Passage to Rodrigues Complete

Rodrigues Arrival

Rodrigues Arrival

Yesterday we arrived safely at Rodrigues Island (part of Mauritius) after 2005 nautical miles of sailing and 11 days 2.5 hours from leaving Cocos. The picture here is as we sailed towards the island at a nice 11 knot speed thanks to some wind that strengthened on our final leg before our 8 AM local time arrival. It’s always nice to have a fast arrival after such a long trip!

Indian Ocean squalls

Indian Ocean squalls

A few images from our passage to share. Here is one of the many squalls that we saw or went through. The Indian Ocean has plenty of these to toss in your path, but we managed to weave our way around a lot of them.

Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi

Here’s a picture of the Mahi Mahi we caught enroute. It was 43″ in length, and provided several meals worth of fine eating for our freezer.

Big Waves

Big Waves

It is really hard to photograph the size and violence of the seas as we crossed. The picture shown here is of a wave just 20 or 30 feet behind Tahina which is higher than our cockpit roof which is 9 feet off the water. Our boat Tahina would literally surf along with these waves, and combined with the strong winds would greatly accelerate our speeds. We might already be sailing at 9 or 10 knots, but with a surf like this we would shoot to the mid to upper-teens. Our highest speed on this trip was 18.8 knots. We hit 18+ several times, and 15+ was common during the 2000 mile trip.

Fisheye Waves

Fisheye Waves

Here is a fish-eye photo of our cockpit while riding over a big wave, showing the topsy-turvy seas behind us. The bigger waves were 3+ meters (10+ feet) at this point. Tahina’s stern was pointed below the horizon here, as her bow was lifted several feet in the air.

Last sunrise

Last sunrise

And here is a photo showing our last sunrise as we approached Rodrigues. Somewhere 2000 miles in that direction was the last land we saw 11 days earlier. A couple of hours later, we had our “Land Ho!” moment seeing land again at last. It is really difficult to describe the feeling one has to have completed a long passage like this. There is pride in having accomplished the goal, gladness to soon experience solid ground, thoughts about the final approach and the formalities to enter a new country. But there also is a sense of sadness that you will soon put behind these awesome experiences of light, color and motion that the seas constantly share with you every moment of every day.

Upon our arrival at Port Mathurin, we had several yachties and a few locals at the commercial dock waiting where we were told to tie up. They helped secure our lines to the bollards and greeted us with smiles and welcome. Right away, several friendly officials appeared asking to board and complete our arrival paperwork. Apparently, on Monday mornings, things start more quickly than other days. We actually had 6 of officials on board at one time, and a total of 8 of them (two were trainees). It was one of the more pleasant entries we have experienced, although they had quite a bit of paperwork. The last official was the customs officer, who showed up a couple of hours later, and he had more paperwork than the others combined. I would estimate at least 25 pages were filled out for our entry that we had to sign and stamp. Whew!

We have heard from other yachties that this place is a delightful place to recuperate, and there is plenty to see and do. We already met another American boat whose crew have been here for two months.
More to come about Rodrigues as we plan to spend at least 2 weeks here. Below is a map of our new location at Rodrigues Island. Zoom in for a closer look of our position, or zoom out to get a perspective on our location in the Indian Ocean.

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3 Responses to Passage to Rodrigues Complete

  1. llamajourney says:

    YEAH! I zoomed in and out. That’s a lot of ocean.

  2. Tim Connolly says:

    Congratulations Frank! I looked forward to your daily updates. What an awesome experience. I know I would be stumbling all over town for a couple days after such a trip…and not because of the sundowners. Enjoy your rest.

    BTW – that particular map worked fine in Firefox…including the zoom.

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