Cruising the Indian Ocean is a wonderful experience
The Maldives are an atoll of 1100 islands 400 miles south of India in the Indian Ocean. Most of the islands which are inhabited form an amazing sailing area, with unlimited secluded anchorages and diving spots. With clear blue seas and an abundance of white sand beaches the Maldives holds the record for being the flattest country in the world. The reefs acting as a barrier against the sea, forming lagoons of peaceful water, give the Maldives their famous calm and ability to build literally right on the water.
The barrier reefs of the Islands protect them from the storms and high waves of the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean has a great affect on the climate of the country by acting as a heat buffer, absorbing, storing and slowly releasing the tropical heat. The heat is further mitigated by cool sea breezes.
Catamarans have become the sailboat of choice because they are nearly perfect for exploring coral reefs. Their low draft and easy access to the water making them well suited for hopping around the Maldives and going ashore to relax on the beach. More and more often yachts are brought to the Indian Ocean for the Winter, as opposed to the Caribbean, which avoids the Atlantic crossing and opens up all of the amazing Indian Ocean Destinations such as the Maldives and Mauritius.
The Maldives, like nearly all Indian Ocean destinations, are subject to the monsoon season. Two monsoons determine the wind directions and rainfall in the Maldives. The southwest monsoon, normally in June and July, brings adequate rainfall and the northeast monsoon from the months of November to April makes Maldives dry with little wind. Sea breezes tend to keep the environment temperate even if it is a hot summer day.
Maldivian cuisine offers a wide range of tastes ranging from mild to very hot and almost always the dishes are prepared using fresh and local ingredients. Some of the chief fishes cooked are barracudas, trevallies and tuna which are served with different types of curries. Maldives cuisine is an exotic combination of flavours ranging from sweet to hot, spicy and mild.
The Maldives are blessed with tropical weather conditions throughout the year. The temperature consistently ranges from 22º C to 33º C year round. As it is very near the equator, these islands enjoy moderate weather. An ideal time to visit the Maldives is from November to April, making it a great escape from the cold Northern Hemisphere winters.Itineraries
Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, where volcanic eruptions under the Indian Ocean created an archipelago millions of years ago. Sitting like a pearl in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean Mauritius is a contrast of colours, culture and taste. It holds a fascination for every visitor who comes here. Add natural beauty to die for and immense charm and the stage is set for a dream holiday in every sense of the word.
There is no better place to discover the clear warm waters and white beaches than from the deck of a catamaran. The seas surrounding these gorgeous islands teem with underwater treasures. Make sure you practice your snorkeling skills then you can paddle off to even the most hidden places in on-board kayak and marvel at what goes on below the surface.
Sailors will delight in the secluded coves and bright green lagoons of eastern Mauritius, and appreciate the slow pace of life. Captivating villages dot the landscape between the mountains and the sea.
Mauritius is the home of the famous but extinct dodo bird, and the Champ de Mars racecourse in Port Louis. The archipelago is favored by sailors and divers because of its crystalline waters and opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and picnicking. Round Island and Ile aux Serpents further to the North are nature reserves under conservation management to protect native species of palms and reptiles.
An entirely different landscape unfolds in the South. Beaches give way to dramatically high cliffs. The protective coral reef disappears and the Indian Ocean rolls ceaselessly against the shoreline. Ebony forests and rare orchids creep in, and endangered birds and reptiles, and pink pigeons come out to play.
The climate of Mauritius is tropical; ideal from May through October when humidity is lowest. The country has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September.
The month of October and May are commonly known as the transition months. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3 degrees Celsius. The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2 degrees Celsius and the coolest months are July and August.
Winds from the Southeast (Southeast Trades). The breeze is stronger in the south side of the island.Itineraries
Lying 1,000 miles off Africa’s east coast, between 240 and 600 miles north of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the 115 islands that comprise the Republic of Seychelles are among the most isolated in the world. Today, the population of the entire country numbers only 84,000, and it represents a rich commingling of French, British, Indian, Middle Eastern, and African culture. The French influence remains prominent; Creole is commonly spoken along with English.
While coral atolls make up most of the 72 low-lying Outer Islands, the majority of the Inner Islands, the largest of which consist of Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, are geological wonders of twisted granite, mountainous and lush with tropical forests that support species of birds found nowhere else on Earth. Giant tortoises inhabit some of the Seychelles, nesting on the fine, white-sand beaches fronted with exquisitely beautiful coral reefs and azure seas that make a Seychelles yacht charter vacation unique and enriching.
Temperatures are warm year-round between 79ºF and 82ºF in the Seychelles. The best time to visit is during the season transition in April/May and October/November when the water visibility is optimal at +30 meters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. It’s hot and humid between November and March with north-westerly trade winds and the wettest months are between December and February. It’s drier May to September and less humid with south-easterly trade winds.
Sailing conditions between October and March in the Seychelles feature north-westerly trade winds averaging 8 to 12 knots. Between May and September the south-easterly winds blow between 10 and 20 knots, bringing cooler, windy conditions that are ideal for sailing.Itineraries