Chagos has always been on our cruising radar - the place is big in cruising folklore. Recent administrative changes by the UK government have limited the permit time to just 28 days, so the old cruising culture of three and four month extended visits has now gone.
We expect a slow three day passage, as the Equatorial Counter Current is running at up to three knots from west to east and we need to cross it almost at right angles.
In the image at right our departure point is Addoo Atoll at the top, and our destination is Chagos Solamon Atoll near the bottom. Its a distance of around 300 nautical miles.
But just look at those current arrows !
We have just dived and cleaned the waterline, propeller and shaft. The outboard motor is stowed and the dinghy is lashed into the davits.
Immigration and customs was handled last night, the weather forecast is for calm conditions, so at 12:00 noon we're off.