Langkawi to Uligan Day 9 and a bit - Uligan, Maldives for clearing in
Position 07:05.03 N 072:55.18 E
Date 1710 (UTC+7) Tuesday 1 March 2016
Distance run in 5hrs 38nm over the ground, 34nm through the water
Trip total 1618nm over the ground, 1401nm through the water
To go to Uligan, Maldives 0nm – 1,605nm total route distance
We go there at 1700 boat time and were guided into a great anchorage position in between reefy bits by the skipper from the Irish registered yacht Laragh, in his dinghy. Flomaida followed us into the “cosy” anchorage minutes later
Yes, it is that colour – Looking from the harbour at Uligan towards the preferred anchorage
This is not an anchorage to get into when you cannot see the bottom as there are shallow patches to be avoided. Fortunately, the water is crystal clear and the anchor spot is pristine white sand just off the very visible shore reef.
The local agent from Sea Hawks Maldives, Assad, came highly recommended form other cruisers and that recommendation has proved to be very well deserved. Having set our watches two hours back to UTC +5, local time, Assad with a bunch of six officials boarded from the very smart customs dory and were absolutely charming and friendly as we went through the paperwork. The quarantine official was fascinated to find that the badges on his epaulettes were caduceus (caducei?) and went away with a boat card proving the fact. I must put an A4 handout together about the name as it seems to create a lot of interest.
Assad also produced local SIM cards and top ups so we are now connected to the internet through the mobile phone network. One of the changes that has occurred since we started cruising six years ago is the development of mobile phone based data services. This has become the preferred method of connection rather than searching out shore based WiFi sources.
All clearances completed without fuss we were able to swim in the crystal clear water and check that we still had a hull. The hull has a layer of slime but no major fouling. Our lack of speed against Flomaida must be the extra weigh that we carry and possibly the windage from the stern arch; I can put up with that however as the weight is food, spare and equipment and the stern arch with its solar panels and wind generators plus the drag from the hydro generator lowers our generation requirement (diesel) by some 80%.
We will stay here for a couple of days before moving on to more isolated atolls. On Tuesday evening Assad has organised a dinner ashore for cruisers so this will allow us the opportunity to meet the crews of the other 5 yachts that are anchored nearby. First though we are having sunset drinks aboard Flomaida. One thing that you will not find ashore, outside the resorts, is alcohol. The Maldives are very traditionally Muslim in custom and culture and there is definitely no BYO.
LtoR, Flomaida and Caduceus and the deep blue sea