WAITING IN MAURITIUS
16 October 2011 | PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS
Its Sunday here in Mauritius, the sun is shining, the wind blows gently and people wander the docks, arm in arm, out for their weekly stroll.
But for me its getting lonely here. Most of the boats that crowded the marina, barely a few days ago, have left for the nearby island of Reunion, one day closer to our common destination - South Africa. As for me, I have chosen to remain here for, whether one leaves from Mauritius or Reunion makes little difference. What does make a difference is choosing the right moment to leave.
Indeed the boat is ready, I am ready but...the weather is not. Actually, what we are looking at now is the opposite of 'dangerous', 'calamitous', 'catastrophic'. In fact, a windless ocean will exist for the next few days midway between here and the first destination, the tip of Madagascar.
While this becalmed condition was fine in the Arafura Sea a few months ago where I reveled in the beauty and peace it brought, this, now is a very different situation. The last thing I want on this particular leg is to get half way to Madagascar, the wind disappears and I sit... and I sit. And there I would be found when the temperamental southern ocean decides to send a nasty front my way making those nasty adjectives above suddenly pertinent.
Get across as fast as one can is my banner cry!
It is interesting to note that 3 boats left today for S Africa, underscoring perhaps different strategies, perhaps different ideas, but more likely different levels of weather-awareness or weather risk.
I think I need a stroll.