Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Week in Cocos Keeling: A Picture Diary

 Tomorrow we leave the islands of Cocos Keeling, heading for the British Indian Ocean Territory of Chagos.  We’ve had a great time here, both relaxing and exploring, as well as completing some boat tasks.  Here is a short picture diary of our time here:

The palm trees are adorned with boat names of those who have come before us.  This palm tree now has a big wooden plank with "Cool Runnings" carved on it at the base of the tree.  Unfortunately I didn't have a photo of it at the time of getting internet for this blog!!

The boats in the anchorage.  We seemed to have alternating days of sunshine and rain...but we always had strong wind!

The beautiful clear water and white sand beach

The kids had a blast playing in the water and on the beach:

Gaby and Anna from Moby playing on a pladdle board

Ben, Victor (Moby) and Yoav (Shuti) enjoy jumping off the swim platform that is moored off the beach on Direction Island
Big Boys shooting the breeze under the palm trees:  Dave, Momi (Shuti) and Loic (Moby)
Ben and Gaby have also improved their culinary skills thanks to Arial IV!  Birgitta taught them how to make yoghurt, so now we have homemade yoghurt for breakfast every morning, and Eric taught Benjamin how to make pizza!  Ben has already offered to make pizza for dinner tonight!  Yeah!!

Ben and Gaby measure while Birgitta looks on

Gaby studies the knot book and practices in Arial IV's salon

We also had 2 beach bonfires, an absolute favorite amongst the kids, and fun for the adults too!  After a day at the beach, we all go looking for firewood, and everyone helps make the fire.  The first bonfire was also used to make dinner:  our hunter/gatherer men went out spearfishing and caught 3 parrotfish which were grilled on the fire (we also added sausages, and potatoes in foil, grilled in the coals).  The second fire we had was just for fun, and we did a potluck for food.  There was pizza, (thanks to Eric teaching Ben), pasta, foccacia and cabbage salad.  And a big fire for roasting marshmallows!

Thomas (Benedicte's brother who  joined them in Bali and flew back to France via Perth from Cocos on Tuesday), Dave and Loic with the fish they speared for dinner

Gaby and Momi from Shuti put the finishing touches on the fire

Eric adds paper to get the fire going

Evening entertainment included 2 guitars (Eric and Tom) and singing

Everyone enjoying their meals at the picnic tables provided at Direction Island
We were also able to enjoy some drift snorkelling.  There is a place called "The Rip" between Direction Island and the reef, where the water from the ocean comes rushing into the lagoon.  We take the dinghy out as far as we can, and then jump in the water, hold onto the painter (dinghy rope) and drift along with the current as the dinghy is swept into the lagoon.  It was great fun, and we went pretty fast!  We saw sharks, parrot fish, Napoleon fish, and lots of colorful, tiny reef fish.  The water was warm and crystal clear, and the coral in pretty good shape.  It was great fun!

The sharks below us

Some of the fish and coral

Gaby holding on to the rope as she drifts along

I mentioned we did some boat tasks.  Dave went up the mast and inspected the rigging.  He was able to capture these pictures with his GoPro.  Unfortunately it has been too windy to fly the drone, which is a pity, as the drone footage would have been spectacular!

The boats in the anchorage, from left to right:  Moby, Surfer Girl (an abandoned boat), Arial IV in front of Surfer Girl and Shuti 

A look back towards the ocean with Direction Island on the right

Cool Runnings from the top of the mast
This is the last time we will have access to internet for at least a month.  The next time we should be able to get online will be in the Seychelles.  Between now and then we will only be contactable via our Iridium satellite.  Please feel free to drop us a note via the iridium email, which is, but PLEASE....NO ATTACHMENTS!  We cannot download any attachments and they jam up the downloading of emails.  Please also don't hesitate to leave a comment right here on the blog, as we are able to read them via our iridium email.  

We anticipate a bit of a rough ride to Chagos, as the forecast shows pretty strong wind.  We will, however, be in the company of Moby and Shuti, so we won't be alone!  Arial IV is heading straight to Mauritius from here, so we won't see them for a while, but we hope to meet up again in Madagascar.  It will probably take us about 10 days to get there, and then we plan to spend about 3 weeks in Chagos.  The journey from Chagos to Seychelles will be another 8 or so days. So, until then, this is Cool Runnings going offline!  Over and Out.

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