Southbound from Seychelles

seychelles sunset

Finally (FINALLY) we can leave: all the packages we’ve been waiting for are on board, after 18 bus rides and enough face time to be on a first-name basis with clerks in the post office, officials in the Seychelles Revenue Commission, EVEN a bus driver (total count: 18 bus rides). Clearance could have been done in ~24 hours, but took three days… because, like receiving packages, working with officialdom on formalities was an extended reminder of the importance of patience as painfully layered bureaucracy and island time combined to make every step take significantly longer than necessary.

I’m not complaining. OK, not THAT much. Although truthfully, we would like to have left Seychelles after one month instead of two, it is full of the kind of encounters and experiences that we love about cruising.

It’s a beautiful country, with some of the prettiest beaches we’ve ever seen… no small feat, with the number we have to compare them with.

praslin beach

red granite boulders, soft sand, turquoise water

The food. Wow. I loved learning about Seychellois Kreol food and could extend that education happily for a long, long time.

jules takeaway

papaya salad, eggplant salad, two kinds of curries…I love everything about local-style takeaway except the Styrofoam

It’s the friendly people we are privileged to spend time with, both Seychellois and cruisers alike.

yacht club staff

Andre, Nadine, and Eleanore (on vacation)- the AWESOME management at Seychelles Yacht Club

With clearance completed… we’re expected to depart immediately, but for practical reasons, we couldn’t. The weather was wrong, all wrong, and it’s not worth the risk to go out and get beat up. We can’t make water in the oily sewer that is the inner harbor. So we ducked around to the back side of Mahe and kept to ourselves for a few days, while we prepared. I’ve pre-cooked meals to get us through the uncomfortable bits until our next port, hopefully. Jamie worked on the rig- he wasn’t happy with D2 and wanted it adjusted before leaving.

rig

And we had time for a final sendoff, among good friends. With piracy abating in this corner of the Indian Ocean, there’s been a spike in the volume of cruising boats that pass through Seychelles- and as this weather window opens, five of us are taking off today. Naturally, this called for a celebration!

goofing around on solstice

last night in Seychelles: goofing off on Solstice with crews of Utopia, Shakespeare and Ceilydh

 

Our destination is Comoros. We know exactly two boats who have been there, and read the stories of a third. The first two found it interesting and exciting (although I think Alex would have found it easier to enter the country had the banks had any local currency available for him to exchange. They didn’t, so he bartered with booze- in a dry, Muslim country. RIGHT!). The third was a scruffy-sounding group of surfers (we’d probably love them!) who triggered suspicion in officials (they thought they could just anchor overnight and carry on) and ended up in jail. Right.

We will be mostly offline for about a week…maybe longer. If banks in Comoros can run out of local currency, I’m not hugely optimistic about the availability of internet! Meanwhile, updates will still flow to our Twitter and Facebook page via the Iridium.

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