Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 3, 2013

Reunion

30.7.13 – Tuesday – Early wakeup for me again and at 0930 we were tied to the fence near the customs house in Port Louis. Rashid promised to collect our passports from the Madagascar embassy and show up at 1000. Ivan, the electrician was also summoned to find out why the shower discharge pump was operating continuously with no water to discharge. He came on time and found that the starboard float was faulty; no time to go and buy a new one, we’ll do that in Reunion.

Rashid and our passports arrived at 1100 and we could start the departure procedure, which went along smoothly. At 1200 we were out of the harbor and turned to a true course of 249 degrees, towards our first waypoint near Saint Denis, Reunion. Guess where the wind came from? 250! (forecast 180), probably the effect of the land – sea breeze. Two hours later the wind back enough for us to shut the engines down and sail properly. It finally became southerly and blew up to 20 knots so we reefed the main and continued at 60 degrees to the apparent wind with good speed.

Good speed and wind forward of the beam meant a bit of slamming. That did not agree with Gili, who although not feeling too well, did the first watch.

31.7.13 – Wednesday – When Gili woke me up for my watch we were about 45 miles away from the island and a big halo as well as some lights could already be seen, As we approached the island the wind backed and weakened until disappearing completely; back to motoring! First light showed the mountainous terrain and then Saint Denis, the island capital, came into view.

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We proceeded some more, rounded the northwest corner and reached the entrance of the west port of Reunion, where the marina is located. No one answered my calls on the VHF and we just entered, looking for a vacant place. None was available and we were lucky to notice a gentleman on a monohull who agreed that we tie alongside his boat, as many other boats had to do.

The formalities were concluded quickly and effortlessly, with the Capitainerie man, Pierre Delale, giving a lot of information and also taking me and another yachting couple from S/V Haven for a quick tour of the town.

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1.8.13 – Thursday – We rented a small car and drove to Dos d’Anne, from which a hiking trail led to Cap Noir and Roche Verre Bouteille, two locations with fantastic views. As we followed the trail up the mountain, sometimes climbing steel ladders, we were in and out of the cloud cover, hiding and then revealing the magnificent scenery.

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On the way back, we were walking the narrow trail, with precipices on both sides, feeling as if balancing on top of a giant triangle. It was a great hike, nice view and good exercise.

2.8.13 – Friday – A day of road trip. We drove to the big volcano on the south east of the island. A long twisting road takes you up through cloud, limiting visibility to less than 50 meters. Further up and you are out in the clear. The volcano is huge, the crater is filled with soil but a relatively small aperture is still active from time to time.

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We saw people walking there, which made Gili want to go there too.

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A sign gave the distance and average time for that trip: a bit over 11 km and five hours; without food and water and at our age this was simply "no go".

Instead we drove to Bebour forest and did a 1.5 hours walk; very satisfying. We then drove to St. Pierre. I wanted to see the marina and especially its entrance, which with southerlies can be dangerous with big waves. Swells were breaking all around it, but the actual entrance, although turbulent, seemed safe enough.

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3.8.13 – Saturday – Took the forecast and it’s good to go. Our next destination is northern Madagascar, almost 700 miles away, with a planned stop at the uninhabited French small island of Tromelin. Next post will be from Madagascar.

Until then, Adios from Gili and Miki on "Two Oceans".

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