As of 0600 this morning, we still had 15 nm to go. Compare this passage to continental drift! Arrival is imminent, however. A very unusual night for winds. Yes, the winds finally returned, but they came from the north and the west and the southwest and the south which made for never-ending sail adjustments, choppy seas, frequent squalls, heavy showers and very little sleep. During the night, we could see the glowing loom of Mauritius off to port. With the dawn came views of the island, all rugged and high.
We motor-sailed down the west coast and entered the channel at Port Louis, the country's only customs entry port. We received permission to enter from Port Control and proceeded past all the large container vessels and bulk carriers to a small Customs dock for yachts. We've talked about how each tie up is different. Well, this one was really different. No bollards or cleats to tie to. We tied instead to lamp posts and balustrades against a cement wall.
The wait for officials was long. After two hours, we called Port Control again and finally someone showed up and asked David to accompany him to the Customs office right around the corner. I waited aboard for a Health/Quarantine officer who was supposed to come first actually, before we left the boat. He finally showed up and asked if I was sick. I said no and he said "okay, take down your Q flag" and that was it. David returned shortly thereafter, having completed Customs, Immigration and Coast Guard formalities.
We walked ten minutes along the waterfront to the Caudan Marina to see if any space was available. Nothing along the wall was vacant, but rafting up was acceptable and we ended up rafted to Kittiwake, a British boat. So far, Port Louis looks absolutely wonderful. Vibrant and exciting with lots to see and do. Tonight, however, a glass of champers, a quiet dinner and a good night's sleep.
Miles planned: 350 Miles sailed: 372
Total passage time: 3 days, 13 hours
Average speed: 4.4 (ouch!)