Another few weeks in paradise

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Thu 25 Jun 2009 14:15
Time flies by and we've spent most of our time since getting back moored in the old harbour at Port Victoria.  The anchorage there is no longer as busy as when we arrived at the end of March.  The local charter boats don't seem to be doing much business either.   A few yachts have left, mostly heading south.  There are very few new arrivals. 

Victoria, looking NE - the old harbour on the left, Ile Ste Anne partly visible on the right

Warships come and go.  A few days ago we had a German naval vessel at the entrance to the old port and then the USS Gettysburg visited for a second time.  The off-watch crews can be found in the local bars, including the Pirates Arms.

Otherwise Port Victoria seems very quiet, with few tourists.  The local economy is feeling the pinch and the shops are not as well stocked as they used to be.  A wide range of goods can be available at different times, sourced from different parts of the world, but they obviously have problems maintaining continuity.   The local market is very good, selling mostly locally produced food in season.  The only problem is knowing what to do with some of the stuff!

Victoria, looking E - Eden island development with Ile Ste Anne and  Ile au Cerf

Apart from occasional late night disco noise, we were very comfortable in the old port.  Now that the wind is generally in the south east we no longer get nasty smells from the fish factory!  The large tuna fishing vessels come and go making a bit of noise.  The only other worry was a spate of theft from some yachts, including cash taken while people were asleep on board.

Victoria, looking SE - Ile au Cerf, inshore the industrial zone and far right the end of the runway

Jean-Louis and Denise on Alero finally left for Tanzania a few days ago.  They had been planning to leave in May but delayed because of the Somali pirate problem.  We will miss them and hope to catch up with them at the end of the year.

Jean-Louis and Denise ready to depart on Alero

We finally left Victoria for a bit of island hopping on Tuesday.  We sailed to La Digue, just under 30 miles to the Northeast of Mahe.  As we approached we had problems with the engine so made our way inshore very gently and anchored off for the night.  Low tide was at midnight and we were woken up with the sound of our keel touching the bottom!  We were lying more towards the shore than we had expected to.  Fortunately we had plenty of chain out and by taking some in were back in enough depth. 

An inspection of the propellor revealed nothing wrong so we changed the filters on the engine and set off for the next island, Praslin, just a few miles away.   The engine was working well again and we're now anchored off Anse Volbert, reportedly the most touristy bay on the island.  Needless to say, there's hardly anyone in sight and the hotels are well hidden among the trees.