Posted by: catamarantwooceans | July 30, 2013

Sailing in Mauritius

27.7.13 – Saturday – At 0930 the two monohulls which rafted alongside our boat moved away and we drifted with the wind out of the narrow space we held. Going out of the harbor we saw that the wind was well over 20 knots, so the main was raised to the first reef position and we started following the coast south towards Grande Riviere Noir (Black River) bay. Flat sea and fast sailing brought us there in two and a half hours. The entrance is wide and easy but you still have to be careful about the reefs on both sides.

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                       Riviere Noir – looking south

There are many local boats and moorings for day trippers. The bottom shallows slowly towards the beach; we anchored in 2.4 meters at 20 21.949 S 57 22.025 E, excellent holding tested by 26 knots gusts. In the evening the Coast Guard paid us a visit; they were very friendly, filled a form with our particulars and requested we call them on 18 before we leave the area.

28..13 – Sunday – South of Grande Riviere Noir, inside a huge lagoon, lie Petit Riviere Noir and the Ile Aux Benitiers, supposedly nice places with "kristal clear water" and perhaps good snorkeling. The same source noted that it was very shallow, 2-3 meters; we can do that! We thought of following the day trippers inside but as we approached the channel in none of them was going there. We motored on, watching the depth gauge and the reefs.

We advanced slowly, memories of past scrapes on reefs still haunt me. When the depth went below 2 meters, reaching 1.6 – which means about 70 centimeters clearance for our keels – I had enough. No point in endangering the yacht for an anchorage which did not look appealing at all. Going back had to be delayed until the sun moved up and west allowing reading the bottom; we just anchored where we were. I went into the water to clean the speed prop and found the water quite cool. It’s winter here and temperatures drop at night; we even had to use a blanket at night!

Gili was very disappointed by the fact that we had to stop, so when a few local boats showed up and passed our position, she convinced me to follow them. I chose one, a Nautitech 40, which I was sure had at least the same draft "Two Oceans" had and stayed close behind. They were sailing in water that became shallower and shallower; in utter disbelief I watched the depth coming all the way to 1.0 – bottom 10 centimeters  from our keels!

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Suddenly, before reaching any recognizable point of interest, they turned into the wind and dropped their anchor. We followed suit; other boats went a bit further but all of them ended taking their passengers ashore on their dinghies. Frankly – I was pissed off. We had our lunch, finished some maintenance jobs (replacing the port head pump was one) and when the Nautitech took off, we were glad to follow them once again; this time, with the tide going up some 30 centimeters, the minimum we saw was 1.3 meters. No stress…

Back at the Grande Riviere Noir bay for a relaxed night.

29.7.13 – Monday – We wanted to visit two islands on the north of Mauritius – Coin de Mire and Ilot Gabriel which were a little over 30 miles away. This made an early departure necessary. I went out at first light, letting Gili sleep some more and enjoyed the sunrise over the uniquely shaped mountain on the east.

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The wind took time to decide where to blow from and then settled on coming from the northeast. Close hauled again and at about 20 knots, requiring a reef in the main. Bashing into the waves is never pleasant and we both had enough and decided to go into the protected Grande Baie for the night, postponing the islands visit for the next day.

I took the dinghy to the GB yacht club where they had WiFi and downloaded the forecast for the next 5 days. Surprise! On the day we wanted to leave for Reunion the wind will go to the south and become stronger, we’d be sailing to windward again. On the other hand if we leave tomorrow and change our Reunion destination from St. Pierre on the island’s south to Point de Galete in the north we’ll have better wind angle and reasonable (perhaps even too low) wind speed and sea conditions.

So, the decision was taken; we’ll sail early to Port Louis and check-out of Mauritius towards Reunion 140 miles away.

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Responses

  1. הי
    עברתם הפלגה קשה
    מקווה שההמשך יהיה טוב יותר
    חזרתי מהפלגה במרכז קרואטיה היה מעולה
    .נוחיות ההפלגה אצלך טובה הרבה יותר
    מהירות ההפלגה בסירה עם מנוע2500סלד ללא רוח 7.7 קשר
    אורך הסירה 47 רגל
    דגם מודי
    בינתיים דש מאתנו ומחום אוגוסט


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