Fri 19 Oct 2007 17:14

I am sure that pictures are enough for most people to get an impression of our stay in the Seychelles, but maybe just

Maybe there are one or two who enjoy reading a bit of description of what we got up to, as Their was little time to

Write much before we left I will fill in with some of the stories. Because the Islands are remote and expensive to get

To the market that is available is either Honeymooners or wealthy tourist who wish to go somewhere a little different,

So there are not many tourist and the ones that are there are wanting their seclusion so it is all very low key. There is

Also a problem with the Value of their currency, as you are offered 1 ½  times bank rate for either dollars or euro`s.

Nearly everything is imported and the locals have to arrange with the bank if they wish to make a large purchase from

Abroad. So if you have Euro`s in your pocket you are a King.

   After spending a few day`s on Mahe getting to know the local`s and enjoying being amongst other cruising boats again

We set out to visit the other Islands, Praslin Home of the Coco de Mer or love nut was our first and closest point, after a

Good sail over we pulled in for a snorkel before heading into our anchorage. It is always exciting when you are at a new

Set of Islands what are you going to find in the water will it be different from the Maldives? Better or worse? Well we

Were not to be disappointed, great fish life and different species although the Coral was in very poor condition again.

  A good night was spent tucked into a little lagoon where the charter fleet is based,  the following morning we set

Of on foot to find the Valee de Mer home of the Coco de Mer. One of the reasons why the Seychelles was thought to be

The original Garden of Eden. See enclosed photo, pretty self explanatory.

 The Coco de Mer or love nut. 


For many years these were washed up on foreign shores with absolutely nobody able to explain their origin as the Seychelles

Had yet to be discovered. Have also enclosed a picture of the Male and Female palm tree, The Male Palm stand next to and above

The Female. That’s for any botanist out there makes a change from fish and coral.

 If you look close at the tall one you will see why it is the Male


 After a few hours of walking on the Roads and forest it is always a relief to get out to a bay and get back into the water to cool off

And enjoy a good snorkel, Great Fish and an encounter with reef shark to keep us amused that afternoon. On our way to find ourselves a Place to park for the night we heard that their was a tsunami warning for our area,  Their had been another earthquake

In Sumatra and they where worried that we might get the wave that evening. This was now the third time we had received a tsunami warning, We decided to go around to a well protected bay and anchor off in deep water just in case anything did happen.

The memory of the destruction still left behind in Sri Lanka was still in our minds. The evening passed without incident which was

A great relief, especially as Will and De had arranged to go diving the following day and we were not sure if they would still be

Able to operate the following day should anything have occurred.

 Their were two Islands which stood out in my memory. So I will fill you in on them the rest will have to be left to your Imagination.  We sailed into the tiny local harbour of La Dique Penguin was a little deep for La Dique so after tying stern to the

Jetty and the bow anchored from the middle of the harbour we stuck out a bit from the rest of the cat`s and shallow draught

Boats. But hay the weekend was coming and this was a very laid back sort of place no one was very much worried. So the

Following three days were spent exploring an Island in Paradise for one day we rented bikes and cycled around, there are only a handful of cars and one or two delivery vans on the whole Island. A memorable Saturday night was spent with some good Dance

Music one of the pleasures in life that we don’t come in contact with that often. The Island was lovely to walk on with some great

Beaches one facing onto the pounding surf. We ate mainly on the boat as De had landed her first big fish a good yellow fin Tuna

Which feed the four of us for three meals. At the end of the weekend about 10.30 on Monday we were told that their was a boat

Arriving to take rubbish of the island and they wanted a bit more of their harbour back, by which time we were ready to continue

On.  De had heard on the radio in Ireland that the Seychelles Island of Cousine was one of the best Holiday Islands in the World

So it was decided that we should check it out.

Penguin In Harbour La Digue.

