Getting Fuel and Hulhumale High Winds

Yesterday the fuel barge was supposed to come between 1000 and 1200. The plan was that once we were done fueling, we would go to Male and run all the usual “getting ready for sea” errands. At about 1245, we found out the barge was now going to come between 1600 to 1800 (4 6 pm). There was physically no way we could make it to Male and back in only 3 hours. Sigh. We decided to wander around Hulhumale to see if we could take care of our errands there. We wandered into a restaurant called Food Palace for lunch. The food was good. While there, the chef assured us there were not many facilities on Hulhumale yet, but they were coming. There are currently about 5,000 people on Hulhumale, but it is slated to house 60,000 within the next few years. As of now, we’d have to go to Male for stocking up.

Shortly before 1600, we were back in the dinghy on our way back to Kosmos. We saw the Continue reading Getting Fuel and Hulhumale High Winds

More SCUBA Diving and Sight Seeing in Male

Yesterday, we spent the day doing chores. Eric changed the engine oil on the main engine and repaired the broken bilge pump. It turned out the intake valve inside the pump was broken. Fortunately, we have a rebuild kit on board. We also heard back from American Bow Thruster, who said there wasn’t much we could do about the stabilizer squeaking. Eric also thinks he has figured out the problem with the secondary autopilot. He thinks there is a loose connection somewhere, because the computer seems to lose communication. And to round off the repairs, Eric is now 100% sure that the issue with the inverter is simply a matter of one of the lines of LCD screen going bad and that the inverter itself is fine.

In the evening we had our heroine and Johan over for dinner as a way to thank them both for their hospitality to us. The dinner conversation was once again fascinating and we had a wonderful time with our guests. We have to say that through these two people we have really gained a lot of insight into the culture. Since both of them had to work the next day, it wasn’t a late night. One thing worth mentioning is that school is taught in English, which is why most people’s English is so darn good. The native tongue of the land is called Dhivehi, a derivative of the Indian Sanskirt language. Another item of interest is that neither of them could explain to us the significance of yesterday’s holiday.

Today, Eric went diving with the same dive shop. Christi couldn’t go because her ear was still infected. Both were drift dives along a wall, on the west side of Male near Garbage Island (yes, the dump). The first dive had Continue reading More SCUBA Diving and Sight Seeing in Male

The Key Rescue Mission

The plan for the day was to get an early lunch and do some sightseeing with Mike. Mike was flying out this evening, so once we saw him off, we were going to have a quiet night alone. Karen and Alex from Fafner headed into town with us and joined us for lunch. We ate at a restaurant called Jade Café, a couple blocks down the street from Sea House. We had been told the food is good and the internet is free. Once again there was a large international menu, and the food was definitely better than the other two places we have eaten. Very unique and yummy smoothie and fruit juice flavor combos.

After lunch, the guys stayed and played on the internet while the women went grocery shopping. The market was farther west than we had explored on Friday, but except for a couple fancy government buildings and a park area in front of one of the government buildings, everything looked much the same as we had seen the other day.

They passed a tourist shop where the owner beckoned them in. We had never gotten a Maldives courtesy flag, so Christi asked what on would cost. The two shopkeepers said USD$30.00. The truth was Continue reading The Key Rescue Mission

Diving Magivi Rock and Banana Reef

This morning, we noticed the Hulhumale ferry terminal was recently decorated with lots and lots of flags. When we got to Male, there were more flags out than yesterday. There were flags of assorted sizes everywhere as far as we could see! We were right on time to the dive shop. The day was overcast and gloomy, and it was raining. There was also quite a bit of wind. We sat in the shop until after 1000, when a truck finally pulled up and we all helped to load the gear on the truck. We walked down the road for a few blocks, where the truck was waiting to be unloaded onto a boat tied to the sea wall.

The first dive site turned out to be very close to the resort we had been rejected from yesterday. The ride out there was rocky and wet from the rain and rough seas. The site is called Magivi Rock. We all geared up and hopped in. After much arguing and insisting, the dive master relented and gave Christi 10 kilos of weight. Christi’s allergies had mildly bothered her all day yesterday, and still continued to bother her this morning. As expected, it was a very slow descent because of the difficulty clearing her ears.

The primary dive site is actually a rock 90 feet under the water, then from the rock you head up a gentle slope with coral up to the surface. The site is really nice. The visibility wasn’t South Pacific phenomenal, but it was pretty good. Definitely better than the Andamans. As soon as we started to descend, we could see there were thousands of little blue fish with sideways looking fins, oddly enough called redtooth triggerfish. Later the dive leader told us they were juveniles, probably only recently hatched.

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Down at the bottom, we saw a very large Continue reading Diving Magivi Rock and Banana Reef

The Quest for a Diveshop in Male

We had one quest for the day: to find a dive shop to take us out tomorrow. As far as we knew, there were two independently run dive shops in Male who target local customers. All the rest of the zillion dive shops are part of private hotels, and the word from fellow cruisers is that the private hotels do not want anyone who is not a hotel guest using their facilities

We took the ferry over to Male at about 0900. The plan was to go back to the Sea House for breakfast because they are a wi-fi hot spot. We could check e-mail while eating. Then we would set out in search of the dive shop and do some sight seeing.

We got off the ferry and headed upstairs. The restaurant was closed until 1330 (1:30 pm). We wandered down a very short and incredibly narrow road walking toward Relax Hotel, noticing that every business on the street was closed. We had heard the food at the hotel was good, and being a hotel, they would likely be open. The menu was huge, with lots of international choices. The food was OK and they didn’t have a wi-fi connection.

Once we were done eating, we set out to do some sightseeing. Male is different from any place we have ever been to before. The closest comparison we can come up with is a very old European town. The roads are paver stone. The main roads, such as the one the ferry terminal is on, can hold two cars. The side streets varied from being one and half cars wide, to one car, to barley wide enough for a scooter. Wider streets have narrow sidewalks along them. Narrow streets have no sidewalk. There are a zillion scooters everywhere. Just about every street is lined from end to end with parked scooters. The few cars on the road seemed to be mostly taxis.

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The buildings are literally right on top of one another, with most sharing common walls. There are quite a few Continue reading The Quest for a Diveshop in Male