The Island of Mauritius

After 18 days sailing and over one month onboard seeing the small island nation of Mauritius was a welcome sight.

“The island of Mauritius was unknown and uninhabited before its first recorded visit, by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages who named it Dina Arobi. In 1507 Portuguese sailors visited the uninhabited island and established a visiting base. Portuguese navigator Diogo Fernandes Pereira was probably the first European to land on the island at around 1511. The island appears with a Portuguese name ‘Cirne’ on early Portuguese maps, probably because of the presence of the dodo, a flightless bird which was found in great numbers at that time. The Portuguese did not stay long as they were not interested in these islands.”

From 1638 to 1710 the Dutch made attempts to colonize the island but failed due to sickness and frequent typhoons. They did succeed in decimating the Dodo bird before moving on. The French and British would later have succesful settlements before independence in 1968.

“During the Napoleonic wars, Île de France (as it was called during French Rule) became a base from which French corsairs organised successful raids on British commercial ships. The raids continued until 1810 when a strong Royal Navy expedition led by Commodore Josias Rowley was sent to capture the island. Despite winning the Battle of Grand Por, the only French naval victory over the British during these wars, the French surrendered to a British invasion at Cap Malheureux three months later. They formally surrendered on 3 December 1810, on terms allowing settlers to keep their land and property and to use the French language and law of France in criminal and civil matters. Under British rule, the island’s name reverted to the original one.”

We got off the ship late morning and part of the crew was bused to Port Chambly Hotel. After a month onboard I wonder if the company made it point to not put the whole +100 man crew all in once place and spread us out. Either way I feel like our group got pretty lucky as this place was a little slice of paradise before starting a full day of traveling home.

“The cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of Indian, African, Chinese and European influences. It is common for a combination of cuisines to form part of the same meal.

The production of rum, which is made from sugar cane, is widespread on the island. Sugarcane was first introduced to Mauritius by the Dutch in 1638. The Dutch mainly cultivated sugarcane for the production of “arrack”, a precursor to rum. However, it was during the French and British administrations that sugar production was fully exploited. Pierre Charles François Harel was the first to propose the concept of local distillation of rum in Mauritius, in 1850. Bee is also produced on the Island, by the Phoenix Brewery”

My time in Mauritius  was short but it was nice to visit a place with such a rich maritime history. As early as the 1500s ships were pulling into the same harbor we pulled into on that sunny day. During the days of sailing, vessels Mauritius was a regular stop on voyage from Europe to India and the Far East. I don’t know if I will ever make it back but it was great to experience a small slice of what the place had to offer.

Quotations were taken from Wikipedia, all pictures were taken by the author and property of La Buena Vida.

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Categories: Places, Travel


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One Comment on “The Island of Mauritius”

  1. January 26, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on La Buena Vida and commented:

    When the customs and immigration officer stamped my passport and gave us permission to board our ship, I
    thumbed through the pages looking for the stamp from my previous trip to the small island nation of Mauritius. There it was, the same oval shape with a small silhouette of the doomed Dodo bird at the top. The only difference, that stamp was dated exactly 3 years and 10 days earlier. Three yours prior, our ship left the shipyard in Singapore bound for Brazil. Following a successful drilling campaign in Brazil we were now heading back to the Far East.

    My last time here I was departing a vessel heading west and this time joining the same vessel heading east. A few days after departing the ship in 2012 I would get married and a few days after joining in 2015 celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary 9 time zones apart.

    Here is a throw back to the post from what little I did get to see of the island three years ago and a few of my thoughts.

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