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Seychelles Letters

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This is going to get a bit confusing, as we actually visited the Seychelles multiple times.  The first time was in 2007, as we crossed from the Chagos archipelago.  Then in 2009 we visited again, coming up from Madagascar.

While several of our 2009 passages were longer, our passage from Chagos to the Seychelles in 2007 was our 4th longest at the time, and only missed being our 3rd longest by 30 miles:

Magnet to cruisers: the Seychelles Yacht Club
Magnet to cruisers: the Seychelles Yacht Club
Our longest passages to date:
Passage Length
(nautical miles)
Month(s) Year
Galapagos to Marquesas 2,935 nm May-June 2003
French Polynesia to Tonga 1,400 nm May 2004
Maldives to Indonesia 1,400 nm October 2009
South Africa to Mayotte 1,277 nm July 2009
Seychelles to Maldives 1,090 nm September 2009
Malaysia to Sri Lanka 1,054 nm March 2007
Chagos to Seychelles 1,024 nm June-July 2007

It was also one of our roughest passages in a long time.  While we have no real objective measure, our passage from Curacao to the San Blas in February 2003, with its sustained 40 knot winds and 20' (6m) seas, and the last 2 days of our trip from the Marquesas to the Tuamotus in July 2003, where we found ourselves close-hauled into 25 knots, stick in our minds as passages not to be emulated.  Considering that those were our worst and they were 4 years ago, we consider ourselves pretty lucky!

The following are our noon positions and statistics as we sailed from the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territories) to the Seychelles.  Wind speeds and directions are apparent - true wind-speeds were somewhat higher and true wind angles were a bit further aft (our forward speed pulls the apparent wind forward):

June/July
2007
South
Latitude
East
Longitude
Day's
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed
Wind
Direction
Comments
Thu 28 June 5 20' 72 16' 0 1,024 15-30 120-165 Lumpy seas, squalls at night
Fri 29 June 5 30' 69 56' 143 881 17-25 145 Lots of sail changes, washing machine seas
Sat 30 June 5 30' 67 13' 161 720 20-40 145 Surfed at 15.2 knots, Jon up mast to release main
Sun 1 July 5 29' 64 34' 162 558 20-25 120 Wind more S, coming fwd, meet 2 ships at night
Mon 2 July 5 30' 62 06' 150 408 18-22 125 Wind moderating, conditions improving
Tues 3 July 5 19' 59 36' 154 254 16-21 100-140 Start edging N, flatter seas, tropicbirds!
Wed 4 July 4 52' 57 22' 137 117 15-19 80 Slowing Ocelot down to arrive in daylight
Thu 5 July 4 37' 55 28' (117) 0 8-12 160 Anchor at 8am for customs clearance

Totals for Chagos to the Seychelles (2007):  1,024 nautical miles in 6 days and 20 hours, for an average speed of 6.2 knots and a maximum speed of 15.2 knots (says the GPS).  This passage was somewhat slower than expected given the winds, mainly because we had to slow down for the last few days (so we'd arrive in daylight) and when we were in the lumpy seas (for comfort).  One of our least comfortable passages to date.


Our 2009 trip up from Madagascar to the Seychelles was much nicer (and much faster) than our trip down in 2007 as we were able to catch a better weather window.  It was characterized by strong currents pushing us northwest when we wanted to sail northeast, so our speed and distance through the water was actually somewhat higher than our speeds and distances covered over the bottom, which is what is reported below.    Here are our noon positions and other sailing statistics:

Aug 2009 South
Latitude
East
Longitude
Day's
Run
Miles
to go
Wind
Speed
Wind
Direction
Comments
Sat 15 11 36' 49 34' (34) 552 22 70 Up to 3.3 knots of current off the N tip of Madagascar
Sun 16 9 49' 51 18' 149 403 21 70 Tuna in AM, current abating slowly, green flash sunset!
Mon 17 8 04' 53 36' 172 231 18-23 80-110 Start our amazing "power-reach" at 2pm
Tues 18 5 12' 55 07' 193 38 20 115 Anchor off Beau Vallon beach at 5:30 pm

Totals for Madagascar to the Seychelles (August 2009):  586 nautical miles in 3.5 days (just under 82 hours), for an average speed of 7.2 knots, and a maximum speed of 14.6 knots.  We may also have set a personal 24 hour distance record.

The newsletters we sent while on both passages are:

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