Final Maldives leg to Gan, Addu Atoll and back into the southern hemisphere
Position 00:41.177 S 073:08.648 E
Date 1550 (UTC+5) Tuesday 12 April 2016 through to Sunday 17 April 2016
Distance run 61.7nm over the ground
A 0605 start leaving Flomaida at anchor but wide awake and waving goodbye. We actually started with a reasonable breeze followed by a couple of squalls with 30 knot steady wind, followed by heavy rain followed by wind again from a reasonable direction (50 degrees apparent. So it was sails out, sails in, sails out with engine on and off to cope with the changing conditions and in order to keep up a 6 knot average so that we arrived in Adu in good time to find a suitable anchorage.
We crossed the Equator for the third time since leaving he USA, at 0915 (The screenshot was taken at 0925 as we were a little busy at the time getting over the line and squall dodging).
Incoming squall at 3nm, off to our west, starboard side
with us just over a mile south of the equator
After the rain passed through the wind settled to15-16 knots true which gave us about 20 knots, gusting to 24 knots apparent at 45-50 degrees which necessitated a certain amount of reef in and let out as the wind varied around our first reef wind speed – the joys of having in mast furling and electrically driven genoa furlers. It turned into a robust sail with the largest seas that we have seen since we passed south of Sri Lanka.
We took the Pass into the Adu Atoll at Kuda Kandu (00 36.614 S 073 08.237 E) from where it is an easy 4nm to the lagoon by the Feydhoo to Gan Causeway
Entry into the lagoon by the Feydhoo to Gan Causeway – start at approximately 00:41.106 S 073:08.684 E. There are two black and white posts marking the starboard side of the channel but no port markers, as previously reported. Keep to the right hand side of the channel past the posts until abeam the concrete wall on the left, then follow that clear of the reef. Beware the reef on the port side as it extends in the channel and is difficult to see. We saw a minimum depth of 3.2 metres at 1550, I hour 20 mins before high water when there was a tidal range of 0.75m. We anchored in the south east corner on sand in about 5.5 metres. There were three local boats, small ferries or resort work boats on moorings taking up room in the centre of the available space. We fitted ourselves and Flomaida which worked but a lot of the space is rather shallow. Last year a yacht reported being in there with six others msnd described it as “a bit tight”
Looking across the anchorage from the Coastguard corner at the Gan end of the Gan to Feydhoo Causeway
One of the issues with the anchorage are flies and mosquitos. For us the convenience overcame the continual requirement for swatting. Flomaida did not show such fortitude and after a very pleasant evening together at the Equator Resort on Gan Island they moved to an anchorage 0.5nm north of the harbour at Feydhoo.
The Equator Resort occupies what was the Officers and Sergeants Messes of RAF Gan, which closed in March 1976 as part of the general British withdrawal from the Far East. It is located about 300m nto Gan Island on the lagoon side. It is rated as 3 Stars and whilst the food was average it was great to get off the boat, for the Mate to have a night of cooking and to be able to order beer and wine from a bar. Prices are very reasonable. We subsequently had a day in the Resort with the use of an air-conditioned chalet room, an excellent newly fitted bathroom and the use of the pool. The whole bill came to US$160 including the day room, sandwich lunch, drinks and dinner.
As a side note I spent 2 hours in Gan in January 1976 when the VC10 in which I was travelling from Singapore to the UK landed to refuel.
You can leave your dinghy at the ladder near the coastguard corner
The pool at the Equator Resort
On Saturday we moved down to Feydhoo Harbour to take on diesel and delivery of our clearance papers
The entrance to the harbour at Feydhoo with a local cargo boat heading our way
Taking on diesel and some extra cans to tide us over our planned stay in Chagos. Flomaida in front of us shared the fuel delivery. Note the small bunch of green bananas on our aft deck