Our passage from Sri Lanka to the Maldives took us to the top of the archipelago at the Haa Alifu Atoll to a small island called Uligamu. It is also where we checked in to the Maldives. We spent two months cruising the Maldives moving between the different atolls and islands within.
We spent a few days here anchored off the island, where we enjoyed the local hospitality of this little village. We were invited and went to one of the officials homes for afternoon tea, before wandering around the village and watching a local soccer match and having a look at a local school. Andrew, along with some of the other yachties were taken fishing with the locals, who then barbecued them on the beach for dinner that night for us.
Today houses on the island are made from cement or bricks, but some of the older homes were built using coral shaped bricks which you can still see. The roads around the island are unsealed and are made of a mixture of sand and broken coral.
Frequently over the two months in the Maldives, Andrew, Josh, Jamie and sometimes others would go off spear fishing. Suffice to say there was plenty of fish and frequent grilled fish BBQs on the beach for everyone. The beautiful clear water and plentiful supply of fish made it an amazing place for fishing.
These are just a few of the fish caught during our time in the Maldives
Our friend Behan received an invite to come ashore and have a look at a resort/turtle sanctuary. So we all tagged along for a look around. First stop the turtles.
The resort has a number of pools housing turtles according to their size. When they reach a certain size they will be released back into the water. After everyone washed their hands, the kids and adults were able to hold the turtles. Which they loved.
They were very keen to get a group photo of us all visiting.
The luxury resort was pretty close to being completed when they ran out of money, they are now looking for a buyer, are you interested? There are bungalows built over the water or little units on land with their own private pool. The adults all eagerly walked around the resort accommodation, the kids not so much, but it seems a shame for it to be sitting empty.
On one of our many short hops between atolls we spotted some dolphins who joined us for part of our journey to the next stop. We all eagerly watched them up on the bow. We are not sure what type they were, as they looked so different from others we have seen.
We stopped at a random little inlet and had no sooner arrived when we spotted dolphins. Andrew, Josh and I grabbed our snorkeling gear and hopped in the dinghy to take a closer look. The dolphins were happily playing. We jumped in to watch them. They wouldn’t come too close to us and would swim away if we got too close, but they were very curious about us. Its amazing how much their clicky noises echoed through the water.
Josh with the dolphins
After the excitement died off we decided to snorkel over the reef. The water wasn’t particularly clear and had a fine sediment throughout, but what was unusual was that the sea cucumbers who normally lie flat where all standing vertical. The other odd thing was the starfish, who also usually lie flat on the sand or curled around rock or coral but they were standing on their legs. We all surfaced and talked about it. Behan new some one at the Smithsonian and sent some pictures she took and apparently it was the once in the year time when the coral was spawning. It was an amazingly, unique experience, not sure if we will ever get to see again.
We ended up spending a few days at the inlet and the kids loved it when Totem got their hookah out. A great amount of time was spent playing with it. I loved the mermaid tail that Siobhan is wearing.
Diving and Snorkeling
We did a lot of diving and snorkeling during our two months. The water clarity is amazing and the water temperature very warm. The coral was beautiful and plenty of stunning tropical fish, as well as large pelagics. Not too many photos to share as I find it difficult to get good underwater photos and often didn’t bother with the camera.
We went to Male twice during our stay in the Maldives and it is quite amazing to see it as you sail towards it, the buildings look like they are sitting on the water. Male sits at sea level and with water levels rising the country has had to come up with ways to protect the island and have built a large breakwater. Unfortunately there isn’t the money to do that for every island in the Maldives, but they seem to be proactive in looking for ways to protect the islands.
After being in such remote locations for weeks, I was very glad to be back in civilization. We enjoyed catching the ferry over to the main part of the city and shopping in the markets, Andrew particularly like the fish market where you could select your tuna and then take it to a guy and for a dollar he would quickly skin and fillet it for you. Very little is actually grown on the Maldives and most is imported from India or Sri Lanka. The disappointing thing was eggs. Half of the eggs we bought would be rotten, as they had already spent days on ships getting to the Maldives.
The Maldives is filled with so many beautiful islands with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The kids enjoyed playing together on the beaches, boats and water.
Photo on the left is Totem at one of our anchorages and the photo on the right was taken by Behan while up the mast looking down on Utopia.
We did our last minute provisioning ready for our month in Chagos in Gan. Gan is located in the Addu Atoll, which is the southernmost Atoll in the Maldives and final place that you can check out before leaving.
Thank you to Behan off Totem as she has given me the photos of the kids with the hookah and the lovely photo of Utopia.
Links to check in and out in the Maldives
Check in/out information for Uligamu:
check out in/out Information for Gan:
check in/out or renewing for Male: