IS Cocos Keeling to Mauritius

carefully at night. The entrance into the large lagoon is west of Direction Island and the recommended anchorage is in its lee. To reach the anchorage, Direction Island is left 1/4 mile to port. A marker shows where to turn to port to reach the yellow quarantine buoy where arriving yachts should anchor and wait for clearance. The Q flag must be flown until cleared. Flight Services should be called on VHF channel 16 and customs, immigration, and quarantine officers will come to the boat. Strict food quarantine regulations apply and only Australian food products, labelled as such, will be allowed. Occasionally, fresh produce taken on board at Christmas Island has been confiscated at Cocos Keeling. Australian visas are compulsory.

Pilots:

Waypoints: Departure

May to June, September to October November to April BA:4070

Intermediate Landfall

Destination

Distance (M)

Ruute IS32A

IS321 Keeling W

IS322 Mauritius N

Port Louis

2382

12C04'S, 96'49'E

19'48'S, 57C37'E

2Q'09'S,.5r29,E

Rouli- IS32U

IS321 Keeling W

IS323 Rodriguez

Port Mathurin

2037

19'37'S, 63°25'E

19*41'S. 63'25'E

This long haul across the width of the South Indian Ocean has the full benefit of the SE trade winds during the southern winter months, from May to October. These winds often blow at 20 to 25 knots for days on end and sometimes reach gale force. The pleasure of a fast passage is often marred by an uncomfortable cross swell which rolls in relentlessly from the Southern Ocean. The weather is generally rougher in the proximity of Cocos Keeling and both winds and seas usually moderate after the halfway mark to Mauritius has been passed. The trade winds continue to blow consistently in October, but the weather becomes more squally and the chances of encountering gale force winds are greater. Although it would appear that by making a sweep to the north it would be possible to avoid the area with the highest frequency of gale force winds, this does not seem to be the case. Boats that have arrived in Mauritius by a more roundabout way have encountered equally rough conditions as those which sailed a direct course.

Boats normally leave the lagoon at South Cocos by the Northern Entrance, although in good light and if there is not a large swell, it is possible to thread one's way SW across the lagoon and leave

For the duration of the SE monsoon both winds and current are favourable along this route. Occasionally in July and August the trade winds blow very strongly south of latitude 10 °S, but these conditions are less common further north. Better sailing conditions are often encountered at the beginning and end of the SE monsoon, September being considered to be the best month. During the NE monsoon of the North Indian Ocean, the influence of this monsoon makes itself felt as far south as latitude 10eS. Between January and April by the Western Entrance. The Northern Entrance, however, is easier and therefore safer. Having left Horsburgh Island to port, from WP IS321, NW of that island, a direct course (route 1S32A) can be set for WP IS322, three miles north of Round Island north of Mauritius. From there the course should be altered to sail along the NW coast to Port Louis, the island's main harbour. The Port Authority must be contacted on VHF channel 16 to obtain permission to enter the port. Arriving yachts are normally directed to the customs dock.

Some boats break the journey to Mauritius by calling in at Rodriguez (route IS32B), where cruising boats are welcome and local boats sometimes sail out to guide the visitors in. If a stop there is intended, from Cocos Keeling the course should be set for WP IS323, off the north point of the island. The main harbour is at Port Mathurin, where boats have to clear in. Although the island belongs to Mauritius, the clearance is only valid locally and one must clear in again on arrival in Mauritius. The winds between the two islands are often very strong, especially at the peak of the SE trade winds, in July and August, when winds of up to 50 knots have been reported.

winds are less constant in direction and usually have a northerly component. The weather in the transition period between monsoons is often unsettled, with overcast skies and rain squalls, often accompanied by violent winds.

Because of the restrictions that apply to boats arriving in Diego Garcia it is better to make straight for the islands on the north side of the archipelago, such as Salomon or Peros Banhos, unless an emergency call at Diego Garcia can be justified.

Having left the lagoon at Cocos Keeling through

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment