Seychelles – Mexican Wedding Cookies in the Sea
by Livy Tinsley
Seychelles by way of Zanzibar. Serenghetti for Morgan on the way back but now Seychelles, sea shells, the Indian Ocean. French settlers, Arab traders came first, 16th century, Shakespeare writing while mariners comb the earth in search of some or other splendor. 1742, taken, possessed. By 1770 the fondling was over and Seychelles was permanently settled. From then, domesticated, and no longer anyone’s wild notion of an outpost, no longer free to be alone with God, islands tamed. And if taming wasn’t enough then came the blemishes; slave trade, convicts, a spice trade as hot as and dirty as drugs.
Brits and Frogs fought over her like schoolboys in heat. And such was a century when Seychelles was a speck of light in the empire of Victoria on which the sun never set. Following with the mother country slavery went by the wayside and the early stirrings of independence mirrored an America of two hundred years ago. With 1976 came the first of the republics. This year a new constitution established the current one-party regime, known otherwise as the second republic. A republic: country with a president, not a monarch. Monarch butterflies, the winds of change, states of flux, this century seems to pivot at this point.
1593km East of Kenya, 2813km South of West India and 925km Northeast of Madagascar. An archipelago like Mexican wedding cookies sprinkled in the blue; an expanse of ocean interrupted by Mahe and dozens of others. Grand Anse greeting the sweep of monsoon soldiers, watery swords of energy, slicing their way south. Playing limbo with the equator the Seychelles ducks the cyclone but welcomes its gifts in good form; open ocean swells in a soft, close air.
Coralline and low slung like a sway back horse, habitation on these parts of the archipelago is best for the native birds who ask little for their sustenance. Their granitic sisters reach 6-1000km’s and flow with streams sufficient for larger settlements of human beings; verdant with white sand beaches.
People. European, Asian and African, the “locals” are the descendants of the first French settlers, African slaves, British sailors and traders. Indian, Chinese and Arabians came later. They speak Creole, a dialectic French, eclectic and mixed with everything aforementioned. Money, one might think it Third World, but in the order of things folks enjoy a relatively high standard. Upper middle income in the center of the sea, paradise without hunger. Healthy, smart, and well-read with 70 years to look forward to, the people of Seychelles are accommodating and peaceful, given to kindness and warm like Grandma’s afghan.
Surfers first began coming here early in this decade.
Bali High turned’em on. Jerry and the crew opened surfers to the idea to pushing beyond home.
“This is good stuff Liv, but before you go on, please don’t glorify surfers as a whole anymore. It’s tiresome and it just adds up to saying something like robbing banks is good if you’re as cool as Jesse James. There’s a lot of good to surfing but to try and raise the whole group to icon status is counterproductive. There’s a whole lot of idiots riding the coattails of men like Duke Kahanamoku and they don’t deserve it, and the Duke deserves a better legacy. People should be judged on a case-by-case basis. I understand you were getting stoked on something new but you’ve got to avoid being blinded by the false romance of it. Your editor will see it soon too. As soon as the adrenaline wears off.”