When we had been in Chagos for ten days the boats who had arrived before us were coming to the end of their permits; six boats headed to Rodriguez over a five day period and the rest sailed to the Seychelles. When they were leaving a new boat arrived from Maldives.
Suddenly from being twelve boats we were two, Jackster and Frieda, from near to 25 people to just four and the change to our experience of being in Chagos was enormous. At the same time the water clarity improved, the weather settled and it was a different, better place (for us). I went out in the kayak every day, skimming along the reef, over the reef, watching the fish as easily as if I were snorkelling. Evie from Frieda came with me on her kayak and we went all over.
On other days we went in the dinghy for snorkelling on other islands and were pleased to see the coral is re-growing after it bleached a year or so ago. The coral is in better condition than the Maldives coral, but there don't seem to be as many, or the variety of fish as in the Maldives. The BIOT agency don't allow scuba diving or spear fishing so we snorkelled and caught our fish with a hand lined trawled behind the dinghy. Skip jack tuna were easy and we did catch one large trevally which was so strong it was towing us at one point.
On the night of the full moon we went to the beach with Evie and Frank (Frieda) and for sundowners and a bonfire. Frank brought his guitar and played for us. It was a memorable evening in this magical Utopia. It's one of the most beautiful places we've been privileged to visit on our travels.
And then it was time for us to go too. Our permit was expiring and the weather forecast looked favourable for making the passage to Mauritius.
|bow of wreck|