Friday, October 19, 2012

Ashore on Anse Lazio, Praslin

Anse Lazio is located along a rocky point on the island of Praslin. It is often identified as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. There are a number of what are reputed to be the world’s most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles, but the view from Tharius indicates that, at least in this case, the reputation is well-deserved. I can’t wait to get out and see it up close! 
But Peter warns us during our briefing that it isn’t a good idea to take the dinghy to shore because it can be a “bit surfy.” Surfy? Not go ashore at one of the world's most beautiful beaches?
That is crazy talk.

Besides, it was a recommendation, not an actual prohibition.. . . soon four of us (Michigan Mike, Sara, Lane and I) decide to go for it, scoping out a landing spot on a pocket beach where there seems to be minimal surf. 
As we cast off in the dinghy, Joel (always thinking ahead) tosses us an anchor. Perfect. We won’t even have to bring the dinghy ashore!

We dart across the water, eying the other boats and wondering if we should swing by and see if anyone else wants to join us before deciding that we maybe better keep our plans to ourselves. We’d hate to have that recommendation turn into an outright prohibition.

As we near our chosen landing point, we realize that the current, rather than the surf, will be a problem. We attempt to set the anchor, can’t hook it and realize the rocky bottom makes a shore landing impossible. Time for a new plan. 

We survey the main beach again. There are two dinghies on shore and others anchored off the swimming beach, so clearly it is possible to land here. The only question is “how?”

We choose a spot by the other dinghies, drop the anchor, and Sara and I hop out into the warm water. The surf is strong, and it is a challenge to remain standing and hold the dinghy steady so the guys can set the anchor. Of course, the anchor won’t hold in the fine sand and surf. Now what? We are too close to give up!

We are rescued by a young local man, who joins us in the water, providing the extra strength to pull the dinghy through the surf and up onto the sand. 
At last we are on the beach. And what a beach it is. (Boy, do I feel sorry for all those folks that did as directed and stayed on the boats.)   
The beach itself is the finest sand, soft and cool, and it slides out from under my feet as the waves wrap around my ankles. It is a long, broad swath that curls around the bay, backed by overhanging trees and book-ended by large boulders. It could be the most perfect beach in the world.
 
 
 
The other dinghies depart as we are preparing to leave, so we watch closely, noting how they time their launch into the surf to use the force of the water to bring them through.

Knowing what to do, we watch for the right wave to launch the dinghy into. On the mark, we grab the dinghy and attempt to run into the surf. It takes a couple tries, but finally we get a good run at it, making it almost far enough. At that point our local hero comes out again, helps us reposition and hold the dinghy steady, and joins us in our final run through the surf and into calmer water. At his command, Sara and I fall clumsily into the dinghy, grabbing the paddles as the guys fall in after us. After a few strokes the engine starts and we are on our way back to Tharius.

We laugh and cheer as we speed along. Success feels so good! 

Next post: Sunset at Anse Lazio
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