THE MALDIVES AND SEYCHELLE ISLANDS


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Africa » Seychelles » Mahé
March 25th 2015
Published: March 26th 2015
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The morning we sailed from Sri Lanka we entered the High Risk Piracy zone. We were given a two page list of information and instructions regarding security measures being put into place. We will be cruising in this zone until we arrive in the Coromos Islands off Africa in thirteen days.

The Silver Whisper’s exterior lights are all turned off from dusk to dawn. The ship is equipped with deafening acoustic sound devices. Also the high pressure water hoses are in place to prevent pirates from boarding the vessel. Additional security agents boarded our ship in Colombo, Sri Lanka and will remain on board until we clear the high risk area. They patrol the decks 24 hours a day and enforce the blackout policy.

We have to keep our curtains closed and not use balcony lights. We rather like it when all the exterior lights are off as it makes for great star gazing and moonlight dining.

In 2009 while transiting the Gulf of Aden our ship was near Captain Phillips' ship, the Maersk Alabama, when it was hijacked. Here is the link to our blog about that particular cruise.

Https://www.travelblog.org/Africa/Somalia/Somaliland/blog-395291.html

Our captain's name is Angelo Corsaro. Corsaro is Italian for Corsair which of course means pirate, especially the North African Barbary type. So I guess he is the best one to take us through these pirate waters.

The good news is that in the last year or so, there has been a dramatic decrease in hijackings mostly due to the security measures that have been put in place.


Talk about culture shock! Visiting the Maldives and Seychelles is like time traveling between two different worlds. Both islands are world famous diving and fishing destinations but that is about where the similarities end. The Maldives are a very conservative Islamic country which practices Sharia Law while the Seychelles are a predominately Christian country and very secular.

We anchored off Male which is the capitol city of the Maldives. It is one of the densest cities in the world and it is the flattest country on earth. Its highest point tops off at 8 feet. With rising sea levels, the island chain is expected to be underwater by mid-century.

The outer islands of the Maldives are vacation paradises with top notch resorts. However these are also being threatened by stricter laws
MALDIVES AIRPORTMALDIVES AIRPORTMALDIVES AIRPORT

They might be needing float planes soon as the islands are sinking.
which would forbid liquor and spas. Water, water everywhere and not a drop of alcohol to drink. Local Maldivians are not allowed on these islands unless they are employees and travelers are not allowed on many of the islands that practice Sharia Law.

We went ashore and visited several markets. There was a political protest going on with lots of barricades and police in evidence. Our visit was a short one.

The Seychelles, sometimes called " Garden of Eden," are stunning, mountainous islands laced with coral reefs. In Mahe we attempted to hire a boat to take us snorkeling on the gorgeous reefs. But for some reason the prices have skyrocketed since our last visit in 2010. Even the taxi prices are exorbitant. So instead we paid $.40 and took a crowded city bus over the mountains and across the island to one of the fine sand beaches for a swim in the beautiful water. We returned to the Seychelles Yacht Club for lunch and a walk around town. Soon it was time to re-board the ship and head for the vast continent of Africa.


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 24


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SMOKED FISH MARKETSMOKED FISH MARKET
SMOKED FISH MARKET

A very aromatic experience
FISHING BOATSFISHING BOATS
FISHING BOATS

Along the waterfront
FRESH FISH MARKETFRESH FISH MARKET
FRESH FISH MARKET

Some beautiful yellow fin tuna
LITTERLITTER
LITTER

Lots of plastic water bottles in the water
JACKIE & GEOFFJACKIE & GEOFF
JACKIE & GEOFF

Enjoying the Indian Ocean at lunch
HIGH PRESSURE WATER HOSESHIGH PRESSURE WATER HOSES
HIGH PRESSURE WATER HOSES

Part of the pirate security arsenal
THE GRILL BY CANDLE LIGHTTHE GRILL BY CANDLE LIGHT
THE GRILL BY CANDLE LIGHT

Dinner under a star-filled sky.
TUNA FLEETTUNA FLEET
TUNA FLEET

Much of the world's supply of tuna comes from these waters
BEAU VALLONBEAU VALLON
BEAU VALLON

Very nice swimming beaches
LE CHAMPAGNELE CHAMPAGNE
LE CHAMPAGNE

Laura Beth graciously invited us to dinner in the French restaurant
HUGE TORTOISEHUGE TORTOISE
HUGE TORTOISE

We came upon this creature in a hotel lawn
GOBBLE GOBBLEGOBBLE GOBBLE
GOBBLE GOBBLE

Roast turkey for lunch
TOWN CLOCKTOWN CLOCK
TOWN CLOCK

A landmark in downtown Mahe
YACHT CLUBYACHT CLUB
YACHT CLUB

They serve up delicious Creole dishes
SEYCHELLES YACHT CLUBSEYCHELLES YACHT CLUB
SEYCHELLES YACHT CLUB

Silver Whisper in the background
PALACE OF SHEIK KALIFA OF ABU DHABIPALACE OF SHEIK KALIFA OF ABU DHABI
PALACE OF SHEIK KALIFA OF ABU DHABI

Looks like something in the Austrian Alps not the Seychelles.
JANAKAJANAKA
JANAKA

Our butler from Sri Lanka


26th March 2015

One of your better blog entries! (and they're all good)
I love the idea of Captain Corsaro. I also love the idea of all lights off after dark. What an opportunity for clear star-gazing, weather permitting. And I LOVED that Indian Ocean sunset. It reminds me of one we saw, when we sailed from Bali years ago. Many thanks.
26th March 2015

Conservativeness!
Islam has its presence indeed! I have found in my reading that Islam has a quite interesting appeal when interpreted as a positive force -- actually one of tolerance of others and their differing religious beliefs. Modern Sharia is distorting this appeal and replacing it with intolerance. Too bad. I just finished doing a presentstion on Africa which required a lot of getting myself up to date in spite of visits to Seychelles, Tanzania, S. Africa, Namibia and past military visits to Somalia and Egypt. Africa is in a cycle of promised good governance, rebellion, civil war, displaced population, negotiation, elections, and the cycle starts again. I look forward to your impressions as you go along. I hope you visit St. Helena -- such a short bed Napoleon had in exile! Jim
26th March 2015

Janaka
It was good to see Janaka again....He was getting off in Sri Lanka for a break I thought. If not, give him a "hello" from us. Bonnie and David Shannon
26th March 2015

THANK YOU
OMG! I want your life. Every post you send is fascinating. Is the candle light just romantic or is it a little scarey? Do you ever feel unsafe on any of your shore excursions? You two absolutely amaze me. We have got to cruise with you again so I can sit with a drink and listen to your stories. Thank you, this is delightful. Lynda
26th March 2015

We're Jealous !!!!!
It seems like we weren't even on the Whisper ! We've been home in Florida for 18 days already. Wish we were still with you ! Bob & Linda :)
29th March 2015

Oh my ...
What an enlightening post! It does give pause, and then a smile, because it's so Kevin and Susan to find the beauty while practicing high risk security precaution, ie stargazing while the ship's lights are out. May your 13 days be uneventful and filled with beautiful night skies.
1st April 2015

Response to blog
Thought you might like to know that the Seychelle wind turbines are just like the ones that crowd Iowa farms up by the lakes. Those things are huge. It must be quite a task to get them to an island. We are still watching March Madness basketball but were very sad to see our favorites, Iowa State, KU, UNI, and Wichita State, fall. Your talk of pirates sounds a bit scary but I guess you two are used to adventure. Travel safely. Sandy

Tot: 2.534s; Tpl: 0.107s; cc: 16; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0624s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb