Indian Ocean: World ARC enjoy idylic Cocos (Keeling) Islands

After such trying conditions on the previous leg, World ARC crews are now well rested and prepared for their next adventures. The fleet has had a very enjoyable time in the idyllic and unspoiled anchorage in Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Published 8 years ago, updated 5 years ago

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a tiny group of coral islands that form two atolls with only two of the 27 islands inhabited. This tiny horseshoe-shaped jewel lies right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 2750 km north-west of Perth and 900 km west-southwest of Christmas Island, its closest neighbor and another island of the Australian Indian Ocean Territories.

‘Port Refuge’ on Direction Island, found at the NE corner of South Atoll, is a stunning stop with beautiful clear water, waving palm trees, a mile of sandy beach. There are also shelters on the on the Island where cruisers get together to cook supper, drink, and exchange tales. A famous snorkeling location called “the rip” is located just along the beach at the eastern tip of the island. The inclusion of an internet hotspot for the visiting yachts is also very welcome, “it’s paradise with Wifi!”

While in Cocos (Keeling) Islands a number of crews visited West Island on a wonderful tour that included a Champagne brunch at a stunning beach in the lagoon. The tour also visited a number of local highlights and included a brief history of the islands.

On Sunday following the Skippers Briefing held in the shelters ashore on Direction Island, World ARC arranged a lovely beach BBQ for all crews. Due to the remoteness of Direction Island, everything had to be brought in a boat but the food was excellent and the caterers even served up a fabulous coffee so people could stand barefoot in the sand drinking a fine cappuccino or espresso, nice!

Such a successful World ARC visit to Cocos (Keeling) Islands would not be possible without the support of many organizations and individuals who have contributed to the planning and delivery of the stopover. On behalf of all the crews, World Cruising would like to thank everyone involved in supporting the visit including Cocos Keeling Islands Visitors Centre, the Australian Federal Police, Cocos Islands Co-operative, the Cocos Shire and everyone else who went out of their way to make the fleet feel welcome. Cocos is a small place with a very big heart.

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest passage of their circumnavigations, a 2350 nautical mile crossing of the Indian Ocean. The start was held in the crystal clear aquamarine waters of the Cocos lagoon with a fresh 15kts Sou’Easterly blowing. It quite a spectacle as the yachts made a fast beam reach across the line and out into the Indian Ocean. The committee vessel was Australia Federal Police patrol boat “Platypus I” and members of the AFP joined in with Rally Control to give the fleet a great send off.

As the fleet make their way across the Indian Ocean, they have the attractions of Mauritius to look forward to where expected arrivals will be in approximately two weeks.

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