Monday, August 10, 2015

The Last Journey in the Seychelles

La Dique Island
La Dique Harbor

S04 22' 5.61"  E55 49' 34"

On our last full day of sailing in the Seychelles, our first task was to return to Baie St Anne to pick up a black palm wood boat SW had ordered custom made from a local artist. Only 5 of us went ashore and walked up the hill to the artist's shop.

La Dique - Start engine 8:46 AM
Depart 8:54 AM
Arrive Baie St Anne 9:40 AM
Cut  engine 9:44 AM (Wow! - a record time for the anchor!)

Baie St Anne
S04 21' 03"  E55 45' 20"

The last entries in the log book.
Praslin Island as we approached.
Sails flying in the sun.
Sign outside the "studio" of A. Duran.
KT and NS at the "studio."

Artist at work.
SW, his boat and A. Duran.
After we left the studio with SW's black palm wood boat, we stopped by a cafe for a cup of coffee. KT and I were really wanting a good cup of coffee. I was walking to the cafe and another store caught my eye. There were several pieces of wood carvings in the display window.

I decided to pop inside for a quick look.  THE CARVED WINE RACK I HAD SEEN IN THE RESTAURANT WAS IN THIS STORE. I was so excited. I raced out of the door and motioned for Hubby D to join me. It was so pretty and just the PERFECT item to bring back memories of the Seychelles. He agreed.

Ever the analytical engineer he asked, "How do we get it home?"

I did not care what I had to do to get it home, it was definitely coming to Bahrain and then in time on to the US. As it turns out, all wrapped up and strapped in, it just barely fit in our bag. YEA ME! Now all I needed to do was keep my fingers crossed it survived Etihad Airways.  I was worried.

With our treasures in hand, we headed to the boat for the start of our trip back through the open waters of the Indian Ocean to Mahe and our last night on board.

I took several boxes of my stand by motion sickness medication, Bonine. I don't think anyone hesitated to take a pill before the journey in open seas began this time.

Bonine saved the day.  I always take it when I dive, but I could not have done this adventure without it.
No motion sickness for me.
As we started our return journey, I snapped this picture of DW and Captain SW as she joined him at the helm. I just thought it was cute. She sat up there with him a lot.
This is poor KT on the first crossing. She did 100% better on the second trip even though the waves were bigger.

View from the helm.
Our charcoal grill had a real workout on this trip. It was not big but it did the job.

We had 10 to 12 foot swells as we crossed the open water of the Indian Ocean.

Yes! 10 to 12 feet!

I was even more scared than the first time.

In the three following pictures, NS is looking out the front windows of the boat toward the open sea as we sail through the Indian Ocean.

#1 - the boat is going down a wave and all you see is water

#2 -- the boat is titled to one side going over a wave

#3 -- the boat is looking up at the sky - no water can be seen as it crests a wave


I still feel like I am on the boat moving up and down when I look at these photos. It takes me forever to get over the feeling of being on water. When I close my eyes or when I am in the shower, I feel myself moving side to side.

Hubby D at the helm.

I took the following video when we were leaving Anse Lazio. It shows the movent of the boat in much calmer water. In the second video by ES, the boat definitely was moving up and down as we crossed the Indian Ocean. It was very difficult to walk or move from place to place.

If you are reading this blog in an email, you will need to go to my blog page to view the video.

Captain SW took this video as we raced along in the Indian Ocean on our first crossing with the smaller swells.

The El Diablo - a great boat for fun and pleasure.

Here is the entry in the log book for this trip.
Baie St Anne
S04 21' 03"  E55 45' 20"
Start engine 11:24 AM
Depart 11:30 AM (we are getting much better at this anchor thing)
Cut engine 12:42
Start engine 15:00
Arrive St Anne 15:45

When we arrived at St Anne four of us went ashore and looked around a bit. It was late and the area was not developed. However, the view back to the boat was nice. All the islands in the Seychelles were beautiful, a bit rugged, but beautiful.

For our last evening, we decided to stay on the boat, cook up some of the food still in our refrigerator and listen to 90's (and 80's and 70's and a bit of Sinatra) music. There were still some spirits and local beer to be consumed so it turned out to be a really, really fun evening.

Seybrew was the local brew.

