‘When you arrive, you’ll be amazed. This is paradise!’ was the line reported on the Rally radio net the other morning. And Jane on Trompeta was absolutely right when she said this– the anchorage at Direction Island on the Indian Ocean atoll of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands is absolutely outstanding. The water is clear with a fine array of light blue and turquoise colours and the crushed coral sand beach is white, crisp and clean. They are very few places in the world as beautiful as this.
And it’s in this idyllic location that the World ARC yachts will have the privilege to spend the next five days. The pace of life is slow but enjoyable and for those wanting more activity one can explore ashore on the islands of the atoll or do some swimming, snorkelling or diving. There are two settlements in the atoll on the nearby Home Island and on West Island. Home Island it an adventurous dinghy ride to the south but West Island is best visited using the inter-island ferry service. Ashore on both islands is a resources centre to get an internet connection, a supermarket and other services.
There are also a few boats fulfilling the mantra that circumnavigation also includes an element ‘fixing you boat in wonderful places’. There have been several trips up the mast for GUNVOR to mend their broken spreader and some metal work taking place too. But when the work is done, the wonderful lagoon is waiting around the boat for a refreshing swim.
During the crew’s time in Cocos (Keeling) there will be an organised programme of events too. On Saturday the island ferry will take the crews directly from Direction Island anchorage to West Island. Here the crews will be able to visit the supermarket, the café and take a bus tour around the island before heading into the Cocos Club, the main pub on the island, to watch the Australian Football League final. This will be a big event on Cocos and islanders have already been persuading the visit World ARC crews to support their team!
The skippers briefing for the next leg to Mauritius and the clearances with customs will take place on Monday morning in preparation for the restart on Tuesday, 02 October.