From La Digue to cousine was a pleasant sail with good winds, on arriving we tucked in on the lee side of the island and anchored for lunch. It was also decided to contact the Island Staff and see if we would be welcome to take a look around, They told us that

Their was only two luxury bungalows occupied the other three were vacant, but that it was going to be diffucult for us to get ashore

With a dinghy as the waves were pounding the beaches. Not ones to be deterred after lunch we took the dinghy close in to the beach and then swam in through the surf, our determination was not to be unrewarded.   Cousine is a privately owned Island set up

As a nature reserve there is a husband and wife team who are the wardens, it also has five luxury bungalows for tourist to rent, the

Aim being for the Island to be financially self funding. A fantastic afternoon was spent being shown around and because there are

No predator animals including no rats or cats the Island is teeming with bird life with large numbers on nests or feeding young. The

Birds have little fear of man so we were able to get right next to the nesting birds and check out the chicks including a baby tern that had broken  out from the egg that morning. Their was also a number of Giant tortoises on the Island who hang out around the

Vegetable garden. At the end of the tour we were invited to take a look around one of the vacant bungalows which was superb.

 What a place for a weeks holiday or honeymoon, I highly recommend it.  We had to swim back out through the surf to the Dinghy

Which Niamh had brought in to collect us and then we moved over into the lee of a neighbouring Island in order to get a bit of Shelter and a good nights sleep. The Following day their was good wind so a fast trip was made back to Mahe on the way in we chose a spot and got the Windsurfer out for the first time since Tonga over a year previous, no wonder it has taken me twenty years

And I still cant windsurf properly. So that was pretty much it De had been with us for nearly three weeks and her time was Up, Back out to the Airport and home to Ireland. Within a couple more days Penguin would be getting port clearance and on her way

South following the Sun down into the southern hemisphere.

  As a result of our contacts in the Seychelles we were able to hook up with a South African Radio Net which would be a good

Source of weather information and keep us in contact with other boats sailing around. The first three days out of the Seychelles

Was rough and windy and on one attempt to enter a lagoon pass I managed to catch a ride on a breaking wave, filling the back

Of the boat with water and eventually also getting sea water into or diesel and stopping the engine. At first this was not a problem

As I changed the filters and restarted everything, but the engine died again and whilst restarting it again some water must have been in the fuel pump which resulted in the destruction of a shaft in the pump resulting in no more diesel getting through to the

Cylinders and no more engine. As is the way from then onwards the wind became progressively lighter as we tried to sail down

To the French Island of Mayotte our only hope to find anywhere that might be able to get things working again.   

One for my wife in case she has forgotten what I look like,  The most flattering one I can find to keep her Interested.

The French Gendarmes picked us up and towed us into Mayotte, they had been monitoring our progress during the previous 30 hours as we had clawed our way over the last 70 miles. They were much more us to tracking boats full of illegal immigrants from

The Comoro’s Island as they travel at fifty knots and try to land a cargo of 40¬50 people on a beach. I Will write about Mayotte

In a later diary but I will wet your appetite with the following words World Cup Rugby, French people the most sociable in the

World. But I will complete the Engine story,,  It is now official I am the luckiest man in the world.  1} The most brilliant

French mechanic Jerome made amazing efforts to get us sorted and working again. 2} I have fantastic contacts back in UK without

Whom  I would never have been able to source a replacement in such a short time. 3} The Gendarme parked us next to a boat who had a person in Hamble UK that was flying out to Mayotte one week after we arrived. It took the final Magic ingredient  4} Jacky

To drive up and down the south coast of England collecting and delivering  and 8 days after arriving we had a working replacement

Pump. A very rare commodity, In our possession  6000 miles away from UK. Jerome then rebuilt our Fuel Injectors and finally

On day ten we finally heard the sound of a Perkins Diesel engine.  I had spent 8 out of the previous 10 days making all efforts to

Get things going again and by the time our pump arrived from UK we had 3 injector pumps in our possession all having failed to

Get us started and going. 

  This next Part is the whole reason I am making an effort to put this diary together now. During the trip from South Africa to UK

We are proposing to invite any of our friends to join in on the passages. We will keep two berths free and all you have to do should

You wish to experience a leg is let me know so that we can get it organised and book the berth, We are hoping that Niamhs Farther

And my brother will show themselves, But after the tales and scrapes we have gotten ourselves into maybe everyone will be happier just reading the accounts.  To follow is our Passage plans for our return to UK hope it is understandable,   So That’s it.

Sweet dreams.


  Routes  South Africa to Lymington.


Passage                           Distance   Passage Time    Allowed               Date dept   Expt Date arrive

Cape Town to Salvador





12 march  



Salvador to Cape Verde






Cape Verde to Cannaries






Cannaries to Azores






Azores to Porto






Porto to Rio Mouro