Sailing around Mauritius

Sailing around MauritiusZeilend rond Mauritius

What was going to be a pleasure sail with a BBQ and afternoon party in Vieux Grant Port turned out to be a one big rocking party with waves and head winds.

We set of from Port Louis in the afternoon of Wednesday, the Tecla fully loaded with new guests and stores. We sailed the first bit to the south, but as the sun set, the wind died out and we had to do the last bit of navigation under engine. We dropped anchor at Black river and had our BBQ with a beautiful view filled with stars and shore lights.

Early morning we hauled in the anchor and where surprised to find almost all our voyage crew on deck at 04:30! As we got out of the bay there was no wind at all. But just before sunrise the wind increased and around 08:00 we were trying to get into the headwind with short steep waves rocking us enormously.

By this time the Europa and Oosterschelde were close by, heading into the same sea and wind. What normally takes us 6 hours, now took us over 12 hours, but at 15:30 we got to La Passe. As we were turning into the entrance between the two reeves, dolphins appeared and played at our bow.  Perfect!

During our sail we also had a short memorial for the survivors of the Travessa which sank in 1923 and who’s survivors landed on Mauritius and Rodrigues after more than 25 days at sea. [learn_more caption=”More on the Trevessa”] Part of the an Article in the SOUTHERN EVENING ECHO – Monday 11th of October 1982 “When the British Cargo liner Trevessa foundered in heavy weather in the Indian Ocean in 1923, the 44 crew members got away in the lifeboats and were adrift for almost a month. It was a classic story if human courage and endurance against all odds. Forty four men in two cramped lifeboats, adrift in shart infested waters 1700 miles from land, fiting strom, starvation and thirst, wracked alternately by scorching heat and bitter cold. “ The newspaper article tells a tale of men surviving and finding the islands in the middle of the ocean. One of the men wrote down his memoirs, he says about Rodrigues: On the 23rd day, Rodriguez island was sighted, 350 miles east of Mauritius. I think it was the most glorious sight I have ever seen in my life. From 5pm to 8 pm, when we landed I sat watching with eyes almost transfixed, that little patch growing bigger and bigger. “ On board we held a moment of silence for the men that did not land and threw a bouquet [/learn_more]

To get to Grant Port, you enter between two parts of a reef and make a big S turn to get to the anchorage. The view is beautiful. On one side you see the waves that rocked us all day, crashing on the reef, building up meters high in a beautiful light blue colour with white foam on top. On the other side you see green hills and calm blue water, sheltered from waves. Palm trees on the shore and colourful houses along the shore line. A perfect sanctuary.

We had a drink with our guests and said our goodbyes. Doing so we were presented with some beautiful gifts and words. During our sail we also had a short memorial for the survivors of the Travessa which sank in 1923 and who’s survivors landed on Mauritius and Rodrigues after more than 25 days at sea.

Our time to leave this beautiful Island is almost there, I am sure we will miss the island and the people we have met. It has been a most warm welcome and we have encountered so many beautiful people that have the sea in their hearts. I hope we will come back here!Wat een plezier reisje met een BBQ en een middag feestje in Vieux Grant Port had moeten worden, draaide uit in een golven dans en tegen wind.

Op Woensdag middag zijn we vertrokken uit Port Louis, vol met nieuwe gasten en stores. Het eerste stuk hebben we geweldig kunnen zeilen richting het zuiden, maar helaas toen de zon onder ging, was de wind ook weg. We hebben het anker er in gegooid bij Black River en hebben hier de fik in de BBQ gezet. Wat een geweldig uitzicht op kant lichtjes en vooral ook sterren!

De volgende morgen ging het anker al vroeg omhoog en waren wij blij verrast om bijna onze complete gast bemanning al om 04:30 aan dek te vinden! Eerst was er nog geen wind, maar tegen 08:00 uur moesten we al vechten tegen de korte rollende golven en de tegen wind!

Tegen die tijd waren ook de Europa en de Oosterschelde in de buurt en gingen we met zn drieen tegen dezelfde golven en wind in. Over een stuk dat wij normaal in 6 uur zouden varen, hebben wij nu meer dan 12 uur gedaan, maar om 15:30 uur waren wij dan eindelijk bij La Passe. En precies toen wij bij de ingang van de baai aankwamen, schoten er dolfijnen uit het water die een tijdje met onze boeggolf bleven spelen. Geweldig!

Tijdens onze tocht hebben we ook een korte herdenking gehouden aan de overlevende van een scheepsramp in 1923, waarbij twee sloepen na 25 dagen op zee stranden op Mauritius en Rodrigues.[learn_more caption=”Meer informatie over Trevessa”] Part of the an Article in the SOUTHERN EVENING ECHO – Monday 11th of October 1982 “When the British Cargo liner Trevessa foundered in heavy weather in the Indian Ocean in 1923, the 44 crew members got away in the lifeboats and were adrift for almost a month. It was a classic story if human courage and endurance against all odds. Forty four men in two cramped lifeboats, adrift in shart infested waters 1700 miles from land, fiting strom, starvation and thirst, wracked alternately by scorching heat and bitter cold. “ The newspaper article tells a tale of men surviving and finding the islands in the middle of the ocean. One of the men wrote down his memoirs, he says about Rodrigues: On the 23rd day, Rodriguez island was sighted, 350 miles east of Mauritius. I think it was the most glorious sight I have ever seen in my life. From 5pm to 8 pm, when we landed I sat watching with eyes almost transfixed, that little patch growing bigger and bigger. “ On board we held a moment of silence for the men that did not land and threw a bouquet out into the sea.[/learn_more]

Om bij Grant Port te komen moet je met een S bocht tussen twee riffen door. Het uitzicht is er geweldig. Aan de ene kant heb je de golven die zich kapot slaan op het rif, helder blauw water dat meters hoog op lijkt te kolken met een witte kraag erboven op. En aan de andere kant zie je de groene heuvels van het land, het water is er helder blauw en kalm. Palmbomen en vrolijk gekleurde huisjes op de kant maken het plaatje af. Voor een perfecte schuilplaats.

We hebben nog een drankje met onze gasten gedaan en toen ons afscheid genomen. Hierbij kregen wij allerlei mooie aandenkens van hen en mooie woorden om niet meer te vergeten.

Het is alweer bijna tijd om afscheid te nemen van dit geweldig mooie eiland en haar bevolking. We zijn hier zo warm binnen gehaald en hebben kennis gemaakt met mensen die de zee in hun hart dragen, dat ik denk dat wij dit eiland en haar mensen nog wel eens kunnen gaan missen.

Ik hoop dat wij hier nog een keer terug zullen keren!