Friday, 20 February 2015

The Maldives - Uligan to Male

Arriving at Uligan
We arrived in the Maldives early on Friday and had the anchor set by 8AM. We were greeted by manta rays, a school of neon blue fishies, and a chorus line of squid. The water is sparkling clear in shades from deep blue to turquoise. The beaches are sandy white and the little village is tidy with small homes made from coral and cement.  We checked in, a very efficient and easy process, with immigrations, customs, health inspector, and two coast guard fellows on board. In the afternoon we decided to go for a swim and snorkel to cool down. We were greeted by another school (or same one) of neon blue fish, plus unicorns (trigger fish), parrot fish, and an amazing turtle. There were also a few stingrays dug into the sand just below the boat. 

Coral House in Uligan
Our next stop was Farukolhu Island. We left Uligan at 5AM in order to make it to our destination 60 miles away with enough sunlight left to see the bommies (coral heads) in the water and steer clear into the reef and lagoon. The depth went down to under 9 ft and that was at high tide, but once inside we found a nice spot to anchor in about 12 ft. of water. We had a lovely swim-about. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that there would be mozzies and we were up for over an hour at 1:30AM with heaps of the nasty little vampires feasting on us. We closed up our bed with screens and lace netting and then proceeded to hunt down and evict as many as we could.

Relaxing in the lounge chairs near the beach in Uligan
The next day we were off to Kanuhuraa Island/Reef. We saw several fishing boats along the way and decided to try our luck and put a lure in the water. It paid off as we caught ourselves a little tuna of some sort, which first honored with our appreciation for feeding us and then we cooked it up for dinner and leftovers for tuna salad the next two days. We continued on the next day to a reef just north of the Male atoll. Each day after anchoring we got into the water and snorkeled about. And, each day we saw more and more lovely and interesting things. The previous day it was a ginormous ray laying at the edge of the reef (don't want to disturb that guy!) and today it was a nice little shark of some sort resting in the sand just below the stern of our boat. Roger saw him... he's great at picking out these wonders. 
When we arrived in Male we were shocked at how built up it was... sea planes and jets taking off and landing, tons of little ferries to'ing and fro'ing, heaps of super yachts anchored and under way, and a dredge and some tankers busy at work. We really had gotten used to the pristine and isolated little anchorages along the way down and we felt that this was just a little bit too much civilization for our taste. But we adjusted and did our provisioning at the local fish and veggie markets and preparations for the big "Head to the Med through the Red" convoy. But that's another story for another post.

With Equanimity and Joy