Cruising the Seychelles

Transparent, warm water surrounded the boat as we dropped anchor just off the main island, ‘MAHE’. As the cruising world was still in hibernation from the pandemic it seemed like we had all the islands to ourselves. Uncrowded anchorages, untouched beaches and abandoned landscapes, mixed with the trade winds that were still blowing for another month, left us with the perfect playground.

We had a week before our first clients flew out to the island, Mahe for their charter. So this gave us a bit of time to settle in from the crossing and to also explore the islands and find the best kitesurfing spot. We noticed a cluster of islands called ‘ILE AU CHEF’ , ‘ILE LONGUE’ and ‘ILE RONDE’ just east of the mainland Mahe. It seemed like a good spot to start as it was only a short motor out into the bay. We anchored the boat about 800m off the reef and took the dinghy into the lagoon and up to the sand spit which was hanging off the end of ‘ILE LONGUE’.

The SE trades blow between 14kts-25kts, being slightly stronger at midday, you can get two solid kite sessions in per day. The sand spit was perfect to launch from, and with one side being offshore and the other onshore, you could choose what kind of sea state you preferred. It was extremely easy to anchor the dinghy off the beach as the tidal range wasn’t huge. A few boats from the mainland would come over for day trips to hang out and swim with the sting rays in the shallow lagoon, but NO ONE was kiting apart from us. We had it all to ourselves. A local spotted us kiting one afternoon and decided to come and join us. He was so excited to see fellow kiters as he’s usually out here all on his own! If flat water kiting isn’t your thing and fancied some waves, you could just kite upwind for about 15mins to the edge of the reef and put the surfboard to good use!

We kite surfed amongst reef sharks, foiled next to turtles and soaked up the tropical sun all day everyday. The national parks around the islands ‘PRASLIN’ and ‘LA DIGUE’ were incredible, which are about a 4 hour sail East, from the mainland MAHE. If you don’t have the access of your own boat, you can get a ferry over to the islands, as well as fly over on a small aircraft. There are also plenty of opportunities to bareboat charter catamarans, if you fancied exploring the islands for yourself (some sailing experience required). We even saw a local kitesurfer, having a great downwind session, from one island to the other. So that is also a bonus for getting a boat!

Spearfishing in the Seychelles is illegal, so there is a huge amount of sea life and beautiful reefs to go and discover. All the locals are extremely friendly, and are happy to show you around their home! On ‘LA DIGUE” they only travel around by bicycle, when the wind wasn’t strong enough to kite, we went and cycled around the whole island in a day !

Meg Niblett, Sep 2022