After leaving Christmas Island, World ARC crews arrived in Cocos Keeling, for a 6 days stopover in the crystal clear water of the Lagoon formed by the main 3 islands of the atoll, Direction, Home and West Islands.
On arrival in Cocos the fleet anchor in Port Refuge, a beautiful bay on the western edge of Direction Island where they all got clear in with the Australian Federal Police and Customs, very efficiently.Once formalities done crew were able to go and explore the islands and take part to a busy programme full of activities.
On Tuesday few participants took their dinghy from Direction to Home Island to catch the early ferry connecting with West Island located 8NM further south from Direction Island. On arrival there they met with Tony who owns the Wild coconut farm. He took them to see the farm and try the fresh product as well as visiting the boat museum located not far away from the farm. Once finished they went on a high tide canoe safari tour with Kylie who took them to explore the Southern end of the atoll driving motorised outrigger canoes stopping along the way snorkelling.
On the following day, some participants went diving with Dieter who took them on a full day trip to show them the underwater beauty of Cocos Keeling. Other people went with Peter on a snorkelling glass bottom boat excursion taking them to see the island inside out to places you would have never seen otherwise, snorkelling with reef sharks, on a ship wreck ans visiting the old canons on the island as well as the tiny Prison Island “Just a great day!” as Niki on Aranui would say.
Again some courageous participants took their dinghy across to Home Island to connect with the ferry onto West Island in order to do the Kayak Turtle tour to see hips of friendly turtles.
Finally Thursday on the busiest day of the week all the 65 participants took the ferry from Direction to Home Island where the ferry stop for 1h30, meanwhile some of them went to do the Oceania House tour with Avril, they got to learn about the ancestral home of the Clunies-Ross family build in 1887. After that quick stop they all carried onto West Island where some participants when either with Tony to see the Coconut Farm or with Kylie to do the West Island bus tour to learn about the wonderful history and hidden spots of the island. After lunch some of them took part to the traditional Scroungers Golf tournament by the international runway, fun way to meet with the locals. After a busy day the all enjoy a stone fired pizza made by Tony and his staff at Saltmakers before returning back straight to Direction with the ferry hired specially for this occasion.
On the Friday, some boats received fuel delivered by a barge when other preferred to take fuel directly by jerry cans on Home Island. Saturday was a good day to catch the ferry from Direction Island to Home Island to do some provisioning at Shamrocks supermarket.
Finally on Sunday morning, participants received all the useful information regarding their next port of call, Mauritius at the traditional skipper’s briefing followed by the prize giving for that leg.
The winners in monohull class A were the crew of Madrigal, Timshel took the win in class B and misto won the multihull division. At this occasion few other fun prizes were given away, Pretaixte won the ETA competition, Mischief won the fun competition, Smoke & Roses received a memento from Lombok having sailed straight from Darwin to Cocos, when Atem received their plaque from the World ARC for leaving the Rally heading directly to Reunion and onwards to Cape Town.
Following that nice morning participants enjoyed a lunch on the beach provided by Tony with the help of Captain Jim !
After a busy week full of activities and enjoying the beautiful water surrounding our crews it was time to get ready to depart. On Monday morning the Police cleared all the fleet within 5min “the most efficient check out around the world so far” would say David on Mischief. Skippers got back on their boat lifting their dinghy up and proceeding towards the starting line getting some donuts and fresh bread special delivery from Tony.
Finally at 1100LT the 20 yachts of the World ARC fleet took the start all under sail with beautiful condition of 12-15Knt of wind.
We wish you all a safe and happy sailing to Port Louis, Mauritius