A tropical paradise far from any shore, the Seychelles archipelago seems to be a land where time stood still to when the first European explorers set foot here. So those that seek a secluded getaway, this is the perfect place to go sailing, especially since the waters here are known to be accesible and not to pose serious problems.
Sea & Coast
115 islands make up this tropical paradise nation, officially known as the Republic of Seychelles
. This particular archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean
, far from any continent, some 1500 km east of mainland Africa and northeast of Madagascar. Though unexplored for centuries, the Seychelles have become a hot spot for activity in later decades.
Made out of granite and coral the numerous but small islands amount only to 457 km2 of land, with 90% of the population living on the capital island of Mahe
. This, along with 40 others, makes up the granitic group which gives it a relief consisting of a narrow coastal strip and a large range of hills in the center. The remaining islands are made up of coral and are located 90 km to the north, the perfect daytrip destination for a group based in Mahe.
So unique is the flora and fauna found on these islands that the World Bank invested close to 2 million dollars to preserve it. Numerous species of plants, insects and birds are endemic to the Seychelles (they can’t be found anywhere else). Most of these tropical species can be found in the coral area, though the granite islands also share in the beauty, much to the delight of the guests.
Being close to the Equator, the climate here is quite humid. The temperature varies little throughout the year, hanging in the 24-30 degrees Celsius range. Rainfall however is rather significant, concentrated on the slopes. July and August are the coolest months of the year and March and April the hottest, but the air temperature seldom goes over the 30 degrees mark (perfect for all you lovers out there), as there are sea influences present.
Culture & History
Recorded history of Seychelles begins rather late, in the 17th century when the Europeans colonize the islands, though it is believed that Arab sailors were aware of their existence long before that. The French were the first to claim the archipelago for themselves, and they were also the first to introduce spice plants cultivation. After that, Seycheles became a British colony starting with 1810 and in 1976 was granted independence within the Commonwealth. Ever since then the economy grew, thanks mainly to tourism.
The culture here, though in many aspects confirms to the rigidity of the British style remains somehow anchored in the old French ways. Once here, the visitor will surely fall in love with the Seychellois music, cuisine and life style that is reminiscent of older times since it’s style matriarchal.
Seamanship & Experience
The waters around the archipelago are known to be calm year round, since the position of Seychelles is outside the cyclone belt. There are 2 seasons divided by an inter-season which has variable weather. The first season, from May to October, has prevailing winds from the southeast, while the second season, from November to March, has northwestern winds and heavy rain. January is the rainiest month of the year, with April and May being the sunniest. crews sailing close to the islands should mind the shallows and the underwater coral formations.