Tuesday, September 08, 2009

September 11, 2009 - Eden Island, Mahe, Seychelles


"Darling you've got to let me know,
Should I stay or should I go?"
For months now the wind has been blowing strong and steady out of the southeast in the Seychelles. The market is filled with lettuce, but there aren't many fish as the fishing boats are trapped in the harbor. In Somalia, this season is bad for the swashbuckling business. On Mata'irea, we've considered it the price of doing business. Without the strong winds that blew the pirates back to Somalia, we couldn't have come to the Seychelles to meet up with family. We have paid for our pleasure with a rough passage getting here and the anticipation of a tough slog to Madagascar.

Local fishing boats waiting for the Southeast Monsoon to subside

Neither of us was excited about pounding 650 miles to windward, so we've been playing a waiting game, working on the boat, biding our time until the strong southeasterlies lessen for just a few days so that we can make a break for Madagascar, before the Northeast Monsoon sets in for good and blows the pirates back into town. While we've been cooling our heels here, we've been getting reports from friends about great shelling, fishing and wildlife encounters in Madagascar. Every day we spend here is a day less that we get to spend in Mad before making the jump to South Africa. There have been times these past few days when we almost said "screw it, let's go." But we'd spent so long waiting for a weather window that it would be foolish to go just to get out of here and then get rolled over by a low pressure system. So, we've tried to keep busy and keep from going stir crazy.

Sten has
  • Changed the generator oil
  • Removed, rebuilt, and reinstalled the generator raw water pump
  • Had an adventure refilling a propane tank
  • Repaired the watermaker
  • Dragged a rolling suitcase full of 30 liters of UHT milk across Victoria
  • Enviously eyed the sailfish at a fishing contest
  • Spent the next day working on his fishing gear
  • Rigged a third reefing line
  • Expertly docked the boat at the fuel dock in a 25 knot cross breeze (proving once again that it is better to be lucky than good)
  • Realized that something was wrong with the batteries
  • Troubleshot said batteries and attempted to revive the $400 weak link
  • Repaired the watermaker again
  • Cleaned the bilge
  • Got bored
  • Began breaking stuff just to have something to repair

Sailfish caught (not by us) for a fishing tournament over the weekend

I've
  • Cooked oodles of food for passage
  • Gotten bored
  • Begun cooking desserts out of boredom
  • Discovered that the local rum is better as a sauce for bread pudding than for actually drinking
  • Schlepped nine dozen eggs across town
  • Vaselined said eggs to make them last
  • Cringed as Sten broke two dozen of said eggs
  • Discovered that pumpkins are a bitch to process (I could have made regular lasagna, but there hasn't been ricotta or cottage cheese available on this island for months and it would bankrupt us buy that much beef mince here)
  • Washed three loads of laundry by hand (lamenting Kate's departure all the while)
  • Realized that I haven't been this bored since we were waiting for a weather window to leave New Zealand

Local kids racing Opti's

It looks like we've got a window this weekend . . . and not a moment too soon. The local newspaper has reported that two Spanish fishing trawlers operating between the Seychelles and Somalia have escaped pirate attacks in the past few days. That's our signal.
"If I go there will be trouble.
If I stay it will be double."
Gotta go.

1 comment:

Jay said...

good luck and safe passage to you!!