New adventures afoot...

New adventures afoot...
where in the world...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sun and snorkel and...

Well I think the pictures will mostly speak for themselves... More recently it's been a simple life, the Passage to India bit, driving zodiacs ashore for folks to swim/snorkel from the beach, and/or including an anchored zodiac in the mix as a snorkel platform, for folks to check out reef areas in deeper water.

Earlier with the Durrell wildlife trust group we were more active on land but it's morphed into the island and atoll show. Here's a photo of our destinations for the first voyage

Here are some shots from the island of 
Alphonse, in a southern group of Seychelles... a fishing vacation destination, 

but for us it was a nice island walk through an old coconut plantation, relaxing beach, and a spectacular frigatebird colony, hundreds soaring off the north end of the island.

Tying up the boats so we can go ashore

Then there was Aride and Gran Soeur... part of the "inner islands", up north and grantitic with proper forest/vegetation and really interesting geology.

Aride was amazing, tons of seabirds totally unconcerned with a herd of humans wandering around close to their nesting areas... just next to the trail and overhead!

Look at the black blobs up above... Nesting noddies using wet leaves draped over the branches!

And tropicbirds on the ground, and fairy terms on bare branches in the understory...

Banyan fig

Home sweet home... Then there was the awesome geology on Gran Soeur... ancient granitic bedrock uplifted then eroded, it's rather large-crystalled and a bit crumbly... resulting in rounded and fluted shapes... 

Paradise found?  
My last visit in Seychelles was the first day of my second cruise... to Praslin island to the Vallee de Mai world heritage reserve to see the infamous coco de mer... the "sea palm", once thought to grow out in the middle of the ocean and guarded by a mythical Garuda-like protector... the female-shaped nuts that washed ashore only in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and the malabar coast of India inspired legends, assumptions of aphrodesiacal qualities, and royals-only edicts where if you were a peasant and found to be in possession of one you could have your hands chopped off!

A young one growing just to the left of the group of folks, The trees produce the largest leaves, fruits, and seeds of any known plant on the planet.  And the male "organ" is appropriately shaped to complement the female...

Coco de mer nut (female)

Male catkin... Google coco de mer images, you'll find some good ones!

Palm forest... primeval really 

And then we were off, three days at sea towards the Maldives!

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