The Seychelles are located 4 Degrees South of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. Often referred to as the 'Jewel of the Indian Ocean', the yachting paradise, this Archipelago is probably what could be the definition for Paradise.
On the hundred or so islands in the Seychelles, scattered over an area of 400,000 square kilometres of ocean, you can discover primeval mistforests, huge flocks of sea birds and giant tortoises, black parrots and the flightless white-throated rail bird (related to extinct Dodo). There are old plantation houses, ruins of leper hospitals, pirate graves and legends of buried treasure. Then, of course there are the famous beaches - miles of deserted powdery white sands, surrounded by coral reefs and sparkling lagoons.
Praslin the second largest island in the Seychelles,is home to the Vallee de Mai - a primeval rainforest containing the famous coco de mer palms, which have the largest, heaviest and most suggestively shaped nuts in the world.
For tropical charm, La Digue has it all - tumble down plantation houses, with dusty roads used by slow - moving bicycles and ox - carts. The beaches of La Digue are supposedly the most photographed in the world, distinguished by the weathered granite boulders that resemble modern art pieces. Many other smaller islands have been turned into discreet hideaways for the rich and famous or nature reserves for the many examples of rare species found nowhere else on earth.
Nature under the waves is as spectacular as the many unique species on dry land in the Seychelles. The coral reefs that form around many of the islands contain huge numbers of fish and other species and the corals themselves well worth a closer look. Further out to see from the reefs are much larger fish, Tuna, Sailfish, and a variety of Sharks for those divers who wish to experience the thrill of swimming close to the giants of the deep.
The 'Desroches Drop' is a site renowned for the best diving in the Seychelles, if the Indian Ocean. Even if you are not a diver, a snorkle on the reefs around the islands is almost as amazing: if the birds are sometimes lacking in colour, the fish make up for it in a vivid living kaleidoscope. Many of the best sites lie in the national marine parks around Mahé and Praslin.
The tropical climate and colourful culture of the Seychellois people make the this unique group of Islands the ultimate paradise.
Base in Mahé
One of the yachtcharter base is located on Mahé, close from the capital of Seychelles: Victoria. A 10-minute drive will take you from the international airport to the dock where your yacht is waiting for you!
'The Wharf' marina hosts all the facilities which will help you set sail in the best conditions: restaurants, hotels, boutiques, car rental, etc...
The temperature in the Seychelles does not vary much. The average is 29°C throughout the year, accompanied by a very pleasant breeze. The islands lie outside the hurricane belt, and violent storms are very rare. The Seychelles can therefore be visited at any time of the year. Even though tropical rains fall more frequently in January and February, the weather can be completely different from one side of an island to the other; the sun will probably be shining only a few kilometres away. Choose your charter yacht depending on the prevailing wind during the period of your visit, to make sure you will have a clear and calm sea, sheltered from the wind. Strangely enough the month of June seems to be low season even though the weather is usually fine. So why not choose this month for your holiday?
Fringing reefs and shallows make yacht navigation a full-time occupation and currently only crewed charters are offered in the Outer Islands. Anchorages tend to be better during the south-east trades (May to September) or during the calmer transition months (April and October), although each island may have its own particular configuration for favourable moorings depending on the season.
Throughout Seychelles the ocean is subject to currents with speeds of 0.5 up to 1.5 knots that develop with the trade winds.
The currents over the Seychelles Bank are on average 0.4 to 0.8 knots and increases around local obstructions and headlands.
The effects of the tides are more noticeable within the Inner Islands than the ocean currents and are generally less than a knot, increasing to up to 2 knots in channels between islands or close to underwater ridges.
Tides are semi-diurnal and asymmetrical with about 6 hours between high tide and low tide. The tidal range around the Inner Islands can get as high as 2 metres at spring tides and as low as 0.9 metres at neaps. Tides give rise to currents that can be strong in the channels leading to lagoons, which may empty completely at low tide.
The tidal range at Aldabra is 4 metres at springs and 1.8 metres at neaps.
Swells are generally moderate with waves of up to 1 to 2 metres becoming higher only in strong winds on open water.
Currents and upwellings around the Amirantes Bank often cause choppy conditions in a small area whilst currents in the Aldabra region run up to 2.5 knots and tidal streams around the atolls reach 3 knots at spring tides.
There are two opposing wind patterns in Seychelles, blowing seasonally either north-westerly (December to March) or south-easterly (May to September).
In general, the north-westerly winds strengthen at daybreak, however, it is relatively weak with average wind speeds of 5-10 knots and reaches its peak strength in January. The north-westerly trades often have intermittent rain squalls and stronger winds during the period December to March. These are sometimes associated with the presence of tropical cyclones over the south-west Indian Ocean. Remember that all but Seychelles’ most southerly islands lie well outside the cyclone belt.
In comparison, the south-easterly trades are drier and tend to blow more consistently throughout the day and into the night, reaching its peak in July/August. Average wind speeds during the period.