Across the One and a Half Degree Channel to Kolaamafushi, Huvedhoo Atoll
Position 00:50.978 N 073:11.009 E
Date 1610 (UTC+5) Sunday 3 April 2016
Distance run 65.4nm over the ground
We made a first light start at 0610 with 65nm to do and no wish to arrive after dark. The first few hours were notable for the rain squalls that were all over the place with thunder and lightening and 25knot winds to keep us on our toes.
An incoming hostile
In between the squalls the wind was very light and very much from the north so even motor sailing was not much good. The current appeared to be 1 to 1.5 knots on the beam.
In the middle of the One and a Half Degree passage, named from the latitude, is a shallow bank that attracted a fleet of fishing boats and a vast pod of dolphins, probably the largest number together that we have seen; hundreds of them made an amazing sight which was impossible to photograph to any good effect.
Running under engine has some advantages, full batteries, a full water tank and lots of cooking using the inverter and induction hob. The skipper even managed to play baker.
We anchored in 8 metres on sand just north of the village of Kolaamafushi where there is a long sand shelf running down the west side of the channel. A slightly worrying thing happened at 1930 when we were sitting in the cockpit. A sploshing noise heralded the arrival of three men paddling a blacked out dory. They came alongside and appeared to be offering Ganja (Cannabis etc.) in exchange for alcohol. We are definitely not playing that game and after a short courteous conversation they departed back for the shore sploshing into the darkness. The absence of lights and engine would point at the risk they were taking with the local laws.
An inadequate photograph of the huge pod that we encountered. The black dots, right top are just a small part of it together with those under our bows
Mr Bun the Baker