Cocos Keeling Islands - week 2
When we arrived at Cocos Keeling we thought we'd stay for a week. That week ended two days ago and only now we're now beginning to seriously consider our preparations to leave on Monday or Tuesday after 2 weeks here at the atoll. We've gotten one jerry can load of diesel, two bags of veggies from the store, three loads of water and husked eight coconuts for the voyage. We have been snorkeling only once and plan to go again before we to leave. Peter has plans for a fishing trip from the dinghy
and of course there's a pot luck ashore tonight for which we'll have to prepare a dish. The list of jobs and possible activities seems endless and in the tropical heat everything takes just a bit longer.
On Monday, after exactly one week here, we dinghied to Home Island and then took the ferry to West Island. There is a bus on West Island that transports people the 7k into town from the main pier. It's a good thing there's a bus because it would be a very long hot walk on the dry shade less road. Once in town we found the cafe where we had a quick lunch and then we presented ourselves to the police sergeant, Dave, who had invited us to spend the night ashore and have dinner with him and his wife
Annette. We had a great night. We enjoyed beers at the Cocos Club, watched the weekly plane to Perth take off and then walked across the street for dinner at the restaurant. The dinner was a buffet with Malay and Aussie food and was quite a feast. We retired to Dave and Annette's airy house and we were enthralled by the TV and remote control! The next morning we made the rounds to the local stores. Since the plane came in the previous evening there were fresh veggies available (zucchini, tomato,
mushroom, squash, kiwi, cucumbers) all, of course, had been refrigerated but were quite fresh and exciting to the ocean traveler. We found the duty free store and got a shirt for Peter and a top for Ginger at the surf shop. With the shopping done - we've just listed all of the stores on the island - we took a field trip with Dave to the met office to talk with the weather guy. We got to see the Doppler radar up close on the way to the office and as we drove toward the building with the airport
runway on one side and the golf course on the other it all seemed sort of out of place on this remote island. We learned all about the various items monitored out here in the clean island air and saw that the met office is also a cyclone shelter so they can stay on the job during a cyclone. Too soon it was time to catch the bus (with all the school children) and then the ferry (with all the school children) back to home island. We uncovered the dinghy and were soon headed back to Marcy still bobbing
peacefully at anchor with the other 7 boats here.
Tomorrow morning we'll get our second 40 litres of diesel. Fuel charges here are very high and there's no duty free price for fuel here so we're paying regular pump prices of $2.15/liter or $8.15/gallon AUS, or about $7.15 US/gal. With fuel prices so high we're glad we have sails and that we're heading down wind. Our next leg should be a long downwind run so we're only taking on enough fuel to motor into a bay or estuary to anchor.