Saturday, 15 July 2017

19 June Arrival Port Louis, Mauritius

Our passage from Chagos to Mauritius was better than the forecast had suggested prior to leaving Salomon atoll. With wind on the beam all the way, a kindly current and the sea state improving all the way we made exceptionally fast time: 1255nm in seven days. The first two days were the most challenging; 25 knots gusting 33kts and seas up to 4m, watering cascading over the deck. The last time we encountered these type of conditions we were in the Pacific. From day three onwards we were back to trade wind sailing, calmer seas and dry decks. One day we were going slow enough to put out the fishing lines and caught a handsome yellow fin tuna. I think was quite disappointed when we arrived at Port Louis.
sushi, lunch, dinner, cat dinner..

Port Louis custom dock

waterfront shopping

Caudan marina

Arrival and check in in Port Louis is easy although the harbour wall close to Customs where you have to tie up is a horror; lines tied to the metal railings, surge pushing you every which way and lines chaffing on the concrete lip of the wall. We were fortunate and everything was quick and smooth allowing us to move over to Caudan Marina for our first night. Marina suggests pontoons and facilities – the Caudan Marina is a basin where you tie to the wall. Administration is handled by the same security men who guard the shopping centre and surrounding car park. Surge gets in here too, but it is very convenient for access to the town.
historic downtown
In the shopping centre we had an ATM for local cash, a short walk brought to us the Orange store for a SIM card and then there were all the shops to spend our local cash. On the passage here our microwave broke down. Replacing it was easy, plenty of choice, the correct voltage for our us and an English plug. I was in urgent need of new spectacles being down to the last pair with two arms and one of those holding on with a repair. There are many optical shops to choose from and I found a BOGOF deal – two for the price of one.
Ship's cat, Polly, was due her annual inoculations and a vet was easily found to administer the injections and update her pet passport.

a new dinghy for Polly to play
what is it?
Our main boat need was glue to repair the dinghy. From being a dinghy which never needed pumping up it transformed from inflatable to deflatable almost over night earlier this year. When we were in Chagos it needed to be pumped up every time we used it and water was leaking in to the boat between the aluminium floor and PVC tubes. All the seams had been re-glued at a dinghy repair place in Langkawi three years ago. We now found they had put holes in the tubes when they ground off the old adhesive. They were patched at the time but had now failed. Having chased the leaks and never winning the battle it was time to break out the universal repair tool – the credit card - time to invest money, not more repair time, and get a new dinghy, but could you buy one in Mauritius? Yes, There is a chandler, Espace Marin, which carries stocks of Mercury dinghies. They had just what we wanted. Delivery was quick too.
Once we had our new family car we were able to leave the marina in Port Louis and move to the anchorage in Grand Bay. We like it here. You have to follow the channel to enter (it's about 2.7m at low water), but once inside the depth increases to around 5m with good holding and plenty of space outside the mooring field. The Grand Baie Yacht Club offers access membership for international visitors so we can use their facilities, including dinghy dock although we found the floating pontoon at the Coast Guard station to be more tender to our tender and certainly secure.

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