Hulemale, North Male Atoll, Maldives 04 13.312N 73 32.239E

Brian Palmer
Wed 9 Mar 2011 08:49
After 9 days at Velassaru we lifted the anchor at 08.30 and headed out through the gap in the reef marked with a new pole.     A few days previously the pole had been knocked down by a passing boat and then replaced with something a little sturdier, somewhat listing it stands at approximately 04 06.692N 73 26.245E.   Passing to the south of it we had 1.9m of water under the keel at low water.


Our stay here in the lagoon had been time to relax and regenerate after all the previous weeks tensions.   We had internet so were able to keep in touch and wait anxiously for any news on the ship that was due to collect us.    The plan was to perhaps prepare the yacht for shipping here and then motor back to Hulemale a little near the time of departure but the days were passing by, our freezer was now empty, we needed some fresh veggies so it was decided to go back to Hulemale anchorage and from there get the laundry done and do a little more research on flights and possible accommodation in Male and Turkey.


The laundry was enormous as I had found a locker full of Brian’s t shirts where several at the bottom of the pile had gone mouldy, it was only the smell that made me look into the locker.    A locker known to be normally dry and sweet smelling this was a mystery.    I can only think that when we shipped water on the passage from Phuket water seeped into that locker and then soaked upwards.      A few of the t shirts had to be discarded but the rest appeared to be OK when they came back from the laundry.


Our water maker has a slight problem, enough to stop me using the washing machine, it is not producing as much per hour so we are managing the water more conservatively at the present time.    The water maker needs a new valve and we think we will wait till we get to Turkey where Brian will be able to buy one easily.


Our time in Velassaru has been quite social with the number of yachts there.   Most evenings we were being entertained or we had friends on board so it was very pleasant.    Friends also took me snorkelling out on the reef with them.    Sadly Brian is not keen to swim or snorkel these days and I am rather reluctant to go off on my own for fear of a big fish or being hurt on coral so I am now a reluctant solo snorkeller.      The coral on the edge of the small atoll was remarkably good although there were patches of dead coral there was a great deal of rejuvenation.     It was at this island I saw Nimo for the first time, Nimo as you may know is a clown fish.    I thought they were not as spectacular as other fish I have seen, they were a bit of a disappointment.   The big highlight here was the sighting of three Clown Trigger fish.   Quite unlike Nimo they are bigger and have huge black spots on their underbelly and are quite beautiful.      


The resort on Velassaru appears large but there appeared to be little activity in the area we could see.   Each evening, when the weather was calm enough, their local Maldivian boat would take tourists out on a sunset cruise, it was all rather nice as they sat on large leather type beanbags wearing beautiful clothes.     Quite unlike us untidy cruisers who wear very little.     It is understandable that they do not want us around on their shores, as one friend found when he dinghied close to the jetty and was told in no uncertain words to clear off.    One night we watched a wedding taking place on the boat as they sailed close to the yachts.


There are resorts as far as the eye can see on every conceivable small island.   The accommodation is built out over the ocean so there is no need for land just a small piece of sand is enough to call it a deserted island and the ability to charge a fortune for going there.


Brian’s birthday was on 3rd of March and I had used my best networking skills to get ourselves invited to the Taj Resort a few miles from Velassaru.     The weather was not settled at the time and friends told us the anchorage was not that good so once we found out that the cost of a bbq supper was to be $175 per person plus drinks and taxes we decided very definitely that the weather was not good enough to go there.      Phew!        Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to find out the prices before we were committed.


With an empty freezer we are now chomping through the stores of packets, bottles and cans.    It is amazing what scrumptious meals can be produced with a little imagination and a few fresh items added.    We still have good supplies of cheese and bacon so will not go hungry for weeks.


Lets hope we get some good news soon on the shipping.