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Mahe, Seychelles

June 6, 2015

Where do you dream of having a vacation? Not everyone wants sea, sand and surf but if that’s what you are looking for then contemplate the Seychelles. (I think I’m sounding like a tourist brochure!). It’s a mountainous group of islands with some wonderful hikes through verdant jungle, alongside spectacular waterfalls and beautiful vistas.

Overview of the Mahe coastline and Victoria

Overview of the Mahe coastline and Victoria

 

We have been here for two weeks and have nothing negative to say about the Seychelles. From the friendly welcome the fisherman gave us 60 miles off the coast to the post office philatelic counter everyone couldn’t smile more or be more accommodating.

Who, me?

Who, me?

We have spent the last week finding and getting someone to look at and repair our refrigeration, getting our bearings as to where to find everything from sugar to internet, setting up our folding bikes and enjoying the independence day holiday.

Well, I guess that isn’t all we have been doing.  The anchorage in Victoria, Mahe is quite tight.  There is little room to maneuver and find good holding.  It’s a very well protected harbour with hills towering 300 metres over the town and the harbour.  However, the bottom is not good holding and for the first time since we have owned Sage we dragged.  Luckily it wasn’t in the middle of the night but was first thing in the morning.  Connie we serving me tea in bed (as usual) and I felt/heard the anchor bouncing along the bottom of the water.  At the same time Connie called out we were dragging. Racing into the cockpit to get the engine going I of course forgot clothes! Just habit I guess.

We managed to stop Sage from backing into all the fish boats on the wharf and got ourselves re-anchored.  Later in the day we found a mooring we could use much to the good graces of the tourist catamaran Anahita.

Anahita and two other cruisers from Mexico in the anchorage -

Anahita and two other cruisers from Mexico in the anchorage – Ben and Nicolas

We went to start the engine to go over to the mooring but I noticed that the water coolant was low and I had just filled it the day before. Ummm – now what.  Sure enough a rubber hose connector had rotted through and squirted the water all over the engine.  This must have finally collapsed totally when we had the engine going to stop our dragging.

We got a tow over to the mooring and felt secure once again (not that we trust someone else’s mooring).  So not having a spare part and one not being available in the Seychelles we put a call our to our friends in the states who quickly found a supplier and mailed the part to us via DHL couriers.  Was mailed to us from San Francisco late Thursday and arrived today, Tuesday, and now installed.  Not cheap!  $80 for the part and $130 for shipping!  Ummm, I think shipping must  the business to be in.

Only 5 years old but seen a little wear and tear

Only 5 years old but seen a little wear and tear

If you enlarge you can see the cracks just back from the leading edge

If you enlarge you can see the cracks just back from the leading edge

Without the part for the engine we were immobile.  That was OK though.  The weather was lousy, rain off and on, a new place to discover and a friend here working on assignment for the Nature Conservancy.

Jo is working with Seychellois stakeholders to come up with a Marine Management Plan with a target of 30% protected area for their key coastal and offshore waters. It’s an ambitious target and the work monumental.  Jo is from Smithers, BC and travels down here at key times to move the process along.  In her spare time we have commandeered her and had ocean swims, tours of the island, dinners out and dinners both on the boat and at her temporary home.  Jo has been a wonderful connection for us right at a time we were immobile and we have greatly enjoyed hearing the stories she has of working here and simply hanging out.

Connie and Jo on our round the Mahe Island tour

Connie and Jo on our round the Mahe Island tour

And hanging out is great.  We love sitting at the Yacht Club

Seychelles Yacht Club and anchorage

Seychelles Yacht Club and anchorage

for a sunset drink meeting a few of the locals.  The club is incredibly friendly and one of the best eating deals in town.  Best of all though is just to sit and listen to the people talking.  Here people speak three languages – Creole, English and French.  The resulting mix is this wonderful sing-song lilting language for which they mix all 3 languages and more.  One minute you think you understand what they are saying and the next just shaking your head. The life is relaxed (don’t expect to get anything done in a hurry), the food interesting, the music wonderful, the ambience tropical and the weather almost ideal.

The market is one of our daily stops.  Some things are a little expensive compared to other stores as the market does attract a lot of tourists. The fish choices are spectacular with mainly fresh tuna and snapper.  There are also hints of the spices grown from cinnamon, nutmeg. allspice, vanilla etc.  Get there early – the best produce both imported and local are on offer.

Market day

Market day

Snapper at the market

Snapper at the market

The market is colourful, loud, fish smelly and full of life.  It’s located on Market Street (surprise, surprise) which is closed off to traffic and which is also the location of a great gelato and Italian food deli.  Yes, almost everything is available here at a price.

I can’t say it’s cheap but then when one has been in Asia as long as we have nothing is cheap!  I have put a picture of a menu in the blog and the prices are in rupees – divide by 11 to get the equivalent value in Canadian dollars

 

Local lunchtime menu - they love their big lunches here

Local lunchtime menu – they love their big lunches here

 

The 'other' gelato shop

The ‘other’ gelato shop

From a cruising boats perspective it’s not so expensive depending on what you choose to eat and where you eat.

Takamaka rum distillery.  A beautiful property on their old estate

Takamaka rum distillery. A beautiful property on their old estate

Liquor is unaffordable ($50 dollars for a bottle of rum but we buy the local – Takamaka Rum at $30/bottle) imported cheeses available at a price, fish at a bargain and steaks/meat being imported around $20/kilo.  So, fish and local rum it is.

 

Our own Mexican pirate before he went on a raid

Our own Mexican pirate before he went on a raid

Our Mexican pirate after he came back from the raid

Our Mexican pirate after he came back from the raid

7 Comments leave one →
  1. cpbl permalink
    June 16, 2015 19:20

    Fun! Sounds nice even for a mountain boy.

  2. Darrel and Loretta Smith permalink
    June 16, 2015 19:38

    Great photos, love to hear your stories. Thanks again. Keep up the good work. We’re vacationing in Paris right now. No parts to order or shipping to pay but I am sure we are spending much more than you. L&D xx

  3. Wayno permalink
    June 16, 2015 22:47

    Oh man this place looks wonderful. Loved it mate. Where to next?

  4. Boyd Pyper permalink
    June 17, 2015 00:37

    Hi Connie and Tony,

    Love your posts…

    By the way, are you going to Silhouette Island?

    I know the senior Conservation Officer there. Although, I think she would rather not ever remember my existence!

    Hope all is well for you.

    Boyd

  5. Anne Boldt permalink
    June 17, 2015 03:42

    Once again soo happy you are back in our loop!
    I have missed your blogs!
    Thanks for remembering my BD.
    We had a lovely brunch at Zambris which was cheaper than your island lunch menu which is hard to believe pricey..I guess you only want to dine out for special occasions.
    All good here!
    Love ya Annie B and Lornie D.

  6. JayJayKay permalink
    June 17, 2015 08:58

    WOW, I think I will consider this place for my next vacation spot … Have always wanted to go to the Seychelles as apparently they have the best year round temperatures. Not that glad to be an arm chair traveller but happy to read about your adventures.

  7. June 17, 2015 11:09

    I like your blog better than mine!
    Suggestion: we both have an intimate knowledge of Lady Murphy. I’ve found that when I need a certain part, I’ll need it again. Especially for an older motor like yours. Those elbow boots for Perkins can be hard to find, grab another when you get the chance. Suggest Port Elizabeth or East London in South Africa.

    Keep those blogs coming.
    Best, Fred
    .

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