It’s a long way to the Seychelles, even in business class, and it isn’t particularly relaxing at the marina on Mahé. Or maybe it is that I am unable to relax, eager to get on the boats, unsure of my new travel companions, and nervous about how much remains to be done before we cast off.
Stowing luggage, checking in and storing provisions (a ton of meat, but no peanut butter and only four extra rolls of toilet paper?), and going over everything needed to take the boat out on the water is overwhelming in so short a time. It is all a blur. Are we ready? It seems questionable, as everyone wanders about wondering where to find this or that or if anyone remembers exactly what was said about one system or another or tonight’s anchorage. But time is up, whether we feel ready or not, it is time to cast off.
We follow the rest of the flotilla (there are five boats) out of the marina and into the water around Cerf Island, choosing an anchorage and then struggling a bit to anchor the unfamiliar boat in near darkness. The anchor sets, although Joel remains unconvinced (we will hear him pacing around on deck, watching, during the night), and at last we have a few minutes to start to get our bearings.
After a group dinner ashore (more maneuvering in the dark in an unfamiliar place), the seven of us who will call Tharius home for the next 10 days gather in the dark on the front of the boat. As the warm night air settles in around us, we talk about sailing and travel, why we travel, the places we’ve been and the places we want to go. Below me, the water is dark and quiet; above the sky is bright with stars moving in unfamiliar patterns.
Life is good.