Hubby D was caught playing his air guitar and Nancy was dancing. Here are some short videos of the fun. If you are reading this blog in an email, you will need to go to my blog page to view the video.

Our Captain celebrating on the last night.
KT enjoying the last evening.

When we go on vacation, it always takes us a few days to wind down and start to relax. We were definitely relaxed by the end of this trip.

Our last sunset was very different with the city lights along the shore. Beautiful!
Clouds shrouded the island the next morning. It was very interesting to see them hanging on the tops of the mountains.
NS took this photo from her bedroom window as she was packing up. There just were not any bad views on this trip.

As I mentioned in the first blog, Etihad Airlines did not do a good job on this trip. When we arrived at the Seychelles airport, we found the first leg of our return was delayed. We waited several hours for the plane to arrive and take us to Abu Dhabi.

DW snapped this shot of Captain SW in the Seychelles airport. SW is a terrific "make do" kind of guy. He can repair anything, copy any item or tool and make do with the materials at hand.
Maybe we should have flown Air Seychelles instead.  

Of course we missed our connection and we had to wait in the Abu Dhabi airport until 3:30AM to catch the next flight to Bahrain. It was not a fun trip home.

D sleeping in the Abu Dhabi airport. I am on the floor.

Our weary captain.
The luggage did not make the connection and arrived piece by piece over the next 4 days. HOWEVER, the wine rack survived and is installed in our flat in Bahrain.

The African Seychelles will definitely be one of our fond vacation memories. Thanks to Captain SW and the crew of the El Diablo, it was a wonderful trip.

Here is one last video to enjoy. Hubby D took this when we went ashore at the Curieuse Marine National Park. It is stunning and really does show the beauty of the Seychelles.

Cheers and happy travels to you and your family.

If you are reading this blog in an email, you will need to go to my blog page to view the video.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Day 5 Sailing in the Seychelles

Praslin Island
Baie St Anne Port
S04 21' 03"  E55 45' 20"

This morning our breakfast was a bit less complicated, help yourself to cereal or yogurt with some of our fantastic local bananas.

Most of the small print on the labels was in Arabic.
Many local bananas were consumed during the trip. They were wonderful.
KT trying to finish off some of the 30 eggs.
NS in the kitchen nook.
ES, our First Mate was diligent with the log book.
DT, our Purser kept the financials up to date every day.
I did not get to have my picture taken very often so when this chance came up, I jumped at it. We almost match the water.

The day started bright and warm. We were all getting into the rhythm of sailing. Today we traveled from Baie St Anne to La Digue Island. We were going to visit the Ste Anne Marine National Park.

Here is a picture of our permit for one of the National Parks.  I am including it in this blog for a couple of my family members that work for these types of organizations.  DM and RB - We had fees to pay at each mooring and for most of the Islands we visited.

Log Notes:
Engine started 10:00 AM
Depart 10:06 AM
Arrive 11:00 AM
Cut Engine 11:20
(I guess it took a while to get the anchor in place.)

La Dique Harbor
S04 22' 5.61"  E55 49' 34"

The beaches in the National Park were beyond stunning.  They were breath-taking!

While in the town, we had to ride bikes. There were very few motorized vehicles.
School was just getting out when we rode past the church.

There were several artist studios and galleries in the area. Most were very primitive styles.
We came across several boat shops as we rode down the road towards the  Ste Anne Marine National Park.

At last we arrived at the park. We were in for a surprise when we reached the beach.

DW and SW chose this spot for a portrait. It was lovely.
There was a beautiful vanilla orchard.
They also grew nutmeg. These are the beans drying.


During the trip, DW took pictures of her college ring to send back to the alumni association. This was taken on the granite boulders on the beach.

We were in awe of the majesty of the boulders and golden sand with the turquoise sea beyond. The sight really was overwhelming.

On our bike ride back to the boat, we stopped at a seaside restaurant, Fishtrap for drinks and to watch the sunset. It was a good choice as our boat did not have a western view. We ended up staying for dinner.

During the evening I visited the ladies room.  I walked by the bar where a gorgeous wood carved wine rack sat. I ask the manager if he knew where they purchased the rack. He did not know.  Little did I know but that rack would enter my life again later.

Sunset with SW's fisheye lense.

The sunset from the Fishtrap beach was  a beautiful conclusion to a spectacular day in a breath-taking country. One more day to go!