Cruising in the Olden Days – Crossing the Indian Ocean – The Easy Part

Intermezzo Leaving Xmas Island100

The southern part of the Indian Ocean is one of the few places we have found where the trades blow as advertised… and then some. Here Intermezzo is departing Christmas Island for Cocos Keeling at the start of a long haul across this boisterous bit of ocean.

This photo was taken by Jimmy Schmidt on the 70-foot motor sailor WinSon, after which we did a horizon job on them (what else would you expect).

Intermezzo Indian Ocean100 2

A typical shot on a relatively calm morning.

After a bouncy, wet, and fast reach, we arrived at first light several days later. We awaited the sun’s ascent for usable light to guide us through the unbuoyed pass, expecting to have an isolated anchorage.

Cocos Keeling anchorage100

We were astounded to find a veritable fleet on hand.

Cocos Keeling Beach100

The weather patterns tend to bring yachts together in passaging season, and the beach fronting the anchorage off Direction Island was busy with social gatherings.

Cocos Keeling Intermezzo At Anchor100

A few days later the first group moved on, and we and WinSon had the bay to ourselves.

Intermezzo Indian Ocean100

One of our all time favorite photos. Linda is reading to Elyse and Sarah, a daily occurrence to which we all looked forward.

Intermezzo Arriving Rodrigue Indian Ocean100

Next stop for us was tiny Rodrigues Island. The hand hewn coral entrance seemed barely wide enough for our 12-foot beam. The entire village turned out to handle our lines.

Rodrgue harbor200

Here is a shot of Intermezzo rafted alongside a barge in the Rodrigues harbor.

AhKeeLong ROdrigue200

As was the case in many of the places we visited, there was soon a special friend who decided he would look after us. Ah Kee Long took us on a tour of his island, showed us a wonderful cave, and introduced us to a local tailor with a foot operated sewing machine, who helped with repairs to our working jib as we prepared for the next leg to Mauritius.

The rest of this voyage across the Indian ocean will need to await the discovery of another box of slides.

WinSon Marquesas200

We’ll close with this photo of WinSon, the motor sailor we mentioned earlier. This was taken in the Marquesas just after we first met.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 27, 2014)

3 Responses to “Cruising in the Olden Days – Crossing the Indian Ocean – The Easy Part”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Beautiful. This is exactly why we want to cruise. Beautiful people and beautiful places.

  2. terry joyette Says:

    I say your short video on youtube. It was inspiring. I was looking for the piece to show my daughter and i discovered Sarah’s songs and i love her compositions. i w once took my family on a two-week bareboat Grenadian sailing cruise with a couple of my friends. I am dreaming of cruising around the world as you did. i came to this site to see more of your voyages but i cant find them.(as per your invite in the youtube vid. please advise.

  3. admin Says:

    Hi Terry,
    Thanks for the comments. You can find links to more sailing videos here: