Already we have been in Seychelles for almost a month arriving on August 3rd after a 11 day passage from Gan. We had to slow the boat on the last two days to ensure a daylight entry to Mahe. It takes a very short while to realize that this now the African continent, quite different than Asia.
We are berthed at Eden Island Marina North amongst many charter boats and a handful of world cruising sailboats. The marina is on an artificially constructed island at the base of the main mountain in the middle of Mahe Island and about 5 kilometres south of the capital town of Victoria. It is a very picturesque setting during both the day and night when the houselights climb the slopes. The Seychellois are trilingual with Creole their every day language and, for business and tourism, French and English. The place names are reminiscent of the colonial days when first the French and then the British occupied the islands.
We have been so far preoccupied with maintenance items - the old diesel genset has been removed and a new unit installed, the wind generator repaired, a new dyneema main halyard installed, and the AIS replaced because of a faulty display screen. Yet to come is a repair to the watermaker and installation of an Iridium GO. We were impressed with diesel generator replacement supplied by John Vidot of Power Marine and installed by Chad, with Silu, from Cascade Slipways. Everything was on schedule including genset delivery time and installation. The Northern Lights generator was installed through the cockpit locker with a great deal of manoeuvering but no cutting of fibreglass to get it to fit. It did make me wonder why Northern Lights made the new 5 kilowatt generator a touch bigger than the 26 year old unit of the same power which makes refits in tight quarters all the more difficult. We have the use of the air conditioning again. However, nights here are quite comfortable temperature wise, compared with Asia, and we rarely use AC during the day.
We visited the neighbouring islands of Praslin and la Digue where the main source of income is tourism. It was on Praslin we had a bad experience with one tourist taxi driver who did not want to go where we wanted to visit only where it was convenient for him. Finally with another taxi driver we made it to the house of the locally well known painter Raymond du Buisson. He has some of his paintings on display and a guest house he is building is decorated with shells and coral. La Digue had very attractive white sand beaches interspersed with granite boulders.
There are giant tortoises in the Seychelles like Galapagos but Dominique says the Seychelles tortoises are more attractive. Some residents on Praslin keep a tortoise or two as sort of a yard pet and you see them frequently eating grasses in the yards. Curried fish dishes are the most common local dish in restaurants but you can pretty get anything at a price. We have a fish market and veggie market stalls within 10 minute walk of the marina plus a supermarket in the marina so we do eat mostly eat on board.