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Amirantes

Published on 26 january 2009 at 0h00

What can we say about the Seychelles...? Amazingly beautiful anchorages in catamaran, a profusion of islands, an exceptional seabed, a welcoming population and a rare kindness. In short, this is one of the world’s real cruising paradises. But there is even better...the Amirantes. These islands depend on the Seychelles and offer everything you have always dreamed about, with the incredible luxury of being alone into the bargain, as very few people go to the Amirantes...

Logbook

The Seychelles are a real invitation to travel in catamaran.

A postcard in the open air. Moreover, people come from all over the world to discover the incredible richness of their fauna and flora. It must be said that this richness, which is more and more rare, is jealously protected by the authorities, who control movements and anchorages (very) seriously. Enough to protect fragile nature...
 
This is why the Amirantes are absolutely unique, as to gain access, you must have a catamaran with a special licence and a duly approved skipper. Situated 12 miles from Mahé, they extend over 86 miles (Desroches, Poivre, D’Arros, Rémire, Bancs Africains, Marie-Louise, Atoll de St Joseph, Atolls d’Alphonse and St François). Only Desroches is inhabited and has a hotel and diving centre. Unlike the Mahé group, where the islands are mountainous and granitic, the Amirantes group is formed of very flat coral islands, which are virgin and inhabited by birds and coconut trees. The crossing to these islands allows your imagination to awaken. Then all of a sudden, the island appears ahead of you, a real mirage, low in the water, protected by a barrier of big white waves breaking on the coral plateau, with, in the background, a long band of white sand capped by a crown of coconut trees and green casuarinas. The Amirante Islands are accessible from October to May, and you should allow two to three weeks to discover them in depth, but it is possible, by accepting that you will sail a lot, to visit them in 8 days...

Itinerary

Here is a typical itinerary offered by Marine Cat Sey for 8 days in the Amirantes in catamaran:

1st day:
Reception at Mahé international airport. Lunch aboard your catamaran and under way at around 2pm.
2nd day:
Arrival at Desroches in the morning.
3rd day:
Departure for Poivre in the morning.
4/5th days:
Arrival at D’Arros in the evening; barbecue with your day’s catch. 
he next day, visit to the fabulous St. Joseph lagoon, rest, reading, free diving...
6th day:
Tour of the island of D’Arros, then departure for Remire, visit, reading, rest, snorkelling, fishing.
7th day:
Departure for the Banc Africain.
8th day:
Arrival in the morning. 
 
 
THE ROUTE
Mahé / Desroches : 120 nautical miles
Desroches / Poivre : 23 nautical miles
Poivre / D’Arros, St Joseph : 20 nautical miles
D’Arros / Rémire : 22 nautical miles
Rémire / Banc Africain : 10 nautical miles
Banc Africain / Mahé : 130 nautical miles

Practical info

Formalities:

Valid passport to enter the Seychelles for the EU and North Americans citizens. To get to the Amirantes, crews must obtain an authorisation from I.D.C, pay a landing charge and embark a local, approved skipper.

 

Health

 

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Nothing to report. When we say it is a paradise...

 

 

Weather

 

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No hurricanes in the Seychelles, but the Amirantes are only accessible from October to May.

 

Sailing conditions in catamaran

 

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Anchorages: their choice is governed by the wind direction, which depending on the season is from the SE to NW. Currents can reach 2 to 3 knots in the passes, east-going during the monsoon and west-going during the SE trades. Tides are bi-diurnal, heights from 1.4m to 1.8m. Finally, the buoyage is system A (European), and quite rare, except in the channels close to the harbours. Lights are random. Night sailing banned...

 

Money

 

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Seychelles rupee (1 euro = 12 rupees)

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