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Play By Nature’s Rules

The Seychelles are stunning — with a perfect dash of adventure.

February 5, 2016
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The Seychelles

The Seychelles

Only a few charter yachts travel to the Seychelles each year. Courtesy Jon Whittle

Tiger sharks are not to be toyed with. They are what biologists call a macropredator, able to grow longer than 16 feet — and they’re usually hungry at night. All of which is why Capt. Nigel Burnet of the 161-foot Feadship Teleost was urging my friend and me to swim a wee bit faster as we made our way back to the yacht from yet another stunning beach in the Seychelles. It was coming up on sunset, and we were giggling through lazy backstrokes, oblivious to what the crew saw from the aft deck: fins, still well off in the distance, but coming a little too close for their liking.

The moment, surprisingly, was anything but scary. For me, it reinforced the raw nature of this island nation that lies northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Compared with popular winter destinations like the Caribbean, the Seychelles are remote and far less developed. They’re still a perfect blend of (minimal) people and (maximum) paradise.

Seychelles
The Seychelles is a collection of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean located near East Africa. Jon Whittle

Only a few charter yachts go there each year. Teleost has left to charter in other regions through Edmiston and Company, and in her wake, a handful of other well-respected charter yachts are available this winter.

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Swimming back to any of these boats from the beach is a must-do experience, given how warm and shockingly clear the ocean is. The view from water level is also unlike anywhere else. When you’re backstroking it from a beach like Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue, you enjoy a view of the wind-worn rocks that few other people on Earth ever get to see.

Honestly, the only regret I have from my day of “swimming with the sharks” is having failed to get a pedicure. My friend and I were so busy trying to sear that view into our memories that we kept finding ourselves wide-eyed, moving on our backs through the water, staring over and past our gangly, floating toes.

Talk about flat-out fun in a part of the world where nature rules — and where a great charter yacht crew can get you just close enough to the edge for a hint of adventure.

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GETTING THERE

ESSENCE OF LUXE:

Silver Angel is arguably the most luxurious megayacht available for charter in the Seychelles this winter. Her monochrome interior by Argent Design is awash in silver leaf, white onyx and Lalique crystal. She’s fun, too, with a sexy limousine tender and a waterslide.

Silver Angel

Silver Angel

This 211-foot Benetti takes 12 guests at a $425,000 weekly base rate, with Camper & Nicholsons. Courtesy Camper & Nicholsons

ANGLERS, TAKE NOTE:

Fishing is not usually an activity associated with a 27-knot, 76-foot Ferretti, but the owner of Sea Stream loves to wet a line, so the yacht is fully outfitted for catching some fresh supper.

Sea Stream

Sea Stream

With CharterWorld, this 76-foot Ferretti takes eight guests at a base rate of about $35,000. Courtesy CharterWorld

SEE THE STARS:

RoMa has a number of unique features, not the least of which is her onboard cinema. When the lights go down and the picture comes up, the walls of the room twinkle with fiber-optic stars.

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RoMa

RoMa

Also with Camper & Nicholsons, this 203-foot VSY takes 12 guests at a base rate of about $435,000. Courtesy Camper & Nicholsons

WORLD TRAVELER:

Zefiro has an owner who likes to sail away from the crowds. Last year, he made the Bruce Farr design available for charter in Myanmar, and this winter, Zefiro just might be the finest performance sailing yacht for charter in the Seychelles. Imagine the fun of tacking and jibing amid the Seychelles’ hundreds of islands.

Zefiro

Zefiro

This 99-foot Southern Wind takes eight guests at a weekly rate of about $53,000, with Ocean Independence. Courtesy Ocean Wind
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