Our one day Spring Breakstarts off with a diplomatic briefing, which was short and to the point, wherein we are once again reminded to guard are belongings, which if we hadnt been doing up until that morning would have left us without anything to guard. We were only in Mauritus for one day as it is sort of like a stretch-your-legs port before India, thereby breaking up an 11 day voyage from Cape Town to Chennai.
Brittany, Perri and I had signed up for the Ile Des Duex Cocosthrough SAS. We planned to have a fun in the sun day. The only snafu for me was that I had accidently rubbed my eyes the day before when I took off my sea-sickness patch, therein dilating my eyes. I packed a hat and sunglasses just incase it didnt get better during our day in the sun (it did and by the end of the day I was able to go without either).
Mauritius is a very interesting country. It had had many settlers and colonizers in its day, but is currently 80% Indian (due to slaves being brought over from the subcontinent to work the sugar plantations). Many on the island speak French or English, however. Since we only had the one day we didnt get a chance to really explore the island (or even buy souvenirs) so I cant say that much about its politics or really even its people.
As we headed to the mini-buses we were very excited for our one day vacation. We spend roughly an hour on the bus before arriving at our destination. Off a dirt road, we arrive at a small dock where we are greeted by small glass bottom boats. The three of us hop on the first one and off we go towards Ile Des Duex Cocos. Through the glass we sea a plethora of fish, coral and colors. I remark at the amazing reefs we are above and we all discuss our excitement for the snorkeling ahead. We dock on the small private island, which reminds me of a miniature Carnival Cruise Island. A man hands us each a glass of orange juice, a welcome gesture and we place our bags by some lounge chairs to relax.
As usual, I quickly bore of tanning and walk down to the sand to explore. I find some cowry shells amongst the waves and start collecting them in my hand. As the days heat wears on we hang out marveling at the awesome blue of the sea (think seafoam green). The three of us pick up some snorkels and attempt to go to some of the closer reefs. Unbeknownst to us we enter into quite a strong current and as we swim out of it (quite a workout!) some of the staff boat over to check on us. They inform us that we cant go to those reefs and that later they will drive groups out to the other reefs in a safer section of the water. Laughing at our misadventure we head to the lunch buffet.
I should remind all of you of just how bad the food on the ship is. I say this to preface the feast we partake in, so you dont feel any jealously. We gobble down lobster tails, shrimp, lamb, an array of salads and side dishes before pronouncing ourselves full. Our bellies bursting (a feeling we hadnt experienced in quite some time), we head to the dock to go snorkeling.
I have only snorkeled a hand full of times and rarely over a coral reef. This Indian Ocean gem held over 50 kinds of coral! The fish abounded as we laid our eyes on St. Majors, Razz, Rainbow Parrot Fish, Angel Fish, Tang, Puffer and many more. They seemed to have no fear of us as the darted into and around us. The colors of the coral glowed beneath them, pink, purple and blue. It was an amazingly beautiful sight!
We were out there for quite some time (as the sunburn on my back, despite SPF30 can account for) and by the time we headed back we only had a little time before we had to go. I drank another Diet Coke (the perks of an all-inclusive island) and packed my bag.
Heading back to the ship, I couldnt help but think that one day was way to short. Im not sure if I will ever return to Mauritius, not because I didnt love it, just because there are so many other places to explore, but my fond memories of that beach day will remain with me.