Isle of Farquhar – Roche Caiman, Seychelles - Atlas Obscura

Isle of Farquhar

Roche Caiman, Seychelles

A schooner, nicknamed "The Unsinkable," with a long history of survival in the Indian Ocean. 


Isle of Farquhar, not to be confused with the Farquhar Group, which is a group of islands, is a three-mast schooner moored at Les Mamelles on Mahé, the largest of the islands in Seychelles.

Built in 1909 in the Netherlands and originally named Zeemeeuw, this schooner changed owners, routes, and purpose several times before Captain Robertson Durup brought it to Seychelles, where it was used to carry labor, supplies, and produce from island to island. From its base there, Isle of Farquhar sailed all over the Indian Ocean, mooring at the Chagos Archipelago and Mauritius.

Throughout its life, Isle of Farquhar faced rough seas and weather, and prevailed so much as that it was nicknamed “The Unsinkable.” This was due to particularly sturdy design and steelwork but it was a cyclone that eventually got the best of it.  Yet, true to its moniker, the vessel didn’t sink.  The strong winds broke the masts, but Isle of Farquhar withstood the shock.

To these days, the broken masts rest along the hull.  Much of the steelwork is now rusting, and invading vegetation has made it an integral part of the inlet’s habitat.  There are plans to restore Isle of Farquhar in the near future. 

Know Before You Go

It is possible to board the ship, but for now it is dangerous and ill-advised. 

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July 15, 2020

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