Seychelles At Last!!!
Trip Start Oct 22, 2006
22Trip End Ongoing
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We left Tanga around the 22nd of January, the crew consisting of me, tom, greg and cat. We went for a sail over to the island of Pemba just across from the land mass of Africa. We stopped there for two days at a beautiful anchorage complete with a shipwreck to dive and explore!! After that it was onto the open seas. We then spent the last twelve days crossing the Indian Ocean ( we went around half way across). This was my longest voyage ( 1050 nautical miles), and quite an experience. We didnt get much wind, but aside from the first few days there wasnt a big swell either. The routine was easy to adapt to with each of us taking three hour watches and just continuously rotating. Tom's new windvane ( nicknamed Jesus) worked a charm, and we even had some watches where you didnt even have to steer!!! TO pass the time, I did alot of things. I made two pairs of pants, one bed set and a couple necklaces. I played "Jotto" and made up trivia for the boys, read a little, cooked alot ( chapatis, soups, crepes, veggie pies, bread...), and of course slept many hours away. At night I would chase boobies with cat. They made quite a mess of the deck... Two of my favourite activities were star gazing and swimming.
Being alone on deck in the silence of the night with thousands of stars above you is a humbling experience. It leads to many wishes ( with all the shooting stars), meditation and all sorts of other deep contemplative thoughts.
Swimming must be better explained. When you swim while sailing, you are actually just being pulled along by the boat while you hold onto a bar in the back. Of course you dont let go and swim around freely as the boat would just leave you behind! The water rushes around you and it is actually quite a good massage. While in the water, it is impressive to think how at any given time there is 3 to 4 km of pure ocean below, teaming with life, food chains, births, deaths, and countless other miracles. It is also a little scary to know that there could be big sharks below you too. All that you can see though is that lovely never ending aray of blue...
Another cool thing that is a presence in the ocean is the dolphins. They frequently came and joined us at night, swimming next and around Karaka. Sometimes I couldnt see them, but knew that they were there by the tell tale huff of their occasional neccessary breath, and the subtle distinct splish of their brief surfacing. Some moonlit nights I could even see them jet through the moonlit waters around us. On those occasions I noticed that they were much smaller then the variety I seen off the coast of Tanzania. I wander what it is that brings them to us. Is it that they find Karaka motherly, with her smooth large shape and careless glide? Perhaps in fact they can tell we are from the land, and therefore must be lost, so they are guiding us back. I think that it is more likely that they are curious and perhaps even a bit lonely, and their intellectual minds can sense fellow mammals around. I am sure that with the decline in the whale populations due to the barbaric whaling practices, the dolphins miss having large fellow mammal companions. Whatever the reason, I am definitely glad to be blessed with their mystic presence.
The fishing wasnt too good on the way over and we didnt catch anything untill the last day when we caught two bornito tuna, one right after the other!!! They were super yummy!!!
So, for now it is time to explore Seychelles. We are probably going to stay anchored at Mahe the largest island for our time here. The seychelles islands are all mountainous granitic rock islands, and very unique. The trees here are gorgeous and the weather is tropic. The capital city of Victoria, where we are is very rich. The main industries are tourism and tuna fishing. We are actually anchored close to the tuna factory and can smell it unfortunately from the boat. The local ppl are creole, and everyone speaks french and english and creole which is very close to french.I cant tell too much more as this is my first day, but I definitely will update more with pics very soon.
We met our last missing crew member here today too. His name is Gwen, and he is from France. He is the brother of Dodo, who was with us in Tanzania. Gwen sailed on Karaka before two years ago and so he and Tom are already good friends. He definitley seems like the type of person that I will easily get along with. I am looking forward to getting to know him better. This means that the boats first language is back to french... j'ai besoin de pratiquer plus!!
WEll, that is is for now, but more to come soon with pics of course too...