Last Wednesday, I went ashore to evaluate getting fuel at the Grand Baie Yacht Club. When we got our free membership a month ago, they told us it would be possible to get fuel at their fuel dock – that there would be just enough depth for us. I had noticed when parking the dinghy that one end was quite shallow, but it looked deeper along most of the dock. The manager confirmed that it should be fine at high tide, and so I suggested we come back the next day at high tide. Later that day, the winds picked up and I checked the weather. Oh boy.
We were planning to leave on Sunday to move the boat back to Port Louis in preparation for our trip to Reunion. Grand Baie is the only good place for us to get diesel fuel for the boat. But, the weather forecast was showing strong winds 25-30 knots for the next three days. On Thursday, the winds were indeed strong, and so we didn’t go fill fuel as planned.
Friday around noon, I went to talk the the yacht club about whether they were open on Sunday. He said only in the morning, but the high tide wasn’t until mid-afternoon. The winds were more variable at the moment though, and he confirmed it should be possible to tie up since it was close to high tide.
After preparing the boat with fenders and lines, we raised the anchor and proceeded carefully between the shallows and the boats and moorings. The winds of course picked up to 20-25 knots at this time. We tossed the bow line to the one guy they sent out to help. I tried to get the stern closer, but the winds kept pushing us away. Eventually we got a stern line out and with some help from the motor while the winds died, and brute strength, we managed to finally get the boat tied off on the dock. Whew!
The fueling proceeded fine, and we got the tanks topped up. As I was putting the hose away though, the nozzle tipped down and leaked fuel a bit and the wind blasted splatters right onto my clothes! Ugh.
After paying for the fuel, we went to toss the lines. The small cleats they had at the dock, and the strong winds, caused the knots in the lines to get knotted up too tight. It took us a while to get them loose. We even had to use a screwdriver to help pry them loose. But, finally we were able to cast off the lines and head back to anchor. Our two hour fueling adventure was finally over!
In the map below you can see the fuel dock on the lower right, and the mark showing where we are anchored on the left. The winds were coming from the lower right (east-south-east).