Terry & Fiona
Fri 1 Apr 2011 08:24
04:07.06 n
073:26.09 e    
we finally escaped Male airport anchorage on 30 march heading south 12nm to the anchorage at the resort of Velassuru.
while in Male we managed to get the windlass repaired which involved us removing it from the boat and lugging it to the workshop in Male via the dinghy, a ferry and a taxi. the workshop welded the cracked gearbox and then found the wormwheel teeth were severely damaged. they filled the gearing with new bronze and re-cut the teeth. it took just over a week, but well worth it and much cheaper than a new windlass!
Unfortunately the dinghy is now taking its turn as the item needing attention. its leaking air from the tubes and water through the bottom. terry has been trying lots of ideas to plug the holes but is running out of ideas. we've just got to keep it afloat till we get to Thailand. unfortunately the wind blowing into the anchorage made the water a bit too rough for our poor dinghy, so we used to re-anchor nearer the ferry jetty for a shorter ride ashore and then anchor again for the night in the northern part of the anchorage where the water was calmer.
Male is a very interesting, modern place. a small island covered with office and appartment blocks up to 10 stories high. it has been likened to a mini Singapore!  its such a contrast to the out-lying islands. there are shops everywhere selling everything that you couldn't get elsewhere - supermarkets, dive shops, souvenirs, clothes (top brands and quite fashionable, especially for the young men who are very conscious about their looks - hair styles are very trendy). the roads are paved and generally very clean, buzzing with traffic - cars, small vans and thousands of scooters.
the most interesting place was the fish market - all sorts of fish,  very small to very large. we bought a 4kg tuna for 5 dollars and paid 50 cents to have it boned and filleted by one of the team of fish filleters with their very sharp knives.
having met up with Davina and Antony of sy Divanty and cought up on adventures and alcohol consumption, it was at last time to move on.
the anchorage at Velassaru is wide and open. we dropped the hook in 12m and enjoyed a swim in clean, clear water. we saw Manta Rays, Eagle Rays and even a stingray! the snorkelling on the eastern side of the reef was good coral and lots of fish. we also had some good company here. 3 of the Aussie boats that are being shipped to Turkey. we had a couple of good social nights and helped to empty their well-stocked freezers of some delicious goodies. many thanks John and Kerry of Lurline III, Tim & Karen of Raven and Sue and Mike of Skidaddle Again.