Friday, July 12, 2013

Windward Spirits, III

The next morning we board Indigo. She's a 14m catamaran, according to a sign nailed to a wall of the galley that also has an s.o.s. number to call in case we sink...

The boat has a faux wood floor, a small, but decent galley and two bedrooms and bathrooms on either side of the hulls.

Mom, Danielle, Maddie and I take a cab to town to get groceries while the boys listen to a briefing about the boat. I'm completely fine with missing the briefing because it sounds boring and those things are never brief, even though shopping in town is sweltering. 

The guide books said to expect temperatures in the mid 80s that feel like the low 100s and I find that truth to be overpoweringly as we make our way through the narrow pathways of the farmer's market. At a tiny convenient store down the street we find pasta and sauce, cheese and a few other necessities not found at the outdoor market. They do not sell peanut butter and alcohol is not available until 11:30 according to local law, though. The heat and heavy grocery bags are sort of torturous, but we finish our errands in good spirits without any arguments, which I deem sort of miraculous considering all the joint decision making, the jet lag and the conditions. 

That afternoon we sail to a small harbor only about 5 miles away and anchor there for the night. There's small surf breaking over the reef in front of the beach when the tide is low enough. Scott and I catch a few as the sunset gleams off the glassy surface of the water. 
The next day we sail to Anse Lazio beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world known for two deadly shark attacks a few years back. As a precaution, local officials motivated to protect people and tourism have placed a shark-net close to the shore that forms a 300 meter long rectangular swimming area just off the beach. 

I'm very cognizant of the fact that being attacked by a shark is about as likely as being struck by lightning or caught in a snow storm where I'm from, but the fact that lightning has struck this particular picturesque beach twice sticks in my mind like a post-it note on the fridge. 

That note reads: Sharks!!!

Scott and my dad make remarks like "That was years ago" and "There haven't been any other attacks in the Seychelles before or since" to try to create a verbal shark net around our wild imaginations. We, the women of the ship, still insist on being taken to the physically shark guarded area on the beach to swim and make the men promise to follow. 

Even though this net serves as a reminder of the tragedies of the recent past, it also brings me comfort as I swim. The water, still and just as salty as the days before, suspends me in this moment as I think about what it must have been like to come upon these islands hundreds of years ago and what a swimming person must look like to a shark from below. 

We get drinks at The Honesty Bar which is a sand floored hut nestled in some rocks overlooking the spot of the first shark attack. You serve yourself out of a hotel sized fridge and leave the appropriate payment in a tupperware on the koa wood counter. The owner comes down and, after standard introductions, tells us the story of the shark attacks. One took place not 100 yards from where we are sitting, the other close to a buoy by our boat. Both were men swimming alone, both were by a bull shark never previously sighted in the area. 

I didn't begrudge the sharks for their accident or mistake or hunger or whatever it was. And, although I feel terrible for the men, the stories wouldn't keep me out of the water. I wouldn't swim out far in the bay here alone, it almost seems haunted, but I would swim other places. The stories really made me think about life, who we are and where our souls go. And even as confused as this world makes me, that I do have a feeling everything will work out. 

As I jump and bodysurf later that day, I think about each one of those souls around me and I am thankful for the life I have and who I am spending it with. It is one of those rare comforting instances when you realize so many of the things you love are within arms reach. 


  1. I love following along on this adventure. I was working on something else, but then I saw your post pop up and had to read it all the way through:) I really like how you're breaking it up into separate posts. It leaves me wanting to know what happens next. The shark infested waters would really freak me out. I'm sure that was surreal to be in the exact place that those accidents happened years before. I like what you said about that even though this world makes you confused, you feel like everything will work out. I feel that way, too. I just think we can't see the whole picture. We just see our little slice of it. But when it's my time to leave this world, I like to think that suddenly everything will make sense, and my purpose will be explained. This looks like the most amazing trip, and those pictures are so beautiful! I especially love the one taken inside a wave. Awesome!

  2. ohh wow, such an amazing photos :) the girl on the second pic is beautiful :) I see that you spent a great time :)

    + wanna follow each other?

  3. This looks like so much fun Devon! I'm so glad you had so much fun with your family...and that you didn't see sharks. Yikes!

  4. such incredibly beautiful captures! your blog is very wonderful

  5. i love your blog & all of your pictures. i think your life style is so awesome & everything you're doing! i chose you to answer 6 questions on my blog!

  6. Your vacation is like dream come true!

  7. You're photos are amaze balls! I just love them!! I want to be as cool and take them as well!

  8. Gorgeous! Love the in-water photos.


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