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14 March 2011


Wild Tigris cruised into the anchorage at Ile Royale yesterday evening at 7pm local time. We dropped the hook and sat down to a superb lamb roast prepared by our Swedish chef (herdy-gerdy-gerdy) and some nice Argentinean red wine.

Up at the crack of dawn and regretting the last glass of wine, we dropped the tender in the water and headed in to the once penal colony. There are three islands; Ile San Joseph, Ile Diablo and the largest Ile Royale. The first thing we saw at the top of the pier was a small marsupial that Sofia identified as a ‘Chicken-rabbit’. I had never heard of such an animal before but had to concede that it was aptly named.

We made our way up to the Governor’s house which has been turned into a museum of the islands history. The French government established the penal colony in 1854 and it ran officially until 1938 but the repatriation of prisoners was not completed until 1953. Living conditions were harsh verging on inhumane and thousands died over the years. Lack of space meant only guards were buried in graves, dead prisoners were thrown to the sharks.

We wondered around the island looking at the ruins of old cell blocks, a small chapel that’s still in good shape and various other old red-brick buildings. At noon we tried out the restaurant and a first time tasting of String-ray. Personally, I’d have much preferred Chicken-rabbit but it was not to be…


We are now reaching towards Trinidad’s NE point at 11.4kts with 530Nm to go..


5         48’ N

52      58’ W