Originally Posted by medicrene
OK Guys, here is the real skinny on Diego Garcia.
I was stationed there at the begining of the war. All of the islands in the atol are completly off limits. However, the military only occupys the island of Diego Garcia. The other islands are open, but you are not allowed to go to them. Here is what happens.
About every week or ten days, a patrol of the Royal Marine
Commandos will set out to patrol the islands looking for cruisers who have anchored in the atoll. If they find you, they tell you to pull up anchor
and leave immediatly. They do not send you to jail or fine you.
Thus, if you can set anchor for a few days before they find you, all is well. Good luck.
And as one of those who lived in the "Garden of Eden" it was not all that fun. I lived in a tent the size of my boat with 10 other men
. I had rats crawling on me at night and bombers screaming in and out at all times of the day and night. I do not see myself looking to visit there any time in the near future.
Very interesting. I was in Diego Garcia on board the MPS ships, particularily, the flag ship, M/V HAUGE in 1987-88. You are right. I remember our ship giving a couple of these commandos a ride for about five days out all around the Chagos Archipelago, and the one pit stop we made was in the SALOMON ISLANDS. I remembered the name because I found it peculiar that there were islands in the Guadacanal area, of the Pacific, and WWII noteriety called SOLOMON ISLANDS which sound the same in prenunciation. I bet the temperature was 120 on deck
and the ocean had an eerie calm to it, and the water
actually looked like GLASS. The reflection of the sun pounding away relentlessly.
I saw the commandos get on our ZODIAK boat...(Or maybe they took their own???) but anyhow, they went ashore, as we watched from the deck
of the ship. I was a bit ticked off that we weren't invited to the real happening island. NOT!!! It was another DNA of Diego Garcia but more of everything. MORE ISOLATION, MORE BOREDOME and MORE SANDCRABS. I thought Diego Garcia was isolated but at least, on Diego, we could get a beer
and a DIEGO BURGER. The Brit commandos did find a yacht there that was cruisin the I.O. and we gave them some provisions to help him out. I understood there were water
wells on the island from long ago establishments sailors could load up on. We then headed back to Diego after checking out various islands. I don't remember the rest of their names.
I agree that Diego Garcia and Chagos Archipelago is about the most beautiful place on the planet inasfar as coral reefs
, lots of marine
wildlife, anything you throw in the water is snatched and you can reel fish
in left and right. I heard some say "THIS AINT FISHIN". It wasn't even a sport you pulled up everything so easily. Snapper, Grouper, you name it. The tropical atolls are very beautiful and what one pictures of a tropical paradise.
I just hated the serenity and the boredome took its toll after only months there. I got tired of the drunkeness and obnoxious behavior of the Merchant Seaman and Navy
alike. I later transferred to Compsron 3 out in Saipan/Guam. I agreed with that one t-shirt sold in Diego Garcia......HAPPINESS is watching DIEGO GARCIA in a rear view mirror of a MAC C-141.
I suppose the greatest legacy in my adventures in the Chagos Archipelago is knowing what its like out there. Very few people venture that way, and its really hard to get there. You will only find only the brave and bold that venture out there on their yachts or you will find military out of Diego Garcia on official military business, and contractors, Merchant Seamen or flight crews hauling people in and out of Diego. Beautiful place for a week or two, after that, you're on your own out there just to survive the mental serenity. A beautiful picture after you look at it day in and day out isn't suddenly so beautiful anymore if you know what I mean.