|MV Anna, Unloading In Port Mathurin, With Cruising Yachts Anchored In The Basin|
|Port Mathurin Catholic Church|
Rodrigues is home to just forty thousand people, and we are told it feels like the Mauritius of fifty years ago. Fishing and agriculture sustain the population, with tourism adding to the local economy in season.
Though we are still in the tropics, the 1000 nautical mile passage from Chagos has brought us into a cooler more comfortable climate. The sea temperature has dropped from a simmering 32 degrees in the lagoon at Ile Boddam to a more human 24 degrees here in Port Mathurin. The lower sea temperature has a direct effect on our daily life - the refrigeration systems run much more efficiently, though the reverse osmosis water maker produces some 10% less water each hour. C'est la vie.
The most welcome change is the reduction in humidity and daytime temperatures - the "winter" climate here is most agreeable. For the first time in years we are breaking out trousers instead of short pants, and even occasionally a jacket for the cooler evenings. We are very happy not to be sweating continuously, as we were in Asia.
In a typical example of local hospitality, Port Captain Yvan Manuel last weekend organised an outing for us to the kite boarding championship event, held at Port Dud Est in the south of the island. The walking wounded (Ley and I) were transported in his car, while others used the local bus service.
On that final day of competition we hoped to see the spectacular freestyle finals, but the wind failed us and most of the event was postponed. The Port Captain has also arranged for local shopping expeditions, whilst dealing with all the other day-to-day issues of managing small vessels and crews from six different countries.
So what facilities are available here for visiting sailors ?