Known officially as Cocos (Keeling) Islands, this Indian Ocean landfall is a territory of Australia and is approximately 1,200 nautical miles equidistant between the motherland and Singapore. It was discovered by William Keeling of the East India Company in 1609, and is rarely visited because of its remoteness. The only vessels that normally transit are small yachts on their way to South Africa, 4,000 windy miles to leeward. Besides its location, the waters surrounding Cocos are rough. Just outside the placid harbor, the Indian Ocean trades regularly gust to gale force. We barely managed to find the lee; twice I had to turn back for lack of visibility during violent squalls as we approached the tiny, wind-swept island, one of several in South Keeling.