Monday 9th May 0911 Local 0411
Our anchorage of Saturday night indeed served us
well though it was marginal and certainly could not accomodate a wind shift to
the south. That however was unlikely and certainly not forecast but nevertheless
I have one of the Navigation instruments set up in our cabin, right beside my
bed to show: Heading, True Wind Speed and Depth and every time I turn
in bed or sense an unusual noise or movement I can glance at the data to confirm
our security or otherwise.
Yesterday after strangely finding a dead bird on
the deck, we sailed away from the anchorage to try to find a spot where we
could settle for a couple of days. On Friday after the breathtaking
experience of swimming with the Whale Shark and getting excited about big fish
again I rigged a new fishing lure.
For some time now our trolling efforts have not
yielded very much apart from a hard fighting polythene bag one day....... So I
decided to re-rig a couple of lures and it was not long before we were rewarded
with a nice tuna. Not big but four perfect fillets were provided and that was
enough for dinner.
Fresh food is getting scarce and the rate of food
going off is directly proportional to Trish's moral. I mean I hate throwing out
food and I detest waste of any kind. By the way, this I think, is what people
believe is "tightness" in Scot's - far from it we are some of the most generous
people you will ever meet, it is the deeply culturally routed
presbyterian abhorrence of sinful waste that I am talking about. More
So with no functioning fridge and trying to
regularly decant frozen bottles of water in rotation from the freezer to the
fridge to keep the compartment cooler than the thirty plus degrees in the
saloon, as our only means of keeping the food "chilled" we are fighting a
losing battle. Now while I am happy, rather than waste it, to cut out
mouldy bits, run after "living" bananas that try to escape of their own accord
and continue eating anything as long as I can stomach it, Trish will not. The
other night she hit rock bottom when deciding to make a special dinner instead
of my cobbled together compositions of decomposing biomass, when she found a
small, then several more dead weavils or whatever in the smash (the real
potatoes have all already expoded). I can't understand in the slightest why this
would bother anyone. It has just been cooked to boiling temperature and is not
much different to the rest of the meal. In fact we were eating chicken and when
I found that dead but cooked on my plate I licked my lips and slurped it down so
why would a tiny little cooked dark creature or two in the spuds bother me. In
fact quite gruesomely we have been known to eat cooked and sometimes only
partially cooked cows..... Think about it.
Anyway we are now in Kolhumadulu Atoll. All atolls
have two names which is rather odd as it is not because of two different
languages. In fact what it is, is that all atolls were named at one time by
letters of the alphabet, north to south. So we have Haa, Raa, Baa, Alifu, Vaavu,
Faafu etc. The atoll we are in at the moment is also known as Thaa Atoll. None
of these sounded letters can be equated to our alphabet as they are in Dhivehi.
Going south we plan to stop at the next two major atolls Laamu and Gaafu before
Adoo the southern most.
I have already said but can say again that the
sailing inside the atolls must be one of the sailing worlds great hidden
treasures. However you have to be very self sufficient as it feels like you are
in a wilderness. Right now we are anchored again on a tenous westerly facing
anchorage "beside" two stunning deserted islands in 30m of water. Out or
"front" window there only three hundred metres of reef separating us from
an open stretch of water all the way to Somalia and other such lovely
places. Abaft of us we have the two hundred square miles of the Kolhumadulu
Atoll. If you come however, bring plenty chain...... we are almost always using
70 -90m of half inch short link chain on a 50kg Delta anchor ( www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk ). So far
our anchoring has not failed us ........ but you are only as good as your
last game and I hope that I will not regret saying that! Again yesterday we had
to explore several potential anchorages from the chart before camping up here
for the night.
Anyway the "front garden" at the moment is
dark blue for twenty metres or so then turquise for aniother twenty then brown
for forty or so then another hundred metres of turquise of to our white sanded
deserted palm treed island at the bottom of the "croft". Beyound that turquoise
and brown go for another couple of hundred metres to the oceans
edge. Already the Somalian pirates are operating only a couple of hundred
miles off this coast and in fact some have been ship wrecked here.
We went there, to the oceans edge yesterday,
where I hoped I could dive down and get a couple of lobsters but the breaking
surf onto a one metre deep reef meant we will eat cooked cow tonight.
Because its my birthday! Yep! forty seven years young today and getting younger
but greyer every year. Last year I had a beautiful polynesian girl dancing form
out in the Tuamotos. That was there this is here.
So instead of running the risk beyond the reef of
having a washed up Somalian pirate landing on me we decided to snorkel the inner
reef and it was spectacular. The fish and corals were stunning. We
plan to visit again today.
In the meantime I am even more proud than ever of
Scotland who last week showed that it is growing in maturity and confidence by
showing the Red Card to the "past-their-sell-by-date" self-benefitting,
career and state building ideoligists that have held our country back from
realising its full potential for generations. Rhiann Marie is in honour of the
people and especially the youth of Scotland flying only the St Andrews
Cross the Lion Rampant and the Maldivian courtesy flag.