08/21/2014, Desrouches Island, Seychelles
We weighed anchor yesterday evening as the sun was setting. After spending about 10 weeks in the Inner Island Group of the Seychelles, we were anxious to start our passage to Madagascar. The route we will be taking is about 800 nm. It is our intent to make stops at three of the Seychelles' Outer Islands: Desrouches, Alphones, and Cosmoledo.
Our first stop is Desrouches which is just about 120 nm SW from Mahe'. This island sits on top of a sea mount that rises sharply 11,000 feet from the ocean floor. The island is the only land mass that breaks the ocean surface.
The sail to Desrouches was a bit bouncy as the first 50 nm was over the Seychelles Bank. We had winds of between 15 and 20 knots and averaged about 8.3 knots. We all took three hour watches and during my 0400 to 0700 watch I had the pleasure of sailing through a squall with winds reaching 29 knots and seas of 5 meters. The passage was bouncy so none of us slept very well but that is typical the first night of a passage.
We arrived just outside of Desrouches around 0800 and by 1000 we had crossed over the submerged reef that makes up the atoll were we anchored in 24 feet of water just south of the center of the island. After our first anchorage attempted, we found a patch of white sand where we secured our anchor. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a nice breeze of about 15 knots. The waters are azure and beautiful but, once again, the visibility is limited to less than 30 feet. We were hoping that we would have left the turbid waters of the Inner Island Group but it looks like that is not the case.
Since we were all tired from our overnight sail, we just lounged and napped the day away. Tomorrow morning we will decide how long we wish to stay here and if it is worth the effort to try some snorkeling.
Our position here is 5┬░ 40.831'S:53┬░ 40.330'E,
08/20/2014, Port Launay Marine National Park, Mahe, Seychelles
The four of us went into shore around noon to raid the great buffet at one of Ephelia Resort's restaurant. It would be our last hooray here the Seychelles since we were determined to shove off this evening a start our sail toward Madagascar. We took a club car (an extended golf car that transports people) over to the southern side of the isthmus where the restaurant Helios is located. As we approached we were greeted by a large peacock strutting around the entrance with its huge colorful plumage. The next time we have Internet (which most likely will not be for a couple of weeks); I will try to post a picture of it.
We were seated with a view of the swimming pool and the serene bay just beyond the pool. After a round of drinks we dove into the buffet. O' man 'o man, want a buffet! I started off with a bowl of gazpacho and a plate of huge jumbo shrimp, each one bigger than two of my fingers. Ooooooo how I love jumbo shrimp!
To pretend that I would be eating healthy, I next moved on to the salad bar and loaded up on greens, mushroom salad, a beef salad and a vegetable salad, all complimented with slices of olive bread and a roll. Of course I added a splash of wonderful olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the bread plate.
Now that I was warmed up, I moved on to the heavy duty entrees. It all gets a little murky now because I was swimming in grilled chicken, slices of beef in rich gravy, slices from a huge red snapper, and as a special treat, the chef whipped up a gigantic bowl of penne Carbonara. He had heard me whisper to Mary Margaret that I was disappointed that they did not have a pasta station and he insisted on making me any type of pasta dish I desired. How great is that!
By now, I was feeling that the buffet was winning and that I was down for the count. However, the plates of goodies from the dessert bar that Portia and Steve had brought to our table revived me. Mary Margaret helped here also by requesting a bowl of chocolate and cinnamon ice cream. Oooooo, I love ice cream!
Not to be left out of the fun, I too ordered a bowl of ice cream, a cup of hot, black coffee (to help revive me) and then dragged myself over to the dessert bar to get a couple of pieces of baklava that Steve had told me were exceptionally good.
By now I was a bit groggy and having a hard time keeping my eyes open. After paying the bill, which I can't even remember what it was, we decided to walk back to the north side of the isthmus to work some of the calories off. Yea, right┬... I would have had to make 10 laps of this walk just to make a dent┬...
Along the way we stopped by the tortoise enclosure to feed and rub the very large tortoises that are there. One fellow we were told was over 150 years old.
When we returned to Leu Cat we all spent the rest of the afternoon napping in preparation for our overnight passage to Desrouches Island. It is one of the coral islands that make up the outer island group of the Seychelles. It is about 120 nm SW of Mahe' and we plan on leaving at 1800 so we can arrive before noon
One of the conference centers and a reflection pool in front of it.
The southern beach at Ephelia Resort.
One of the guests at Ephelia resort