July 12, 2015

Settling Into the Seychelles

We’ve been on the move again for a year: 8500nm through 10 time zones and six countries. This is a record for us. Even the year we crossed the Pacific we sailed less than 7000nm. Some years we’re happy to hit 1000nm. It seems little wonder then that now we’ve arrived in the Seychelles and dropped our anchor in a sheltered harbour we’ve opted to leave it there.

We’ve been busy catching up on all the little things you do when you have extended access to civilization for the first time in a year. There are grocery stores, hardware stores, bakeries, liquor stores, pet food stores (you can bet Charlie the cat is happy!), restaurants and (in Evan’s case) a much anticipated dentist.

Beau Vallon is just one of the pretty coves on Mahe
We didn't know much about the Seychelles when we added it to our cruising itinerary but have been pleasantly surprised--it's a cool combination of mountainous terrain like the Marquesas combined with a French/Creole/African culture. And there are giant tortoises! There are also hikes to hike, beaches to explore and a variety of touristy things to see and do.

Tortoises! The local wild population is extinct--but tortoises from Aldabra atoll are found around the islands
But the big priority for us and the dozen or so South Africa bound boats that are part of our little fleet is to prepare the boats for the next leg. Part of it is the weather—after enjoying light winds for most of past several thousand miles—we’re hitting the part that gets windy, sometimes in our face windy. We’ll also be passing through some of the poorest countries in the world; Comoros and Madagascar. So anything we need to buy or replace (shoes for example) has to happen now.

our poor shoes--the heat and humidity (and saltwater) seems to melt the glue that holds the straps in and the soles on
While we ready the boats under the shadow of the peaks there’s lots of socializing. Or little group of boats (with crews from more than a dozen different countries) has been in loose company for several months now and this is the first stopping point where so many of us have been together at the same time. So we’re trading photos we’ve taken of each other, catching up on stories and getting prepared to follow the seasons into Africa’s summer and our big stop in South Africa.

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