Friday, October 15, 2021

Safari in Tanzania

 

Mara River crossing. The number of animals was mind-boggling
 

As I was going through the pictures for this post, it occurred me that it will be more like a boring vacation slideshow than most of our posts (which are already pretty close). Not only are there a lot of pictures--because I had a hard time choosing, but who hasn't seen almost the same stuff in the zoo or when watching a nature documentary?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Seychelles to Tanzania

 


Our six-day passage from the Seychelles to Tanzania was bumpy and fast. The confused seas made most of the passage uncomfortable, punctuated too often by the big bangs of the waves slamming against Perry's underside. So we were very happy to see Zanzibar (birthplace of Freddie Mercury) on the horizon, even as we put another reef in the mainsail ahead of an imminent squall.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Cruising the Seychelles

 

Baie Georgette - Our view after a long hike from Anse Lazio

Most of our time in the Seychelles has been spent on the main island of Mahé. These last few weeks we were finally able to get over to the other two 'big' islands: Praslin and La Digue.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Around Seychelles

View of our anchorage at Praslin Island


This is a bit of a catch-up post, since it's been awhile (I was in the States for about a month visiting family).

 We made it to Praslin, which is one of the other "main" islands that we are allowed to go to in the Seychelles (there's a quirky mix of private/public/ and marine national park islands here, so you need to to do your research or else you can get turned away or hit with a pretty hefty visitor fee). It's nice to have clearer water after the Eden Island anchorage, which has very 'nutrient rich' (aka 'poopy') waters.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Seychelles by the seashore

 

Tortoises in the Victoria Botanical Gardens

We didn't do a lot of walking in the Maldives or Chagos, so all the walking we're doing here in the Seychelles has taken some getting used to (if you read that as 'there is a lot of whining going on', you're not wrong). You would think that after all these years, the transitions would be easy, but things like going on passage after being at anchor for just a week or two is still an adjustment.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Chagos to Seychelles

 

The coconut crabs have grown a bit since they became protected

We managed to be in Chagos (Salomon Atoll) for the exact dates on our permit (May 1 through May 28), which is pretty lucky given the vagaries of wind and weather. We saw exactly three boats while we were there (not counting the illegal fishing boat that we spotted several miles away): Time Bandit, Skylark, and Georgia. For about a week, it was just us and the wildlife.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Gan, Maldives to Chagos

Passages are not my favorite part of cruising. Too often it's a bad version of Snow White's dwarves: Sleepy, Grumpy, Queasy. For this trip, 2 new dwarves decided to join in: Squally and Lumpy (the seas). On the bright side, we had mostly decent winds, were visited by pods of hundreds of dolphins, and the boobies that took refuge on our boat at night generally behaved themselves (no crash landing or throwing up on our heads as has been reported by other boats).

We managed to just beat the setting sun and pull into the Salomon atoll during daylight after two and a half days of sailing with just a few hours of motor-sailing at the beginning and end. The ability to sail was a good thing because our starboard engine decided to overheat and develop a leak at the heat exchanger cap bolt, leaving it out of commission until we can figure out what's ailing it. Our last day was spent dodging squalls with the accompanying reefing and unreefing of sails (lather, rinse, repeat) but we averaged 7 to 9 knots of boat speed. At the end, we were rewarded by the welcome sight of the lush Chagos isles, tiny fish jumping like popcorn, and a much anticipated good night's rest. We happily fell asleep to the sound of rain that we didn't have to sail through.

The next day, we stopped by to say hi to Time Bandit, who had gotten there a couple weeks earlier, and then went off to try our luck at trolling a lure from the dinghy. About two minutes in, we had hooked a little tunny. The cruisers who raved about the fishing were not exaggerating. One of the resident black-tip sharks happily gobbled up the remains after we filleted our catch.