April 17 and 18, 2023
When we were here in 2015, I wrote that I thought it was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. It is still a very beautiful place. We docked in Mahe on April 17 at 2 PM and stayed there until 4:30 AM on April 18 when the ship moved to La Digue and was at anchor there for the day. I don’t quite know why they do it that way, but it was the same last visit.
Mahe is the largest island of Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Victoria is the capital. It was originally largely a plantation owned by the Frichot family. In 1977 France-Albert Rene staged a coup and forced all the Frichots out of Seychelles and into prison. Some were held in jails for several months and then told to leave Seychelles for their own safety upon release.
We had a wonderful opportunity to have lunch with our guest pianist, Panos Karan. Our friends Marilyn and Charlie invited us to join him and them. He is a remarkable talent and also heads a group called Keys of Change which supports young musicians and has created music schools around the world. (keysofchange.org) It was good to hear about his work. What he was most interested in is Adam’s marathon experiences. He has always wanted to run Boston and New York but hasn’t done it yet. He is leaving the ship tomorrow and will run the London Marathon on Sunday. Not surprisingly, with all the delicious food available on the dining room lunch menu, he had a huge bowl of pasta with Bolognese sauce!
Our tour today was a coral cruise to Sainte Anne Marine National Park. We boarded a very large catamaran, Le Cerf, and sailed out to the marine park. They call it a coral cruise but sadly, most of the coral is dead due to overheating and climate change. Once at the park, half of the group boarded a semi submersible boat where we saw mostly sergeant major fish (they are the black and white striped ones).
After both groups were back on the catamaran we spent the rest of the afternoon snorkeling. The water was quite cloudy due to early monsoon rains and my underwater pictures are not too good, but it was a pleasant time and the water was very warm.
On the way back to the dock, the crew entertained us with singing and dancing. Oh to be 20 again and as agile as they are.
The huge house on the hill belongs to the Sheik of Abu Dhabi.
We asked the crew who owned the huge yacht – they said: “a Russian guy”.
Good thing we changed our Polo restaurant reservation to 7:30 because we didn’t get back until 6:30.
Here’s a shot of how hit and miss these storms are.
After dinner, there was a deck party because the ship was docked. They are always a good time – and our attention was mostly on the Boston Marathon app since we were tracking our son, Adam, who was running. He finished at the same time as the deck party (we are currently 8 hours ahead of Boston time) and our friends were all cheering for him as we shared his progress and finish.
Day 2 (Adam’s 40th birthday!)
We started out after breakfast for our tour – Coco Island snorkeling adventure. We weren’t sure when we would have another snorkeling opportunity so booked it for both days here in these lovely islands. La Digue is the third most populated island of the Seychelles and the fourth largest by land area. The first inhabitants arrived from France in 1798. The people here are mostly Catholic.
We had the same catamaran as yesterday – they followed us here – but some different and equally terrific crew. The coral here is also mostly dead and it is said that the French colonists manufactured coral lime and are responsible for the decline of the coral reefs. Here the water was much clearer and we saw many fish and a friendly sea turtle. The pictures are still not great, but they give you an idea of the underwater views. Those fish move fast!
We had a long time for snorkeling, then sailed around the beautiful islands before returning to dock to board our tender back to the ship in time for lunch. But first we did get a chance to FaceTime with Adam for his birthday. Internet is still spotty but better than the past few days.
I spent the rest of the afternoon on the spa deck and in the thermal pool. Very relaxing. We were invited for dinner with Cella, the Oceania Club ambassador and Dottie, our incoming cruise director. Joining us were Dennis and Cle – we know them from previous cruises.
Our entertainer tonight was Becky Porter who does an Adele show and she sounds pretty much like Adele. We both enjoyed her singing and her off beat sense of humor. Looking forward to her next show when she will do her own favorites.
We have three days at sea in the Indian Ocean and then the Arabian Sea before our next port of Salalah, Oman, on Saturday.
such a lovely post. I can feel you relaxing in the snorkelling and spa time.
Never been to the Seychelles and one day will go.
Enjoy your sea days
Dottie was our cruise director on one of our Oceania cruises too.