Chagos is truly one of the last unspoiled places on earth! Let's keep it that way. The increase in fees to
visit, is not a bad thing. The current fee of 100 British Pounds is quite fair. This requires boats to have a
bit of money so folks won't go and just camp there for months on end while "living" off the land.
Unfortunately people have introduced animals and plants that don't belong and could have a serious
long-term effect on the environment.
Luckily the British control and actively patrol the fishing zone for two hundred miles around Chagos. That
is why there are tons of fish and they are easy to catch. Line fishing for cruisers is allowed, but no spear
fishing and no nets. Shell fish collecting is also banned. This is a great thing and I hope folks will
respect these rules. After you leave chagos and head toward the Seychelles there are no fish! There
are huge tuna ships based in the Seychelles and they have effectively fished out huge portions of the
ocean. If it was not for marine parks like chagos there would be no fish left.
Anyway chagos rocks and I am lucky to have been able to visit. We arrived late season (September) and
just got lucky. I heard there were 40 boats there earlier in the year and that would just be like cruising
Mexico (aka hell). We never had more than 6 boats spread out in two anchorages. The last two weeks
we were there we had the place to ourselves! Nothing like having paradise all to yourself.
Now the down side of our time there was it rained a ton. Of course the boat was clean and the water
tanks always full, but laundry took days to dry and started to smell a bit. It did make for some good
rainbows and sunsets (see photos) so it was not all bad.
We had winds from all directions, but nothing over 30 knots and we were well protected by the reef. Now
the boats on the other side of the lagoon had issues with north winds bringing large seas through the
pass into their anchorage. We were off the old village so we had life harder in east winds, but were snug
as heck in north winds. I highly recommend this side if you are going to stay a bit. Now the downside is
that you can't anchor here and will need to make a mooring or get lucky and find one already made for
you. How lucky and trusting are you?
This is a great place for hiking with many cruiser maintained trails through the jungle. You can get to
most of the beaches this way or just wait for low tide and walk around the whole island. The trails are
shaded so you can hike at high noon if you want, but you still need to be wary of falling coconuts! Yes
this was an old copra plantation and the trees are tall. You can be having a sundown cocktail on the
boat and hear the occasional loud thunk! Sure makes hiking around a bit more exciting and then there
are the toe nipping coconut crabs (big ones don't move out of the way) and the evil mossies and ... I
used to measure a successful shower at the local well as one with 3 mosquito bites or less. Let us say
they were not long showers.
I hope everyone enjoys the photos, because my ability to write witty logs like Jen just does not exist. I
would put more photos in the logs, but it is a real pain in the butt with this terrible yahoo site builder tool
so you get less photos.