Dhiguvelidhoo, Madivaru, and a dead crow
I awoke to the sounds of Wayne’s loud steps on deck at the port of Kulhudhuffushi. The sun was already up and with my messy hair I went up to see what he was up to. The first thing my sleepy eyes noticed was a strange bright red puddle of blood coagulating on the clear window of our bimini roof and Wayne washing down the deck. Had Wayne landed and wrestled a large tuna in the middle of the night? It was then I realised the mass of cawing crows on the dock. I turned my now awake eyes and thought what the…? There were dozens of sinister looking birds – a ‘murder’ of crows – eyeballing us from the dock. Seems a crow flew into our spinning wind generator almost cutting its head clean off! This was creepy, like a scene from Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ with the deceased bird now on the dock gasping his last, while the others cried and flew around seeking vengeance for the unexpected demise of their mate. I’m just glad the bird landed on the roof and not through the aft cabin hatch where I was sleeping! There’s a superstition about finding a dead crow on your doorstep, although not sure if it covers ‘death by misadventure’. So that was our strange morning!
The Kulhudhuffushi port workers start their day at 7.30am. After paying the 182.85 rufiah fee for a 24 hour stay at the port, dumping our small bag of garbage, and cleaning the remains of a decapitated bird from the deck, we left at 8am and headed on 178deg towards our intended anchorage near Komandhoo, approx. 34nm away on the western side of the atoll, loaded with food, funds, fuel, phone, photos.
Light winds meant motor sailing. Wayne took some time to tease a few pelagics with his last Rapala lure while I washed some clothes and started preparing chicken for dinner. The nice thing about being on the water is that we can wear our togs, whereas in the villages dressing modestly is expected. I usually wear light trousers and shirt in the villages, which although is good to prevent sunburn, gets awfully hot.
On the western side of the South Miladhunmadulu atoll, we arrived at three small uninhibited islands just south from the populated island of Komandoo – Dhigurah, Medurah, and Dhiguvelidhoo. We anchored off Dhiguvelidhoo at 06deg 01.740N 073deg 04.872E in about 6m in the sand between some spaced out bommies. The sky was clear and it was a beautiful night to look at millions of stars twinkling above. The wind shifted to the west overnight, although remained light. A slight swell caused a bit of rolling, but not too bad. A good isolated anchorage in fair weather.
Next morning we retraced our track out of the anchorage and in light winds we motor sailed to the next atoll – Faadhippolhu Atoll – some 40nm south. Clouds are beginning to accumulate as an impending couple of days of stormy weather heads from the west. This same weather may continue to develop into a tropical depression towards Western Australia.
During the day we sailed by many islands that have over water resort villas, neatly laid out above the clear water. Our trip took us by the exclusive Randheli Cheval Blanc, where Prince William and Kate recently stayed.I doubt the resort has a yachties bar for the likes of us!
We haven’t actually see any other yachts, although we did catch up with David and Peggy from S.Y. Rhythm back at Dhapparu. In anticipation of a good anchorage, I phoned the Kuredu Resort to request permission to anchor south of their resort, but we were told “it is not possible”. That was a bummer as it seems like a good spot. The exclusive resorts allegedly don’t like yachties unless they’ve made prior arrangements to anchor, plus at least go ashore to buy an expensive meal. Given there are over 1200 islands, those with good shelter are few and far between and usually have a resort on them.
Once in the atoll, at the nearby island village of Hinnavaru, the depth shallowed quickly and there wasn’t much swing room between the bommies. So a further three miles south we ended up anchoring at the island of Madivaru in around 15m (05deg 27.600N 073deg 22.500E). See photo below – we’re the little blue arrow.
The capital, Male, is still 80nm south and we will probably reach there by the weekend. Our cruising permit expires on 22 April, but our agent said that as long as we arrive at Gan on the Addu Atoll before it expires, we will have no trouble staying longer as long as we don’t stray from Gan.
So while the rich and famous spend thousands on accommodation in these idyllic isles, we look for a little bit of sand to drop the pick and enjoy the same views as them – nice!
Bye for now…