It all began with a telephone call from an old friend of mine, a man of many passions, one of which is chartering beautiful boats in some of the most beautiful places on earth.
Thirteen years ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to join him and his family, and some other friends on a cruise around the Polynesian islands, starting in Tahiti, and working our way up to Bora-Bora and Maupiti, which are islands about as beautiful as anywhere on earth. So, when my friend telephoned towards the end of March in 2003 to ask what my then partner, now wife, Chrissy, and I, were doing over Easter, it was with some curiosity, and anticipation, that I replied: ‘absolutely nothing’. I was then asked if we would care to join him and his wife, on a cruise around the Seychelles, which, I was assured, would include endless opportunities for deep sea fishing, salt-water fly fishing, snorkeling, and generally ‘hanging out’ around a group of the outer islands known as the Amirantes. My response was not over long in coming, and was in the affirmative, and so it was that on Good Friday, 2003, that we boarded our flight from Heathrow, on Air Seychelles flight to Mahe, via Zurich.
Our arrival at Mahe coincided with a rainstorm as we transferred to a smaller Air Seychelles ‘island hopper’ for the trip to Des Roches, an isolated island about 120 miles southwest of Mahe, with a landing strip about a quarter of a mile long cut diagonally across the island. Des Roches is a raised plateau coral island on the edge of a lagoon formed by an eight mile atoll, with a small ‘settlement’ which now supports a luxury hotel in the form of a series of individual bungalows or huts, which is being built on the western end of the island right beside the landing strip.
We were met by our Skipper and the island Manager, who rejoiced in the name of Elvis, and some other helpful locals with a tractor and trailer, who transferred all our luggage. This included a large tube containing several fishing rods of various sizes, the larger ones for deep sea fishing, and smaller rods for the salt water fly fishing which we intended doing on the various ‘flats’, within the lagoons formed by the coral reefs, which comprise all the islands in this archipelago. The tractor and trailer wound their way through the palm trees of the interior of the island until we reached the settlement, where the 72ft Bermudan Ketch, was anchored a few hundred yards offshore. This would be our home for the next 12 days.
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