and the other day we were introduced to a black fungus that we later bought, dried, at the super market. Very tasty! Further; we are excessing in tomatoes, horseradish and radish, passion fruit and pomplemousse from the markets.

Mauritius has an aura of an exotic luxury since many years. Yes, here are many resorts and villas for rent that will stress your credit card. But it also has many treats for less demanding tourists like us and most of our fellow yachties. Compared to SE Asia it is on average twice as expensive but compared to northern Europe it is cheaper if you choose local food and services. The proximity to South Africa gives us some price worthy wines and meat products.

 

From → Sailing Notes

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