|Flying Fish Cove|
The passage from Bali to Christmas Island as very nice and pretty quick – we got there in 4 nights. I had a slight seasickness, but nothing like throwing up just tiredness and general dizziness. We anchored in Flying Fish Cove, the only place we could actually. There was a huge mining place just next by, phosphorus is what they extract. Although our boat was facing different direction, to the beautiful cliffs with astonishing, decidious forest and plenty of birds hovering around. One day there was Fabi's bday, therefore we rented a 4x4 pick-up and ventured out across the island. We visited some lovely beaches, had a amusing and spellbound stroll along the cliffy coast, had some lunch on the Dolly Beach, where we had to shoo robber-crabs away constantly, cause they where approaching us bringing a lot of trouble to us trying to hide the food on their way or kept displacing those poor (but so huge!) creatures. To my distress and misfortune I, trying to do the right thing (namely – collect a floating plastic bag, I thought), grabbed a jelly-fish which stung me badly so all my hand, forearm and shoulder started burning and got kind of denumbed of pain. I had this tearing apart and ripping off feeling in my elbow which was squeezing the tears out of my eyes... Horrible. That's how the nice day ended up like. Anyways, the island appeared to us very nice with lot of unique landscapes, fullness of crabs of different kinds and very rarely populated, human-wise. On a daily basis there is about 1500 people living! The island is of the volcanic origin, formed of underlying basalt and limestone cliffs, it's a paradise for bird-watchers and allows one to be alone almost all the time. The prices though are incredibly expensive, like a head of cabbage for 16 AUD (~ 8 pounds / 45zł) or other veggies and fruits, which all are imported and shipped to the island where they get their supplies every week.
|our 4x4 for a day ;)|
|that's a shame we couldn't be there during the migration season...|
-- red crab
|footpaths by the coast|
|hi pal! -- robber crab|
|shooing those bloody crabs away...|
Who would ever think of us getting that far, in such a place...! Lucky us :))))
COCOS KEELING ISLANDS
Next island, about 5 nights away from Christmas Is. were Cocos Keeling Islands! Real, crescent alike atoll, 'paradise islands'. We were welcomed by 2 turtles followed by a group of...sharks hovering around our anchor' chain! That was a remarkable moment – to see sharks for the first time in my/our lives! :) I had one snorkeling afterwards with a shark doodling about in the neighborhood.It gives the creeps anyway, even though I know (I've been assured..) they're harmless. We also saw dolphins one sunny afternoon, very difficult to catch them on the camera though. The start in Cocos was nevertheless pretty harsh – we reached over 50 knots of wind (so it's an equivalent of 10 in Buffort scale..) on the anchorage, so we had to continue with night watches. Then we found out that, over night, we had a drag of about 6 metres along the sea-bed, on the 40m chain... Pretty bad. Once we had a chance to move the boat closer to the shore so we did.
Cocos Keeling was discovered in the beginning of the XVII century, but left stranded until around 1800 when the Britts came over trying to make it an overseas asylum. It became a strategic point in the 20th century, mainly during the II WW, first of all for its location which was enabling to connect the rest of the communication chain with Australia and UK through the underwater telecomunication cables. And also it became a war's base which was bombarded by Japanese and also boarded over by Germans at some point.
We also got a chance to carry on our voyage to...Mauritius! We couldn't miss out such a opportunity, even if I had some doubts (mostly in terms of the length of the passage, 2 weeks on the open ocean, but also the conditions that was going to change on the boat).Until now there were 4 of us, so 3 paying minimum and the skipper. From now on there were 2 guests coming on board of a luxurious yacht expecting also higher level and spending their holidays for which they payed quite a lot of money. So we had to agree upon certain terms and make some things clear and once they got aboard we could set off for the long leg towards Rodriguez island, tiny one and the first one closest to the African continent! Fred, Mareike's friend who she sailed before from New Zealand to Tonga with, on the Pacific, arrived first and after a couple of days Mathias was with us as well. Rather different age range, both in their late 50s, but at least the former one seemed to be very relaxed and much younger for his soul ;) Fabi left for Perth, Australia, where he had his flight back home to Germany later on. So there was 5 of us at the end, and after one nice (but hellishly expensive) diving we where ready to take off for the long passage, 2 weeks without seeing the land, wow!
|Cocos Keeling on the horizon!|
|getting ready for anchoring|
|either this way or...|
grating coconuts / professional tool :)
|...uninhabited island full of coco trees ;)...|
|from the top of the mast, me and Fred|
|Jay on holidays! :D|
Next stop: closer to the African continent this time :) -> Rodrigues!